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Metallica’s Kirk Hammett on Trump Speech: ‘Reject American Carnage’

January 21st, 2017 · Guitar

Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett urged fans to “defend democracy” and “reject American carnage” in a Twitter response to Donald Trump‘s grim inauguration speech.

“Trump’s Inaugural Address and his asking us to put America first sounds, to me, familiar to what was said in speeches going around Germany in the 1930′s… and later Russia in the 1940′s,” the guitarist wrote.

“Pay attention people! Stand up for truth, compassion and togetherness. Don’t settle for anything less. Reject lies, fear-mongering, misguided anger. The system wants us divided, so it’s easier to control us emotionally.”

Hammett also attacked Trump’s campaign promise and the closing words of his inauguration address, “Make America Great Again.”

“America never stopped being great! America is one of the wealthiest and most prosperous nations on the planet. I’m proud of America,” Hammett tweeted. “To say America is not great, that it lacks greatness, sets up a scenario for manipulation and control from others – pay attention people!”

In his Twitter screed, Hammett also called climate change deniers “Earth killers” and said that the Alt-Right is “just another sneaky euphemism for white supremacy.”

“If we don’t put up a fight, we risk losing our rights,” the guitarist said in conclusion. “Defend democracy from those who want to crush it.”

In October, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said he would consider moving back to his native Denmark if Trump were elected president.

“I am a hundred percent Danish citizen. I pay taxes in the U.S.A., but I can’t vote in America,” he said. “Yes, certainly sometimes I think about moving home to Denmark… If Trump becomes President and everything goes to shit, I might make my way to the airport and ask if I can get back in again.”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/kirk-hammett-on-trump-speech-reject-american-carnage-w462312

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Reunited Audioslave, Prophets of Rage Explode at Anti-Inaugural Ball

January 21st, 2017 · Guitar

“This stage is a no-Trump zone!” declared guitarist Tom Morello midway through Friday’s Anti-Inaugural Ball in Los Angeles, headlined by two of his bands, the politically charged Prophets of Rage and a reunited Audioslave. “Immigrants and Muslims are welcome here. Racism, homophobia and bullying will not be tolerated.”

Held in the 600-capacity Teragram Ballroom in downtown L.A., Prophets of Rage could have easily packed the room by themselves, but the night was intended as a gathering of forces in response to the day’s inauguration of Donald Trump. Hosted by Jack Black, the concert delivered a full roster of established and emerging voices, including sets by Jackson Browne and outspoken rapper Vic Mensa.

“If somebody tries to grab your pussy in the pit,” warned Morello, riffing on the a notorious Trump comment, “it’s your patriotic duty to break their fucking arm!”

The Ball was a continuation of the declared mission of Prophets of Rage, who emerged during the 2016 election season. Gathering iconic rappers B-Real and Chuck D with Public Enemy’s DJ Lord and former Rage Against the Machine players Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk, their battle cry was “Make America Rage Again,” directly in defiance of this election’s winning slogan. While the slogan was on red caps throughout the room last night, the band’s position is less non-partisan than radically anti-establishment: Remember that Rage Against the Machine’s most active years came during the Clinton administration.

The sold-out event was streamed live online and began with Chuck D reciting a bit of Public Enemy’s 1989 classic “Fight the Power,” still one of the most defiant and timeless protest songs in popular music history.

The full band’s set was typically explosive, erupting from the heavy funk of “Bombtrack” and “Guerrilla Radio.” Chuck D took lead vocal on the latter, but B-Real had the timely closing message: “It has to start somewhere/It has to start sometime/What better place than here, what better time than now?”

As always, Chuck D noted “the revolutionary lyrics of Zack de la Rocha,” the former Rage singer and lyricist who wasn’t exactly silent this inaugural week either, appearing the night before with Run the Jewels at an anti-Trump concert in Washington, D.C.

During a hip-hop medley, B-Real, Chuck D and Lord were joined by Everlast for his House of Pain hit “Jump Around.” Soon, B-Real announced, “Oh, you got a special treat now, motherfuckers,” then grabbed a spot to watch from behind the amps as Morello began the intense opening riff from Audioslave’s 2002 debut single “Cochise.” Singer Chris Cornell bounced onto the stage, bearded in jeans and T-shirt for a soaring vocal performance

Audioslave was the first project to emerge from the 2000 breakup of Rage Against the Machine, teaming the three Rage instrumentalists with the Soundgarden shouter. They recorded three albums and scored radio hits along the way, before officially splitting up in 2007.

“Twelve years is a long time coming,” Cornell said of the unexpected reunion since their last live performance. The three-song set included “Like a Stone” and “Show Me How to Live,” powered by big, straight-ahead rock guitar riffs. As Morello soloed on the final song, Cornell fell forward into the crowd, arms out.

When the Prophets of Rage rappers returned to the stage, Chuck D said of the Audioslave set, “This shit is unbelievable.”

The night began with more peaceful protests. Jackson Browne began with a warm, understated “Till I Go Down,” dialing back the heavy reggae vibe of the 1986 original recording. He followed with Steven Van Zandt’s 1983 anthem “I Am a Patriot,” a permanent part of Browne’s shows for several years, and added new lyrics aimed at our new commander in chief: “I ain’t no bully … I ain’t no climate denier.”

Browne was joined by Morello for “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” recreating the Bruce Springsteen original with the wild, eccentric soloing from the Rage guitarist. Morello lifted the instrument to pluck the strings with his teeth, revealing a new message on the back of his guitar: “Not my president.” Morello then shouted the lyric: “Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free/Look in their eyes, Mom, you’ll see me!”

Another surprise was the appearance of Black’s musical duo Tenacious D. With a white-bearded Kyle Gass on guitar, they sang the surreal and comic “The Government Totally Sucks.” The night also included the Los Angeles Freedom Choir, assembled for the show from teachers, union members, undocumented workers, Black Lives Matters activists, Muslim high school students and others, as “a way to demonstrate a united front,” Morello told Rolling Stone before the show. While other artists gathered on the East Coast, Morello and the Prophets made their stand in Los Angeles. “Standing up where you are and where you live is important. The reverberations of this weekend of protests will be felt around the country.”

With the Prophet of Rages back onstage after the Audioslave set, the crowd bounced hard to the militant beat of “Testify,” as B-Real, Chuck D and Morello each raised an open hand in the air. The show ended with Prophets of Rage ripping into “Killing in the Name,” as all the night’s performers crowded onto the stage, shouting along to classic slogan, “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!” Before the musicians and fans began to leave, Black implored the cheering crowd: “Now is not the time for silence. Let your voice be heard!”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/live-reviews/audioslave-prophets-of-rage-explode-at-anti-inaugural-ball-w462314

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George Harrison’s Entire Studio Catalog to Get Vinyl Reissue

January 21st, 2017 · Guitar

To mark what would have been George Harrison‘s 74th birthday on February 25th, the Beatles guitarist’s entire solo catalog will be reissued on vinyl.

George Harrison – The Vinyl Collection features 13 albums, including all 12 of his solo studio LPs – from 1968′s Wonderwall Music to 2002′s Brainwashed – and the live album Live in Japan.

Each album has been newly remastered from the original master tapes and pressed onto 180-gram heavyweight vinyl. Those records are then housed in a high-quality slipcase that replicates each album’s original artwork and track list.

The Vinyl Collection also comes with two 12-inch single picture discs of “When We Was Fab” and “Got My Mind Set On You.” Each of the reissued albums will also be made available individually, with the 3-LP All Things Must Pass only available as a limited edition piece.

In addition to the Vinyl Collection, a new “Extended Edition” of his 1980 autobiographic work I Me Mine will be released on February 21st. The new edition of the book includes 59 additional handwritten lyrics and unpublished photographs not found in the original printing.

Visit the George Harrison site to pre-order The Vinyl Collection and I Me Mine – The Extended Edition.

George Harrison – The Vinyl Collection

Wonderwall Music (1968)
Electronic Sound (1969)
All Things Must Pass (1970)
Living In The Material World (1973)
Dark Horse (1974)
Extra Texture (1975)
Thirty Three 1/3 (1976)
George Harrison (1979)
Somewhere in England (1981)
Gone Troppo (1982)
Cloud Nine (1987)
Live In Japan (1992)
Brainwashed (2002)

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/george-harrisons-entire-studio-catalog-to-get-vinyl-reissue-w461271

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T.I. Pens Moving Open Letter to ‘Us’ on Inauguration Day

January 21st, 2017 · Guitar

Following T.I.‘s candid open letters to Barack Obama and Donald Trump, the rapper has concluded his series with a message to “us,” which he describes as “the Black community, the hip hop community or whoever is against the oppressive communities that have historically tried to bring us down.”

“Every one of us must do something to contribute to transforming our community for the better,” the rapper wrote in the open letter, which he sent to Ebony. “We have been underserved, underprivileged and unfortunate for far too long. There are no more excuses. It’s not enough to have limited progress and allow our expectations and sense of purpose to evaporate. 

In the open letter, T.I. also recommends that the black community shun consumerism and materialistic impulses, not to blame everything on “the system” and “reshape the need for our children to want to live so fast even if it means dying too young.”

“Our obsession with material things and lack of self-worth is evident in our need for an abundance of momentary luxuries and must-have amenities that have no true value for real, man,” he wrote. “So, if that means we must sacrifice some nights at the club and give up buying the latest designer handbags and sneakers…well then damn, so be it.”

T.I. continued, “It is imperative for US to parent our children and educate them outside of the school systems, as our education system was not designed to lift US out of oppression. If we know that the pipelines to prisons are multiplying, well we must ask ourselves what can we do to end it? We must keep ourselves busy with finding ways to generate wealth for generations to come and work to pass down things to our children for them to pass down to their children.”

T.I.’s open letter series comes a month after the rapper released his surprise LP Us or Else: Letter to the System. His latest letter is a rallying cry for those still hurting from November’s election results and today’s inauguration.

“I know what it’s like to feel hopeless and to feel like you’re not good enough just because of where you’re from. I know what it’s like to be profiled and to be abused by the police. I know what it’s like to be racially profiled, treated unjustly and abused by the police just because of how you look,” T.I. wrote. “But even more importantly than knowing all these things, I know what it’s like to overcome ‘em. Now, I know it’s not easy…but all of US can do something.”

In an interview with Ebony that accompanied his latest open letter, T.I. said, “It has to be understood that the world doesn’t exist with people who are exactly like us. Whatever column you fall in — Christian, gay, straight, Black, White — there is no world where people exist that are exactly like you. No one group of people can righteously rule the world. There will be people who differ in opinion, and even in that difference of opinion, we must respect each other. The one thing we all have in common is that we’re human.”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ti-pens-moving-open-letter-to-us-on-inauguration-day-w462246

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Hear J. Cole Reflect on Oppression, Obama, Revolution on ‘High for Hours’

January 20th, 2017 · Guitar

J. Cole meditates on oppression, meeting with President Barack Obama and the dangers of revolution in a dense new track, “High for Hours,” released on Martin Luther King Day.

Produced by Cam O’bi and Elite, “High for Hours” boasts a simple soul-tinged beat. In the first verse, Cole reflects on American hypocrisy as it pertains to the religious justification for slavery, the celebrations surrounding the death of Osama Bin Laden and police brutality.

The North Carolina MC confronts the State itself, recalling his meeting with Obama during which he asked the President why he hasn’t enacted more radical change to help African-American communities. Taking a few creative liberties with Obama’s response, Cole spits, “I got the vibe he was sincere and that the brother cared/ But dog, you in the chair, what’s the hold up?/ He said, ‘There’s things that I wanna fix/ But you know this shit, nigga: politics./ Don’t stop fighting and don’t stop believing/ You can make the world better for your kids before you leave it.’”

In the song’s final verse, Cole considers what that fight looks like, but the rapper stops short of calling for revolution. Instead, he suggests that the complete overthrow of power inevitably leads to the oppressed becoming the new oppressors. “What good is taking over,” Cole says towards the end of the song. “When we know what you gon’ do?/ The only real revolution happens right inside of you.”

“High for Hours” follows J. Cole’s latest album, 4 Your Eyez Only, which was released in December.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-j-cole-mull-obama-revolution-on-high-for-hours-w461338

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John Mayer Details Origin, Inspiration Behind Four New Songs

January 20th, 2017 · Guitar

“This is the longest I’ve gone in the incubation process of a record,” says John Mayer, from the complex of rooms at Capitol Studios where he has spent hundreds of hours working on his new LP, The Search For Everything. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter’s seventh studio album is being released in waves, with the first four-song installment arriving Friday.

Mayer tells Rolling Stone he knew from the outset that he wanted to make as ambitious an album as possible. “My starting point is, ‘I want to leave the Earth as a writer,’” he explains. “I wasn’t interested in doing anything I’ve done before, and I wanted to stoke the fire of abstraction and just start punching hard.” The singer, who has also spent the past couple years touring with former members of the Grateful Dead as Dead Company, says he wanted The Search For Everything to be the kind of massive production you associate with classic 70s albums like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.

He was still finishing the second group of songs at the time of Rolling Stone‘s visit, but seemed optimistic about the unconventional approach, citing artists like Drake and Rihanna as inspiration for breaking from a traditional album release.

“The price of admission is four songs,” he says. “If you don’t like these, don’t get the next four. But if i’ve engendered some kind of trust that you think i’m onto something, get the next four, and come along with me on every single wave.” Mayer walked us through the genesis of the first four songs.

“Love On The Weekend”

Mayer says the lyrical idea for the album’s first single – a sunny pop-rock tune reminiscent of his early chart-toppers – hit him one day when he arrived at Capitol Records’ iconic building on Vine Street at the foot of the hill bearing the Hollywood sign. “It’s just a fucking hill,” he remembers thinking. “But everybody decided to congregate around this hill. This is where the magic is. It got me thinking how, in California, we like going from one hill to another hill. And the reason I love L.A. is because it’s the world’s greatest backdrop for love. There is a culture here of the lovers’ getaway, and most of my jealousy as a single man is about not being able to go to the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur or the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara.”

The music that would accompany the song’s key lyric took longer to come to him, and he initially wrote an entirely different tune of the same name. Last September, on the day after he’d played in the house band at the 2016 Emmy Awards, Mayer arrived at the studio, “slightly hungover,” to record a guitar part for another track. “There was some really washy reverb on the guitar, and I started playing this line and I just went, ‘Hey, press record,’” says the singer, who worked on the demos alone with his longtime engineer Chad Franscoviak. “I realized it was going to be the song I didn’t have for the record yet, which was looking forward to something – discovering somebody, the beginning of the relationship. Because all these other songs were about being dropped off into the loneliness, and you can’t mourn that long.

“Writing ‘Love On The Weekend’ was the experience of all the best songs I’ve ever written, when you’re going to go home and obsess all night because you know you’re onto something and you know it’s only going to get better when you go back and work on it the next day,” he adds.

“Moving On and Getting Over”

A sparse yet powerful RB number, “Moving On and Getting Over” was one of the first songs Mayer wrote for The Search For Everything in spring 2014. Mayer says it was one of many instances when he resisted the urge to bust out a guitar solo, and opted for nuance instead. “This was me coming off the idea of, ‘Gimme a solo! I gotta show them I can play,’” he explains. “There are two guitars happening through most of the song, this way your attention splits up the middle and there’s just a vibe. That’s where learning all those Dead songs comes in a bit, because it brought me into the world of ensemble guitars.” 

The track also offers an unexpected hook in the form of a verse line where Mayer haltingly sings, “I still can’t seem to get you off my mind,” punctuating each word with a full stop. “I had this idea to get your attention through repetition that almost sounds like a CD skip. It was a really novel sort of hook.” 

The song’s groove, Mayer says, resulted from “a mistake in this little groovebox we found, where we loaded the track in backwards, and that’s what gives it this upbeat, constantly-refreshing rhythmic thing.” Though, as with other songs in the collection, “Moving On” was inspired by a breakup, Mayer says that he had started feeling his mood lift by the time he finished writing and recording it. “The end has a jam out,” he says. “If I’d had to finish this song a year ago, it wouldn’t have this ending. This ending is me coming back to it two years later and going, ‘I’ve moved on, so it gets a happy ending.’”

“Changing”

Several months into working at Capitol, in December 2014, the key melodic idea for “Changing” came to Mayer in a flash. “I was sitting in that room,” he says, gesturing to one of the smaller enclaves adjacent to the main studio, “just off trying to find something. And out of nowhere, I start singing, ‘I am not done changing, out on the run changing, I may be old and I may be young, but I am not done changing.’ It’s 30 seconds long and it was a jingle and I went, ‘Oh shit, how do I make this a song?,’ because it was so rounded off and circular already. It sounds simple, but it took forever.” Mayer calls the song “the spiritual centerpiece of the album.”

“You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me”

“It’s the only song that comes on and I get physically anxious,” Mayer says. “It’s so open and revealing.” A Randy Newman-style piano ballad, the tune arrived almost fully formed. “I wrote this in one night,” he recalls. “The first week we were here, we had an assistant in the room and I worked a little bit but didn’t get very far. So I said, ‘We have to kick everybody out and it just has to be me and Chad.’ He’s the only guy who I can really write in front of.” 

Mayer was spending the earlier parts of those days working on lyrics at home, banging out ideas on a vintage Olympia typewriter and then bringing the pages with him to the studio. “We would dim the lights in the studio,” he says, “I sat at the piano for hours teaching myself how the song might go. I sang it that night, and that was it: what you hear on the song is the original take. I couldn’t sing the vocals again if i tried. It would be like the second snowball fight in Groundhog’s Day. This is the first time in my life as a singer that I’m in a state of emotion, not just intellectualizing how to sing a song. Every time I hear it, it’s like getting to meet myself in the same room and take a walk around myself, like, ‘I guess that’s what I look like from that angle.’”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/john-mayer-details-origin-inspiration-behind-four-new-songs-w462012

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Sleater-Kinney Members, Stephen Malkmus Record New Songs for Protest LP

January 20th, 2017 · Guitar

Members of Sleater-Kinney, Stephen Malkmus and Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch are among the artists who have contributed new music to Battle Hymns, an Inauguration Day release that was created in direct response of the political climate in the United States.

Proceeds from the collection of “protest songs” will be divided between Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and 350.org. Battle Hymns is available now as a pay-as-you-want download through the Quasi site. Quasi’s Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss served as a backing band on some of Battle Hymns‘ tracks and contribute their own track “Ballad of Donald Duck Elmer Fudd.”

Weiss’ Sleater-Kinney bandmates Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein also appear on the comp: Brownstein and Katie Harkin’s MEDS project offer up “No More Fizz.” Filthy Friends – a supergroup featuring Tucker, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and the Minus 5′s Scott McCaughey, Kurt Bloch and Bill Rieflin – recorded “Love In The Time of Resistance.” Filthy Friends previously recorded the Anti-Trump track “Despierta.”

Malkmus’ “Midnight Cruisers,” Martsch’s aptly titled “Fuck 2016″ and Mac McCaughan’s appropriate “Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again)” also highlight the Battle Hymns comp, which also features new tracks by A.C. Newman, Boss Hog, Mary Timony and the Spinanes’ Rebecca Gates.

Battle Hymns Track List

1. Love Always (Kathy Foster) – “We Won’t Go Back”
2. Mac McCaughan – “Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again)”
3. Boss Hog – “Save Our Soul”
4. Stephen Malkmus – “Midnight Cruisers”
5. Drew Grow – “Time Bomb”
6. MEDS (Carrie Brownstein and Katie Harkin) – “No More Fizz”
7. Mary Timony – “Fight The Hate”
8. Quasi – “Ballad of Donald Duck Elmer Fudd”
9. Libraness (Ash Bowie) – “A Kind of Survival”
10. Filthy Friends (Corin Tucker, Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, Kurt Bloch, Bill Rieflin) – “Love In The Time of Resistance”
11. Carl Newman – “Our Nero”
12. Rebecca Gates – “NO DIVISION”
13. Doug Martsch – “Fuck 2016″
14. Sean Croghan – “Spider House”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/sleater-kinney-members-malkmus-record-songs-for-protest-lp-w462096

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Hear A$AP Ferg Celebrate Yams Day With Blistering New Song ‘Setup’

January 20th, 2017 · Guitar

A$AP Ferg and Pro Era’s Kirk Knight have teamed up on the bruising new song, “Setup.” The song was released ahead of A$AP Mob’s annual Yams Day celebration on January 18th at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The Knight-produced track features a mix of snaking synths, ominous horns, chaotic percussion and finds Ferg stepping up first to unleash a bombastic verse packed with debauched punchlines. Knight matches Ferg’s energy and bravado – “Making the money flip, so many times/ I’m thinking that I deserve medals” – with a quick set of bars with alternating cadences.

Knight and other members of the Pro Era crew will join A$AP Mob at MSG to honor the late producer A$AP Yams, who died in 2015 of an accidental overdose. The packed Yams Day lineup also includes A$AP Rocky, Joey Badass, Danny Brown, Lil Uzi Vert, the Flatbush Zombies, Cam’ron, T-Pain and a special appearance from Tyler, the Creator. 

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-asap-ferg-celebrate-yams-day-with-blistering-setup-w461345

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Flaming Lips Talk Work Ethic, Taking Ayahuasca With Miley Cyrus

January 20th, 2017 · Guitar

To promote the Flaming Lips’ 14th album, Oczy Mlody, leader Wayne Coyne is taking guests in an unoccupied office at Warner Brothers’ New York headquarters. “It’s like a job interview,” Coyne says, though few bosses probably interview prospective employees in a pom-pom scarf, green winter coat, frill-fringed pants and a faceful of encrusted sparkle jewelry. The Flaming Lips frontman and chief conceptualizer is a few days away from his combination 56th birthday soirée and album release extravaganza in Los Angeles, set to feature a wrestling pit, edible butterflies and a body tie-dye vat. 

With a title repurposed from a phrase in a Polish novel and transformed by Coyne into a drug in a surreal sci-fi dystopia, Oczy Mlody is the Lips’ latest in a career that features pioneering noise-punk (1986′s Hear It Is), psych-pop touchstones (1999′s The Soft Bulletin), multi-disc environments (1997′s Zaireeka), collaborative EPs, USB drives encased in gummy skulls and one 24-hour experiment (2011′s 7 Skies H3). As dark, fun, and head-spinning as anything they’ve recorded, Oczy Mlody began life during a series of projects with Miley Cyrus, who appears on Oczy Mlody‘s closing “We A Famly.” The Flaming Lips’ 34-year trip keeps getting longer, stranger, and noisier.

With all these projects, are the Flaming Lips pretty much just constantly recording?
There are big conceptual things, but they don’t take very long to do; but sometimes records are a long time. The Soft Bulletin we started working on at the end of 1996 and didn’t come out until 1999, and we put out Zaireeka in that time, and Zaireeka was just a little stop. We were just continuing to work. I think this record benefitted from the same flow. Even while we were working on the covers album with the Sgt. Pepper’s stuff [With a Little Help From My Fwends], and going right into working with Miley, [we'd have] little gems and not know where they were were going to go. This record was happening all through that. It’s not a single flow. It’s a lot of stuff and, in the end, you make it seem like it’s a cohesive story, but a lot of times you struggle along collecting little bits of things that are expressive in the same sort of color.

How do you get from a stray phrase in a Polish novel to this fairytale sci-fi dystopia?
Once we knew that we were going to start “The Castle” with “Her eyes were butterflies, her smile was a rainbow,” that was the leap forward. On one level, that was like my version – which I’ve done a million times – of “Puff, the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul and Mary. It’s a song that, because I was so young when I heard it, it just penetrated so far into my emotional subconscious. Once we stumbled on that, I could sing about this sad childlike fairytale world and it could be full of adult drugs and freakiness at the same time. 

What was the connection you made with “Puff, the Magic Dragon”?
As I got older, I still liked it and I’d run into people who’d say, “Oh, that’s them singing about marijuana,” and even though I would outwardly laugh, it was never that to me; and I’d never want that, or purposely do music that did. To me, it is about a dragon and it’s very sad and emotional. I knew those things existed, but our music doesn’t do that. If it did, it’d be an accident. 

You’ve said this album is psychedelic music somewhere between Syd Barrett and A$AP Rocky. 

For me, being around Miley and [producer] Mike Will [Made It], a lot of times we’d be working on hip-hop/rap-ish sounding tracks, and for me they have no reference, like, “They sound like this or that.” They’re really right now, they’re just sounds. I like that there’s no reference to it being a group. There’s no bass player playing bass. There’s not a drummer playing drums. I really love that, to escape from Steven [Drozd] and I always considering, “What’s the guitar player doing? What’s the bass player doing? What’s the kick drum doing?” It’s just another sound. We wanted to get to a more pure. … Get rid of the rock band image, even to ourselves, and just let it be sounds. 

Despite being known as a psychedelic band, you’ve never been much of a psychedelic user. But you tried ayahuasca. What made you want to?
People have said that [ayahuasca is] not that intense, like acid. Whenever I would do acid, which was the late Seventies, it would just be too long for me. After a couple hours, I’d be like, “Ah, that was fun,” and then the long, long … my mind just goes to too much worry. But [with ayahuasca] I thought, “Well, okay,” I’d sort of let go some of fear of going insane or whatever. I thought, “Eh, I’m old, if I go insane, I’ll probably get over it.” This was two summers ago. We were doing stuff with Miley that ended up on her Dead Petz record.

Because it’s in this absolutely controlled environment, and you put your trust in … they say ‘shaman,’ but that’s a hokey word. He’s aware of the levels that the drug is having. He’s always going around. By singing the songs, he can judge your reaction to it and how much you’re fighting and struggling. He lets you figure out on your own how much you can dissolve into it. I was thinking, “I’m not sure if I feel anything” and he was doing these little rhythmic things [snaps fingers] and it started to do the echo, and he could tell I was liking it. Everything about it just made absolute sense to me. Mushrooms have that effect, where it starts making absolute sense on such a deep level, and that’s a good trip.

We were with Miley and with a couple of friends, and we all did this at her house. I think we’d do it again in the same sort of way, if we’re with some cool people, and we’re all in the same boat. I think we all collectively were like, “We’re not leaving the house, we’re locked in here for 12 hours with our animals and this guy and our friends.”

What did you bring back from the experience?
In the next couple of days or weeks, I think it has an effect, and then something like Trump happens and you’re just a miserable person again [laughs]. But I think it’s still with me now, though I think it’s more integrated into my attitude of accepting new things or being tolerant of things I don’t understand, and being a little more mature … and not bitter. I see that as people get older, that trait of, “I know everything and you’re young and stupid.” I think it also really helped me have another level, “I’m not really smart or stupid, I’m just normal,” and that’s a great bliss to experience all these things.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/flaming-lips-talk-work-ethic-taking-ayahuasca-with-miley-w461385

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Jack White Will Open Third Man Records Pressing Plant

January 20th, 2017 · Guitar

Jack White will officially launch Third Man Records‘ own vinyl pressing plant, Third Man Pressing, on February 25th at the label’s Detroit location. The facility, located in the city’s historic Cass Corridor neighborhood, houses “eight of the first newly built presses in 35 years” and will be capable of churning out 5,000 records in an hour-span.

The pressing plant, the “only fully climate-controlled pressing plant work environment in the world,” will operate using an environmentally friendly “closed-loop, chilled-water system that maximizes water sustainability,” according to an announcement on the label’s official site.

The opening day celebration will include performances, exclusive merchandise and the sale of limited-edition vinyl and the first records pressed at the plant. The limited-edition releases include the White Stripes’ self-titled debut LP and follow-up De Stijl, Detroit gospel group the Johnson Family Singers’ Don’t Let the Devil Ride and a split 12-inch from Destroy All Monsters and Xanadu.

The manufacturing facility will press vinyl for both Third Man Records releases and outside labels. The staff will offer a public viewing platform seven days a week, with in-depth tours available in the future. In a statement, Third Man said the plant furthers the company’s goal of “bringing the tangible, the unexpected and the beautiful back into the business.”

Last summer, the label made history by playing the first phonographic record in space.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/jack-white-plans-opening-date-for-third-man-records-pressing-plant-w461993

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