The actor shared his thoughts Wednesday in an interview with Today, adding that he didn’t have much advice for his son. “I just said, ‘Yes, you’re giving back $3 million, but you’re $3 million ahead of where you were before,’” he says in the clip. “From a purely accountant’s standpoint, it’s OK. But emotionally and for the music industry itself, it’s not a healthy precedent. They are appealing – and, of course, we hope they win.”
It’s only been two months since a jury ruled against Robin Thicke and writer-producer Pharrell Williams, with the duo forced to pay more than $7 million in damages to Gaye’s estate. And Alan thinks that precedent has already created a ripple effect in the industry. “The Gap Band has just been added to Bruno Mars’ ‘Uptown Funk’ because of a half-dozen writers of a song from the Seventies,” he says. “Everybody is a little wary of any possibility of plagiarism.”
The elder Thicke – who wrote the theme song to Eighties sitcom Diff’rent Strokes – even jokingly pointed out that “Nobody has come back and said, ‘He ripped [the theme] off.’”
Attorneys for Robin Thicke and Williams have appealed the verdict, filing a motion last week in federal court that criticized the ruling as “unfounded, illogical and a miscarriage of justice,” L.A. Times reports. A crucial element of their argument is that the jurors were improperly influenced by testimony of people – including Gaye’s former wife, Janis – unqualified to determine similarities between the songs since they don’t read music. (A judge ruled that the jury could only consider the sheet music of “Got to Give It Up” and not the actual recording, as laws during the time of the song’s writing didn’t allow for copyrights of recordings.)
Elsewhere in Alan Thicke’s interview, the actor discussed his new reality show, Unusually Thicke. “It’s not scripted, but the story is plotted,” he says. “I would never have had the confidence to think that you could follow me around in my underwear with a camera and we’d be interesting enough – while I’m waiting for my tee time – to build a show around that.”
Fresh from his appearance at California’s Stagecoach music festival, actor-singer Chris Carmack, who plays closeted gay country singer Will Lexington on ABC’s Nashville, has announced that he will release an EP this spring. Led by the new track, “Being Alone,” which is now available at iTunes, Carmack’s Pieces of You EP is his first independent, solo release. (He’s also featured on the Music of Nashville: Season 2 soundtrack, performing the show-fan favorite, “What If I Was Willing.”) “Being Alone,” which Carmack penned by himself, was produced by Grammy winner Ben Fowler (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Phoenix Mendoza. Hear it here.
“‘Being Alone’ is about a young person’s solitary struggle to discover his own identity while trying to adhere to the stifling plans and expectations of others,” Carmack says of the tune. “The entire EP is comprised of songs I wrote when I was in Los Angeles trying to do just that: find my identity in a world that had no shortage of opinions about who I should be.”
Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Maryland, Carmack joins a handful of his Nashville co-stars who have released music outside the show, including Jonathan Jackson (“Avery Barkley”) and his band, Enation, and sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella (who play Maddie and Daphne Conrad), who self-released an LP of live YouTube performances in 2012. Charles Esten (“Deacon Claybourne”) has been crafting tunes with such hitmakers as Jeffrey Steele and Deana Carter — with whom he wrote “I Know How to Love You Now,” a song he performed on the show’s Season Three premiere. Both Sam Palladio (“Gunnar Scott”) and Clare Bowen (“Scarlett O’Connor”) have solo projects planned for release this year, as well.
“We’ve recorded a couple things and I’ve been writing and writing and writing,” Bowen told Rolling Stone Country late last year. “I’ve met some wonderful people who are generous with their time and creativity. That’s the way Nashville is as a city.”
Carmack, who appeared on ABC’s The View April 29th with his Nashville co-star Aubrey Peeples (“Layla Grant”), performing “If Your Heart Can Handle It,” joined his cast mates later that day for two sold-out shows in New York, kicking off an eight-city Nashville tour. The trek wraps May 10th after stops in Philadelphia, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Phoenix. Following the tour, Carmack flies solo again in Sioux City and West Des Moines, Iowa, on May 15th and 16th. Next month, he’ll make his CMA Music Festival debut on Nashville’s Belk Park Stage.
The top spot on the Billboard 200 is staying in the Southeast as the Alabama Shakes bequeathed the Number One spot to Georgia’s Zac Brown Band and their new album Jekyll + Hyde. The group’s fourth studio album sold 228,000 total units in its debut week on the Billboard 200, giving the band their third consecutive Number One album following 2010′s You Get What You Give and 2012′s Uncaged, Billboard reports.
Jekyll + Hyde‘s split personality is further evident in the album’s credits: Country singer Eric Church appears as a co-writer alongside rockers like Amos Lee and former Drive-By Truckers guitarist Jason Isbell. One Jekyll song (“Junkyard”) even interpolates Pink Floyd’s “Is There Anybody Out There?” (It doesn’t hurt that Zac Brown Band also have Dave Grohl’s seal of approval.)
Josh Groban’s show tunes-filled Stages came inat Number Two, exceeding industry expectations by selling a total of 180,000 copies in its first week. Number Three was the Furious 7 soundtrack thanks to Wiz Khalifa’s SNL performance of the single “See You Again.” Country singer Tyler Farr’s Suffer in Peace debuted at Number Four and Drake’s now-physical retail mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late rounded out the Top Five.
Foo Fighters will return to Austin’s Zilker Park to headline this year’s Austin City Limits festival alongside the Strokes, Florence + the Machine, Drake, the Weeknd, Disclosure and Deadmau5. The festival will feature more than 140 acts and will take place over two weekends: October 2nd – 4th and 9th – 11th.
The lineup, as always, will feature an eclectic roster spanning a wide array of genres, including Bassnectar, Alt-J, Hozier, Alabama Shakes, Of Monsters and Men and Modest Mouse, Tame Impala, Sturgill Simpson, The Decemberists, Ben Howard, Gary Clark Jr., Chance the Rapper, Brand New, TV on the Radio, Walk the Moon, A$AP Rocky, Billy Idol, Twenty One Pilots, Nero and Dwight Yoakam.
Like Coachella, nearly every act will play both weekends, with the exception of the Strokes and Alabama Shakes, who will only play the first weekend, and Florence + the Machine and Modest Mouse, who will appear the following week.
Three-day passes for the festival go on-sale at 11 a.m. EST at the festival’s website. Those unable to attend can check out select acts on the ACL Festival Livestream on Red Bull TV. Organizers will reveal more details, including a list of participating bands, in September.
Foo Fighters should be well-prepared for large crowds by the time ACL hits. The group will perform at European stadiums throughout June, including two nights at Wembley Stadium, before beginning their U.S. tour July 4th at Washington, D.C.’s RFK Stadium. To celebrate both the musical travelogue Sonic Highways and 20th anniversary of the group’s 1995 debut album, the D.C. show will feature guest appearances by Chicago’s Buddy Guy, Austin’s Gary Clark Jr., Seattle’s Heart, Los Angeles’ Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, New York City’s LL Cool J with DJ Z-Trip, D.C.’s Trouble Funk and New Orleans’ Trombone Shorty.
Last year, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and Co. visited Austin as part of the Sonic Highways series. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Grohl used Austin as an example of the increasing gentrification of U.S. cities.
“I think the message in the Austin episode is that we have to be careful that we don’t overlook the reasons why people are drawn to these cities,” he said. “There’s something about Austin and its alternative culture that’s an oasis in the middle of this country that attracted people to it in the first place. The personality and the fingerprint of this city is unlike anywhere else. The preservation of that needs to be a priority because if you’re not careful, that could be wiped away and you’re just left with a strip mall.”
When the Rolling Stones‘ classic Sticky Fingers is reissued next month, it will feature a number of previously unreleased studio takes of songs on the LP. The most recent to be unveiled is this ragged, extended version of “Bitch,” which features almost completely different lyrics and a saxophone breakdown toward the end.
Gone are Mick Jagger‘s references to salivating “like a Pavlov dog” and heating “horse-meat pie,” replaced with ones about feeling lonely and “so stoned” and, “When you kiss me down lowly, can’t you see I’m the only one?” In this version, he also sings that he feels “so satisfied.” The group recorded the track concurrently with the version that made the album at Mick Jagger’s country home, Stargroves, in October 1970, according to Spin.
The deluxe edition of Sticky Fingers, which will come out on June 9th, will also contain a version of “Brown Sugar” featuring Eric Clapton, an acoustic version of “Wild Horses” and alternate versions of “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and “Dead Flowers.” The reissue will also contain five songs the band recorded at London’s Roundhouse venue in 1971: “Live With Me,” “Stray Cat Blues,” “Love in Vain,” “Midnight Rambler” and “Honky Tonk Woman.”
The deluxe edition box set also contains a DVD featuring video of the group playing “Midnight Rambler” and “Bitch” at the Marquee in 1971. A super-deluxe edition will includes 10 songs from a concert the group recorded in Leeds. It will be available in standard CD and LP formats without the bonus tracks, and in a version with the limited-edition album cover that came out in Spain.
Jagger told Rolling Stone in early April that the band was considering playing Sticky Fingers in its entirety on the group’s upcoming U.S. stadium tour. “It’s a really great album, but it has a lot of slow songs,” he said. “Normally in a show we’d just do one or two ballads. Sticky Fingers has about five slow songs. I’m just worried that it might be problematic in stadiums. Maybe we’d play it and everyone would say, ‘Great,’ but maybe they’ll get restless and start going to get drinks.”
Lauryn Hill has canceled her upcoming gig in Tel Aviv after facing a social media campaign demanding that the Fugees singer boycott her Israel concert over the country’s occupation of Palestine. In a statement, Hill said that she hoped to perform two shows in the region — one in Israel and one in the Palestinian Territory — but the latter performance proved to be too difficult logistically. In order to not alienate fans on either side of the West Bank Wall, Hill canceled her Israel show entirely three days before she was scheduled to perform, The Guardian reports.
“When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge,” Hill said in a statement. “I’ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace. It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region.”
While Hill refrained from using the word “boycott,” the singer becomes the latest artist to cancel an Israeli gig due to tensions in the region as well as pressure from activists. Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters is at the forefront of the movement demanding that artists boycott Israel “until such time as their occupation ends and equal rights are extended to Palestinians,” as Waters wrote in an open letter to Alan Parsons. While the Alan Parsons Project still performed their February show in Tel Aviv, artists like Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder, Pixies (temporarily) and now Lauryn Hill have nixed Israel shows in recent years.
“May healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation come to this region and its people,” Hill wrote in conclusion.
Regarding the charges to which he pleaded guilty, he said, “You make your own mistakes and it was a mistake of the charges. We all make mistakes.” Currently, he’s hoping for a “discharge without conviction.”
The 12-minute segment finds the drummer hanging out around his oil-stained “luxury cruiser,” in one of his eight cars, outside his “palatial” New Zealand home, at his airport hangar where he keeps a helicopter adjacent to his own restaurant, Phil’s Place. But throughout the clip, Rudd says he’d rather be on the band’s current world tour, in support of their recent Rock or Bust LP. Currently, drummer Chris Slade – who played on AC/DC’s The Razors Edge, single “Big Gun” and early Nineties live albums – is on tour with the group.
“I’m fit and ready to go,” he said of touring at one point. And when the reporter asked whether he wishes he was on tour, he said, “Oh, yeah. I’m not the only one either,” referring to other, unnamed members of the group. But repeatedly he said it was up to guitarist Angus Young whether or not he would return to the group. “We all know [the other members who want me back] don’t make a difference,” he said. “That’s how it is.”
Rudd said he’d tried to get in contact with his bandmates, to no avail. “They haven’t called me,” he said. “I wrote ‘em a letter and I tried to get in touch with Angus and no contact.” When the reporter brought up the long history he had with the group, the drummer said, “I’m very disappointed, yeah. But that’s life.” And at another point, he said, “You know who your friends are, really.”
But even if he’s not getting in touch with Rudd directly, Young sent A Current Affair the same statement he sent USA Todaylast November. “Phil created his own situation,” the guitarist wrote. “It’s a hard thing to say about the guy. He’s a great drummer, and he’s done a lot of stuff for us. But he seems to have let himself go. He’s not the Phil we’ve known in the past.”
Rudd is due back in court on June 26th for sentencing.
The crowd at this weekend’s second annual iHeartRadio Country Festival in Austin brought plenty of noise, but it was the Band Perry who brought the funk, thanks to a sizzling, well-choreographed version of the ubiquitous Bruno Mars-Mark Ronson jam, “Uptown Funk.” (Don’t believe us? Just watch a teaser of the performance above.)
The Tennessee-born siblings — Kimberly, Neil and Reid Perry — adopted their best funkified Minneapolis swagger to deliver the tune, whose original version has dominated the pop charts and inspired countless parody videos on YouTube, including one in which President Barack Obama “recites” the lyrics. Influenced heavily by (or, some would say, borrowing liberally from) such post-disco acts as the Time and the Gap Band, the wildly catchy song has already received country makeovers from Dot Records newcomer Drake White and Arista label newbie Cam. The Band Perry’s own version of “Uptown Funk” isn’t the first time Ronson and the three Perry sibs have worked together, either. Earlier this year, the British-born producer served as Ambassador for the Grammy Amplifier contest, in which Kimberly, Neil and Reid were curators who helped discover new musical talent and mentored a select group of finalists.
Meanwhile, the Band Perry have already revealed that their upcoming third album will reflect their eclectic musical tastes, and will also include harmonies from pop superstar Pharrell. While a hectic tour schedule during the making of their now-gold-certified Pioneer album complicated the recording process, the group resolved to take a different approach with the upcoming LP.
“We’re trying to have a little more romance about this new album,” Kimberly Perry told Rolling Stone Country last summer. “We are definitely ping-ponging between things again… but we’re allowing more time for creative flow, too.”
A release date and first single for the award-winning trio’s upcoming album have yet to be revealed.
Other acts who took the Erwin Center stage during the iHeartRadio Country Festival were Tim McGraw, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Tyler Farr, Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore and Sam Hunt.
A lawyer representing Joni Mitchell‘s longtime friend in her efforts to gain temporary conservatorship over the singer told a Los Angeles judge that Mitchell could be leaving the hospital soon. Following the brief hearing, Superior Court Judge David S. Cunningham III appointed Leslie Morris, Mitchell’s friend for over 40 years, as the singer’s conservator, putting her in charge of Mitchell’s post-hospital medical decisions, The Associated Press reports.
Morris’ attorney Alan Watenmaker cited Mitchell’s impending release as one of the reasons why Morris should receive emergency conservator powers. A lawyer appointed to represent Mitchell at the hearing also agreed that Morris should be named conservator. The specifics of Mitchell’s current condition and prognosis were not disclosed at the hearing. Although granted temporary conservatorship, Morris will have no control of Mitchell’s finances.
Mitchell was hospitalized on March 31st after being found unresponsive in her Los Angeles home; although the singer remained in the hospital, her website let fans know that Mitchell “continues to improve and get stronger each day.” However, after it was revealed that Morris sought conservatorship of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, rumors began to circulate that Mitchell was in a coma. Mitchell’s website, with permission from Morris, clarified that Mitchell was “alert” and still expected to make a full recovery.
“Contrary to rumors circulating on the Internet today, Joni is not in a coma. Joni is still in the hospital – but she comprehends, she’s alert, and she has her full senses. A full recovery is expected,” Mitchell’s site wrote in a statement. “The document obtained by a certain media outlet simply gives her longtime friend Leslie Morris the authority – in the absence of 24-hour doctor care – to make care decisions for Joni once she leaves the hospital. As we all know, Joni is a strong-willed woman and is nowhere near giving up the fight. Please continue to keep Joni in your thoughts.”
The Flaming Lips and Miley Cyrus are continuing their weird sonic friendship with an upcoming collaborative LP. The seven-track album was co-written by the psychedelic rock band and pop star during the past year and is currently being mixed by Lips members Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, Billboard reports. “She does the pop thing so great, so it still feels pop, but a slightly wiser, sadder, more true version,” Coyne said of the set. “Some of it reminds me of Pink Floyd and Portishead.”
The unlikely partnership began in early 2014, when Cyrus – a huge Lips fan – tweeted a birthday greeting to Coyne. In response, the frontman sent his phone number and the two realized they shared a surreal approach to art and life. “We’ve just been getting in each other’s worlds,” Coyne said. “We text every day – sometimes three times, sometimes a thousand.”
Coyne has been impressed with Cyrus’ commitment to the music, which was written and recorded in “stripped-down, DIY fashion” at the band’s studio and Cyrus’ Los Angeles home. “Her studio is just a little room with a desk, and Miley was sitting there mixing,” the Lips singer said. “I was like, ‘I can’t picture Beyoncé doing this!’ It’s not a putdown on Beyoncé. I just don’t see her recording her own vocals and then EQ’ing it. It’s so punk rock!”