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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2013-06

Janis Joplin tribute Broadway bound



A  Night With Janis Joplin, the concert-theater production that has collected strong acclaim during presentations in a number of cities over the past two years, will open at the Lyceum Theater on Broadway this fall.  Preview performances are slated to begin September 20, with the official opening scheduled for October 10.  A Night With Janis features several of Joplin's most compelling songs delivered by Mary Bridget Davies, who critics have praised for her ability to convey the spirit and soul of Janis.  Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks applauded her rendering of the Port Arthur, Texas singer with a bawdy and brash attitude on stage but a sometimes painfully reserved and shy private self. writing, 'It's a portrait, more than anything else, of a romance: a singer in love with the cleansing embrace of the crowd.'  Well over 100 actresses auditioned for the role before Davies landed it.


Master staging designer Mark Fisher dies

The name might not be familiar, but his stage concert creations are indelibly etched in the minds of millions of Rock fans.  Mark Fisher, the designer that devised the touring sets for Pink Floyd's Wall tour, the massive claw array U2 used on its 360 tour and several Rolling Stones tours, passed away Tuesday (6/26) in London.  Fisher was also the design director for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies and was one of three lead producers for the London Olympic ceremonies in 2012.  Fisher was 66 and had been in hospice care.

Floyd members rip into Pandora

Pink Floyd members can't seem to get on the same page when it comes to making music together, but David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Nick Mason did get together to unleash a salvo against Pandora for the online music service calling for a reduction in the amount it pays in artist royalties. A USA Today opinion piece signed by the members of the group attacks Pandora for lobbying Congress to pass an Internet Radio Fairness Act that could result in cutting the money artists receive by as much as 85%.  The band maintains that Pandora execs have engaged in deceptive tactics by soliciting artist support for a petition that neglects to make any mention of the royalty cut, writing. "Fine print is one thing. But a musician could read this 'letter of support' a dozen times an hold it up to a funhouse mirror for good measure without realizing she was signing a call to cut her own royalties to pad Pandora's bottom line"


Door open on Krieger, Densmore reunion



It's unfortunate it took the death of keyboard player Ray Manzarek to get the remaining two members of the Doors to get past the differences that have kept them from playing together for so long.  A date has not been firmed up, but guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore will do at least one performance in tribute to Manzarek, who died in May from bile duct cancer.  Densmore objected Manzarek and Krieger touring as the Doors of the 21st Century.  The drummer recently published a book about his feud with thetwo over what he considered to be a band that exploited the legacy of Jim Morrison.  Krieger's last conversation with Manzarek came a couple of weeks before the keyboard player died in Germany, where he had gone for treatment.


Bonus material on Allmans '73 anniversary reissue (listen)

The 40th Anniversary edition of the Allman Brothers Band's 1973 album Brothers & Sisters includes twenty additional tracks, among them this version of Midnight Rider captured at San Francisco's Winterland auditorium in 1973.

Stones classic on ice (video)

A two goal swing with under 2 minutes remaining in the final period elated Chicago hockey fans and deflated Boston fans as the Blackhawks closed out the Stanley Cup with a thrilling, come-from-behind victory over the Bruins that saw the winners net the tying and winning goals just 16 seconds apart.  Here are some great highlights of the series and lockout shortened season set to the Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter.

Springsteen lays groundwork for new album

Bruce Springsteen found between concert time during the Australian leg of his tour to get in some studio time. Speaking with Rolling Stone, Bruce said that it was the first time he's ever done a recording session while on tour, adding, 'I have stuff I'm working on that I'm very happy about.'  The session included Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who was subbing with the E Street Band while Steven Van Zandt was filming episodes of a Norwegian television show.  Details about the expected album won't be coming along for a while yet. Bruce says he has a quite a bit of material and is '...still in the middle of the well.' 
Springsteen dedicated a recent concert performance of Born To Run to Little Steven's late fellow Sopranos cast member James Galdofini.
Asbury Park Press


Steven Tyler plots solo project

Steven Tyler has plans in the works to record a solo album in the coming year. The Aerosmith vocalist says he has an itch to record some material that he doesn't feel would be a good fit for his band. Speaking with Rolling Stone about his plans, Tyler said, 'I want to go out and explore things. I really want to take a risk here'. He expects to get started on the project in January.

Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne back together

After living apart for several months, Ozzy Osbourne and his wife-manager have reconciled and are back together as a couple.  Sharon Osbourne took up residence in the Beverly Hills Hotel and vowed not to rejoin her husband in the family home until he stopped messing around with substances -  a goal the singer has apparently met after admitting two months ago that he had fallen off the wagon.
Ozzy's other reunion seems to be going well.  13, his first album with Black Sabbath since 1978, ha a strong debut its first week of release.  Here Sabbath is performing one of the tracks from the new collection.


Mellencamp's son packs a punch (video)

At 6'2" and 200 pounds, John Mellencamp's son coulda done a lot more damage then he did when he and his dad got into a brief altercation recently.  Bad timing for John, who was booked for a series of appearances promoting Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the musical he and author Stephen King collaborated on.  Sporting a black eye during his visit with David Letterman, the elder Mellencamp said, 'My son and I had words and he got in a punch and I didn't.'



Farm Aid books September Saratoga date




The 2013 Farm Aid concert will be staged at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Saturday, September 21.  This marks the first time since the 2007 Randall's Island concert that the annual event to raise funds and awareness about the importance of supporting family owned and operated farms has taken place in New York State. The lineup features  Farm Aid board members Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Neil Young.  Additional artists will be announced in the coming weeks.
Farm Aid members can order tickets through the Farm Aid site starting at noon (Eastern)on June 18.  Tickets will go on sale to non-members at 10am (Eastern) on Friday, June 28 through Live Nation, Ticketmaster and at the SPAC Box Office.

Floyd fan behind bars over noise ordinance

For Paul Foster, a 51 year-old Pink Floyd fan in Stoke-on-Trent in the UK, there may be no such thing as loud enough when it comes to listening to his favorite band.  Less enthused neighbors disagree.  After voilating an injunction against his late night high DB barrage of songs from Pink Floyd albums, Foster was taken into custody and has been locked up for nearly a month.


Tyler comes clean on Idol judging




Steven Tyler says his that during his two season stint as a judge on American Idol he let contestants that he should have bounced advance, saying, '...I was gentle because I couldn't imagine telling some girl ...she sucks and she can't sing'  Speaking with Howard Stern, the Aerosmith front man admitted taking the gig as a judge on the show because he '...was pissed off at the band.  I fell offstage and nobody called me', referring to his famous twirling stumble and tumble during the group's set at the Sturgis Rally that caused cancelation of Aerosmith's tour and nearly ended the band.



Animated Springsteen project going viral

A Belgian digital design student has put together a graduation project fans of Bruce Springsteen will give him high marks for. Tine Lucas patched together clips of 16 Bruce tunes for his graduation project with images he says help convey ' fascination, my adoration for his music, but also for Springsteen in person.'  Tine Lucas and his father will see The Boss and the E Street Band on June 22 in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, where he says he hopes to hear the band do Jungleland, saying, 'My father saw Bruce ten times live, three with me, but we never heard Jungleland live together and this song is my all time favorite.'


Bob Weir back to form


After two month's laying low, a trimmer and trimmed Bob Weir emerged to play at band mate Phil Lesh's Marin County venue Wednesday night (6/12).  Looking fit and sporting a better tended beard, the Grateful Dead veteran was in good spirits and much better form than the night he had to be assisted from the stage of the Capitol Theatre in Portchester, New York after a semi-coherent performance that was interrupted when he fell off a chair that had been placed on the stage due to his inability to steady himself standing (story).  Furthur guitarist John Kadlecik attributed Weir's problems that night to having mistaking taken Ambien instead of the pain medicine he was prescribed for a shoulder injury.

The Terrapin Crossing web-cast appearance started with an acoustic set that also featured Rob Wasserman.  He was later joined by Beth Orton, Jonathan Wilson and Leslie Mendelson.  Asked by a fan, 'How are you doing today?', Weir responded, 'I'm doing fine, thanks. I didn't get in my workout today, and I'm a lot better when I've had my workout, but I'm doing fine.'


Jackson Browne books Midnight Rambles


Jackson Browne will make Midnight Ramble appearances on two consecutive July nights at the barn-studio Levon Helm operated in Woodstock.  The late Band drummer's Dirt Farmer Band accompanies the singer-songwriter on July 12 and the Midnight Ramble Band performs with him the following night.  Browne and Helm both joined Dawes at the venue at the end of 2011.

Bad back sidelines Clapton




A back injury has forced Eric Clapton to scratch concert appearances in Europe in order to get treatment.  Tuesday (6/11) and Wednesday shows in Vienna and Stuttgart were canceled with the hope he will be able to still perform in Oberhausen, Germany on Friday.  A statement on EC's web site read, 'He is currently with specialists who will be able to better determine the course of treatment.  He was looking forward to these concerts and regrets that he is not able to perform for the fans.'


Sabbath Webcasting new release

Black Sabbath members will hook-up with global fans during a web streaming release party Tuesday (6/11) at midnight.  Black Sabbath Town Hall will link Tony Iommi from Birmingham, UK with Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler in New York and will be hosted by comedian Jim Norton and include appearances by Ozzy's son, Jack, and drummer Brad Wilk who was recruited when Bill Ward opted out of the reunion album and tour because he would not accept the financial terms.
The session will be streamed through the band's YouTube channel and Google+ Hangout.  Fans can submit questions via Twitter at hashtag #AskSabbath.



Petty Too Hot for LA

Tom Petty in a 1300 seat theater was such a hot ticket that selling out five nights at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood was never in question. What is in question, at least in the opinion of the fire marshals, is how many people were actually in the house on Saturday night (6/8).  Authorities shut the show down half way through the Heartbreaker's set because they were convinced that the room was jammed to the point of being unsafe if an evacuation became necessary.  Petty fired back that the number of tickets sold was within the stated capacity for the venue and that the authorities made the decision based only on the number of fans packing themselves in close to the stage.  The statement from the band also stated, 'First and foremost, the safety of our fans is our primary concern and the most important consideration', and said the group would work with the venue and the fire marshals to make sure their final two nights of the series could go forward without interruption.


Brian Johnson & Sting team



In one of the more unlikely pairings imaginable, Sting has secured the services of AC/DC front man Brian Johnson for a track on the former Police vocalist's next album.  Johnson lends his voice to one of a dozen tunes on The Last Ship, a CD inspired by Sting's recollections of growing up next to the Swan Hunters Shipyard in the UK.  Sting continues to work on a theatrical production of the material that is expected to be on Broadway next year.  
The album, due out in the States on September 24th, will also be available in an expanded 20 song edition.



Airplane & Hot Tuna drummer dies in car crash



Drummer Joey Covington, a co-founding member of the Jefferson Airplane spin-off group Hot Tuna, was killed when the car he was driving collided head-on with a wall in Palm Springs, California.  Witnesses saw no evidence that the brakes were applied between the time the drummer's car left the road and impacted the wall.  Covington, who became the Airplane drummer after Spencer Dryden departed in 1970, joined with group members Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen in forming Hot Tuna, the blues infused, eclectic, electric and acoustic side project of  the Airplane. Covington was 67.

Toddler takes on Beatles

Bands and musicians desperate to be seen and heard on YouTube have gotta be envious of the not-yet-two year-old that attracted close to two million views during the first week the video of him doing Don't Let Me Down from the Beatles Abbey Road album with his father appeared.  You just can't compete with cute.  


Aerosmith DVD on the horizon

It's been almost a decade since Aerosmith gave fans a glimpse of the band performing in concert (You Gotta Move, 2004).  An upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release puts them front and center as the band tearing things up during it's 2011 tour of Japan.  Rock For The Rising Sun (Eagle Rock, July 23), also comes loaded with behind the scenes footage of the band backstage and between shows.  Aerosmith's fall tour of Japan came as the country was recovering from the double disasters of the Fukushima nuke plant meltdown and the catastrophic earthquake/tsunami.  Japan's Rockers needed an outlet and Aerosmith provided it by delivering stellar performances at every stop.  The best of each night made it into this collection, including versions of Sweet Emotion, Hangman Jury, Walk This Way, Last Child, Livin' On The Edge, Love In An Elevator and others spanning the group's multi-decade career.


Slithering honor for the Lizard King

A fossil of a super-sized lizard that slithered in Myanmar (formerly Burma) some 40 million years ago has been named in honor of Doors lead singer Jim Morrison, who was dubbed the Lizard King because of his fondness for reptiles.  The discovery of the ancient beast with a face shaped in a way that made it appear bearded led paleontologists to tag the lizard Barbaturex, which means 'bearded king'.  Morrisoni was added by Jason Head of the University of Nebraska, who says he listened to the Doors while researching the find, who said, 'Some of their musical imagery includes reptiles and ancient places, and Jim Morrison was of course the Lizard King, so it kind of came together.'



Lou Reed has new liver

Rock veteran Lou Reed has a new lease on life thanks to a liver transpl;ant he underwent in Cleveland in April.  Laurie Anderson says her husband was nearing death when the couple received word that a donor liver was available, calling the transplant in Cleveland '...a technological feat' that left her 'awestruck'.  The recipient adds, 'I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry. I am bigger nd stronger than ever.'


Springsteen Doc to get 1 night showing (video)

Bruce Springsteen & I, a documentary stitching together fan submitted testimonials about ways Springsteen's songs and live shows have impacted them, will be shown in select theaters across the country on July 22.   Executive Director Ridley Scott calls the film '...beautifully crafted' and says the footage '...allows us a unique and powerful insight into the relationship between a recording artist and the impact he has on those who connect so profoundly with his music.' Theaters and ticket info will be available June 4.





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