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Alice Cooper to Take Part in NYC Q&A and Film Screening Event in October


Ross Halfin/Universal MusicRock fans who'll be in New York City during the week leading up to Halloween will have the chance to attend a special Q&A and film event featuring one of the world's scariest rock stars, Alice Cooper.  This October 27, the legendary shock rocker will visit the 92nd Street Y, where he will be interviewed by Rolling Stone journalist Anthony DeCurtis following a screening of the 2014 documentary Super Duper Alice Cooper.

Described as the first "doc opera," the movie tells the dramatic story of how Cooper, who was born Vincent Furnier and raised in a religious household, developed his outrageous stage persona and became a rock superstar, then battled serious alcohol and drug addictions that nearly killed him.  The flick got its premiere at New York's Tribeca Film Festival in April and was released on DVD and Blu-ray in June.

The interview event will take place a day before Cooper's performance at New York's Madison Square Garden with Motley Crue as part of the glam-metal band's farewell tour.

In other news, on Wednesday night, Cooper accepted a challenge by Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Alice was doused with ice water onstage while opening for Motley Crue in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and then nominated the Crue and his friend Johnny Depp to take part in the campaign.  Motley Crue agreed to get doused in chilly water later that same evening.

Meanwhile, to raise more money for the initiative, Cooper is auctioning the American flag shirt he wore while taking the challenge, as well as the robe he put on after his bath.  The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge supports the ALS Association's efforts to find a cure for the progressive degenerative nerve disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

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Justin Hayward Says He's "Very Pleased" with New Concert Video and CD, "Spirits…Live"


Eagle Rock EntertainmentOver the last year or so, Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward has mounted a couple of U.S. solo tours during which he's thrilled fans by performing stripped-down versions of some of his band's well-known songs, as well as tunes from his latest album, Spirits of the Western Sky.  Now, a concert video and album, both called Spirits...Live, have been released capturing a show that the singer/guitarist played last August at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta.

The video, which is available on DVD and Blu-ray, and the CD include the entire set from the gig, which closed out Justin's 2013 solo outing.  Hayward tells ABC News Radio that he's "very pleased" with the performance, at which he was accompanied by a three-piece backing group -- young guitar virtuoso Mike Dawes and keyboardists/backing singers Alan Hewitt and Julie Ragins.

The 67-year-old British rocker points out that while the concert does showcase a lot of his new solo material, fans who are patient will be rewarded by hearing renditions of many Moody Blues hits and some lesser-known gems.  Among the classic tunes featured are "Tuesday Afternoon," "Your Wildest Dreams," "Question" and "Nights in White Satin," while Justin also digs deeper into the Moodies catalog to play songs like "It's Up to You," "Lovely to See You" and "New Horizons."  Another highlight is a rendition of "Forever Autumn," a solo Hayward song featured on the 1978 album Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.

Hayward says he really enjoyed playing his songs live with a smaller group of musicians.  He offers as an example the Spirits…Live version of "I Know You're Out There Somewhere," "where you can hear it just pared right down, and to see what it was really like [when I wrote it,] and just to concentrate on the vocal performance."

As an added bonus, the DVD and Blu-ray include some extra video footage that, as Justin points out, includes "about another 70 minutes of stuff, backstage stuff and behind-the-scenes things, which is quite interesting too."

Hayward embarked on a second U.S. solo trek during the late-spring of this year, accompanied then by only Dawes and Ragins.  He's currently touring with the Moody Blues, but he tells ABC News Radio that another solo outing "could be on the horizon."

"I'm certainly getting a lot of interest for my solo show, with me and Mike…and Julie, from around the world," he reports.  "And we're having to consider that, and look at that."

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Man Arrested for Burglary, Meth Possession Not Scott Weiland After All


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The report that Scott Weiland has been in jail in California for the past month after he was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance as well as burglary? Turns out that wasn't accurate -- it was a guy who looks like Weiland who was busted.

TMZ initially quoted police as saying that the singer allegedly stole razors from a Beverly Hills Rite-Aid store, fleeing when a security guard tried to stop him.  Police caught up with the man nearby and when they searched him, they found methamphetamine, according to the report.

After the TMZ report surfaced, Weiland posted a video on Facebook stating that he was in the studio. Despite the video, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department initially insisted to TMZ that the rocker was in custody. However, it later stated that Weiland is not in custody, and that the person in question is someone who looks like the singer. An investigation into the guy's identity is under way.

TMZ had reported that the arrest took place late last month and that the man has been in jail ever since on $95,000 bond. He's been charged with burglary instead of theft because police claim he entered the store with the intent to steal the razors: he allegedly carried an insulated bag, police say, that could be used to prevent anti-theft sensors from going off.

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Bryan Adams Returning with Covers Album, "The Tracks of My Years"


Verve RecordsBryan Adams will revisit his youth this fall when he releases The Tracks of My Years, a collection of covers of some of his favorite songs from the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

The disc, Adams' first studio album in more than six years, features 10 classic tunes, and one new original song called "She Knows Me," co-written with his longtime collaborator Jim Vallance.  The deluxe version of the record adds five more tracks.  The album's cover features a photo of Bryan sporting extremely long hair that was taken just before he turned 16.

"Making the selection of the songs for the album took a long time," Adams says in a statement, noting that the process spanned three months of recording spread out over two years.  "We recorded all kinds of songs until the songs sort of presented themselves, or sounded different enough from the originals." 

Noting the diversity of the songs on the project, Bryan explains, "Radio was king when I was a teenager.  You'd hear Paul McCartney's 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’ straight into 'Kiss and Say Goodbye' by The Manhattans.  Radio didn't discriminate back then."

Among the songs the Canadian singer covers on The Tracks of My Years: Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lady," The Beatles' "Any Time at All," The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," The Association's "Never My Love," Chuck Berry's "Rock and Roll Music" and the aforementioned song by The Manhattans.

The Tracks of My Years is due out this fall; the release date is not yet final, but it'll be sometime in either September or October.

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Watch Trailer for Foo Fighters' "Sonic Highways" TV Series


Image Courtesy Steve GullickHBO has posted a new trailer for the Foo Fighters' upcoming mini series, Sonic Highways.  The show will chronicle the making of the band's forthcoming album of the same name, for which the Foos traveled across America, from recording studio to recording studio, using local musicians to craft new songs often in a very short time.

"I really believe that the environment in which you write or record an album influences the musical result," says Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl in the three-and-a-half minute clip, which shows the band recording at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, among other places.

"It all started with the idea of recording at different studios all over the country," Grohl adds.  "Working with different musicians, producers and studio owners, you can tie all of these people and places together with these sonic highways." 

The promo video includes flashing clips of famous musical figures talking about various cities -- Willie Nelson mentions Austin, Texas; Slash mentions Los Angeles; Clive Davis, New York -- and also includes a scene of Grohl shaking hands with President Obama in what appears to be the White House.

The show premieres October 17 at 11 p.m. on HBO.  The album is due November 10.

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Richie Sambora Accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from Jon Bon Jovi


James Minchin III; David BergmanCould a bucket of ice water be a sign that relations between Jon Bon Jovi and his band's estranged lead guitarist, Richie Sambora, are beginning to warm up?  Sambora recently joined the ranks of celebrities who have doused themselves in icy water in support of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after he was challenged to take part in the campaign by the singer this past weekend.

Jon took the challenge himself this past week and called on Sambora, as well as Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres and keyboardist David Bryan, to do the same.

In a video posted on Sambora's official YouTube channel showing him completing challenge, Richie, in turn, nominates his rumored girlfriend, Australian rock guitar whiz Orianthi, and "all my friends and fans all over the world" to take part in the initiative.  Sambora does not acknowledge Bon Jovi in the clip.

Richie has not performed with Bon Jovi since April 2013, and has told the press he's taking a hiatus from the band to spend more time with family.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge calls for nominated participants to pour ice water over their heads within 24 hours or donate $100 to help find a cure for ALS, a progressive degenerative nerve disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  As of Thursday, more than $41 million has been raised by this year's campaign.

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Billy Joel to Receive "Once in a Century" Honor from Performing-Rights Organization ASCAP


Image Courtesy of Myrna SuarezBilly Joel is among the respected music artists who will receive a prestigious honor this fall from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.  The stars will be presented with the ASCAP Centennial Award at a November 17 gala celebrating the performing-rights organization's 100th anniversary at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

The "once-in-a-century" accolade recognizes the honorees' impressive achievements in their respective musical genres.  Also set to receive the award are Motown great Stevie Wonder, folk legend Joan Baez, country superstar Garth Brooks and renowned Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim.

ASCAP's centennial celebration will be hosted by the organization's president and chairman, songwriter Paul Williams, and will be attended by all of the Centennial Award recipients.  In addition, special guest performers will be on hand to pay tribute to the honorees.

"Each of our ASCAP Centennial Award recipients is in a class of his or her own, as the creator and performer of songs that have touched the lives of people across the globe," says Williams in a statement.  "It's wonderful to be able to salute them on the occasion of ASCAP's centennial year."

The event also will serve as the inaugural fundraiser for the ASCAP Foundation, which supports various music education, talent development and humanitarian programs.

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Judas Priest's Rob Halford Talks Temptations and Sobriety


Image Courtesy Epic RecordsRob Halford sat down with the folks at Classic Rock Revisited this week to discuss the difficulties and rewards of being sober.

The Judas Priest singer and self-proclaimed "Metal God" has been clean and sober since January of 1986.  "I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired," says Halford of his decision to quit using substances. "I will always remember the first show I did clean and sober… It was in New Mexico, in Albuquerque.  I literally felt elevated, as everything was coming with such clarity.  I was able to really…enjoy the performance of Judas Priest without having all of the other things in front of it.  Since that day, it has been a miracle."

Halford adds, "Everybody has to face things in their lives at some point.  It [doesn't have to] be booze and drugs.  You can eat too much, or you can not exercise, or whatever…It is not easy staying clean and sober in rock and roll.  There are temptations galore from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, especially when you’re on the road.  [But] I think we're some of the strongest people, my friends and my sober brothers in metal."

Priest's latest album, Redeemer of Souls, debuted at an impressive #6 last month on the Billboard 200 album chart.

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The Zombies Launch Crowdfunding Campaign in Support of Upcoming Studio Album


Jacob Blickenstaff/TCI ArtistsThe Zombies' current U.S. tour wraps up this Sunday in San Francisco, and the band then plans to turn its attention toward recording its next studio album.  In conjunction with the new project, the legendary British Invasion group has launched a Pledge Music crowdfunding campaign that will allow participating fans to check out audio of some of the new tunes and video of the band members in the studio.

A video posted on PledgeMusic.com features Zombies singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent sharing details about the initiative.

"We've been recording for over 50 years, and for the first time, through Pledge Music, we'd like to include you, the fans, in the whole magical process of recording," says Blunstone.

Adds Argent, "We would love to take you on this journey with us and let you have bits and pieces from the studio, some snips of new tracks as we lay them down, giving you access actually to all sorts of things which are not available to anybody else outside of the Pledge campaign."

The initiative also offers a bevy of incentives to fans, depending on the amount they contribute, including early access to the new album, rare and signed collectibles, Zombies T-shirts, mugs and other merchandise and the chance to appear in an official video by the band.

Meanwhile, after the campaign reaches its goal, 10 percent of the additional money raised will be donated to Music Unites, a charity that supports music-education programs for at-risk students.  The initiative, which officially kicked off on Tuesday, is off to a fast start:  More than 50 percent of the goal has been pledged with 86 days remaining.

Here are the remaining shows on The Zombies' U.S. tour:

8/21 -- Santa Monica, CA, Santa Monica Pier
8/23 -- Stateline, NV, Harrah's Lake Tahoe
8/24 -- San Francisco, CA, Stern Grove Festival

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Randy Bachman Shares Stories About His New DVD/CD Set, "Every Song Tells a Story"


Independent Label Services GroupRandy Bachman's music career spans more than 50 years and includes membership in two major rock bands, The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, so it's not surprising that the singer/guitarist has quite a few great stories to tell.  The 70-year-old Canadian rocker shares some of these anecdotes, and plays many of the classic tunes he wrote or co-wrote, in an aptly titled new concert DVD/CD called Every Song Tells a Story.

The video captures a Storytellers-style show Bachman played with his solo band last year in his hometown of Winnipeg that included performances of such Guess Who hits as "American Woman," "These Eyes" and "No Time," as well as BTO smashes like "Takin' Care of Business," "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" and "Let It Ride."  Anecdotes include recollections of Bachman's pre-Guess Who bands and memories of his early friendship with a local musician named Neil Young, as well as specific inspirations for songs and humorous tales from his famous groups' heydays.

"The stories behind the songs are, I think, relevant now, 'cause a lot of people know most of those songs.  They're kind of the soundtrack to their lives and to my life," Bachman explains to ABC News Radio.  "And, similar to when I want to hear where a song came from…a lot of people are entertained by where my songs came from."

Randy says that the DVD caught him and his band "at the end of a tour so [we were] all very on our game."  He says adding to that positive vibe was that fact that they were playing in Winnipeg, where "most of the songs originated" and "where the audience is full of friends and family…and it was just really a wonderful feeling."

One of the cool elements of the DVD is that the performances are interspersed with montages of rare photos and film clips from throughout Bachman's life that coincide with the time period of each song.  These images also were shown on a video screen set up behind the stage at the show.

Randy notes that this is an added bonus for the viewer because "besides hearing the story of the song, they get a visual, so it's appealing to another one of their senses.  All I'm missing is 'Smell-o-Vision.'"

Later this month, Bachman has a number of shows lined up with his BTO band mate Turner, and he also will be a special guest at three of Peter Frampton's Guitar Circus Tour dates.

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Posthumous Jimi Hendrix Albums "The Cry of Love" and "Rainbow Bridge" to Be Reissued in September


Experience Hendrix/Legacy RecordingsTwo out-of-print posthumous Jimi Hendrix albums, The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge, will be reissued on September 16 and will be available on CD, vinyl and as digital downloads.  Both records have been remastered by Bernie Grundman using the original analog master tapes.

The Cry of Love originally was released in February 1971, and has been unavailable since being reissued on CD back in 1992.  The album was compiled and mixed by longtime Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer and Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell.  Jimi recorded most of the tracks between December 1969 and the following summer at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. 

Hendrix had intended the recordings to be part of a two-disc set he tentatively planned to call First Rays of the New Rising Sun.  Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox backed Jimi on the majority of the songs, while Experience bassist Noel Redding appeared on one tune, "My Friend," which was recorded in 1968 before Redding left the group.  The Cry of Love also includes guest appearances by Traffic band mates Steve Winwood and Chris Wood, as well as Buzzy Linhart.  Among the well-known songs on the record are "Angel," "Freedom" and "Ezy Ryder."

Rainbow Bridge originally hit stores in October 1971 and has never previously been available on CD.  The collection also is made up mainly of tracks recorded in 1969 and '70 at the same sessions that yielded songs that are featured on The Cry of Love.  Kramer and Mitchell again were in charge of compiling the record, with input from Electric Lady engineer John JansenBand of Gypsys drummer Buddy Miles and Redding each are featured on one of the album's tracks, while The Ronettes lend backing vocals to a tune called "Earth Blues."  Other notable songs on Rainbow Bridge include "Dolly Dagger," "Room Full of Mirrors," a studio version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and a live rendition of "Hear My Train a Comin'," recorded during a May 1970 concert in Berkeley, California.

Since the initial release of The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge, the songs from the albums have appeared on various Hendrix compilations, including First Rays of the New Rising Sun, South Saturn Delta and The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set.

Here are the full track lists of the albums:

The Cry of Love:
"Freedom"
"Drifting"
"Ezy Ryder"
"Night Bird Flying"
"My Friend"
"Straight Ahead"
"Astro Man"
"Angel"
"In from the Storm"
"Belly Button Window"

Rainbow Bridge:
"Dolly Dagger"
"Earth Blues"
"Pali Gap"
"Room Full of Mirrors"
"Star Spangled Banner" (studio version)
"Look over Yonder"
"Hear My Train a Comin'" (live)
"Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)"

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Report: John Mellencamp and Meg Ryan Have Split Up


Venturelli/Getty ImagesJohn Mellencamp and his longtime girlfriend, actress Meg Ryan, apparently have called it quits.  Closer Weekly reports that one of the veteran rocker's friends has told the magazine that the pair broke up "a couple of weeks ago."

Mellencamp's friend suggested that the 62-year-old singer/songwriter was unhappy with the amount media scrutiny he and Ryan were receiving.

"I don't think he loved all the attention he got just from dating an actress," the friend explained.  "I bet he'll stay away from dating another famous person for a while."

People magazine first reported in January of 2011 that Mellencamp and Ryan were dating.  Ryan was featured on the star-studded 2013 soundtrack recording to Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the gothic stage musical that Mellencamp co-wrote with famed horror author Stephen King.

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The Who to Perform on the Stand Up to Cancer Charity Telecast Next Month


Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The WhoThe Who's Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are well-known for their support of cancer charities, which may be why the famous rock band has signed on to perform on the upcoming fourth edition of the fundraising telecast Stand Up to Cancer.  The show will air Friday, September 5, across nearly every TV network you can think of, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Bravo, E!, HBO, Showtime, VH1 and more.

Other scheduled performers on the one-hour show, which raises money for cancer research, include Dave Matthews, singer/actresses Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande, and rappers Lupe Fiasco and Common.

The one-hour special also will feature a bevy of celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry, Jon Hamm, Rob Lowe, Keifer Sutherland, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jennifer Aniston, and Mark Harmon, in a "digital lounge" hosted by Katie Couric.  The stars will be reaching out to viewers via phone, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.  If you want to donate money to the cause and would like to receive a call, sign up at WereCallingYou.org.

While the telecast airs from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET/PT on September 5, you also may receive a call on the 6th or 7th.

Daltrey is a longtime patron of the U.K. charity Teenage Cancer Trust, and he and Townshend co-founded the Teen Cancer America organization in 2012.  Both charities support the creation of programs and facilities that focus on the needs of teens and young adults battling the disease.

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Members of Guns N' Roses, Dire Straits, Whitesnake Featured on Tribute Album for Wounded Warriors


Cleopatra RecordsAn impressive roster of virtuoso musicians, including Guns N' Roses' Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, ex-Dire Straits guitarist Hal Lindes and Whitesnake's Reb Beach, have lent their talents to a new album that pays tribute to U.S. military personnel who have risked their lives for their country.  The Guitars for Wounded Warriors CD, which was released on Tuesday, was organized by multiple Emmy Award-winning producer/composer Brian Tarquin.

Tarquin produced and wrote all of the songs on the album, and he also plays guitar alongside the various guest musicians.  Other noted guitarists featured on the record include Steve Morse, Chris Poland of Megadeth, Billy Sheehan of Mr. Big and Alex De Rosso of Dokken.

All of the songs on the album were inspired by the combat experiences of U.S. troops.

"Had a blast trading solos with Brian Tarquin!!," says Bumblefoot. "And best of all, this album supports an important cause, Wounded Warriors.  Love to our Warriors, and to everyone for their support."

Adds Morse, "It is an honor to be a part of this cause. I was just turning drafting age at the end of the Vietnam War, and I still remember that the returning military weren't always treated with the greatest respect.  For our modern, volunteer military, we hopefully have learned to show our respect and gratitude."

Here is the complete track list for Guitars for Wounded Warriors:

"Black Hawk" -- featuring Billy Sheehan
"Taliban Terror" -- featuring Bumblefoot & Reb Beach
"Charlie Surfs" -- featuring Chris Poland
"5 Klicks to Hell" -- featuring Gary Hoey
"Surgical Strike" -- featuring The Flyin' Ryan Brothers
"Hunting" -- featuring Chris Poland
"Baghdad" -- featuring Gary Hoey
"Broken Arrow" -- featuring Alex De Rosso
"Sand & Blood" -- featuring Hal Lindes
"Escape Kabul" -- featuring Chuck Loeb
"Freedom" -- featuring Steve Morse

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The Hollies to Mark 50th Anniversary with Three-Disc Compilation


Parlophone RecordsA new three-CD compilation celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of the great U.K. pop-rock groups of the 1960s and '70s, The Hollies, will be released on October 21.  50 at Fifty features a career-spanning selection of songs, including the band's many hits, some album gems, a number of concert performances and a brand-new tune recorded by the current Hollies lineup.

Led by singers Allan Clarke and Graham Nash and guitarist Tony Hicks, the original Hollies scored such hits as "Look Through Any Window," "Stop Stop Stop," "Bus Stop," "Carrie Anne" and "On a Carousel" during the band's 1960s heyday.  After Nash left to join Crosby, Stills & Nash in late 1968, he was replaced by singer/guitarist Terry Sylvester, with whom the group released some of its most successful singles, including "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)" and "The Air That I Breathe."

All of those songs appear on 50 at Fifty, as do a few tunes from 1983's What Goes Around…, which saw Nash reuniting with his old group.  The new track, "Skylarks," was recorded this year and co-written by longtime Hollies drummer Bobby Elliot and the band's current lead singer, Peter Howarth.

"I feel quite privileged to be writing the 50th track on this compilation, which contains some of our best work," says Elliot in a statement.  "I'm in good company with my buddies Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash, who, throughout our career, have written some outstanding Hollies material."  He adds, "'Skylarks' takes us in a new direction -- nothing new for The Hollies.  It's back to our inventive roots in many ways."

The current Hollies, which also features founding member Hicks, will mount a European tour commemorating the golden anniversary starting September 16 in Tampere, Finland.

Here is the complete track list of 50 at Fifty:

Disc One
"(Ain't That) Just Like Me"
"Searchin'"
"Stay"
"Just One Look"
"Here I Go Again"
"We're Through"
"Yes I Will"
"I'm Alive"
"Look Through Any Window"
"If I Needed Someone"
"I Can't Let Go"
"Bus Stop"
"Pay You Back with Interest"
"Stop! Stop! Stop!"
"On a Carousel"
"Carrie Anne"
"King Midas in Reverse"
"Jennifer Eccles"
"Listen to Me"
"Sorry Suzanne"

Disc Two
"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
"I Can't Tell the Bottom from the Top"
"Gasoline Alley Bred"
"Hey Willy"
"The Baby"
"Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)"
"Magic Woman Touch"
"The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGhee"
"The Air That I Breathe"
"Lonely Hobo Lullaby"
"4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)"
"I'm Down"
"There's Always Goodbye"
"Boulder to Birmingham"
"Too Young to Be Married" (Live)
"Daddy Don't Mind"

Disc Three
"Hello to Romance"
"Amnesty"
"Soldiers Song"
"Heartbeat"
"If the Lights Go Out" (First Version)
"Take My Love and Run" (First version)
"Stop in the Name of Love"
"Let Her Go Down"
"Too Many Hearts Get Broken"
"Laughter Turns to Tears"
"So Damn Beautiful"
"On a Carousel" (Live)
"Then, Now Always (Dolphin Days)" (Live)
"Skylarks" (New 2014 Recording)

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Neil Young and Willie Nelson to Perform at Benefit Show Opposed to Proposed Nebraska Oil Pipeline


Image Courtesy of Danny ClinchNeil Young will team up with his friend and fellow Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson to play a September 27 benefit show aimed at fighting a proposed petroleum pipeline that would run from western Canada into the midwestern U.S. through farms and indigenous tribal lands.

The "Harvest the Hope" event will be held on a farm near Neligh, Nebraska, and will raise money for three organizations -- Bold Nebraska, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Cowboy & Indian Alliance -- that are opposed to the TransCanada Corporation's planned Keystone XL pipeline.  The structure would cross the Ponca Tribe's historic "Trail of Tears" in the northeastern part of the state.

The benefit also will support several local clean-energy initiatives on farms and tribal areas.  The concert will take place during the afternoon on a field in the farm, which is owned by a family that is refusing to sell its land to the TransCanada company.

In addition to Young and Nelson, the event's performers will include Willie's son Lukas, Native American hip-hop artist Frank Waln and a collective of local musicians called the Stopping the Pipeline Rocks All-Stars.

Tickets for the show will go on sale on Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. CT at BoldNebraska.org.

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Billy Joel's Original Band to Be Inducted into Long Island Music Hall of Fame


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As one of the most famous musicians ever to hail from Long Island, NY, Billy Joel was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame back in 2006. Now, his original backing band will receive the same honor.

The surviving members of Billy's band, who haven't played together in 20 years as a result of lineup changes, lawsuits and one member's suicide, will reunite during the induction ceremony in Huntington, NY, on October 23. 

According to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, among the members who'll be appearing are drummer Liberty DeVitto, guitarist and harmonica player Russell Javors, sax and keyboard player Richie Cannata, and the late bassist Doug Stegmeyer, all of whom played on classic albums like Turnstiles, The Stranger, 52nd Street and Glass Houses. 

It's not clear if Billy himself will be on hand for the ceremony, either as an observer, inductor or performer.  Unlike Bruce Springsteen, who inducted his E Street Band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year and then performed with them at the ceremony, Billy may not be on the best of terms with his former bandmates.  Richie Cannata was replaced by Mark Rivera on sax in 1982, and DeVitto and Billy were involved in a legal dispute that led to his departure from the band in 2006.  Doug Stegmeyer, who'd been let go before the 1989 album Storm Front was recorded, took his own life in 1995.

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Foo Fighters Accept Ice Bucket Challenge with "Carrie" Spoof; Anthrax Drummer Does It Onstage


Image Courtesy Steve GullickDave Grohl has never needed much of an excuse to dress up in women's clothes in a video: He's appeared as an a teenage girl in pigtails for the Foo Fighters' "Learn to Fly" video, and in Lady Gaga-style stage wear in the band's "This Video Sucks" contest teaser.  But this time, he's gotten dolled up in drag for a good cause.

Like many celebrities, Grohl and the Foo Fighters have posted a video of themselves accepting the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, dumping ice water on their heads and then nominating other people to do the same, all to raise money for and awareness of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

In the Foo Fighters' clip, Grohl re-enacts the famous scene from Brian De Palma's 1976 movie Carrie, in which the title character is tormented by having a bucket of pig's blood dumped on her head just after she's been elected prom queen.  In the band's video, Grohl, in a prom dress and glittery tiara, stands next to "prom king" drummer Taylor Hawkins, while guitarist Pat Smear and bass player Nate Mendel plot to dump ice water on their heads.

You can see the video on the Foo Fighters' YouTube channel.  The band then challenged John Travolta, who starred in Carrie, and novelist Stephen King, who wrote the book on which the movie is based, to do the same; they also nominated Jack Black.

Another rocker getting into the ice bucket act was Anthrax drummer Charlie Benate, who took the Ice Bucket Challenge on stage in front of 140,000 fans in Bogota, Colombia, on Monday night.  He then challenged former Pantera lead singer Phil Anselmo, Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser and producer Jay Ruston, who produced Anthrax's Worship Music.

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Leonard Cohen to Release New Album, "Popular Problems," Just After 80th Birthday


PRNewsFoto/Columbia RecordsTime apparently isn't slowing down Leonard Cohen, as the acclaimed Canadian singer/songwriter has announced that he will release a new studio album titled Popular Problems on September 23, two days after he turns 80 years old.  Cohen co-wrote the nine-track collection with Patrick Leonard, who perhaps is best-known for his many collaborations with Madonna.

One of the songs on Popular Problems, "Almost Like the Blues," currently can be heard at Cohen's VEVO YouTube channel.  The brooding, jazzy tune features Cohen's trademark gravelly whisper of a voice and such dark lyrics as, "I have to die a little between each murderous thought/ And when I'm finished thinking, I have to die a lot/ There's torture and there's killing, and there's all my bad reviews/ The war, the children missing, Lord, it's almost like the blues."

Those pre-ordering the album at iTunes will immediately receive a free digital download of "Almost Like the Blues."

"Yet again, Leonard Cohen has broken musical boundaries with new creative inspiration," says Columbia Records CEO Rob Stringer.  "These nine new songs are simply sublime and innovative with a unique spirit.  We're absolutely thrilled and honored to celebrate this milestone with him."

While Cohen has never had a hit in the U.S., many of his songs have been frequently covered, including "Hallelujah," "Everybody Knows," "Suzanne" and "Bird on a Wire."  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010.

Here is the track list of Popular Problems:

"Slow"
"Almost Like the Blues"
"Samson in New Orleans"
"A Street"
"Did I Ever Love You"
"My Oh My"
"Nevermind"
"Born in Chains"
"You Got Me Singing"

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Concert Film Focusing on Roger Waters' The Wall Live Tour to Premiere at Toronto Film Fest


Image Courtesy of Roger WatersA new concert film featuring performances from three stops on Roger Waters' The Wall Live Tour over the last few years will premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 6 at 9:15 p.m.  Roger Waters: The Wall captures the former Pink Floyd singer/bassist's dramatic multimedia spectacle, which featured a full performance of his old band's classic 1979 concept album, accompanied by video projections, giant puppets, pyrotechnics, various theatrical interludes and, of course, the construction of a wall across the stage.

The movie, which was directed by Waters and the tour's co-creative director, Sean Evans, is described in the festival's synopsis as "a rib-rattling, sonically stupendous piece of filmmaking."  It will include footage of Waters visiting the French cemetery where his grandfather -- who was killed during World War I -- is buried, as well as his journey to Anzio, Italy, near the site where his father was killed during World War II when Roger was a baby.  Waters' struggle to come to terms with his dad's death partly inspired him to write The Wall.

The first leg of The Wall Live Tour launched in September 2010, and the trek finally wound down in September 2013.  The tour featured a total of 219 performances and grossed more than $458 million.

Following its premiere, Roger Waters: The Wall will be screened two more times at the fest: on September 7 at 2:45 p.m. and on September 14 at 8 p.m.  Visit TIFF.net for screening details.

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