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Joe Perry Honors Slash at Inaugural "Alternative Press" Music Awards; Joan Jett, Billy Corgan Also Among Winners


Graham Fielder/Alternative PressAerosmith's Joe Perry made a surprise appearance at the inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards on Monday at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, where he presented his friend and current tour mate, Slash, with the Guitar Legend Award.

Introducing the former Guns N' Roses star, Perry noted, "He came up in a generation after mine, but he always had great respect for the musicians who came on before him.  To his own generation he became a superstar, and deservedly so.  Now, to all generations, he's become a model of great guitar playing and an icon of his own right."

For his part, Slash thanked Alternative Press magazine, adding, "It's quite an honor to be included on your list of awards tonight, especially for something like guitar legend, which is very humbling…I loved playing guitar since I was 14 years old and it's nice to get recognized for it, and it officially means I've been doing it a long f**king time."

Among the evening's many other honorees were Joan Jett and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, who were presented respectively with the Icon Award and the Vanguard Award.  Jett also was one of the rockers who performed at the ceremony, playing her classic "Bad Reputation” with The Vacancies' Billy Crooked, her new tune "Soulmates to Strangers" with Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, and a cover of The Rolling Stones' "Star Star" with some help from Slash.

The event also included performances by The Misfits, Fall Out Boy, rapper Ice-T's thrash metal group Body Count, and Korn's Jonathan Davis, who teamed up with the band Asking Alexandria for a rendition of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf."

You can check out complete coverage of the inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards at AltPress.com/APTV.

Here's the complete list of winners:

Best Vocalist -- Brendon Urie, Panic! at the Disco
Best Live Band -- Pierce the Veil
Breakthrough Band -- Crown the Empire
Best Bassist -- Jaime Preciado, Pierce the Veil
Best International Band -- Bring Me the Horizon
Artist Philanthropic Award -- All Time Low
Best Guitarist -- Phil Manansala, Of Mice & Men
Vanguard Award -- Billy Corgan
Best Drummer -- Mike Fuentes, Pierce the Veil
Icon Award -- Joan Jett
Most Dedicated Fans -- Black Veil Brides
Guitar Legend Award -- Slash
Song of the Year -- All Time Low with Vic Fuentes of Pierce the Veil
Album of the Year -- Bring Me the Horizon, Sempiternal
Artist of the Year -- Fall Out Boy

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Brian Wilson Biopic to Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in September


Walt Disney Records/Universal MusicLove & Mercy, the upcoming biopic focusing on troubled Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson, will be among the movies that will get their world premieres at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, Billboard reports.  The fest is scheduled to run from September 4 to September 14.

As previously reported, Love & Mercy will feature John Cusack as an older Brian, while Paul Dano will portray Wilson as a young man.  The film is described as presenting "an unconventional portrait" of Wilson that will depict various important episodes in his life, including his artistic achievements with The Beach Boys, his struggles with mental illness and substance abuse, his relationship with the Svengali-like therapist Eugene Landy and the new contentment he found after meeting his current wife, Melinda.

Love & Mercy was directed by Bill Pohlad, who has produced such acclaimed films as 12 Years a Slave, The Tree of Life and Brokeback Mountain.  The biopic will feature Paul Giamatti as Landy and Elizabeth Banks as Melinda.

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Tree Planted in L.A. Park in Honor of Late Beatle George Harrison Eaten by Beetles


Jean-Marie Perier/UMeA pine tree that was planted in Los Angeles' Griffith Park in 2002 in memory of late Beatles guitarist George Harrison has met an ironic fate.  L.A. Councilman Tom LaBonge revealed recently to the Los Angeles Times' "Pop & Hiss" music blog that the tree has died after being infested with, yes, beetles.

The tree, which was only a sapling when it was planted near the Griffith Park Observatory, featured a commemorative plaque at its base acknowledging Harrison's contributions as a musician and a humanitarian, as well as his love for gardening.  LaBonge tells ABC News Radio that the tree had grown to 12 feet in height before it was felled by the insect infestation.

LaBonge, who attended Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band's concert at the Greek Theatre on Saturday, says that plans are in the works for a new tree to be planted in November.

Harrison died in November 2001 at age 59 after a battle with cancer.

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Krist Novoselic Defends Eddie Vedder, Echoes Anti-War Sentiments


Image Courtesy of Jeffrey R. Staab/CBSKrist Novoselic has come to Eddie Vedder's defense after the Pearl Jam singer's recent anti-war comments stirred up some controversy.

In a post on his official website, the former Nirvana bassist weighed in on the situation, writing, "Eddie has gotten some criticism over comments he made about the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis.  That situation has been messed up for so long, it is no wonder that even mentioning it is toxic."

Later in the post, Novoselic writes, "The people of Palestine and Israel deserve peace and prosperity...It is the knuckleheads on both sides that should be criticized and not the singer from a rock band.  In addition, both sides need to make hard decisions about finding a settlement to the catastrophe that is Israel/ Palestine.  Thanks Eddie, for sharing your feelings.  I stand with you my friend!!!"

Vedder was first criticized for ranting onstage about war in general, because many interpreted his comments as being specifically about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.  He then clarified his comments in an anti-war essay, posted on Pearl Jam's website. 

He wrote, "War hurts.  It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on.  With all the global achievements in modern technology...do we really have to resign ourselves to the devastating reality that conflict will be resolved with bombs, murder and acts of barbarism?...We must be capable of resolving conflicts without bloodshed."  Vedder also insisted that he was optimistic about the chance that one day there will be peace.

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Billy Joel to Receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song


LIbrary of CongressNot bad for a kid from Long Island.  Billy Joel will be the next recipient of the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.  The Library of Congress made the announcement Tuesday morning.

The Gershwin Prize is awarded to a musician “whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin,” the pianist/composer and lyricist brothers who together wrote some of pop music’s most enduring standards.

The announcement of Joel’s honor calls him “one of the most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world” and “a storyteller of the highest order.”  Joel himself adds, “The great composer, George Gershwin, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career.  And the Library’s decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me."

Billy Joel is only the seventh person to receive the Gershwin Prize since Paul Simon received the first one, in 2007.  The other recipients include Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David, and Carole King, who received the prize last year.

Joel, who turned 65 last May, already has enough lifetime honors to need a mantle in every room to display them all, including membership in the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame, an armload of honorary doctorates, and half-a-dozen Grammy awards.  In 2013, he received the Kennedy Center Honors along with fellow musicians Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock.

Joel will receive the honor in Washington, D.C. in November.

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Yes' Chris Squire Says Lead Singer Jon Davison Helped Freshen Band's Whole Approach on New Album


Frontiers RecordsYes' latest studio album, Heaven & Earth, hits stores today.  The record is the first to feature the band's new lead singer, Jon Davison, who officially joined the lineup in early 2012.

Beyond lending his voice to the project, Davison made significant songwriting contributions too, writing or co-writing seven of the album's eight tracks.  Founding Yes bassist Chris Squire tells ABC News Radio that "he encouraged [Jon] as much as possible to" collaborate with the band's other members and he says he's extremely pleased with the results.

"It's turned out to be surprisingly fresh, and Jon's input has definitely freshened up the whole approach," explains Squire.  "So, I'm very happy."

In fact, Heaven & Earth features at least one tune that Davison co-wrote with every other member of the band -- two each with Squire and guitarist Steve Howe, and one apiece with drummer Alan White and keyboardist Geoff Downes.  He also penned one song, "Light of the Ages," entirely by himself.

Regarding the sound of the new album, Squire tells ABC News Radio that he doesn't think it's "exactly comparable to anything else" the band has done in the past, while noting that "there's a thread in Yes of the style that myself and Steve…and Alan White [developed] having all been there most of the last 40 years together."

Fans who want to find out more about Yes' new album can visit YesHeavenAndEarth.com, while excerpts of all of the tunes on the record are streaming at the band's SoundCloud page.

Meanwhile, Yes has been including one or two of the songs from Heaven & Earth in the sets on the group's current North American, which is scheduled through an August 23 concert in Lincoln, California.  Among the new tunes the band has been performing are "Believe Again," "The Ascent" and "The Game."

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New Upstate New York Hotel Celebrates Bob Dylan and the Woodstock Festival


Image Courtesy of Hotel DylanA new hotel named after Bob Dylan opened last month in Woodstock, New York, that pays tribute to the musical history that emerged in and near the small Catskill Mountains town during the late 1960s.  Hotel Dylan features 11 rooms with names that evoke the Flower Power era and the famous Woodstock Festival, including "The Jimi," "The Joplin," "The Cocker," "The Roadies," "The Van" and "The Hippie Chick."

The hotel's largest room is called The Band Suite, named after the influential Americana outfit that served as Dylan's backing group early in its career, and recorded that legendary Basement Tapes with the folk-rock icon in Woodstock.  Daily prices for standard rooms cost $189 on weekdays and $219 on weekends, while the suite will run you $249 during the week and $289 on weekends.

Each room also features a high-quality turntable, and while a selection of vinyl albums can be borrowed from the front desk.  In addition, a variety of famous pics taken by official Woodstock Festival photographer Elliott Landy decorate the hotel's walls.  The hotel also hosts a series of music-related workshops and other events.

A Hotel Dylan representative tells ABC News Radio that owner Paul Covello is planning to open an intimate concert space at the facility, as well as a pub and restaurant that will serve dishes featuring locally grown and produced ingredients.

For more information, visit HotelDylan.com.

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Billy Joel Is the Most Long Island Person Ever


Credit: Myrna SuarezEven people who've never stepped foot in New York State -- or the U.S. -- probably know that Billy Joel is from Long Island, New York.   Maybe that's why the residents of that area have just crowned him the winner of the "That's SO Long Island" contest.

Local paper Newsday has been running the contest for several weeks, asking readers to vote on who or what best exemplifies the area, which is essentially a suburb of New York City.  Thanks to over 520,000 reader votes, Billy beat out 63 other local celebrities, attractions and activities to be declared the most "Long Island" of them all.   Among the fellow Long Island celebrities he beat: Billy Crystal, Lindsay Lohan, Jerry Seinfeld, Alec Baldwin, Idina Menzel, Debbie Gibson, Natalie Portman, Rosie O'Donnell, Ralph Macchio and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider.

As for why he won the contest, it probably has something to do with the fact that Billy still lives in Long Island, donates plenty of time and money to local causes, and has sung about the place numerous times.  The title of his debut album, Cold Spring Harbor, is a town in Long Island.  He's also name-checked other local locations such as Oyster Bay and the Miracle Mile, while "The Downeaster 'Alexa'" was inspired by the plight of Long Island fishermen.

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AC/DC's Phil Rudd Releases Lyric Video for Song from Debut Solo Album


Image Courtesy of Columbia RecordsAC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has given fans the first taste of his upcoming debut solo album, Head Job, which is scheduled to be released on August 29 in his homeland of Australia.  A lyric video for a song titled "Repo Man" has premiered on the veteran rocker's official website and YouTube channel.

The track is a riff-heavy, mid-tempo rock tune that is, not surprisingly, reminiscent of AC/DC, although Rudd's gruff vocals are a bit deeper than those of his famous band's lead singer, Brian Johnson.  The song, which according to a press statement is "a gentle reminder about karma," features such swaggering lyrics as "There's a storm blowing rock 'n' roll/ It tears a whole right through my soul/ Just try and catch me if you can/  Who gonna get ya?/ It's the repo man!"

Rudd produced Head Job himself, and wrote or co-wrote all of the songs with help from Allan Badger and Geoffrey Martin, who also contributed their vocals, guitar and bass talents to the project.  Among the other tunes on the album are tracks titled "Head Job," "Bad Move," "Crazy" and "40 Days & 40 Nights."

Among the artists Rudd says inspired his music are Ringo Starr, Mountain's Leslie West, Free/Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke and Phil's AC/DC band mates Angus and Malcolm Young.  The album came together over the course of a number of years and was recorded at several different locations.  "I'm very happy for it to finally make its way out there and for people to hear it!" Rudd declares.

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ZZ Top's Dusty Hill Needs Kidney Stone Operation, Forcing Band to Cancel Six Upcoming Shows


Image Courtesy of Ross HalfinZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill is scheduled to undergo an operation to remove two kidney stones this week, forcing the veteran rockers to cancel six headlining dates that were to have preceded the launch of their joint U.S. tour with Jeff Beck

The nixed shows were scheduled for this Friday in Morton, Minnesota; this Saturday in West Bend, Wisconsin; this Sunday in Cincinnati; Tuesday, July 29, in Louisville, Kentucky; Wednesday, July 30 in  Asheville, North Carolina; and Monday, August 1, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Doctors discovered the kidney stones during a routine exam, and they advised Dusty that he should have them taken out right away.  Hill will need about two weeks to recover, and he's expected to fully recover from the procedure.  ZZ Top's next confirmed show will be held August 6 in Sturgis, South Dakota, and the Texas trio is then slated to kick off its co-headlining trek with Beck on August 8 in Missoula, Montana.

The joint tour is mapped out through a September 13 show in Thackerville, Oklahoma.  ZZ Top also has a bevy of North American fall headlining dates lined up that run from a September 25 gig in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, through a November 2 concert in San Antonio.

Here are the dates:

8/6 -- Sturgis, SD, Buffalo Chip Campground
*8/8 -- Missoula, MT, Ogren Park
*8/9 -- Woodinville, WA, Chateau Ste. Michelle
*8/10 -- Eugene, OR, Cuthbert Amphitheatre
*8/12 -- Saratoga, CA, The Mountain Winery
*8/13 -- Los Angeles, CA, Greek Amphitheatre
*8/15 -- Murphys, CA, Ironstone Amphitheatre
*8/16 -- Las Vegas, NV, The Joint
*8/17 -- Tucson, AZ, AVA Amphitheatre
*8/19 -- Albuquerque, NM, Sandia Casino
*8/20 -- Englewood, CO, Fiddlers Green Amphitheatre
*8/22 -- Oklahoma City, OK, Zoo Amphitheatre
*8/23 -- Kansas City, MO, Starlight Theater
*8/24 -- Maryland Heights, MO, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
*8/27 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
*8/28 -- Highland Park, IL, Ravinia
*8/29 -- Salamanca, NY, Seneca Allegany Casino
*8/30 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Concert Venue at Harrah's
*8/31 -- Mashantucket, CT, MGM Grand Theater @ Foxwoods
*9/2 -- Boston, MA, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
*9/3 -- Columbia, MD, Merriweather Post Pavilion
*9/4 -- Wantagh, NY, Nikon @ Jones Beach Theater
*9/6 -- Alpharetta, GA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
*9/7 -- St. Augustine, FL, St. Augustine Amphitheater
*9/9 -- West Palm Beach, FL, Cruzan Amphitheater
*9/10 -- Tampa, FL, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater
*9/12 -- The Woodlands, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
*9/13 -- Thackerville, OK, Winstar Casino
9/25 -- Bloomsburg, PA, Bloomsburg Fairgrounds
9/26 -- Springfield, MA, The Big E Xfinity Arena
9/27 -- Portland, ME, Maine State Pier
9/28 -- Hampton Beach, NH, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
9/30 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
10/1 -- Hamilton, ON, Canada, FirstOntario Centre
10/3 -- Rama, ON, Canada, Casino Rama Entertainment Centre
10/4 -- Battle Creek, MI, Firekeepers Casino
10/5 -- La Crosse, WI, La Crosse Center
10/7 -- Milwaukee, WI, Riverside Theatre
10/8 -- Fort Wayne, IN, Foellinger Theatre
10/10 -- Hinckley, MN, Grand Casino Hinckley Amphitheater
10/11 -- Clear Lake, IA, Surf Ballroom
10/12 -- Davenport, IA, Adler Theatre - RiverCenter
10/14 -- Huntington, WV, Big Sandy Superstore Arena
10/15 -- Columbia, SC, South Carolina State Fairgrounds
10/18 -- Red Bank, NJ,Count Basie Theatre
10/19 -- Kingston, NY, Broadway Theater - Ulster Performing Arts Center
10/22 -- Roanoke, VA, Roanoke Performing Arts Center
10/24 -- Danville, KY, Norton Center - Centre College of Kentucky
10/25 -- Bowling Green, KY, Bowling Green Hot Rods Field
10/29 -- Montgomery, AL, Montgomery Performing Arts Centre
10/31 -- Biloxi, MS, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
11/2 -- San Antonio, TX, Majestic Theatre

* = with Jeff Beck.

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Expanded Version of Yes' "Songs from Tsongas" Video, Plus Companion Three-CD Set, Due in September


Eagle Rock EntertainmentAn expanded version of the 2005 Yes concert video Songs from Tsongas: The 35th Anniversary Tour, along with a three-CD companion album, are scheduled to be released on September 23.  The Special Edition of the Song from Tsongas video will be available on Blu-ray, as a two-DVD collection and as a digital download that will contain performances from two separate shows the acclaimed prog-rock band played during its 2004 trek.

The first concert was showcased on the original release, a May 2004 gig at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts.  The bonus performances come from a show that took place in July of that year at Switzerland's Lugano Jazz Festival.

Yes' 35th anniversary tour featured the band's classic 1970s lineup of singer Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White and keyboardist Rick Wakeman.  Among the well-known songs the group played at the Massachusetts show was "Your Move/All Good People," "Yours Is No Disgrace," "Long Distance Runaround," "Roundabout," "And You and I" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart," while the group also performed most of those tunes in Lugano too.  In addition, the Tsongas Arena concert was highlighted by an acoustic set that included some gems that Yes rarely played live.

The DVD version of Songs from Tsongas' Special Edition also includes an interview with longtime Yes album artist Roger Dean, as well as a bonus performance of "The Ritual" from the Massachusetts concert.

The three-CD set features audio of the entire original Songs from Tsongas show, including "The Ritual."

Here is the complete track list of the Songs from Tsongas: The 35th Anniversary Concert -- Special Edition DVD:

Disc 1: Songs from Tsongas
"Intro/Firebird Suite"
"Going for the One"
"Sweet Dreams"
"Your Move/All Good People"
"Mind Drive Parts 1 & 2"
"South Side of the Sky"
"Turn of the Century"
"My Eyes"
"Mind Drive Part 3"
"Yours Is No Disgrace"
"The Meeting (Piano Solo)"
"Long Distance Runaround"
"Wonderous Stories"
"Time Is Time"
"Roundabout"
"Show Me"
"Owner of a Lonely Heart"
"Second Initial (Guitar Solo)"
"Rhythm of Love"
"And You and I"
"Every Little Thing"
"Starship Trooper"

Disc 2: Live in Lugano
"Intro/Firebird Suite"
"Going for the One"
"Sweet Dreams"
"Your Move/All Good People"
"Long Distance Runaround"
"The Fish"
"Owner of a Lonely Heart"
"And You and I"
"Starship Trooper"
"Roundabout"

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Full Track List Revealed for Late Blues Guitar Great Johnny Winter's Upcoming Duets Album, "Step Back"


Megaforce RecordsAs the music world mourns the death of blues guitar legend Johnny Winter, full details have been revealed about what will be his final studio album.  Due out on September 2, Step Back features Winter playing covers of classic blues and early rock 'n' roll tunes that inspired him when he was young, with help from a bevy of other renowned musicians.

Among the stars featured on the record are Eric Clapton, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Mountain's Leslie West, Dr. John and ex-Stray Cats frontman Brian Setzer.  The track list includes the Ray Charles classic "Unchain My Heart," Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally," Fats Domino's "Blue Monday," Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor," Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love," Bobby Blue Bland's "Don't Want No Woman," Willie Dixon's "Can't Hold Out (Talk to Me Baby)" and Lightnin' Hopkins' "Mojo Hand."

"If there's good people, other good musicians, people enjoy it.  I just love it," said Winter of his new album.  "[Step Back] is just to bring it to the people of today who haven't listened to the old music.  It's better than anything they hear today."

Perry, who's featured on the version of "Mojo Hand," has high praise for Johnny, saying, "If it was not for Johnny Winter, I would have never picked up the guitar."

Step Back is a sequel to Winter's 2011 album Roots, which featured guest appearances by his brother Edgar, Blues Traveler frontman John Popper, country star Vince Gill and Allman Brothers Band guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.

Step Back is available for pre-order now at Amazon.  Here is the album's complete track list, along with the guest artists who joined Winter on the songs:

"Unchain My Heart" -- with The Blues Brothers Horns
"Can't Hold Out (Talk to Me Baby)" -- with Ben Harper
"Don't Want No Woman" -- with Eric Clapton
"Killing Floor" -- with Paul Nelson
"Who Do You Love"
"Okie Dokie Stomp" -- with Brian Setzer
"Where Can You Be" -- with Billy Gibbons
"Sweet Sixteen" -- with Joe Bonamassa
"Death Letter"
"My Babe" -- with Jason Ricci
"Long Tall Sally" -- with Leslie West
"Mojo Hand" -- with Joe Perry
"Blue Monday" -- with Dr. John

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Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones to Tour Again with Dave Rawlings Machine in the Fall


Image Courtesy of Andy TennilleAfter joining Dave Rawlings Machine for a brief U.S. tour in June, Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones will hit the road with the Americana collective for another outing in the early fall.  The trek, which will visit the West Coast, gets under way September 22 in Missoula, Montana, and is plotted out through an October 5 show in Santa Barbara, California.

Jones plays mandolin in the acoustic folk group, which also features Rawlings longtime musical partner, singer/songwriter Gillian Welch.  The 68-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also toured with Dave Rawlings Machine in the fall of 2013.

Tickets for all of the upcoming shows went on sale to the general public on Friday, with the exception of a September 28 concert in Arcata, California.  Tickets for that gig will be available starting on August 4.  More dates will be announced soon.

Here's the full list of David Rawlings Machine's tour dates:

9/22 -- Missoula, MT, Wilma Theater
9/23 -- Spokane, WA, Bing Crosby Theater
9/24 -- Seattle, WA, Moore Theatre
9/25 -- Portland, OR, Crystal Ballroom
9/27 -- Eugene, OR, McDonald Theater
9/28 -- Arcata, CA, Van Duzer Theatre
9/29 -- Grants Pass, OR, Rogue Theatre
9/30 -- Redding, CA, Cascade Theatre
10/1 -- Santa Cruz, CA, Cocoanut Grove
10/3 -- Sonoma, CA, Gundlach Bundschu Winery
10/5 -- Santa Barbara, CA, Lobero Theatre

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Eric Clapton Says He Still Intends to Retire from Road, Also Has Plans for New Album


Universal MusicOver the last year or so, Eric Clapton has commented in multiple interviews that he's planning on retiring from touring when he turns 70.  The guitar legend, who will reach that milestone in March, now tells Rolling Stone he's still considering quitting the road in 2015.

"Next year, I might do a couple of shows and say, 'Folks, that's it, I'm off,'" he declares.  "Then I'll see what I make of that, whether I'm content to just go into the studio now and then and play at home for the family."

Slowhand also reveals that he's not planning to put together another Crossroads Guitar Festival, the star-studded benefit for his Crossroads rehab facility that he organized in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.

"I think this could be it," he says.  "I don't want to work that hard, that much, anymore."

Next week, on July 29, Clapton will release a tribute album to his late friend, collaborator and musical inspiration JJ Cale -- The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale.  Also lending their talents to the project, which Eric says was "a joy to do," were such stars as Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, Willie Nelson, John Mayer and Derek Trucks.

Meanwhile, Clapton tells Rolling Stone that before Cale's death last year inspired him to put together the tribute project, "I was planning to write and record another album for myself…So that's the next thing I would do."

Eric reveals that there's also some extra Cale-written material from The Breeze sessions that he plans to finish later this summer.  "We recorded many more tracks, some of them unpublished," he explains.  "I have some time in August in the studio to complete that and maybe start recording self-penned stuff."

With regard to coming up with new original songs, Clapton says he has been struggling a bit lately, admitting that he's "just lazy."  He explains, "When I get to 'What am I going to do for that bit?' I stop and turn on the TV.  I'm easily distracted."

He adds, "What I've done a lot is written songs, then forgotten them.  I put them down as a voice memo, on my phone, then I lose the memo."  However, Clapton assures Rolling Stone that he does have some new tunes in the works he hasn't forgotten that currently are saved on his iPhone.

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Blondie, Chrissie Hynde, Beck Among Headliners for UK iTunes Festival


Danielle St. LaurentBlondie, Chrissie Hynde and Beck are just three of the acts who will take part in the 2014 edition of Apple's iTunes Festival in England.

The eighth annual festival, which will be held throughout the month of September at the Roundhouse in London. More details on the free event will be announced on iTunesFestival.com.

As usual, fans will be able to watch the performances through iTunes or an Apple device.

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AMC Reality Series About KISS Members' Arena Football Team Premiering August 12


Ben Leuner/AMCKISS' Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley will be featured in a new AMC reality series titled 4th and Loud that will take a behind-the-scenes look at LA KISS, the new Los Angeles-area Arena Football League team the rockers co-own.  The docu-series, which premieres August 12 at 7 p.m. ET, follows Simmons, Stanley and their partners as they try to infuse some rock 'n' roll spirit into the first pro football franchise to play in L.A. in 20 years.

The program also will focus on the team's players, coaches and cheerleaders as they prepare for their inaugural season.

Deadline reports that Simmons and Stanley chatted about LA KISS last week at a Television Critics Association panel in Los Angeles.

"What we've brought to rock 'n' roll we want to bring to sport," explained Stanley.

Simmons added that they wanted the team's cheerleaders to display a bit more sex appeal than the ladies seen on the sidelines of your average NFL game.  "We wanted to have girls who are not the girl next door but the girl you wish was next door," he said.

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Soundgarden/Nine Inch Nails Joint Tour Kicks Off Saturday in Las Vegas


Live NationIf you don’t yet have your tickets, you’d better get cracking.  Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden kick off their co-headlining summer tour tonight at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

Both bands are embarking on a 26-city arena tour that wraps August 30 in Auburn, Washington.  It promises to be a hell of a show, with both veteran bands playing full sets each night.  In addition, Oneohtrix, Dillinger Escape Plan and Cold Cave will support Soundgarden and NIN on select dates. Original support act Death Grips is off the bill after unexpectedly disbanding earlier this month. 

For more information, hit SoundgardenWorld.com or NIN.com.  

Here’s the complete tour itinerary

7/19 -- Las Vegas, NV, Planet Hollywood
7/21 -- Morrison, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre
7/24 -- Tinley Park, IL, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
7/26 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
7/27 -- Toronto, ON, Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
7/29 -- Mansfield, MA, Xfinity Center
7/30 -- Camden, NJ, Susquehanna Bank Center
8/1 -- Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
8/2 -- Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
8/4 -- Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live
8/5 -- Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
8/7 -- Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
8/8 -- Lakewood, GA, Aaron’s Amphitheatre
8/10 -- West Palm Beach, FL, Cruzan Amphitheatre
8/11 -- Tampa, FL, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
8/14 -- Austin, TX, Austin360 Amphitheater
8/16 -- Woodlands, TX, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
8/17 -- Dallas, TX, Gexa Energy Pavilion
8/19 -- Albuquerque, NM, Isleta Ampitheatre
8/21 -- Chula Vista, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheatre
8/22 -- Irvine, CA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
8/24 -- Mountain View, CA, Shoreline Ampitheatre
8/25 -- Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Bowl
8/27 -- Wheatland, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheater
8/29 -- Ridgefield, WA, Sleep Country Amphitheater
8/30 -- Auburn, WA, White River Amphitheater

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Brian Wilson Shares New Details About Upcoming Album


Image Courtesy of James Minchin IIISome new details have been revealed about former Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson's upcoming solo album, which will feature a variety of guest singers, including a number of young female artists.  Wilson tells Rolling Stone that he initially had been writing songs for a new Beach Boys album, but plans changed when Mike Love decided that he didn't want to extend the group's 50th anniversary reunion tour in 2012.

"It was a shock," admits Wilson.  "I was so proud of how the Boys were singing.  Then it just ended."

He says, at first, he was at a loss about what to do with the new music he was creating before settling on the idea to bring in guest vocalists.

Among the singers who have lent their talents to the project so far are up-and-coming country star Kacey Musgraves, and alternative-pop chanteuses Lana Del Rey and Zooey Deschanel.  Wilson also has called on fun. frontman Nate Ruess, whom he says "sounds a little like my brother Carl."

Jeff Beck, who toured with Brian last year, played guitar on a version of the Irish standard "Danny Boy," one of the tunes they performed together during the trek.

Musgraves, who is featured on a tune called "Guess You Had to Be There," apparently took a few takes before her vocals were to Brian's liking.  "When it's good it's good, when it's not -- do it again," says Wilson.  "But after three tries, Kacey nailed it."

Deschanel appears on a song named "On the Island" that Rolling Stone describes as "a space-age bossa nova."

Two versions of a track titled "Last Song" have been recorded, one featuring Del Rey and another with Wilson handling lead vocals.  According to Rolling Stone, the tune, which will be the album's centerpiece, is "a heartbreaking ballad" that Brian wrote about his disappointment over the Beach Boys reunion coming to an end.

"It started out being about lost love," explains the album's co-producer, Joe Thomas.  "But after the tour fell apart it became more about a missed opportunity for Brian and the guys to ride into the sunset together."

No word yet on when Wilson's album will be released.

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Tom Petty Critiques Catholic Church, Greedy Politicians on New Album


Image Courtesy of Sam Jones

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' upcoming album, Hypnotic Eye, finds Petty offering his two cents on a number of topical subjects.  The 63-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer recently shared some details about his latest songs in a Q&A with Billboard.

One new track, titled "Playing Dumb," which only is available as a bonus song on the vinyl edition of Hypnotic Eye, focuses on the sex abuse scandal in which the Catholic Church has been embroiled.  Petty says he has nothing against Catholics, but he apparently takes issue with people who continue to support the church hierarchy in the wake of the way it's handled the many instances of abuse.

"I'm fine with whatever religion you want to have," he maintains, while noting, "If I was in a club, and I found out that there had been generations of people abusing children, and then that club was covering that up, I would quit the club.  And I wouldn't give them any more money."

Petty also tells Billboard that on Hypnotic Eye, he critiques the greed displayed by politicians who support the extremely wealthy to the detriment of the lower classes.  "Very few people know how to handle power and once they just become completely immoral, they're dangerous people," Petty explains.  "That attitude is what, to me, wipes out the middle class."

In addition to songs about contemporary issues, Hypnotic Eye also includes a tune that was inspired by a harrowing personal incident in Tom's life: the second of two fires that destroyed homes in which he lived.  The song "All You Can Carry" specifically is about how he carried a Hofner bass that he owned to safety as the house burned.

"I grabbed that and went, 'Hell, is this going to happen to me twice in my life where everything I own is just wiped out?'" he tells Billboard.  "And then I thought, 'Well, I'm OK with that.'  Because things come back, but people don't."

Hypnotic Eye hits stores on July 29.

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Eddie Vedder Posts Anti-War Essay on Website


Image Courtesy Jeffrey R. Staab/CBSA week after delivering an onstage rant that many have interpreted as being anti-Israel, Eddie Vedder has posted an essay on the Pearl Jam website that he hopes will shed some light on his position. 

The post is titled "Imagine That, I'm Still Anti-War,"and opens with the line from John Lennon's "Imagine": “You may say I’m a dreamer,… but I’m not the only one.”

In the essay, Vedder says, in part, "some of us, after another morning dose of news coverage full of death and destruction, feel the need to reach out to others to see if we are not alone in our outrage. With about a dozen assorted ongoing conflicts in the news everyday, and with the stories becoming more horrific, the level of sadness becomes unbearable."

That seems to suggest that Vedder was referring to war in general -- not merely the Israeli/Palestinian conflict specifically -- when he ranted onstage last week, "I swear to f***ing God, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill!" and then went on to deliver a profanity-ridden speech about nations dropping bombs on each other and how everyone basically wants the same things and so we should all should try to get along. 

On the website post, Vedder says that his optimism is "not something I’m going to stop anytime soon...I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution."

The Pearl Jam frontman closes mashing-up "Imagine" with a quote from Paul McCartney's "Listen to What the Man Said": "I hope someday you’ll join us... Won’t you listen to what the man said."

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