Best wishes for a speedy recovery go out to Paul Stanley of KISS, felled on their current tour by an irregular heartbeat. KISS decided to go on with the show at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto as a trio, but no word yet on the status of the tour or on Paul's medical status. Ozzy Osborne was in the hospital as well, suffering from a reported blood clot in the leg. After undergoing an outpatient procedure, Ozzy was released and, trooper that he is, is headed back out on the Ozzfest tour.
New CDs popping across our desk here include a new version of Carole King's Love Makes The World. Re-released as a 2-disc set on her own Rockingale Records, the expanded edition includes 5 bonus tracks, behind the scenes video footage, a "making of" feature, a rare in-depth interview, and videos for "Love Makes The World" and "Safe Again."
Also out is jazz and blues guitarist Charlie Hunter's new disc "Mistico.". This disc from the Charlie Hunter Trio, formerly on Blue Note, is available on the Fantasy Records imprint, and combines elements of jazz, fusion, rock, and blues in a recording that is in parts comparable to some of Jeff Beck's early work. Austin's Billy Harvey has a new disc out as well, called Bearsick, and it's distinctive and different, moody and brooding, and hard to categorize. Stripped, raw, and basic, the sound is dark, in a Chris Isaac or REM-at-half-speed sort of way. Bearsick is available on the Gold Records label.
The summer tour season chugs on in Austin, with Jesse Sublett of the Skunks doing another solo set at Flipnotics on Barton Springs this Friday, August 3. New York's Dream Theater is bringing their King Crimson-influenced progressive metal to the Backyard on Saturday, August 4, followed by the Austin Freedom Fest on Friday, August 10, with Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel headlining. The Backyard follows that with the Goo Goo Dolls on September 1, and as much as I want to be there, I'll be hooking up with Kerry King and Slayer, touring with Marilyn Manson, down in San Antonio at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on the same night. I'll be back at the Backyard on Sept. 3 covering the sold-out Incubus show, followed on Sept 5 by a Black Crowes gig.
In fact, September is so busy in Austin, with Henry Rollins, Tesla, and the Average White Band all performing at La Zona Rosa along with a whole slew of other artists, that, as much as I want to, I have too much on my schedule to provide ACL coverage this year. I'm sure some of our users will be submitting pics, and I can always log into AT&T's Blue Room to watch the highlights. That's what I'll be doing this weekend with their live streaming web coverage of Lolapalooza. Heck, I might even enter their contest and try to win a trip to see the Smashing Pumpkins at Red Rocks on September 30.
With just a little help from me, Apple announced that today it sold its 3 billionth song. From one of my fave blogs ever, Machinist:
Apple announced this morning that it had sold its 3 billionth song on iTunes (for those of you who have trouble doing missing-penny math, the $.99-per-song take on that is $2,970,000,000). As Ars Technica notes, the milestone follows recent news that Apple, which sells about 10 percent of all music in the U.S., is now the third-largest music retailer in the country -- it's ahead of Amazon.com and behind only Wal-Mart and Best Buy.
The catch? Apple makes just about zero pennies from that, letting the music companies have all the cash. They do it so you'll keep buying iPods.
It's not often I have a story that can be cross-posted to the PetHobbyist.com blog, but this one can.
From a report by Bad Rap:
We were so bummed: Our golf tournament fundraiser - the event that was supposed to kick off our Nemo Fund for emergency medical costs - was cancelled when too few people signed up to play. Boo hoo!
It's hard to know if golfers aren't big on pit bulls, or maybe pit bull people just don't do golf? Or maybe we're just really bad at advertising?
No worries, because Heavy Metal came to the rescue last night. Five bands played their hearts out for the pit bulls at Gilman Street and donated all costs to the cause. By the time security kicked in their fees and show goers emptied their pockets, the Nemo Fund was alive and well. Woot!
Worhorse came up from Los Angeles to do their good deed. They were in the line up with Attack Disarm Takeover, Arise, Wendol and Chromium Six. Our deaf dog Honky Tonk had no complaints about the loud music - He loved it!
Web radio was about to be dealt a death blow by the implementation of a massive new royalty plan from SoundExchange, which collects music broadcast royalties, and the Copyright Royalty Board. From ace electronic gadget blogger Machinist:
Many Web radio outfits feared closure as their legal fight against staggering new music royalty rates met failure this week. On Thursday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to block the new rates, which are scheduled to go into effect Sunday. But as a result of public outcry -- which, in turn, sparked congressional outcry -- SoundExchange, the recording-industry group that collects royalties, has agreed not to immediately enforce the rates, pending negotiations with webcasters.
I just spoke to Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora, the hugely popular Internet radio station that allows people to create personalized music channels. I asked Westergren if Pandora will shut down Sunday: "No, we won't," he said.
This is great news for small, independent and non-commercial websites that stream music to listeners. Or maybe not great, but at least, something less than deadly.
Thursday's deal marks a sharp turnaround for SoundExchange, which told Wired News just hours before that the new online radio royalty rates are "etched in stone."
Observers credited lobbying by net radio listeners with helping bring pressure on SoundExchange. "This is a direct result of lobbying pressure, so if anyone thinks their call didn't matter, it did," said Westergren. "That's why this is happening."
The deal opens the door for longer-term solutions, including action from Congress. On Thursday, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) called parties representing record labels and webcasters before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to try to broker a deal that would allow online radio stations to survive in something similar to their current form, while still paying labels and artists their due.
Machinist credits people power with the victory, too:
The negotiations between SoundExchange and the webcasters now center on these rates -- and they're taking place, Westergren notes, "under the watchful eye of Congress." And that, he says, is the main news today. "The reason this deal is happening is because of congressional pressure, and congressional pressure is happening because of people calling in. Everybody needs to know that. A million people in the last three months have called Congress about this. And Congress has said, Look, if you don't solve this, we will. That's very explicit."
I have never read a Harry Potter book nor seen one of the films, but I know a cultural phenomenon when I see it. The thing is, I never thought I'd see it on Club Kingsnake. But I read this on Salon.com today:
"We're the Hungarian Horntails! Are you ready to burn this place down into a fiery wreck?" yells 8-year-old Darius Wilkins, onstage with bandmates Rayn Feeney, 9, and his younger brother, Holden, 5. They're in the middle of sound check on a muggy Saturday afternoon in June at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn. Seconds later, there's another high-pitched yelp from Darius: "We're the Hungarian Horntails, and we're going to blow this place up with fire and rock!"
The Hungarian Horntails are not just a rock band whose members are kids. They're a wizard-rock band, one of a growing worldwide cohort -- currently numbering 183 bands -- that emerged from the tight-knit, do-it-yourself community rooted in Harry Potter fandom. These bands use MySpace for publicity, produce and release their own music, and book concerts at libraries. The Horntails are named after characters from "The Goblet of Fire," and their songs have titles like "Kill the Basilisk" and "Which Witch Is Which?" Their first album is called "Burn Voldemort's Butt."
With momentum from the release of the final book and the "Order of the Phoenix" movie, wizard rock is crescendoing. For wizard rockers and their fans, this is a time to mourn and rock out: the last summer for this community to pay tribute to Harry Potter before the series is complete, and the last summer for Web sites like The Wizrocklopedia and WizardRock.org to keep loving, obsessive track of the bands, the shows and the wizard-rock-themed festivals where muggles can rock out.
I had no idea.
Full story here -- if you don't subscribe, you can get a free day pass and read the article.
Apparently it's groundbreaking frontpage news that if you wrap a copper wire around your head and walk around in a thunderstorm, you might just attract lightning. It must be because CNN, FOXNews and other sites are reporting that if you wear your iPod outside during a storm, you might just get zapped. At least one of those struck was Jason Bunch, 18, who was listening to Metallica at the time (Ride The Lightning no doubt). Jason suffered burns and ruptured eardrums. While there have been no reports of similar lightning strikes on the brand new iPhone, rumors are being widely circulated that the forthcoming iPhone Nano will come with a retractable 40 foot lightning rod unit as an option. Called the iRod, the device will safely discharge the effects of a lightning strike without disabling the phone or its user.
Next, why you shouldn't just stick that fork in the toaster....
It was a historic moment, signifying a vast sea change: the death of the Hummer and the rebirth of Flower Power. Two billion fans, 130 countries, seven continents and Jon Bon Jovi can't be wrong.
Watching the Gore-backed, star-packed Live Earth festival -- which included televised, Web-streamed concerts in New York, London, Johannesburg, Rio De Janeiro, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney and Hamburg -- there was an overwhelming sense that one was seeing the better angels of the human spirit rise lotuslike through the mud and unfold into a better, sober, new counterculture based on a peace, love, understanding and eco-consciousness. Like the '60s, only without so much meth.... Even the perennially depressed Roger Waters from Pink Floyd was having such a good time he looked as guileless as a 10-year-old.
Alicia Keys, the breakaway star of the event, really torched the roof off with her Category 5, gale-force radiance. Great performing artists can maintain poise while seemingly losing all control: Keys literally quivers from the wild waves of super-soul rippling through her. Her backup vocals on "Gimme Shelter" redeemed the otherwise limp Keith Urban and, if hooked up to a generator, could have powered all of the dryers in Dubai.
The perennially ageless Sting bumped the mood back up, after his wife's gruesome news. The reformed Police were joined by a highly excited Kanye West in a duet that was actually moving, because it was sincerely felt:
"We can save the world!"
"Sending out an SOS..."
"We can save the world!"
"Sending out an SOS..."
"We can save the world!"
Counter-insurgency, Gen. Patraeus has said, is about capturing hearts and minds. There was simply no denying the infectious, unforced good feelings of Live Earth. You can only front for so long: Joy is real or it isn't. This was the kind of love-fest you can't buy or steal ... and even snarky reviews can't kill.
Full article here -- free to subscribers, or you can see it free with a day pass.
Video of the Police and Kanye West singing "Message in a Bottle" under the jump.
Well there's floodin' down in Texas, all of the telephone lines are down
- Stevie Ray Vaughn - Texas Flood
It appears that Austin has another new title in its sights, at least this year. Looking more like Seattle than Central Texas, the Austin area has been pelted by rainstorms on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. While a few venues have been impacted, i.e. Missing Persons were missing persons after Carlos and Charlie's stage flooded and they canceled their show along with Tommy Tutone, the Romantics, and 10,000 Maniacs, other outdoor venues and events are charging ahead through the mud and rain.
Charlie Sexton of The Arc Angels at Antone's - more photos... photo by jeff barringer - staff photographer
This week at the Backyard they have five consecutive nights of concerts scheduled, starting last night and tonight with 311 and Matisyahu, and then finishing out with 3 nights of Widespread Panic. Tickets are still available and the shows promise to go on rain or shine. Luckily they've made special arrangements to ease the parking problems caused by the mud. Concert goers need to park in the HOME DEPOT lot located at 3600 RR620 or LAKE HILLS CHURCH located at 11431 Bee Cave. Both have graciously offered to accommodate Backyard patrons in their lots (thanks!). Carpooling is encouraged and a FREE shuttle bus will transport to and from the Backyard. I went to the 311 show last night and though the venue site is a bit messy, it's not a mud bog. Wear appropriate shoes and you might consider a poncho as well, although last night was relatively dry. No cameras are allowed for the 311 shows, so leave them at home or in your car. The shows start way early with doors opening at 5:30 pm and the first band going on at 6:30 pm.
For those not wishing to brave the rain, the legendary Arc Angels are playing a two-night only gig starting tonight at Austin's Antone's. One of Austin's first "super-groups," the Arc Angels consist of Charlie Sexton, Doyle Bramhall, Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon. If you never got a chance to see them before they broke up, this is your chance. The special "Reserved Upstairs Table" seats at $50 are already gone, but a limited number of general admission tickets are still available for these very special reunion shows