Monday, June 30, 2014

Michael Jackson's Secret Rock and Roll History (UCR)

The late Michael Jackson will forever be known as the King of Pop. Throughout his record-breaking music career however, Jackson very generously dabbled in rock and roll, collaborating with some of the genre’s musical elite in the process. 

Ultimate Classic Rock takes a look at some of those legends that were fortunate enough to work with Jackson before his untimely passing on June 25, 2009.

Read More: Michael Jackson's Secret Rock and Roll History 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

On the turntable this Sunday...A New World Record

A New World Record is the sixth studio album by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), released in 1976. 

Their second album to be recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, the LP proved to be the band's long awaited breakthrough in the UK: after seeing their previous three studio recordings fail to chart in their home market, A New World Record became their first top ten album in the UK. It became a huge global success and would consolidate the band's position as one of the biggest selling rock bands in the world, reaching multi-platinum status in the US and UK, The album sold five million units worldwide within its first year of release. The cover art features the famous ELO logo, designed by Kosh, for the first time. This logo would be included on most of the group's subsequent releases.

The album included the hit singles "Telephone Line", which became the band's first gold US single, "Livin' Thing", and "Do Ya" (US); and "Rockaria!" (UK). "Do Ya" was an ELO updating of The Move's late 1972 final US single on United Artists Records. The focus is more on shorter pop songs, a trend which would continue throughout the rest of ELO's future albums. In 1977, many of the album's songs were featured on the "Joyride" soundtrack. In 2006, the album was remastered and released with bonus tracks on Sony's Epic/Legacy imprint. "Surrender" was also issued as a promotional single and an iTunes download single, which entered the top 100 download chart.

In July 2012 the all vinyl record company, Music on Vinyl, rereleased A New World Record on 180 gram vinyl with a special embossed cover.

The band's frontman Jeff Lynne regards his own songwriting at this point to have reached a new high.
"The songs started to flow and most of them came quickly to me. To have all those hits, it was just ...I mean amazing really. Going from doing okay for probably three or four years to suddenly being in the big time, it was a strange but great thing."
– Jeff Lynne 2006; A New World Record remaster
Patti Quatro, Brie Brandt, both of Fanny, and Addie Lee sang uncredited backing vocals at various points on this entire album.

Read more at Wikipedia

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Widespread Panic Red Rocks Webcast TONIGHT

Order the Red Rocks 6/28 webcast on and get MP3s and an archived video stream of the show bundled with your webcast pass. 

You'll be able to watch the show live on your Mac or PC, or on your iPad, iPhone, AppleTV, and most Android devices.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Phish to Appear on the Cover of Relix in July

Phish has been quite busy lately.  The Vermont quartet released their 12th studio album, Fuego, earlier this week. The band also performed on the Late Show With David Letterman on Tuesday and will appear on the cover of the upcoming July/August issue of Relix. 

The story is a feature by Relix editor-in-chief Dean Budnick, which explores the process of recording the LP with producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed), and the decision to debut material on Halloween.

While the issue won’t hit newsstands for another two weeks, Relix has posted an excerpt from the story. In addition, the magazine is also offering a special discount on subscriptions that includes the July-August issue. Just head over to the subscription page at Relix and enter promo code: Phish. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

45 Years Ago: Captain Beefheart Releases ‘Trout Mask Replica’ (UCR)

‘Trout Mask Replica’ is one of the weirdest and wildest albums ever to be released. Landing on record store shelves on June 16, 1969, Captain Beefheart‘s ‘Trout Mask Replica’ amazed, confused, irritated and enthralled anyone who dared listen to it. While certainly not the most listenable of Beefheart’s albums, it remains his most well-known and most captivating, losing none of its unique charm or fire. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Robert Plant Releases ‘Rainbow’ Single and New Album Info Read More: Robert Plant Releases 'Rainbow' Single and New Album Info (UCR)

While Jimmy Page has been busy remastering the Led Zeppelin catalog, Robert Plant has been in the studio working on new material. Earlier this week, he released the first of those efforts, ‘Rainbow,’ which can be streamed at Ultimate Classic Rock

The track comes from ‘lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar,’ which will be released Sept. 9. After two albums that focused almost entirely on covers — the Grammy-winning collaboration with Alison Krauss, ”Raising Sand’ and 2010′s ‘Band of Joy’ — Plant wrote nine of the 11 songs for this new project with his band, the Sensational Space Shifters. The two exceptions are ‘Little Maggie,’ a traditional folk song, and ‘Poor Howard,’ an adaptation of Lead Belly’s ‘Po’ Howard.’ The last Plant record to feature his own compositions was 2005′s ‘Mighty ReArranger.’

Read More: Robert Plant Releases 'Rainbow' Single and New Album Info 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Music Review: Phish 'Fuego'

For a band that has built their success on their ability to interact with one another while playing live, Phish has struggled at times to find that same collaborative interplay in the studio. For Fuego, their 12th studio album, Phish tried something they’ve never done before.  Instead of leaving the duties of writing to guitarist Trey Anastasio and lyricist Tom Marshall, the band locked themselves in Anastasio’s barn in the Vermont woods and hammered out the tracks.

They succeed on Fuego the Vermont quartet's first studio release in five years.  Not only is the album cohesive, it's a fun, uplifting, and rocking record that is easily Phish's best studio effort since Billy Breathes. Phish surprised everyone at their 2013 Halloween show in Atlantic City, NJ by playing the entire album as their “musical costume.” The move surprised even the most jaded Phans, but clearly showed that the band was proud of their new material, as they should be.

On the nine-minute title track and opener "Fuego," band members trade lead vocals and harmonize on a driving tune with Phish at their musical best.  Phish’s newfound groupthink ethos shines in every note of the catchy “Sing Monica” and the funky, bass-driven “555.” On “Wombat” the band references Barney Miller and the forgotten Fish spin-off with Abe Vigoda (who actually made a cameo in a Wombat suit at the Halloween show) over a hip-hop-inspired groove. 

Producer Bob Ezrin, who has worked with everyone from Pink Floyd to Taylor Swift, gives the band a wider sound, utilizing each member to their full potential and spreading around vocal duties around a bit more. 

30 years into an amazing career as a band, Phish makes a case with Fuego-that the band should continue to look inward in order to push themselves forward.

Must-hear tracks: "Fuego," "Halfway to the Moon," "555," "Waiting All Night"

-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids

Monday, June 23, 2014

Steve Perry on Journey's Arnel Pineda (UCR)

Former Journey lead singer Steve Perry’s long-awaited return to the stage late last month has naturally fueled speculation as to whether the vocalist would ever reunite with his former band. But in a new interview, he is once again quick to both dash those rumors and pay his respects to the man who has held that position for over seven years now. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

On the turntable this Sunday...The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys

The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys is the sixth album by English rock band Traffic, released in 1971. As with other Traffic albums, The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys featured different forms and offshoots of rock including jazz rock, progressive rock, as well as classic rock and roll. The title of the album was suggested by the actor Michael J. Pollard.  

The album features the hit "Rock & Roll Stew (part 1)" and the FM hit, "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys." This is the only original Traffic album to feature two lead vocals by Jim Capaldi ("Light Up Or Leave Me Alone" and "Rock & Roll Stew"). His only other unaccompanied vocal on a Traffic studio album was "Dealer" from Mr. Fantasy. The LP is also notable for its die-cut cover.

Low Spark of High Heeled Boys was remastered and reissued with one bonus track on 19 March 2002.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Genesis Announce 'Together and Apart' Documentary (UCR)

Although it’s not the reunion tour that fans of progressive rock legends Genesis have been hoping for, the band just revealed that they have been working on a big new project together.

Read More: Genesis Announce 'Together and Apart' Documentary |

Friday, June 20, 2014

Umphrey's McGee Webcast in London

Fans of Umphrey’s McGee can enjoy the band from across the pond via webcast from TourGigs.  UM kicked off their three night run at the newly-opened Brooklyn Bowl London last night and the band will perform one of their patented “All Night Wrong” cover sets this evening. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ultimate Classic Rock's 2014 Summer Tour Guide

Ultimate Classic Rock's 2014 summer tour guide is here to make sure you don’t miss any of the great rock concerts hitting the road this summer. It looks like it’s going to be a fantastic season for live music, and we’ll help you map it out.

After all, bands like Aerosmith, the Allman Brothers Band, the Eagles, Kiss and Motley Crue — some, sadly, for the last time — are set to crisscross the country over the next few months. You quite literally are going to need a scorecard to keep up.

And that’s where we come in. Sharpen your pencils as we run down 2014′s must-see shows as part of Ultimate Classic Rock’s 2014 Summer Tour Guide …

Read More: Ultimate Classic Rock's 2014 Summer Tour Guide |

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Phish Release Studio Version of "555"

Phish have unveiled the studio version of “555” from their forthcoming album, Fuego. The Mike Gordon and Scott Murawski-penned track is now the third song from the new LP (after “Waiting All Night” and “The Line”) to be posted by the band ahead of the album’s release. 

Please follow the link to read the rest of the article and listen to "555" at

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

10 Years Ago: Van Halen Mounts Disastrous Reunion with Sammy Hagar (UCR)

It should have worked. Van Halen, some six years after an ill-fated attempt to carry on without Sammy Hagar, reunited with the “Red Rocker” for a trio of new songs and a huge 80-date tour. Rather than signal a triumphal second act for the most commercially successful Van Halen line up, however, this 2004 tour marked a ugly end — even as it pointed the way for what would come next, both for Van Halen and for Hagar. 

Read More: 10 Years Ago: Van Halen Mounts Disastrous Reunion With Sammy Hagar |

Monday, June 16, 2014

Legendary Radio Broadcaster Casey Kasem Dies at 82

Casey Kasem, the disc jockey who hosted the ‘American Top 40′ radio show for decades, has died at the age of 82. He had been suffering from Lewy body dementia, a degenerative condition similar to Parkinson’s disease. 

Read More: Legendary Radio Broadcaster Casey Kasem Dies at 82 |

Sunday, June 15, 2014

On the turntable this Sunday...South of Nowhere

Dante Schwebel is on the short list of underrated songwriters, a guy who effortlessly combines classic American pop and rock elements into a bright, immensely appealing sound. There were times with his old band, the excellent Hacienda, where his influences were more tattooed on his arms than worn on his sleeves, but it worked.

With Spanish Gold, Schwebel has teamed with Louisvillle’s Patrick Hallahan, of My Morning Jacket, and Adrian Quesada, late of Grupo Fantasma. It’s one of those blessed events where the mix of personalities and talents raises everyone’s game.

“South of Nowhere” began with a batch of songs Schwebel had written about growing up in Texas, but this is clearly a band album. Spanish Gold has its own kind of bounce, a result of Quesada’s command of Latin rhythms and American funk mixed with Hallahan’s love of soul, R&B and hip-hop. Schwebel’s influences dovetail seamlessly and it all just inexorably moves.

Everyone in Spanish Gold keeps busy — Schwebel is in City and Colour, Quesada never stops and My Morning Jacket has a new album nearly ready — so it seems unlikely that Spanish Gold will become a consistent priority. But as back-up plans go, this one is pretty stellar.

— Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal

Friday, June 13, 2014

String Cheese Incident Cover Eminem, STS9 and Umphrey’s Deliver New Material at Wakarusa (

The String Cheese Incident, STS9, Umphrey’s McGee Bassnectar, The Flaming Lips and more rolled through Ozark, AR over the weekend for this year’s Wakarusa. The festival was once again marred by frequent rain, though it never reached the biblical proportions of the previous year’s festival.

Please follow link to read the full article on

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Phish to play fewer covers this tour

As Phish prepares to hit the road for their summer tour, Trey Anastasio has hinted that the band will be playing fewer covers. The guitarist recently told Rolling Stone, “I think you’re going to see a lot less covers… because everyone’s excited about the new material.” Speaking about the band’s new album, Anastasio also told the publication, “I hope it’s good – that would be great…The bigger dream for me is that the songs establish themselves in the live repertoire.”

Phish will release Fuego, their first album since 2009’s Joy, on June 24th. The band have already released two tracks from Fuego—“Waiting All Night” and “The Line.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Paul McCartney Postpones U.S. Tour Dates on Doctor's Orders (UCR)

It appears that Paul McCartney is not back to 100 percent perfect health. The rock legend has been forced to postpone the first two weeks of his U.S. tour this summer.
McCartney’s ‘Out There’ tour was scheduled to begin June 14 in Lubbock, TX. However, that concert, and six others have been pushed back to October (see below for the new dates). The tour will now begin on July 5 in Albany, NY.

Read More: Paul McCartney Postpones U.S. Tour Dates On Doctor’s Orders |

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A jam in every way: Crush of Chattanooga Riverbend fans grooves to Widespread Panic (

Widespread Panic kicked off their show Saturday night by playing "Disco." And playing it. And playing it.

For 10 minutes, the band jammed, improvising their way through their opening number before transitioning to the rest of their three-hour set.

Please follow the link to read full article on

Monday, June 9, 2014

Jack White's Lazaretto Ultra LP

With the release of Lazaretto, Jack White will release an unprecedented version of the album on vinyl, called an Ultra LP, that contains numerous special features and will make you re-think the possibilities of the enduring format. 

As White and Ben Blackwell of Third Man Records explain in this short video, the Lazaretto Ultra LP will run at three speeds. There's the standard 33 1/3 bulk of the album. But there's also a track hidden under the center label that plays at 78 RPM, and another that plays at 45 RPM. Yeah, there are bonus tracks hidden under both labels.

The album includes "dual-groove technology" which means you hear alternate versions of the album depending on where you drop the needle. The intro for the song "Just One Drink," for example, plays either an acoustic or an electric guitar —- they eventually merge into a single track. Side A plays from the inside out. In other words, you put the needle down near the center label and it moves out toward the record's outer edge and ends with a locked groove that loops over and over. The dead wax area of side A also includes a hand-etched floating hologram of a spinning angel.

Here's the complete list of features on the Ultra LP, which the Third Man website says will be "the standard version" of the vinyl format of Lazaretto:

- 180 gram vinyl
- 2 vinyl-only hidden tracks hidden beneath the center labels
- 1 hidden track plays at 78 RPM, one plays at 45 RPM, making this a 3-speed record
- Side A plays from the inside out
- Dual-groove technology: plays an electric or acoustic intro for "Just One Drink" depending on where needle is dropped. The grooves meet for the body of the song.
- Matte finish on Side B, giving the appearance of an un-played 78 RPM record
- Both sides end with locked grooves
- Vinyl pressed in seldom-used flat-edged format
- Dead wax area on Side A contains a hand-etched hologram by Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science, the first of its kind on a vinyl record
- Absolutely zero compression used during recording, mixing and mastering
- Different running order from the CD/digital version
- LP utilizes some mixes different from those used on CD and digital version

Sunday, June 8, 2014

On the turntable this Sunday...Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin is the debut album by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded in October 1968 at Olympic Studios in London and released on Atlantic Records on 12 January 1969 in the United States and 31 March in the United Kingdom. Featuring integral contributions from each of the group's four musicians, the album established their fusion of blues and rock. It also attracted a large and devoted following to the band; Zeppelin's take on the emerging heavy metal sound endeared them to parts of the counterculture on both sides of the Atlantic

Although the album first received negative reviews, it was commercially very successful, and critics have come to view it in a much more positive light. In 2003, the album was ranked No. 29 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time (it kept its rank when Rolling Stone updated the list in 2012).  In 2004, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Tom Petty Adds New Dates, Cancels Other Shows

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have added a few dates to their tour with Steve Winwood, while cancelling a few others. The band axed their previously scheduled gigs in Kansas City, MO and Lincoln, NE to make time for a two-night run at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO on September 30 and October 1.

Read full article and see tour dates at

Friday, June 6, 2014

50 Years Ago: The Rolling Stones Arrive in America (UCR)

On June 1, 1964, America was first introduced to a group of five long-haired English lads who called themselves the Rolling Stones. Though they had become a hit in England, the U.S. was only vaguely aware of this new band. Indeed, their first album, ‘England’s Newest Hit Makers’ had only just been released in America two days before their arrival. 

Read More: 50 Years Ago: The Rolling Stones Arrive in America |

Thursday, June 5, 2014

King Crimson Announce Reunion Tour

King Crimson recently announced a reunion run at New York City’s Best Buy Theater this September. Now, the legendary prog-rock outfit will be hitting the road for a 17-date reunion tour. 

The tour kicks off on September 9th with a two-night run in Albany, NY before the group makes a few more stops along the Northeast and wraps up on the West Coast.

This version of King Crimson will feature Robert Fripp, Gavin Harrison, Bill Rieflin, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Mel Collins and Jakko Jakszyk.

King Crimson Tour Dates

September 9 Albany, NY—The Egg
September 10 Albany, NY—The Egg
September 12 Philadelphia, PA—Kimmel Center
September 13 Philadelphia, PA—Kimmel Center
September 15 Boston, MA—Colonial Theatre
September 16 Boston, MA—Colonial Theatre
September 18 New York, NY—Best Buy Theater
September 19 New York, NY—Best Buy Theater
September 20 New York, NY—Best Buy Theater
September 23 Madison, WI—Barrymore Theatre
September 25 Chicago, IL—The Vic Theatre
September 26 Chicago, IL—The Vic Theatre
September 30 Los Angeles, CA—Orpheum Theatre
October 1 Los Angeles, CA—Orpheum Theatre
October 3 San Francisco, CA—Warfield Theater
October 4 San Francisco, CA—Warfield Theater
October 6 Seattle, WA—Moore Theatre

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Allman Brothers Band Confirm Final Tour Dates

The Allman Brothers Band have made “their final plans” official. In a news release, they confirmed that their last live performances will be held October 27-28 at a place that has become a second home to them, the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
Their concluding dates will follow a quartet of rescheduled Beacon shows to be held on October 21-22 and October 24-25. Those were postponed after Gregg Allman fell ill.

Read More: The Allman Brothers Band Confirm Final Tour Dates |

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Album Review: Led Zeppelin (Reissue) (CoS)

For as long as rock criticism has existed, or arts criticism in general for that matter, critics have gotten it wrong. Our system is one built on the shifty variable that is human perception: criticism is an inexact science, a snapshot of a single moment. Things change, and with change comes an adjusted perspective. Maybe it’s for that reason that a little UK band, performing under the new moniker Led Zeppelin, was initially cast as unremarkable amidst a wave of British hype bands in 1969...

Please follow the link to Consequence of Sound and read the full review by Sheldon Pearce.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sunday, June 1, 2014

On the turntable this Sunday...Disraeli Gears

Disraeli Gears is the second album by the English rock band Cream. It was released in November 1967 and went on to reach number 5 on the UK Albums Chart. It was also their American breakthrough, becoming a massive seller there in 1968, reaching number 4 on the American charts. The album was #1 for two weeks on the Australian album chart and was listed as the #1 album of 1968 by Cash Box in the year-end album chart in the U.S. The album features the two singles "Strange Brew" and "Sunshine of Your Love".

The title of the album is based on a malapropism. Eric Clapton had been thinking of buying a racing bicycle and was discussing it with Ginger Baker, when a roadie named Mick Turner commented, "it's got them Disraeli Gears", meaning to say "derailleur gears", but instead alluding to 19th-century British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. The band thought this was hilarious, and decided that it should be the title of their next album.

The original 11-track album was remastered in 1998, and then subsequently released as a two-disc Deluxe Edition in 2004.

In 1999, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

In 2003 the album was ranked number 114 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All TimeVH1 also named it their 87th greatest album of all time in 2001. In 2008, the album won a Classic Rock Roll of Honours Award for Classic Album.