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U2's Digital Music Project with Apple Will be Interactive and Audiovisual


Image Courtesy Time Inc.

News broke earlier today that U2 is working on a top-secret project with Apple to develop a new digital music format that will, in effect, save the music industry.  A few additional details have emerged, giving a rough sketch of what we can expect, and when.

According to a recent interview in the international version of Time magazineBono says the team is working on something that will be "very exciting for the music business."  The singer described the new technology as "an audiovisual interactive format for music that can’t be pirated and will bring back album artwork in the most powerful way, where you can play with the lyrics and get behind the songs when you're sitting on the subway with your iPad or on these big flat screens.  You can see photography like you’ve never seen it before."

The as-yet-unnamed new platform is "about 18 months away," says Bono, which would place its release right around the same time as U2's next album.  "I think Songs of Experience will be released in a new format." 

The full interview is available in Time's international edition, on newsstands now.

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Gregg Allman to Receive "Classic Rock" Magazine's Living Legend Award Rock


Danny ClinchGregg Allman will receive this year's Living Legend Award from Classic Rock magazine, it was announced today.

Even though Classic Rock magazine is based in the U.K., the event will take place at The Avalon in Hollywood, California, on November 4 as part of the publication's Classic Rock Roll of Honor ceremony.  This marks the first time the ceremony has taken place outside of London in its 10 years.

Classic Rock editor Sian Llewellyn says, "Where can you start with Gregg Allman?  As a founding member and guiding light of the Allman Brothers Band and a hugely influential solo artist, Gregg has touched the lives of rock fans all over the globe for over four decades."

For his part, Allman responds, "I am so very honored to be receiving this award from Classic Rock.  The magazine is one of my favorites, and they are always so generous to me and the Brothers."

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Sammy Hagar, Joe Perry to Take Part in Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp


Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy CampAre you a would-be rocker hoping to jam with Sammy Hagar and Joe Perry? If that's your rock and roll fantasy, your dream is about to come true.

Fans who attend the upcoming editions of Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp, taking place this winter at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, can do just that.

Hagar, Perry, Lou Gramm, and Cheap Trick were all announced as the newest participants in the camp, which schools campers in a multitude of ways to turn their careers up to 11.

Fantasy campers will also write and record music with rock star "counselors," including Lita Ford, Rudy Sarzo, Gary Hoey, Jaimoe of the Allman Brothers, Simon Kirke of Bad Company, Rick Derringer and more. Tickets for the four-day camps are on sale now at RockCamp.com.

Here are the upcoming camps:

Jan. 15-18, 2015, Foxwoods Resort, CT
Joe Perry of Aerosmith
Steve Morse of Deep Purple
Lou Gramm of Foreigner
Bumblefoot of Guns and Roses

Feb. 12-15, 2015, Mandalay Bay and RRFC Studios, Las Vegas
Sammy Hagar
Pat Travers         

March 5-8, 2015, Foxwoods Resort, CT
Cheap Trick
Blue Oyster Cult

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U2 Developing New Digital Music Format with Apple


Image Courtesy UMusicDon't let the fact that U2 gave away their new album, Songs of Innocence, to roughly half a billion iTunes subscribers last week make you think they believe in free music.  Just the opposite -- which is why the band has partnered with Apple to develop a new digital music format.

The idea, Bono tells Time magazine, is to create a new digital format that's so fresh, cool and irresistible, folks will want to pay for songs and albums, which in turn will make it possible for songwriters to once again make a living from their craft.  Bono says it'll not only help established artists, like U2, but also the little guys. "Songwriters aren’t touring people," he says. "Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn't coming to a stadium near you."

No details yet about the new technology, or when it might be available.

U2 is featured on the cover of Time's next issue.

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Classic Rolling Stones Shows Hitting Stores in November


Eagle Rock EntertainmentTwo vintage Rolling Stones concerts will be released on DVD, CD, vinyl and via digital formats in November.


Eagle Rock Entertainment's new From the Vault series will kick off with Hampton Coliseum -- Live in 1981 on November 4, followed by L.A. Forum -- Live in 1975 on November 18.

Footage from both concerts has been carefully restored, with the sound newly mixed by producer Bob Clearmountain, whose previous credits include the Stones albums Tattoo You and Still Life.

The two-and-a-half-hour Hampton Coliseum show features footage from the December 18, 1981, tour stop in Virginia that was also guitarist Keith Richards' birthday.

The L.A. Forum show from 1975 was from the group's Tour of the Americas '75 -- its first trek with then-newcomer Ronnie Wood on guitar.

Check out the track listings below:

From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum — Live in 1981

"Under My Thumb"
"When the Whip Comes Down"
"Let's Spend the Night Together"
"Shattered"
"Neighbours"
"Black Limousine"
"Just My Imagination"
"Twenty Flight Rock"
"Going to a Go Go"
"Let Me Go"
"Time Is on My Side"
"Beast of Burden"
"Waiting on a Friend"
"Let It Bleed"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"Band Introductions"
"Happy Birthday Keith"
"Little T & A"
"Tumbling Dice"
"She's So Cold"
"Hang Fire"
"Miss You"
"Honky Tonk Women"
‘Brown Sugar"
"Start Me Up"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction"

From the Vault: L.A. Forum — Live in 1975

"Introduction"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"All Down the Line"
"If You Can’t Rock Me" / "Get Off of My Cloud"
"Star Star"
"Gimme Shelter"
"Ain’t Too Proud to Beg"
"You Gotta Move"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"Happy"
"Tumbling Dice"
"It's Only Rock 'n' Roll"
"Band Intros"
"Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)"
"Fingerprint File"
"Angie"
"Wild Horses"
"That's Life"
"Outta Space"
"Brown Sugar"
"Midnight Rambler"
"Rip This Joint"
"Street Fighting Man"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"Sympathy for the Devil"

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The Sound of Shakespeare: Paul Simon to Appear in Charity Play with Tom Hanks


PRNewsFoto/Live Nation/ Mark SeligerPaul Simon has done a little acting in the past -- remember his 1980 film, One Trick Pony? -- but an upcoming charity event will find the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer appearing onstage alongside one of the greatest film actors of our time: Tom Hanks.

Simon is among the stars who'll participate in the 24th annual Simply Shakespeare benefit event, which features a cast of celebrities reciting one of the bard's classic plays.  This year's edition, scheduled for September 22, will feature a reading of As You Like It, and other luminaries confirmed to take part in the performance include William Shatner, Steve Carell, Martin Short, Christopher Lloyd, Sam Waterston and Hanks' wife, Rita Wilson, among others.

The Simply Shakespeare performance, described as "a hilarious and entertaining evening of impromptu Shakespeare and song," will be staged at the Freud Playhouse, UCLA Campus.  Proceeds will go toward the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, and will help support its various arts-themed employment initiatives and local arts-education programs.

Tickets for the event cost $750.  To find out more information about the show, contact Lauran@LPAevents.com.  You can also bid on two VIP tickets at CharityBuzz.com.

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Rod Stewart Is "Halfway" Finished with a New Album


Credit: Penny LancasterRod Stewart's most recent album, Time, marked the first album in years that featured any new original material written by the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.  Now, Stewart's in the middle of writing a new album.  He says of his songwriting, "The flood gates have been reopened."

Speaking to an Australian entertainment news website, Stewart says, "I'm actually halfway through a new album.  I was very encouraged by the success of Time; it was a very long period where I wasn't writing any songs."  He adds, "It's encouraged me to take another step forward and come up with more songs, and I'm finding it quite easy.  The flood gates have been reopened."

Even so, Stewart is reluctant to perform many new songs from Time in his live shows, because he knows that fans want to hear the hits.  "It is a struggle," he says.  "I've got a unique method.  I'll say, 'Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to have to put you through the misery of a new song...just pretend you're listening to "Tonight's the Night" and give it a big round of applause at the end!'"

"Usually they fall for that ploy and they do," he adds with a laugh. "It's hard work selling new songs with the vast catalog I've got that people want to hear.  They pay the money, and they want to hear what they want to hear.  It's pointless being self-indulgent."

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Aretha Franklin Releasing New Album at the End of the Month


Matthew Jordan SmithThe release of Aretha Franklin's new album is just around the corner.

Showbiz411.com reported the Queen of Soul will debut the album -- a collection of covers tentatively titled Aretha Franklin Sings Songs of the Great Divas -- on September 30. Producer Clive Davis subsequently confirmed the date to Billboard.

Showbiz411.com says Aretha will appear on Late Show with David Letterman the night before the release to discuss the project and perform one of the tracks: her version of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." She'll also stop by the Today show on October 3.

The website notes Davis set the late-September deadline for the album so it can qualify for next year's Grammys ceremony.

In addition to Adele, Aretha Franklin Sings Songs of the Great Divas features Aretha covering classics by Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand and Alicia Keys, among others.

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Chicago Mayor Declares September 23 "David Bowie Day"


Brian Duffy/The David Bowie Archive and (Under License from Chris Duffy) Duffy Archive LimitedGround control to Mayor Rahm. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has declared September 23 "David Bowie Day" in Chicago, reports SPIN.com.  The date coincides with the opening of the upcoming "David Bowie Is" exhibit at the city's Museum of Contemporary Art.  The exhibit showcases the British musician's life and his career.

Emanuel declared in an official proclamation that Bowie is "an undisputed global icon." He added, "His remarkable half-century career has bridged cultures and faiths while both transcending and fortifying the music, art, fashion & design and theatrical canons."

The traveling Bowie exhibit previously visited London's Victoria and Albert Museum and Germany's Martin-Gropius-Bau.

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Sting, Berry Gordy to Perform, Present at ASCAP Gala Honoring Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder & Others


Frank OckenfelsSting and Motown Records mogul Berry Gordy will both appear as presenters and performers at the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Centennial Awards Gala this November.

The former Police frontman will be joined by R&B singer India.Arie and Americana legend Emmylou Harris at the gala, which will celebrate the  performing-rights organization's 100th anniversary at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City Nov. 17.

Julie Andrews, Tony Bennett and his wife, Berry Gordy and Quincy Jones will be among the evening's distinguished group of honorary chairs.

As previously reported, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, folk icon Joan Baez, and musical theater legend Stephen Sondheim are among a select group of artists tapped to receive a "once-in-a-century" Centennial Award. The award recognizes the honorees' impressive achievements in their respective musical genres.

The event also will serve as the inaugural fundraiser for the ASCAP Foundation, which supports various music education, talent development and humanitarian programs. The gala will be hosted by ASCAP president and chairman, singer/songwriter Paul Williams.

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Rush to Celebrate 40th Anniversary With DVD Box Set


Andrew MacNaughtan/Anthem/Roadrunner RecordsJust in time for the Christmas "rush" comes news that Rush will celebrate their 40-year legacy with the release of a new box set of concert films that span their entire career.

Rolling Stone reports that the set, R40, features 10 DVDs or six Blu-ray discs, and is set for release on Nov. 11.  It features five full-length concert videos, as well as a bonus disc with previously-unreleased material. A 52-page hardback book, including live photos and pictures of memorabilia throughout the band's career, is also included in the package.

Titles featured as part of the set include 2003's Rush in Rio, 2005's R30, 2008's Snakes & Arrows Live, 2011's Time Machine 2011: Time in Cleveland  and 2013's Clockwork Angels Tour.

The bonus disc of unreleased material will be of most interest to the band's hardcore fans: it features two hours of footage from the group's earlier years, including a full, eight-song set from a 1974 show at a school in Ontario with original drummer John Rutsey. During that show, the trio played three never-before-released songs –- the Rush originals "I've Been Runnin'" and "The Loser," as well as a cover of Larry Williams' "Bad Boy" -- and eventual classics like "Best I Can" and "Working Man."

Other goodies in the bonus DVD include five songs from a 1976 concert in Passaic, New Jersey, a performance of "Lock and Key" from the group's 1988 Hold Your Fire tour, and eight songs from a 1997 show in Toronto during which they ran through all seven parts of their 1976 suite "2112."  Rounding out the package is footage of Rush's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, during which they performed "2112" with Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins.

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Don Henley Honors Robert Redford for Environmental Activism


Kevin Mazur/Wire ImageIt was an Eagles singer presenting to the star of 1986's Legal Eagles, as Don Henley awarded legendary director and actor Robert Redford with the 2014 Global Environmental Leadership Award from the Walden Woods Project in Boston on Tuesday night.

Henley presented Redford with the award -- first bestowed upon President Bill Clinton in 2012 -- to honor the movie icon's enduring commitment to a wide range of environmental initiatives.

A fundraising dinner, which included a concert by Henley's Eagles, raised $1.6 million for the project.  The Walden Woods Project preserves the land, literature and legacy of American author, philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau by cultivating an ethic of environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

In his remarks, Henley stated Redford is "an ardent conservationist and environmentalist; an individual who stands for social responsibility and political involvement; an artist and businessman who is a staunch supporter of uncompromised creative expression," reports the Boston Globe.

Redford accepted the award, telling the crowd his journey into environmental activism began in 1968.

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Canada's Walk of Fame to Honor The Band


Ed Caraeff/Getty ImagesLegendary Canadian rock group The Band will be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame on October 18.

The group, which featured Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel, as well as American Levon Helm, will be honored.  Of the original members of The Band, only Robertson and Hudson are still living.

Jeff Healey, the blind blues singer who died in 2008 at age 41, will also be feted at the ceremony.  Healey -- who appeared in the 1989 Patrick Swayze film Road House -- will additionally receive the Cineplex Legends Award, a posthumous honor for a Canadian pioneer in film and television, music, sports, arts or innovation.

Other honorees include Ryan Reynolds and Rachel McAdams; women's ice hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser; and lawyer Louise Arbour, the former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Both acts will receive stars on the sidewalk in Toronto's entertainment district.  A tribute show at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts is scheuduled for Sept. 19.  A televised special of the event will air in Canada on Global Television on December 19.

Walk of Fame inductees are chosen for their achievements in various fields, and must have been born or spent their creative years in Canada.  A minimum of 10 successful years of work that has a significant cultural impact is required for consideration.

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Paul McCartney to Release Expanded Version of "NEW"; Includes Documentary and Unreleased Tracks


Concord Music GroupPaul McCartney will release an expanded version of his 2013 CD, NEW, on Oct. 28.

The new version includes two CDs and a DVD, and is packaged as a hard-bound book. Inside is loaded with goodies: behind the scenes footage, music videos for each of the album's singles, live recordings, unreleased cuts and more.

A highlight the DVD is the making-of documentary Something New, featuring in-depth interviews with McCartney and producers Paul Epworth, Mark Ronson, Ethan Jones, and Giles Martin, son of legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin.  McCartney's appearances from his promotional tour supporting NEW are also fully documented on the disc.

The bonus CD features four live cuts from McCartney's 2013 show at the Tokyo Dome, including "Save Us," "New," "Queenie Eye," and "Everybody Out There." The unreleased tracks "Hell to Pay," "Demons Dance," and "Struggle," a song only available as a bonus track in Japan, round out the disc.

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Bruce Springsteen Returns for 2014 Stand Up for Heroes Benefit


Danny ClinchBruce Springsteen is returning as the headline performer for this year’s 8th annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit concert, taking place Wednesday, November 5 in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Joining The Boss for the event are comics Louis C.K., John Oliver and John Mulaney, with “surprise guests” also promised.

Stand Up for Heroes, presented by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival, provides funds and services for military personnel returning from active duty, veterans and their families.  The event’s raised more than $21 million so far.

Tickets are on sale now.  For more info, head over to the Bob Woodruff Foundation website.

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Neil Diamond Releases Video for New Song, "Nothing but a Heartache"


Image Courtesy Capitol RecordsNeil Diamond is giving fans a glimpse into his forthcoming release, Melody Road, due October 21, with the release of a video for a new song, "Nothing but a Heartache."

Seated on a stool and strumming an acoustic guitar, Neil wraps his raspy vocals around a beautiful melody that begins softly then builds with a dramatic, orchestral crescendo.

Diamond sings, "It was nothing but a heartache/in the middle of a bad dream/like I took on the whole world/ and I never had a chance girl."

The song is trademark Diamond, with a hook that stays with a listener long after the final fade.  The video is streaming now on RollingStone.com.

As previously reported, the 12-track collection, which was co-produced by Don Was and Jacknife Lee, also is the acclaimed singer/songwriter's first release as part of his new deal with Capitol Records, and will be packaged with a 36-page book that includes the lyrics and chords to each tune.

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Smokey Robinson and Miracles Albums Newly Available on iTunes


Image Courtesy Autumn de Wilde/Verve RecordsMotown legends Smokey Robinson and the Miracles have 14 titles from their collective catalogs newly available on iTunes.

Nine titles, including Greatest Hits from the Beginning and Touch the Sky, will be digitally available for the first time ever. In addition, five additional records previously available digitally will now be available in new Mastered for iTunes editions.

These titles include Smokey Robinson & The Miracles' Going to a Go-Go and Robinson's solo titles, A Quiet Storm, Where There's Smoke and his 1980 classic Being with You.

Robinson just released his first new album in four years, Smokey & Friends, featuring duets on classic songs he recorded or wrote for others with partners like Elton John, Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor.

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KISS Raises $1 Million for Renovation of Military Museum


Brian LoweIt isn't often KISS goes without makeup for a live show these days, but the band made an exception, playing an acoustic gig to raise money for a military museum in Oregon.

The group previously has supported the Historical Outreach Foundation in its goal of raising $15 million to renovate the Oregon Military Museum, but the foundation's event this past Sunday in Lake Oswego, Oregon, marked the first time the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers performed at one of the foundation's events. In all, KISS helped raise $1 million toward the endeavor. Tickets to the evening cost $2,500. The evening also auctioned off one of Paul Stanley's guitars, which he has played since 1989, for $20,000, reports The Oregonian.

KISS guitarist and native Oregonian Tommy Thayer is the link to the project. The museum will be named after Thayer's father, Brigadier General James B. Thayer, a 93-year-old World War II veteran who freed Holocaust survivors from the Nazi concentration camps in 1945.

KISS bassist Gene Simmons told The Oregonian that museums are important to support for several reasons.

"A museum is a living history book, because young people today and the future generations can't just read books or watch it on video because it's unemotional," Simmons said.

He continued that honoring the military with a museum shining a light on men and women in uniform is relevant to understanding current events.

"There is evil in the world," he said. "People are being beheaded today, not in some medieval time."

Check out the set list from the show below:

"Comin’ Home"
"Hard Luck Woman"
"Calling Dr. Love"
"Do You Love Me?"
"Plaster Caster"
"Shout It Out Loud"
"Got to Choose"
"Christine Sixteen"
"Lick It Up"
"Goin’ Blind"
"Love Her All I Can"
"Hide Your Heart"
"Beth"
"Rock and Roll All Nite"

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Sparse Version of George Harrison's "Dark Horse" Streaming Online


Jean-Marie Perier/UMeWith one week to go before the official release of the George Harrison box set collecting all his solo albums for the Beatles' Apple label, fans can get a preview by listening to an early acoustic version of his signature song, "Dark Horse," now streaming online at RollingStone.com.

The studio version of the song, originally released in 1974 as the title track of the album of the same name, featured a total of 11 vocalists and musicians, including Billy Preston on keys, and reached the top 20 of the U.S. singles chart. The acoustic version is noticeably leaner, with just Harrison, an acoustic guitar, and a few harmonizing singers on the track.

As previously reported, the George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75 box set will be released next week. It includes remastered versions of Harrison's first six solo albums, some unreleased bonus tracks, a DVD containing music videos, a short film directed by Harrison's wife Olivia and a book filled with essays and unpublished photos.

The late Beatle will be honored all next week on the late-night talk show Conan, beginning next Monday with performances by Beck, Norah Jones, and Harrison's son, Dhani. The show airs 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday on TBS.

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Joey Ramone's Friends and Family React to U2's Tribute Song


Image Courtesy Interscope RecordsFamily and friends of Joey Ramone have nothing but kind words for U2, who honored the late singer with the song "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)," the lead single from the band's just-released album, Songs of Innocence.

"I’m not sure grateful is the right word, but awestruck is a better description,” Ramone's brother, Mickey Leigh, told MTV News.

"It’s so beautiful. I loved it. It’s Bono’s interpretation and his spirit, but it also captures Joey’s spirit," he said. "He described my brother’s spirit well. I think he got just what Joey would have wanted out of it.”

Longtime Ramones drummer Marky Ramone felt the late singer would have been "honored" by the song, which never mentions his name, but tells the story of how Bono and the boys sneaked in to see the band in their teens in what was a life-changing event in their musical lives.

Former D-Generation singer Jesse Malin, who became a close friend of The Ramones when the band took D-Gen out on tour, recalled the time the punk rocker called him out of a recording session and invited him to go see U2 at their appearance on Saturday Night Live in 2000.

"The thing I respect about U2 beyond this song is how they’re giving a shout-out to Joey as their inspiration,” he said. “They’re not on a bandwagon of ‘now we’ll be into the Ramones because they’re dead.’ He [Joey] got to feel the love and respect from them and this song is coming from truly the right place and I totally back it after seeing how they were with him.”

Ramone passed away on April 15, 2001 of lymphoma at the age of 49; the last song he heard in the hospital was U2's "In a Little While."

U2 paid their respects to the singer three days later during a show in San Diego, performing The Ramones' "I Remember You" and their own "Walk On" in his memory.

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