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Day in Rock Report for 06/20/2011

Singer Dies After Being Hit By Bus- Steven Adler Takes A Swipe At Axl Rose- Mastodon Hunter- Green Day's Billie Joe Denies Idiot Reports- Surprise The La's Jam- more
(NME) Anet Mook, singer and guitarist in 1990s indie band Cay, has died after being apparently struck by a bus. The musician passed away in her native Holland earlier this month, where her funeral was held on Thursday (June 15). But a former bandmate Mark Bullock is less than complimentary in 'tribute' blog more

When the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner asked Steven Adler, "Adler's Appetite has released three songs in the past year. When can we expect the completed album?" he responded, "I can't say who we're going into the studio with or the record label, but right after this tour is over, we're going to have a big press conference. I'm really excited about this. I finally get this opportunity to show my music for the people. Axl's [Rose] doing solo stuff and calling it Guns N' Roses, Slash and Izzy and Duff are doing their stuff. I'm finally at a place in my life where I can make a record of my own." more

Grab a preview of the Deep Purple Phoenix Rising DVD/Blu-Ray release we told you about last week here. Grab more info here

(FMQB) Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong says that, contrary to reports earlier this week, he has not officially signed on for a role in the American Idiot film. more

(Lambgoat) Mastodon has announced that they are "hard at work" finishing up their new album, now officially titled "The Hunter." more

(MU) Devian has issued the following announcement about deciding to call it quits: "It's time to break the silence… with eternal silence. We have decided to put Devian to rest." more

(FMQB) Bob Dylan has tacked on another round of U.S. tour dates for this summer. The new leg, which follows an early summer trek through the U.K. and Europe, begins in Santa Barbara, CA on July 14. more

(NME) Lee Mavers of The La's took to the stage in Manchester Sunday (June 19) for his first live appearance in over two years. Accompanied on bass by Gary Murphy of defunct Liverpool band The Bandits, the elusive scouse legend played a 15-song set more

(Lambgoat) Kvelertak will headline a tour of Europe in November and December with support from Toxic Holocaust, Trap Them, and Wolves Like Us. more

(FMQB) Arcade Fire, Neil Young and Ron Sexsmith are among the 40 artists that made the long list for Canada's 2011 Polaris Music Prize. more

(SRX) Loverboy recently appeared on Fox and Friends to perform their new single "Heartbreaker" and the classic "Lovin' Every Minute Of It". more

On this day in 1948, Toast of the Town, which would later be called The Ed Sullivan Show, premiered on CBS-TV. The first show was produced on a budget of $1,375. Only $375 was allocated for talent, $200 of which was shared by two of the young stars that evening, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

On this day in 2004, organizers for a Paul McCartney gig in St. Petersburg, Russia hired three jets to spray dry ice into the clouds so it wouldn't rain during his concert. Find out what else happened on this date in music history here

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E Street Band's Clarence Big Man Clemons Dies
We posted this sad breaking news from Rock News Desk early Sunday morning, here it is again for those who missed it: E Street Band's Clarence Clemons has died after he suffered a stroke last weekend. He was 69. Affectionately known as "The Big Man," Clemons spent nearly four decades playing sax with Bruce Springsteen and his band.

He'd been hit by a series of health issues in recent years including back surgery and the replacement of both knees. Before his stroke he'd been forced to cancel an appearance at the NBA basketball finals two weeks ago following a hand injury.

Springsteen has paid tribute to close friend Clemons, saying the pair had become inseparable almost as soon as they met. "His loss is immeasurable, and we're honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly 40 years," the Boss says.

"He was my great friend and my partner. With Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. more on this story

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Slipknot Honor Paul Gray at Comeback Gig
(Rock News Desk) Slipknot made an emotional return to live performance Friday evening and the empty costume and bass of Paul Gray was with them on stage.

He died of an accidental overdose in May last year, plunging the metal outfit into a temporary hiatus and long-term personal anguish, which several of the eight surviving members have said is still difficult to deal with. But the band took another step in their own recovery at the Greece edition of the travelling Sonisphere festival, when they hit the stage sporting red jumpsuits and their older-era masks.

Frontman Corey Taylor told the crowd: "Tonight is a very emotional show for us. But it is not a negative day – it's a positive day, a day for celebration. WIll you celebrate with us today?" Later he added: "This is very hard for us, but he would have wanted us to come out with you all and celebrate his life." more on this story

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Ex Roadrunner Exec Accused of Embezzlement
(Rock News Desk) A former executive of rock and metal record label Roadrunner has pleaded not guilty to embezzlement charges after being accused of stealing $421,000 from the company over a six-year period.

Sharanda Houser, 35, was fired last year for unrelated reasons before the money was found to be missing. Prosecutors for the label say Houser operated a scam by claiming expenses using senior executives' names and having the payments sent directly to her. They also say she was convicted of stealing $13,000 from another employer in 1999.

Roadrunner's roster includes Slipknot, Kiss, Megadeth, Alter Bridge, Machine Head, Dream Theater, Slash, Rob Zombie, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Korn. more on this story

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Rammstein Hits and Tour Plans
(Gibson) German industrial metal-makers Rammstein have announced a new "greatest hits" collection, due in stores this fall.

Made in Germany 1995-2011 will feature 20 classic tracks, as well as one new song. The CD/DVD will also feature every Rammstein video.

Meanwhile, the group have also announced a series of European dates to support Made in Germany. The tour will kick off in November. more on this story

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Red Hot Chili Peppers Announce Tour
(Gibson) With their first album in five years set for release later this summer, Red Hot Chili Peppers are hitting the road.

The Los Angeles-based band, which currently features Josh Klinghoffer on guitar, will touch down in Europe in October and play 16 dates in support of I'm with You, which is already available for pre-order in the band's website.

Fans who pre-order the album will receive the chance to enter a ticket pre-sale for the European tour. more on this story

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Garth Brooks and Billy Joel Duet
(Gibson) The Songwriters Hall of Fame got a big dose of country last week with the induction of Garth Brooks. The Yukon, Oklahoma native, who rose to stardom in the late '80s/early '90s on the strength of such hits as "If Tomorrow Never Comes," "Unanswered Prayers" and "The Thunder Rolls," was inducted by Billy Joel, who wrote the hit, "Shameless," for Brooks' 1991 album, Ropin' the Wind.

"You talk about songwriters," Brooks gushed to the Associated Press. "[Joel is] one of the greatest songwriters of all time. And he's taken a day out of his life to do this. I feel very lucky."

Joining Brooks at the New York City gala was fellow 2011 inductee Leon Russell, who performed "Superstar" with Dwight Yoakam. Other inductees included Allen Toussant, Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly, John Bettis and the duo of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who co-wrote the Righteous Brothers' classic, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," with Phil Spector, as well as hits by The Animals, The Crystals and Paul Revere & the Raiders.

[According to organizers, the event featured a Garth Brooks and Billy Joel's duet of "Shameless," in matching black cowboy hats. Chaka Khan's performed "I'm Every Woman," Leon Russell on piano with "A Song for You" and Trisha Yearwood's beautiful medley tribute to Hal David, including "What The World Needs Now."] more on this story

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Soundgarden Working On Heavy New Album
(RockAAA) Soundgarden are getting set for their month-long North American summer tour, which kicks off July 2 in Toronto. The live dates give the band a break from the studio, as the reunited unit continues work on new music.

"We're recording. We're kind of doing it in stages," guitarist Kim Thayil tells Stereogum. "We have about 14 songs in various stages of completion. Previously, we'd just block out a bunch of time and go and track everything at once, but we can't really do that right now. Matt [Cameron] has commitments to Pearl Jam, Chris [Cornell] has a solo tour happening and Soundgarden is touring in July. So we do the studio thing around those other engagements, which actually is turning out to be a lot better for us. It takes the pressure off in some ways. It's not like, OK you've got three weeks and everything needs to get done in those three weeks. We can work at our own pace right night and take things one step at a time. We're really enjoying it. We don't have a record company or management pressuring us to hurry up, so we can really savor the process this time."

It's still early in the project, but Thayil shares his thoughts on the new material. "The vibe of the songs is definitely very heavy," says the guitarist. "We've always tried to explore how to make this really heavy, aggressive music without sounding like a bunch of knuckle-dragging meatheads. I think these songs are kind of exploring that idea. more on this story

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311 Frontman Delivers His Own Daughter
(Rock News Desk) 311's Nick Hexum was forced to play midwife after his wife Nikki went into labor unexpectedly recently.

And the alt-rock frontman helped bring his second daughter Maxine Vita into the world at their family home last month – despite a brief panic when the baby became trapped in the birth canal.

The couple had arranged an assisted home birth but the midwife was not present when Nikki suddenly realised Maxine was on her way. more on this story

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Guns N' Cellos
(RockAAA) Here's a head-turner. 2Cellos have recorded a cover of Guns N' Roses' "Welcome To The Jungle."

The song will be included on the duo's debut album, set for release this summer, which features their unique versions of well-known rock and pop songs, including "Where The Streets Have No Name" (U2), "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nirvana), "Viva La Vida" (Coldplay), and more.

2Cellos – Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser -- first caught the attention of music fans around the globe with their dueling cellos version of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," which went on to receive more than 5 million hits on YouTube in less than 3 months.

The duo are currently the opening act on Elton John's European tour. Check out video of them doing the GNR classic here

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John Oates, Donovan Frankenreiter, Shawn Colvin and Mike Peters For Kauai Rocks
We received this update from an organization we have long supported: This August, the Love Hope Strength Foundation will be holding their annual "Rocks" event in Kauai, Hawaii.

The nine day retreat, called "Kauai Rocks", will play host to well-known musicians from around the world such as John Oates, Donovan Frankenreiter, Miles Zuniga (Fastball), Shawn Colvin, and Mike Peters of The Alarm and will culminate with a special concert benefiting community cancer care on the island.

Additional proceeds from the retreat will go to supporting global cancer care and the GET ON THE LIST campaign, which has registered more than 10,000 people to the national bone marrow donor database. more on this story

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Alice Cooper To Get Intimate With Fans
(RockAAA) Alice Cooper will play his most intimate gig in decades, taking it Old School with a hot, sweaty all out rock 'n' roll attack on the legendary 100 Club on June 26th.

A rare chance to witness one of most exciting, visceral acts in rock history up close and highly personal, Alice brings the astonishing band that blew away Download Festival last weekend.

"It's been a while since we played such an intimate venue," says Alice, "but strip away the theatrics and we are a pedal-to-the-metal rock band, born in clubs like the 100 Club. We play every show like that anyway and it will be fantastic to reconnect in that atmosphere. This show comes with a health warning – 'We don't do acoustic, this will be loud'." But the insatiable Alice wants more for his show on October 29 at Alexandra Palace in London. He is calling together spectacular ghouls, depraved weirdos and the hottest fire starters to audition to join him on stage. more on this story

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Legendary Santana Frontman Gregg Rolie Announces Story Teller Style Shows
(Glass Onyon) Gregg Rolie, co-founder of two multi-platinum super groups, Santana and Journey, makes a unique solo appearance for three big nights, on June 23rd at Georges in San Rafael, on June 24th at The Showroom in SF and on June 25th at Club Fox in Redwood City.

These special performances are in celebration of his new solo EP, "Five Days". Gregg, along with his special guest, blues guitarist Alan Haynes, will be playing selections from the new EP along with many old favorites.

He'll share stories from his 40-plus year career and answer questions from the audience during the show. After his performance, there will be a meet and greet with the audience and Gregg will be on hand for pictures and autographs. more on this story

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Agnostic Front My Life My Way Tour
Agnostic Front has announced the dates to their upcoming My Life My Way headlining tour which will kick off this September.

Special guests The Mongoloids and Naysayer will accompany Agnostic Front on the run that will slamdance through more than 45 North American cities this fall.

"We are proud to announce our USA tour! After a short wait, and following a European tour, we will hit the road for an explosive set featuring our latest album 'My Life My Way' songs and a blast of our classics from our past! Join us, sing along and most important, get in the pit! We'll be at a venue near you! Cheers!" - Agnostic Front.
more on this story

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Rob Zombie's Laundry Detergent TV Commercial Goes Online
(HER) Wanna see Rob Zombie's first-ever TV commercial? Zombie directed the 30-second ad for the laundry detergent, "Woolite" in Vancouver this past April.

"It's a very bizarre TV commercial for a product like this," said Zombie. "Honestly, I was shocked when they called me to do it." Check it out here

Rob Zombie hits the road beginning July 14 with new drummer, Ginger Fish joining guitarist John 5 and bassist Piggy D in the Zombie fold. The North American summer dates include the "Hell on Earth" co-headline trek with Slayer, and Zombie will bring his full, legendary stage show out in full force. Immediately following the tour dates, Zombie will begin production on his sixth feature film, "The Lords of Salem," that he wrote and will direct. more on this story

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Sleater-Kinney Offshoot Wild Flag Announce Debut Album
(Sacks) Wild Flag's debut self-titled album will be released September 13 on Merge Records. The group featues Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony, Rebecca Cole and Janet Weiss.

Featuring members of Sleater-Kinney, Quasi, Helium, the Minders and Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks to name just a few, Wild Flag premiered with a tour of small west coast rock clubs in the fall of 2010.

On June 18 Terre T will premiere the first single from Wild Flag's new record, "Romance" on her show "The Cherry Blossom Clinic" at New York's WFMU FM. The group is touring North America throughout the summer and fall including a date opening for Sonic Youth at Brooklyn's Williamsburg Waterfront on August 12. more on this story

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Classic Live Pantera Recording Hits The Web
(The Metal Den) TMD has obtained a rare audience recording of legendary disbanded Texas groove metal act Pantera performing "Use My Third Arm" on April 10, 1994 in Montreal, Quebec Canada.

The song comes off the band's classic Far Beyond Driven album, which was released March 22, 1994 via East West Records.

Here the listener is treated to arguably the greatest metal lineup of them all: Philip, Dimebag Darrell, Vinnie Paul and Rex. Check it out here

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McCartney Wants Ringo Knighted and Says Lennon Finalized Beatles Split
(Gibson) Earlier this month, British TV personality Bruce Forsyth was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Sir Paul McCartney reckons someone else should have gotten the honor first: his former Beatles bandmate, Ringo Starr.

"Yeah, well, don't look at me," Macca told Absolute Radio's Geoff Lloyd, when asked why the Fab Four drummer hadn't made the cut. Lloyd wondered whether McCartney could ask the Queen, himself. "The last time I went by she was out," Sir Paul quipped. "Otherwise I would have popped in and said, 'Look, love, Sir Richard Starkey.' Because I do think it's about time, but she probably was a bit busy with Sir Brucie."

The conversation then veered, inevitably, to The Beatles. McCartney stated that, even though he announced The Beatles were breaking up in 1970, the decision to make the break permanent was not his own. "Basically me, George and Ringo said, 'Does this have to be final? Could we do a couple of gigs or can we think about this tomorrow?' But John was off with Yoko and he was saying, 'No, no, it's great, I feel a release' and all that. So that was kind of final." more on this story

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Black Country Communion Want You To Shoot Them
(Gibson) With their new album, 2, in stores now and a world tour underway, Black Country Communion have reached out to their fans with a unique offer.

The supergroup, featuring Gibson guitar powerhouse Joe Bonamassa, vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath), drummer Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin) and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater), have invited their fans to shoot video of the group on their current tour and post it on the band's website.

The video entries with the most views will be rewarded with prizes, including an Epiphone Les Paul Special II. more on this story

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U2 and Bon Jovi Top Forbes Rich List
(Gibson) Forbes has confirmed their 2011 list of the world's highest-paid musicians, and evidently, it really pays to be an experienced rocker. U2 hit #1 on the list for a second consecutive year, pulling in over $195 million—with their two-year 360° tour grossing over $700 million, beating the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang tour as the richest tour of all time.

Bon Jovi came in at #2, clocking a not-so-shabby $125 million over the last year. Rounding out the top 5 were Elton John at #3 ($100 million), Lady Gaga at #4 ($90 million) and Canada's Michael Bublι at #5 ($70 million).

At age 68, Paul McCartney was the oldest musician to make the list, bringing in $66 million and landing at #6. 17-year-old pop sensation Justin Bieber was the youngest of the bunch, scoring $52 million and entering at #9. Additional rockers on the list are the Eagles (#8), the Dave Matthews Band (#10), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (#16), AC/DC (#18) and Muse (#22). more on this story

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Lords of Acid To Release First New Songs in Over A Decade
Lords of Acid will unveil their first original recordings in over a decade with the September 27 release of the Little Mighty Rabbit EP on Metropolis Records.

"After successful tours in the USA over the last year I felt inspired by the fans love of Lords of Acid. It finally felt right to go back into the studio and work on a new record. I've really surprised myself with the new songs and I'm excited to share it with my Children of Acid." said Khan.

Recorded as Lords of Acid continue to work on material for a 2012 full-length album, Khan worked with longtime collaborator Erhan Kurkun on the music and arrangements. Packaged with the three original tracks are nine remix treatments from a wide range of artists including DJ wizard Christopher Lawrence, frenetic hip-hop mash-up artist CX Kidtronik (Atari Teenage Riot) and industrial producer/musician Chris Vrenna (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson).
more on this story

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Van Halen, Foo Fighters, Iggy Pop Lead Humorous Tour Rider List
Band's tour riders can be just as much fun as the shows themselves. There have been many infamous tour riders over the years and Gibson posted their 10 favorites. Here are the top 3:

3. Foo Fighters: Foo Fighters riders are notoriously entertaining to read. The band once famously requested a variety of 'stinky cheeses.' They also request Gatorade in 'wacky colors,' and their taste in DVDs is relatively broad - with the exception of no Jamie Kennedy, Martin Lawrence or sports movies. A vegetarian soup of the day is requested because "meaty soups make roadies fart." Moreover, the Foo Fighters rider sums up the importance of the document in maintaining a sense of continuity for the band: "The silly items like gum and candy bars make a difference to these boys that are far from their families and friends."

2. Iggy Pop: For an Iggy And The Stooges tour, requirements included a monitor engineer who is "not afraid of death," as well as instructions from backline/stage manager Jos Grain for camera crews filming the show as unobtrusively as possible: "At a wet festival somewhere I once saw a guitarist being followed all over the stage by a cameraman and sidekick all covered, in bright fluorescent plastic sheeting, including the camera It looked like he was being stalked by a demented pantomime horse! I personally thought it looked absolutely terrible, and I speak as someone who believes that most rock and roll bands would be improved by the introduction of a pantomime horse." Grain goes on to warn that "Iggy adores breaking cameras, so really it's best not to get too close to him. Of course, I will be on hand to try and prevent him from destroying your equipment; unfortunately, there is only one person I can think of who likes to break cameras more than he does, and that's me."

1. Van Halen: By far and away the most legendary concert rider requirement was Van Halen's 1982 request for a bowl of M&Ms with the brown ones removed. Far from a mere flaunting of ego, this was actually a clever trick planted within the rider to raise a red flag if the staging requirements had been ignored by local crew. As David Lee Roth explained in his autobiography Crazy From The Heat, if brown M&Ms were found in the backstage area, it would be a good bet that some important technical aspect of the contract had also been overlooked (although a glance at the actual document casts doubt on Dave's story that the M&M requirement was placed amongst the staging schematics - it was actually within the catering menu between the pretzels and the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups). See who else made the list

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Chimaira Set New Album Release
(Freeman) Chimaira's new studio album "The Age of Hell" will be released August 26th in Germany and August 29th in the United Kingdom, Australia and the rest of Europe via their newly inked label deal with Long Branch Records for Europe and Australia.

"Chimaira understand that in this day and age you need to team up with people who are not only innovative, but passionate about what they do. We are excited about the partnership with Long Branch/SPV and look forward to bringing 'The Age Of Hell' to international soil." says frontman Mark Hunter.

Chimaira released their album "The Infection" back in 2009 to serious critical acclaim with hit singles "Secrets of the Dead" and "Destroy and Dominate" which claimed the #30 spot on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Over the past 10 years, the band has sold close to 1.000,000 albums Worldwide.

"The Age of Hell" was produced by Ben Schigel and mixed by Zeuss. A teaser for the album is available here more on this story

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Gama Bomb Working On New Album
(PR) Gama Bomb are currently writing new material for their as-yet untitled new album, which is tentatively due to be released early next year.

Gama Bomb frontman Philly Byrne comments: "We're about to enter a studio in central Dublin to work on demos for our new album, which we're hoping to release in early 2012. In terms of songwriting, we're writing much 'tougher' or meaner songs now. We want to make music that street gangs could listen to before a fight, songs you can sharpen a switchblade to. I've been looking a lot to Phil Lynott for inspiration, which can never be a bad thing. He's always been a big inspiration for us, even if you can't always hear it.

"Mind you, we're also about everything from our history of underage drinking and theoretical physics to drag racing and (of course) cannibalism, so there's no knowing where this one is going to take us. We're hopefully going to record here in Ireland and we'll pull no punches on either the speed of the riffs or the attitude of the songwriting. That's the only plan right now." more on this story

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American Idol's James Durbin Goes Hollywood Metal Style
(hennemusic) Steel Panther's weekly gig at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood is becoming the Monday night destination for rockers. James Durbin made an appearance with SP this week as he joined them for the Journey classic, "Don't Stop Believin'."

The American Idol screamer wasn't the only guest in the house: Fozzy singer (and former WWE star) Chris Jericho was on hand, as well as comedian Dane Cook.

While Durbin landed in 4th place on the Idol series, his connection with the hard rock and metal communities is building quickly, especially after his finale performance with Judas Priest. more on this story

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Madina Lake's Leone Makes A Triumphant Return After Near Fatal Beating
Rock Radio's Tom Russell spoke with Matthew Leone ahead of Madina Lake's appearance at Download. A show Leone surely feared he'd never make.

Having suffered horrific head injuries when he intervened to stop a man assaulting his wife, Leone refers to the long road back to health as his 'trip to Disneyland'

His hospitalization as a result of being battered over the head more than eighty times with a brick was the final straw in a series of testing incidents which the band had endured.

Leone said: "It was a tumultuous time running up to that period. We got dumped by Roadrunner, and within a couple of days our management dropped us, our booking agent dropped us….everyone seemed to run for the hills." more on this story

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Google Les Paul Doodle Cost Businesses $268 Million
A report by Extreme Tech estimated that last week's Google "doodle," featuring a playable stringed logo in honor of the late Les Paul, cost businesses £166 million ($268.4 million) in lost productivity.

The doodle was released on what would have been the guitar great's 96th birthday, June 9. It proved so popular that the search engine site left the doodle up on its landing page for a second day.

The report, released in the Daily Mail, claims that workers spent a total of 10.7 million hours playing with the doodle, on which they were able to record what they played and email that recording to their friends. During the two-day stretch, 740 million visitors spent an average of 26 seconds on the page. more on this story

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Tuff What Comes Around Goes Around 20th Anniversary Tour
Tuff plan to celebrate the 20th anniversary of "What Comes Around Goes Around" with a Midwest Tour. They sent over this announcement with details and dates:

Tuff formed in the desert of Phoenix Arizona in 1985, but it took relocating to California and a half dozen years to reach that elusive record deal. After taking over the Sunset Strip in the late 80's with sold out shows at world famous clubs like "Gazzarri's", "The Roxy Theatre" & "Whisky-A-Go-Go" it finally happened. Now Tuff celebrates 20 years since "What Comes Around Goes Around" hit the streets with a string of summer tour dates.

It was May 1991 that the Los Angeles based rockers finally realized a dream that most young musicians don't. "I feel very honored to have had the opportunities we were afforded over the years." says vocalist and Wisconsin native Stevie Rachelle. Now a full 2 decades later, the band bassist & founder Todd "Chase" Chaisson along with Rachelle take it on the road with a string of Midwest tour dates along with appearances in Brazil & Mexico. more on this story

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August Burns Red Singled Out Week: Carpe Diem
August Burns Red are releasing their brand new album, "Leveler," this week. To celebrate we asked guitarist / primary songwriter JB Brubaker to tell us about some of the favorite songs from the album. Here is today's song "Carpe Diem":

Track six on Leveler is a song called "Carpe Diem." This is probably the least traditional ABR song on the album as it is slower in tempo and doesn't have any terribly heavy parts. Instead, it's a driving song with builds, crescendos, and a whole lot of dynamics.

"Carpe Diem" came to life in a very out of the ordinary way. I was driving to my sister's house to meet her and my brother in law for dinner, which has become a weekly tradition when I'm home from tour. I was listening to The Hope Conspiracy's album "Death Knows Your Name" and thinking how cool it'd be to play in a band like that. The thought of writing straight forward driving hardcore songs was very appealing to me and I began to think about trying to write a few of my own, not for ABR, but on the side. I never really had time to do a side project, and as it would turn out, I still didn't.

When I got home that night I began fooling around on my guitar trying to write something more in the vain of The Hope Conspiracy. I wrote the main chord progression for the song and the big build up intro. Being that everything was fairly straightforward the song was coming together very quickly, that is until I got side tracked when I saw my glass guitar slide sitting on my desk in front of me. I have never been very good at playing with a slide, but always thought they sounded cool so I occasionally would play around with one. While noodling about with the slide I came up with the melody to the clean section in the middle of "Carpe Diem." It was a simple slide part that kept me on only one string, which was difficult enough for me.

I eventually found myself back on task wanting to continue working on the song I had set out to write in the first place, but I couldn't get that slide guitar melody out of my head and I decided to try to work it into the song I had been writing. That's where the big dropout/clean guitar section comes from. I really loved the huge shift in dynamics and how minimalistic the clean section was turning out to be. I was really falling in love with the song and started to think maybe I could use this for ABR, though I was a little wary of what my band mates might think as it was so out of the ordinary for us.

I finished the song the following day and had everything tabbed out in midi format to show to the band. I emailed it to everyone and explained how I loved the song, but realized that it was very different for us and if everyone hated it, I'd just save it to record on my own time down the road. Everybody was cool with it except for our bass player, Dustin, which is now ironic because he is very fond of the track now that it's all finished and recorded.

I generally don't write lyrics, but I had an idea for "Carpe Diem." The idea was to write the words as a conversation between two people. One person would be a dreamer chasing a goal. The other person was a nay-saying realist. I wanted Jake to sing the dreamer's lines and have Dustin sing the nay-sayers lines. We had never done any back and forth like that and I thought it would be a cool contrast in voices and really tell a story. I wrote a bunch of lines for the song, but never finished the lyrics.

Eventually we were in the studio recording Leveler and the lyrics to "Carpe Diem" still weren't finished. Dustin came to me and asked if he could take a shot at finishing them as he was really into the idea of two people having a conversation within the song. Dustin basically rewrote the entire song using my idea as a blueprint while writing from his own personal experience. He experienced exactly what this song is talking about when trying to convince his father that he wanted to go full time with a band. Dustin also wrote all the vocal patterns and sang quite a bit on the track.

While it's not a traditional ABR track, "Carpe Diem" really breaks up the album well and is a great breather in the middle. I have faith that this song will grow on listeners over time and possibly become a sleeper favorite off of Leveler.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

More on August Burns Red - August Burns Red MP3s - August Burns Red CDs - August Burns Red Tour Dates/Tickets

. Remembering Clarence Clemons
The death Clarence Clemons is the end of an era. It saddens me my daughter will never get to see him in concert and witness not just the music prowess of the band but their camaraderie as well. With Danny Federici and now Clemons gone, the E Street Band we grew up loving may go on, but it will never be the same. - Read the full Remembering Clarence Clemons review

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