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    Atlanta-based hard rock quintet Manchester Orchestra is thrilled to announced the release of HOPE.

    HOPE is a startling re-imagination of COPE, their most recent album that was issued earlier this year.

    The new record is available digitally everywhere beginning today, September 16, 2014 via Loma Vista Recordings.

    In addition, HOPE will be released on CD and vinyl on November 18th, 2014.

    The band also announced that fans purchasing tickets for any date of the upcoming HOPE tour will instantly receive a digital copy of the full album, HOPE.

    The stripped-down fall/winter US HOPE tour, which begins in Memphis, TN on October 31, offers a rare chance to see the band perform in specially chosen, intimate venues. The 13-date HOPE tour concludes on December 13 at the super-unique Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, TN. Tickets are on sale now at the band's official website: themanchesterorchestra.com.

    Searching for the sonic direction of what would become their fourth full-length album, the hard-hitting COPE, earlier this year; Manchester Orchestra discovered something pretty amazing. The unapologetically heavy anthems seemed to work just as well (or even better) when stripped to their essence. "We were noticing that all the beautiful, slow stuff was working with all the really loud and fast stuff," said lead vocalist, Andy Hull. "The seed was planted to go back and create a full circle of an album."

    hopemo.jpg

    So when Hull went into SiriusXM's Alt-Nation studios and recorded a stripped-down version of "Top Notch" on the eve of releasing COPE this past April, it was with a measured degree of intent. The quiet presentation and simple arrangement forced the song's warm lyric and beautiful melody to the fore, which actually made the track itself sound bigger.

    The fan reaction to the new version of "Top Notch" was powerful and instant (as was the great support from SiriusXM), further reinforcing the band's desire to reshape these songs in a new and different way. Over the summer of 2014, in the same studio where they originally forged COPE; the band re-imagined the songs with a renewed sense of purpose and fresh perspective.

    Using Fender Rhodes, piano, vocal re-arrangements and strings, Manchester Orchestra, with an assist from illustrious sound mixer Phil Ek (Built To Spill, Beach House, Fleet Foxes), transformed COPE’s eleven tracks into something completely new and mesmerizing: HOPE.

    Manchester Orchestra is Andy Hull (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano), Robert McDowell (Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals), Chris Freeman (Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals), Tim Very (Drums, Percussion), and Andy Prince (Bass).

    Find out more at themanchesterorchestra.com.


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    There are basically three schools of thought on songwriting. First you have those who believe that “either you have it or you don’t.” In other words, songwriters are born, not made. Others subscribe to the quasi-mystical notion that all songs have already been written and are out there in the ether, one simply must be open to receiving them.

    Finally, you’ve got those who regard songwriting as a craft, with its own set of rules and techniques that even the average musician can learn.

    While it would be presumptuous to determine that any one school is right, we will explore the idea that songwriting, like basketball, drawing and skeet shooting, can be taught.

    Of course, just as practicing a jump shot does not guarantee admission to the NBA, no amount of information about songwriting can turn someone into Paul McCartney, or Paul Stanley, for that matter. The idea is that an understanding of songwriting basics will help you come that much closer to fully realizing whatever “talent” you were endowed with by God or fate.

    Chords and Spark

    Even if one were to limit himself to an examination of pop songwriting over the last 40 years, a true instructional “guide” would take up many volumes, as it would involve a serious study of musical theory. Our aim here is to prove a sampling of common chord progressions that you can use with your own songs, and to examine some of the things a guitarist can do to add a little zip to his or her songs.

    All popular tunes, regardless of genre, are based on chord progressions. Even if a song consists mostly of single-note riffs (Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” is a good example) or an a capella vocal line (Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” comes to mind), chords and overall harmony are still implied or alluded to by the melody. Understanding chords, and the way they relate to each other, is pretty much the foundation of all pop songwriting.

    In your travels, you’ve no doubt encountered chords and chord progressions described in numerical terms, perhaps a musician telling a band mate to “move to the five chord” or a blues history referring to a “I-IV-V” pattern.

    The terminology in both examples is explained in Figure 1, which illustrates triads (three-note chord voicings) built on major scales in the guitar friendly keys of C, D, E, G and A. The Roman numerals included underneath the chords indicate scale degrees; those in uppercase represent major tonalities, while those in lowercase signify the minor (the vii is diminished).

    In the first bar of the figure, C is the I (“one”) chord, making F -- the fourth degree of the scale -- its corresponding IV (“four”) chord. Consequently, a I-IV-V progression in this key would be C-F-G. To determine the I-IV-V in the other keys illustrated in Figure 1, simply replicate the approach we took in C.

    The Write Stuff - 1.jpg

    To give you a feel for a pattern that includes minor chords, let’s take a brief look at the I-vi-ii-V progression, a sequence that pops up in countless pop and rock songs. In the key of D, as illustrated in Figure 1, the chords would be D-Bm-Em-A. Again, refer to the figure to determine this progression in the other keys.

    Now let’s look at some common pop chord progressions and examples of well known songs in which they appear. As an aspiring songwriter, familiarizing yourself with these progressions should prove invaluable to you.

    Four-chord Progressions

    You couldn’t turn on the radio on the 1950’s and avoid hearing the I-vi-IV-V progression in any number of songs. And you don’t have to be a 65-year-old doo wop fan who bursts into tears at the mere mention of “In The Still of the Night” or “Earth Angel” to be familiar with the l-vi-IV-V. Check out Hoobastank’s “The Reason” (key of E: E-C#m-A-B) and you’ll hear a prime example of this progression.

    All of U2’s “With or Without You” is a I-V-vi-IV progression in the key of D (D-A-Bm-G). The Beatles’ timeless “Let It Be” (key of C: C-G-Am-F) is also largely based on this sequence.

    Boston scored huge with the vi-IV-I-V progression in “Peace of Mind” (key of E: C#m-A-E-B), as did Avril Lavigne more than 20 years later in the choruses of her mega-hit “Complicated’ (key of F: Dm-Bb-F-C).

    Three-chord Progressions

    I-V-IV and I-IV-V progression are probably the most basic in pop music, both are used so often that even listeners who don’t know a IV chord from a foreskin recognize them intuitively.

    One of Pearl Jam’s biggest hits, “Yellow Ledbetter,” is based upon the I-V-IV sequence in the key of E (E-B-A); “Twist and Shout,” an enormous hit for the Beatles, is nothing more than a I-IV-V in D (D-G-A) Other notable songs built on these progressions include The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” (key of F: F-C-Bb), Pete Townshend’s “Let My Love Open The Door,” (key of C: C-F-F0 and contemporary hits like Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom” (key of E: E-A-B-A).

    What do Jackson Browne’s “These Days,” Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles,” Paul Simon’s “America” and Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” have in common? All are based to some degree on the I-V-vi-I-IV progression, a sequence that remains popular among singer-songwriters.

    One probable reason for its enduring appeal is that, when played in the key of C (C-G-Am-C-F), it fits -- and there’s really no better way of saying this -- just right on the fretboard.

    Also “just right” in C is I-VI-II-V-I (C-A7-D7-G7-C), a progression that was originally popularized by ragtime players more than 100 years ago and appears in such modern hits as John Sebastian’s “Daydream” and Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant.”

    The i-VII-VI is familiar to anyone who knows the outro section to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” (key of A minor: Am-G-F). Adding another VII chord to this three-chord progression gives you Jimi Hendrix’s version of “All Along the Watchtower” (key of C# minor: C#m-B-A-B) and the chorus of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” (key of F minor: Fm-Eb-Db-Eb).

    The I-bVII-IV (key of of C: C-Bb-F) features the “flat-seven” chord. This progression appears in countless songs, among them Lynyrd Skynrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” (key of D: D-C-G) and any number of AC/DC songs, including “Back in Black” (key of A: A-G-D).

    When you’re just starting out as a songwriter, feel free to borrow any of the chord progressions cited above - just take care not to also borrow the melodies. George Harrison made this mistake when he wrote “My Sweet Lord,” and wound up having to pay the composers of “He’s So Fine” a not-so-sweet bundle of cash.


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    Avalon, the first full-length album from the acoustic guitar duo of Julian Lage and Punch Brothers' Chris “Critter” Eldridge, will be released on October 7, 2014.

    It was produced by friend and fan Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids and recorded live from the stage of the 1920’s-era Avalon Theatre in Easton, Maryland over two days last April.

    The duo’s previous EP, Close To Picture, which focused on original compositions, was an effort to explore, as Eldridge puts it, “the sounds and textures that are uniquely possible on a flat-top steel-string guitar.”

    Avalon is an unfiltered document of the pair’s live set, a mix of originals and covers that illustrate the breadth of the American songbook as Lage and Eldridge perceive it, incorporating bluegrass, country, gospel, old-time music and jazz. There was no playback, no overdubs, just the duo’s eloquent, in-the-moment musical repartee, all channeled through Pattengale’s discerning ear.

    Their first EP, says Lage, “was kind of a grand experiment. Then Critter started singing more songs and we developed this show, all pretty accidentally, a ninety-minute survey of American acoustic music. It could be a Jimmie Rodgers tune, it could be a more esoteric instrumental original, or it could be a Seldom Scene bluegrass tune. They all sound like us when we play them, and it’s pretty cool.”

    Avalon indeed features songs by Jimmie Rodgers (“Any Old Time”), bluegrass legend Norman Blake (“Ginseng Sullivan”), Paul Craft (“Keep Me From Blowing Away,” originally recorded by the Seldom Scene), and George and Ira Gershwin (a lovely version of “Someone To Watch Over Me,” with a gentle, almost Chet Baker-like vocal from Eldridge).

    Pattengale heard Lage and Eldridge perform at the 2014 edition of the Wintergrass Festival, held every February in Tacoma, Washington, and came to all four of their sets, entranced by the sound of their vintage Martin guitars. (Lage plays a 1939 000-18: Eldridge a 1937 D-18). He encouraged Lage and Eldridge to commit their live set to tape and set up the Avalon Theatre dates for them.

    The Grammy-nominated Lage has been highly regarded in jazz and new music circles for his own work as well as for his collaborations with such artists as Nels Cline, Fred Hersch, and Jim Hall, among many others. A child prodigy, Lage was the young subject of an acclaimed short documentary, Jules At Eight; at the mere age of 11, he accompanied vibes master Gary Burton on a Grammy Awards telecast.

    Fellow Grammy nominee Eldridge, an Oberlin Conservatory grad who studied with bluegrass guitar legend Tony Rice, is equally noted in the progressive bluegrass world for his stints with the Seldom Sceneand, The Infamous Stringdusters, which led to his joining Chris Thile’s adventurous quintet, Punch Brothers. It was backstage after a Boston Punch Brothers gig that Eldridge first met Lage. Over the course of several years, a casual friendship led to a solid musical partnership.

    In his Avalon liner notes, says Pattengale, “the two disparate worlds of these two singular musicians push and pull at one another to create true harmony.” The result is an album that rewards the time it takes to listen all the way through, to this moment captured, this dialogue preserved, in which familiar songs become new again in the hands of these supremely gifted, intuitive players.

    Tour Dates:

    10/3 Annapolis, MD @ St John's College
    10/4 Washington, DC @ JFK PAC Millennium Stage
    10/6 Oswego, NY @ SUNY Oswego
    10/7 Rochester, NY @ Abilene Bar & Lounge
    10/8 Binghamton, NY @ Anderson Center (Watters Theatre)
    10/9 New London, CT @ Garde Arts Center (Oasis Room)
    10/11 Fall River, MA @ Narrows Center
    10/12 Wellfleet, MA @ Wellfleet Church
    10/21 Durham, NC @ Carolina Theatre
    10/22 Charlotte, NC @ Double Door Inn
    10/23 Birmingham, AL @ Jemison Concert Hall
    10/24 Alpharetta, GA @ Velvet Note
    10/26 Athens, GA @ The Melting Point
    10/27 Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder
    12/5 Chicago, IL @ Orchestra Hall


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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Gretsch has built a solid reputation with its impressive line of popular archtop hollowbody guitars, like the Country Gentleman and the White Falcon. But what’s often overlooked is the company’s superb line of solidbody guitars, such as the Duo Jet.

    Introduced in 1953 with a single-cutaway body, the elegantly styled Duo Jet was a competitive response to the Fender Telecaster and the Gibson Les Paul. Its unique-sounding DeArmond Dynasonic pickups offered the raucous twang needed for rockabilly and just enough jangle for rock, making it the choice of guitarists like George Harrison and, in his early Nineties rockabilly phase, Jeff Beck.

    Over the years, the Duo Jet has evolved into many different models, including a double-cutaway version, introduced in 1961, frequently used by AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young.

    The new Gretsch G6128T-1962 Duo Jet is an inspired reworking of that version, complete with modern updates, vintage cool looks and authoritative tones that will help set you apart from the rest.


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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    In the last few columns, we looked at ways to build chord shapes, or “grips,” from the Dorian and Aeolian modes (Aeolian is also known as the natural minor scale), which are two of the most widely used minor modes for soloing in rock, blues, and jazz.

    Last month, we turned our attention to the equally popular and useful Mixolydian mode, which is intervallically spelled 1(root) 2 3 4 5 6 f7. This is the mode that includes the dominant-seven chord tones 1, 3, 5 and f7 and gives us chords like E7, A7 and D7, as well as chords that include “upper-structure tension tones,” or “tensions,” namely the ninth, 11th and 13th.

    I encourage all guitarists to attain as complete an understanding of the Mixolydian mode as possible, as this will help in broadening one’s understanding of music theory and the fretboard, as well as reap countless options that can be applied to both soloing and rhythm guitar playing.

    Additional Content

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    Today we’re excited to premiere The Jason Spooner Band’s video for “Fireflies.”

    If you’re having a hard time letting go of summer, then this video’s for you.

    The “Fireflies” video is built on a creative idea that allowed fans to be included in the video-making process.

    Fans were encouraged to visit www.fireflies2014.com, download “Fireflies” for free, and upload a summery photo or video that could be included in the song’s official video.

    As a result, the video is filled with beautiful images of landscapes, sunrises, sunsets, coastlines, lakes and more that are 100% fan submitted.

    “The response was instantaneous and incredible to watch,” says Jason. “Shots came in from all over the country and we really saw first-hand what our fans were up to for the summer. And we got a very cool account of how the song was speaking to them.”

    Video aside, it’s easy to visualize summer listening to “Fireflies.” The acoustic guitars, pedal steel and harmonica combine to take the song in surprising directions, while Spooner’s relaxed delivery and his band’s uncomplicated yet energetic playing make it the perfect track for winding down after a long hot day.

    “For ‘Fireflies,’ I forced myself to look around on one of those classic summer days and simply relay the scenes around me,” Jason shares. “The song is essentially a series of vignettes or snap-shots of the warm season… essentially a love letter to summer.”

    “Fireflies” appears on The Jason Spooner Band’s upcoming album, Chemical, which is available September 16.

    Check it out the video below and find out more at www.jasonspooner.com.


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    The Fender Acoustic Custom Shop has announced the arrival of the limited edition Tom Petty Kingman dreadnought, beautifully crafted with the famed singer/songwriter’s personal style and specs.

    With the Heartbreakers, the Traveling Wilburys, on his own and more, Petty has crafted hit after smartly infectious hit for five decades now, and the Tom Petty Kingman is a great-looking, rich-sounding tribute to one of rock’s most enduringly acclaimed figures.

    Petty’s signature Kingman is a feast for the eyes, ears and fingers alike. The gorgeous body in nitro gloss black is elegantly adorned with a gold pickguard, checkerboard rosette, ivoroid top and back body binding, and black-ivoroid-black purfling. Two control knobs (volume and tone) are mounted on the AA Sitka spruce top, which also features “forward X” red spruce bracing.

    The genuine mahogany back and sides are crafted with Sitka spruce back bracing and basswood kerfing. The maple neck has a comfortable “modern C”-shaped profile, dual-action truss rod and gloss natural finish with a special “Midas gold” tint, all topped by a ’62-style Stratocaster headstock with vintage-style "wing" string trees.

    Other premium features include a 20-fret Indian rosewood fingerboard with 10” radius, rolled edges and custom clay-colored dot position inlays; Stratocaster-style bone nut; Fender “Viking”-style Indian rosewood bridge with compensated bone saddle, bone pins and maple plate; vintage-style tuners; and a Fishman® VT-2 pickup/preamp system with a lower strap-button output jack and the two top-mounted controls mentioned above. Black hard-shell case included.

    For more information, go to www.fender.com.


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    Check out this candid jam featuring Tommy Emmanuel and Igor Presnyakov performing “Hit the Road Jack.”

    The video was posted just a week ago on Presnyakov’s YouTube channel.

    Emmanuel and Presnyakov come from two separate schools stylistically, but it’s great fun to watch the pair trade licks back and forth.

    Presnyakov leans on the classical side of things, but his playing blends perfectly against Emmanuel’s picking chops.

    Presnyakov’s popularity has risen since he first debuted on YouTube in 2007. Currently the videos uploaded by him have almost 200 million views, in addition to almost 500,000 subscribers. You can find out more at www.igorpresnyakov.com.

    Emmanuel is no stranger to our site. Honored with the title of "Certified Guitar Player" from Chet Atkins, he is one of today's most masterful acoustic players. If you want to check out more from him, here’s an exclusive lesson we posted just last month. And be sure to visit his site at www.tommyemmanuel.com.

    Check out the video right here, and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook. Enjoy!


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    We’ve teamed up with Venice Beach, CA-based songwriter Joe Con to premiere his track “Said and Done.”

    Centered around Con’s laid-back, poetic croon, the track manages to seamlessly blend folk, pop and hip hop.

    While hooky and melodic, "Said and Done" has a dreamy, lullaby-like quality that seeps in more with each listen.

    "This song was written in Burlington, Vermont the fall before I moved to LA,” says Con.

    “I was living with my girlfriend at the time, who was also a dedicated and very gifted singer-songwriter. Vermont at that time of year is very conducive to domestic bliss, and that's what I was experiencing.. on many levels. But somewhere, maybe subconsciously, I knew that there were more chapters to be written, that this wasn't the be all end all relationship –– that it wasn't said and done.”

    The past year has been a good one for Con. Between shows throughout Los Angeles, performing at Lightning in a Bottle and recently completing The Summertime Blues Tour - which hit the funky bars and honkey tonk saloons along the Coast from San Diego to Monterey - Con found time to complete I Choose You with renowned Pop producer Jimmy Harry (Madonna, Pink, Santana). The six song EP is Con’s most concentrated work to date, showcasing a deft touch with melodic poetry and lasting hooks.

    Take a listen to “Said and Done,” a featured track on I Choose You:

    Basking in the glow of sun soaked California fun, the album welcomes its listeners into a bright world filled with the fresh promise of triumph over tragedy, all the while reinventing the blues to the beat of LA. To quote the man himself: “life has not begun yet/ I ain’t even young yet/ and what I am is so much less than what I will become next.”

    Find out more at joeconmusic.com.


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    We don't know about you, but around here, September brings to mind tours and massive live shows — probably because it's the only month where summer and fall, the two biggest rock touring seasons, collide.

    So, as our thoughts turn to the gigs we've reported on, witnessed and celebrated this year, we thought we'd get our readers — as in, you guys! — involved as we attempt to pinpoint rock's greatest live band or artist!

    Welcome to Guitar World's official readers poll for September (It's the first readers poll we've conducted since November 2013, all you poll haters out there), the Battle of the Greatest Live Bands. It kicked off Wednesday, September 3.

    Although we (obviously) had thousands of artists and/or bands to choose from, we decided to narrow things down to a mere 32 names, which is perfect for a month's worth of intense — and fun (it's supposed to be fun, people!) matchups. All the artists were carefully selected by Guitar World's entire editorial staff.

    Most importantly, note that this poll involves ONLY still-existing bands, so you won't get to watch the Doors duke it out with Led Zeppelin! Pantera will not go head to head with Cream. The Jimi Hendrix Experience will not compete with ... you get the idea.

    Here are our 32 artists, in alphabetical order, and you can check also out the entire bracket of matchups at the end of this page.

    AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Dillinger Escape Plan, Eagles, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Jack White, Kiss, Korn, Metallica, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Phish, Queen, Radiohead, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Rolling Stones, Rush, Slayer, Slipknot, Soundgarden, Tool, U2, Van Halen and ZZ Top.

    Today's matchup finds SLIPKNOT going head to head with RAMMSTEIN!

    Today's Matchup: Vote Now!

    SLIPKNOT go head to head with RAMMSTEIN. We don't need to tell you about these bands. We'll let the recently shot videos below do the talking! Vote now; you have one full day!

    Let's Go to the Video!

    Yesterday's Winners

    Black Sabbath (60.37 percent) defeated the Allman Brothers Band (39.63 percent). Thanks for voting! Head HERE to see every matchup so far.

    Behold the Latest Bracket

    Bracket 9-18



    How the Bracket Was Compiled

    Here's how the bracket was — very unscientifically — compiled.

    We drew the artists' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Quebec Nordiques baseball-style cap) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of bands are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We're actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out!

    Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which artist has (or has had) the most to offer within his/their genre, perhaps which one has or had more natural talent or technical skill, which one had the biggest influence on other live acts, etc.

    Let's get started! As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting match-ups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning!


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    Teaser Content: 

    Enter now for a chance to win an Ibanez RGIR20FE Iron Label series guitar, an Orange Crush Pro CR120C amp combo, Protone pedals and more!

    Guitar World and Periphery—who just finished tracking their upcoming album, Juggernaut—are giving you a chance to win a boatload of awesome gear!

    Here's what the winner gets:

    • Ibanez RGIR20FE Iron Label series guitar with EMG 60/81 pickups

    • Orange Amplifiers Crush Pro CR120C 2x12" Guitar Amp Combo

    • Protone signature Bulb Overdrive and Haunted Delay pedals

    • Periphery CLEAR, Periphery II and Periphery albums

     

     

    To enter, just fill out the entry form below!

    All entries must be submitted by November 1, 2014.<p><a href="/official_contest_rules">Official Rules and Regulations</a>
    Please send me the free Guitar World newsletter, with information about our family of magazines and websites, and musical instrument manufacturers.
    Please send me more information from Ibanez, Periphery, Sumerian Records, Orange Amplification, and Protone..

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    In the following video, guitarist Paul Gilbert makes a public service announcement about setting your guitar strap height properly.

    Watch it below!


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    Swedish extreme metal legends Meshuggah have released a trailer for their remastered version of I, the band’s one-song EP from 2004 set for release on September 30 in North America.

    Watch the video on Meshuggah's official Youtube channel below.

    The I EP reissue includes the remastered 21-minute title track, two live tracks recorded during the 2012-2013 Ophidian Trek World Tour, plus an extremely limited studio track recorded in July 2003 (at Meshuggah’s own Fear & Loathing studio in Stockholm, Sweden) which has never appeared on a studio album. Album artwork & concept are courtesy of Meshuggah drummer Tomas Haake.

    The track listing for I is:

    1 - I
    2 - Bleed (Live)
    3 - Dancers To A Discordant System (Live)
    4 - Pitch Black

    Click here to pre-order the I CD, digipak, special edition green vinyl, or t-shirt bundle.


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    In the following video, Darkest Hour guitarists Michael "Lone Star" Carrigan and Mike Schleibaum show you everything you need to know to play "The Misery We Make"—from their new self-titled album—correctly.

    For more information about Darkest Hour, check them out here.


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    Here’s a great track and video from South Africa’s Jeremy Loops. It’s “Sinner” from his upcoming album Trading Change, due out January 1, 2015.

    It’s a sad song of loss with a hopeful ending (I won’t spoil it for you).

    With a striking blend of Loops’ swampy vocal delivery, tight vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, harmonica and a down-home groove, “Sinner” is just downright good music. The kind you'd listen to as you pour a pint and hang with good buddies.

    Loops shares, “Writing this album has been one of the biggest undertakings of my life. Things have changed so much in the last few years, not just with my music, but in my life in general. Trading Change is all of that wrapped into one. The song 'Sinner' was written in anticipation of a crisis yet to unfold. A prediction of sorts."

    Watch it here:

    Trading Change is inspired by Loop’s experience of growing up in a small town in South Africa, and the universal desire to break free from society's limitations to forge your own path. After graduating from business school, Jeremy decided to forgo a career in finance and travel the world, where he began writing songs with his guitar, harmonica, and loops pedal.

    Loops - a South African born modern folk artist - will bring his music stateside with a U.S. tour this fall and the January 2015 U.S. release of his debut album Trading Change. With the help of his signature loops pedal, which allows him to layer multiple instruments and melodies in real time as he performs, Jeremy becomes a "one man folk band," blending urban inspired rhythms with lilting folk.

    Originally a stand-in for his bandmates during his time spent on a boat, the loops pedal gave Jeremy the freedom to break rules with his music, mixing and matching rhythms to create his own unique sound. Jeremy's decision to travel, make music, and give back to those in need inspired the album's title, Trading Change.

    Loops explains, "The word 'change' can refer to money, but it also refers to making a positive difference in the world. I choose to live life with the latter as my currency."

    In keeping with this ambition, Loops co-founded Greenpop, an organization that educates students in southern Africa about their environmental impact and facilitates tree plantings in small communities throughout the region. Greenpop was hatched as a small effort to educate underprivileged schoolchildren about the importance of protecting the planet, and rapidly exploded into a movement backed by hundreds of volunteers.

    Jeremy Loops' US Tour dates will be announced in the coming soon. Find out more at http://www.jeremyloops.com


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    IK Multimedia's T-RackS Custom Shop now features three classic American EQs to the T-RackS Custom Shop lineup. With them in the mix, the Custom Shop now features over 30 virtual emulations of some of the most legendary mixing and mastering gear in the music and recording equipment industry. The new additions come as a part of the latest version of T-RackS Custom Shop—they're virtual representations that let you take control of three classic modular EQs originally designed for custom mixing consoles that helped to define the bold "American Sound" of the late-'60s and '70s. With them, T-RackS Custom Shop continues to expand, offering producers, engineers and musicians 24/7 access to some of the most desirable compressors, EQs, limiters and effects of all time.

    An EQ for Every Occasion
    The latest update to T-RackS Custom Shop features three powerful and versatile EQs modeled on modules from the late-'60s and early '70s that were ubiquitous in major American recording studios: EQ P50A is a good "all around" general-purpose three band EQ. EQ P50B is a four band EQ with two overlapping midrange knobs that allow tremendous flexibility when carving tracks that contain vocals, electric guitars or stringed instruments. The outer bands on both three and four band EQ modules can be switched to shelving mode for additional flexibility and "broad stroke" tone shaping. The EQ P60G is a 10 band graphic design that's particularly useful when tone shaping needs to be applied to larger areas - it's perfect for when more extreme boosting and cutting is required, like when fixing a weak snare drum or opening up dull vocal tracks.

    On each, IK has gone to great lengths to painstakingly create an accurate analog model of the discrete electronics of the original hardware's big and warm sounding 2520 op-amp. Similar attention to detail has been placed on the proportional Q feature at the heart of each module: the frequency bandwidth is broader at low gain and narrower at high gain. This approach is faithful to the original, and provides a more focused and less smeared sound to your mixing.

    A Time Honored American Classic…Made Better
    The hardware modules that these EQs are based on are widely considered to be classics - they've been featured on countless timeless mixes and hit records. It would be easy to just model them and stop there, but IK's team of engineers have gone one step beyond to harness the power of the digital realm to make these modules even better. All EQs feature workflow improvements that make it easy to immediately grasp the settings layout right from the get go. For instance, on the three and four band EQs the dual concentric layout of the knobs has been purposefully split for greater visual clarity and ease of use when compared to competing emulations of the same hardware.

    Sonically speaking, each EQ has also been augmented to feature precise knobs with 1 dB (1.5 dB in the extreme part of the knob's range) gain resolution, which offers greater flexibility than the 2 dB to 3dB sported on the original hardware. This allows for finer adjustment when a more subtle touch is required. In addition, on top of the great sounding EQ circuits, each module is equipped with a preamp stage modeled on a circuit design of a similar legacy and vintage. The addition of this feature opens up a dramatically wide sonic palette bursting with warm tone and creative possibilities. It provides a harmonic distortion that you simply can't get with other manufacturers' emulations of these EQs.

    Your One Stop Studio Shop
    The T-RackS Custom Shop for Mac/PC is a free DAW plug-in and standalone app that gives producers, engineers and musicians 24/7 access to some of the most sought-after studio production gear of all time. Once installed, it lets you browse, audition, and purchase from a huge collection of IK's high-quality processing plug-ins for mixing and mastering. Each model can be tested for free (for a period of 14 days) before purchase. You can easily purchase individual processors or bundles in either Currency ($ or ¤) or in Custom Shop Gear Credits.

    Pricing & Availability
    To access the EQ P50A, EQ P50B, EQ P60G and the many other gear models available in the T-RackS Custom Shop, users need to download T-RackS version 4.7 for Mac and PC. The processors in the Custom Shop are sold using Gear Credits and are priced at 125 Gear Credits or $124.99/99.99 each. Gear Credit Packs start as low as $19.99/15.99 (for 20 credits) and go up to $749.99/599.99* (for 1,500 credits).

    For more information, please visit t-racks.com


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    Ernie Ball is excited to present Real to Reel with Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators this Saturday, September 20, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on AXS TV.

    In this hour-long documentary, Ernie Ball takes viewers beyond the stage and into the studio as legendary guitarist Slash—with collaborators Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators—records his third solo album World on Fire. The all-access pass follows the band through the entire start-to-finish process, from pre-production meetings and recording sessions at NRG Studios in Los Angeles and Studio Barbarossa in Orlando, to the final moment when the album makes its debut in front of a live audience.

    Watch the trailer here:


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    Three previously unreleased Queen tracks featuring late singer Freddie Mercury will spearhead a new Queen album, Queen Forever, due November 11, 2014, on Hollywood Records.

    The tracks include a long anticipated song from Queen and Michael Jackson, “There Must Be More to Life Than This,” a previously unfinished Mercury-Queen track “Let Me In Your Heart Again” originating from the band’s The Works album recording sessions, and a new stripped-down ballad version of Mercury’s first solo hit, his Giorgio Moroder collaboration, “Love Kills.”

    The rest of the package brings together Queen hits, classic tracks, and new takes on well-known songs, matched with band recordings Brian May describes as “things that we have collected together that are representative of our growth rather than the big hits” in a collection immaculately assembled by May and Roger Taylor themselves. The tracks are all linked to represent a definitive collection of Queen’s timeless love songs.

    Queen Forever is available as a 20-track single CD and as an extended 36-track, two-CD set, and celebrates the extraordinary musical path of one of the world’s greatest rock bands.

    Anticipation for these new Mercury tracks has been high since May and Taylor first hinted earlier this year that new songs featuring Mercury were being explored.

    Speaking at the press conference to launch their North American concert tour with singer Adam Lambert earlier in the year, May said, "There was a little bit more in the can that we had overlooked for a long time, so we have a few songs which we're working on right now. Freddie sounds as fresh as yesterday."

    On the subject, Taylor said, “We’ve got some great new tracks that haven’t been heard and there’s an interesting selection of older stuff.”

    The Queen and Michael Jackson duet, “There Must Be More to Life Than This,” began as a song written by Mercury during sessions for Queen’s 1981 album, Hot Space. The band recorded a backing track, but the song was never completed. Mercury visited Michael Jackson at his home studio in Los Angeles where he recorded Jackson singing the song for an unfinished version. Queen revived the track during sessions for 1984’s The Works, but again it was not finished. A year later, Freddie’s own version of the song surfaced on his debut solo album, 1985’s Mr. Bad Guy. This new production of the powerful ballad fuses Queen’s original backing track and Mercury and Jackson’s distinctive vocals, and has been produced and remixed by celebrated Madonna/Robbie Williams producer William Orbit.

    Talking of his involvement, Orbit says, “I had known Roger for many years, now he was on the phone asking if I would get involved in this musical adventure.

    “When I first played it in my studio I opened a trove of delights provided by the greatest of musicians. Hearing Michael Jackson's vocals was stirring. So vivid, so cool, and poignant, it was like he was in the studio singing live. With Freddie's vocal solo on the mixing desk, my appreciation for his gift was taken to an even higher level.

    “The musicianship of all four members of Queen is phenomenal. Roger, an extraordinarily multi-talented man I've always admired; John Deacon's original bass part with its lyrical fluidity that made it easy for me to know where to put the odd reinforcement. Freddie's original piano carried most of the song's musical DNA. Brian, one take for the solo, a blur of fingers, and the spirits of MJ and FM fully present, in the moment, sending shivers down the spine.”

    Perhaps the biggest revelation on Queen Forever is Brian May’s composition, “Let Me In Your Heart Again.” The song was first recorded by Queen for The Works album, but not completed at the time and has remained overlooked since then. An authentic, live-in-the-studio track from the same golden age as “Radio Ga Ga” and “I Want To Break Free,” this never-before-heard Queen track shows off Freddie’s timeless vocals and features newly recorded guitar parts and new backing vocals from Brian and Roger. This thrilling track finally reaches us nearly 30 years after Freddie first laid down his original vocal.

    The third new track, “Love Kills,” was composed by Freddie Mercury and famed German producer/songwriter Giorgio Moroder for the soundtrack to Moroder’s newly restored and tinted version of Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic silent movie Metropolis in 1984 to which he added a pop soundtrack featuring various music artists. Mercury recorded a high-energy dance version of the song that became his debut solo hit in 1985. However, it is less well known that all four members of Queen played on the original track. Prior to Queen embarking on their recent tour with lead singer Adam Lambert, Brian May proposed performing an acoustic ballad version of “Love Kills,” which became one of the most memorable moments of the current Queen & Adam Lambert shows. This new Queen-Freddie studio version is shaped in the same ballad style and revives the Queen original with some newly recorded guitars and drums by May and Taylor, becoming a glorious showcase for one of Freddie’s most adrenaline-charged vocal performances.

    Alongside this new material, both the one and two-CD versions of Queen Forever feature songs that spotlight the band’s songwriting prowess, studio experimentation and remarkable development. It’s a timely reminder that, almost uniquely in the world of rock and pop, all four members of Queen were accomplished songwriters and superlatively gifted musicians.

    Queen Forever reaches back as far as 1974 with fan favorite “Nevermore,” a Freddie Mercury song originally included on Queen II, the album that first saw Queen use the recording studio as an instrument in its own right. From the same year comes the dramatic power ballad “In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited,” once the grand finale of any Queen show, and since revived by Queen & lead singer Adam Lambert on their 2014 tour. Meanwhile, the upbeat single, “You’re My Best Friend,” written by bass guitarist John Deacon, showcased Queen’s poppier side and was released as the follow-up to 1975’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” becoming a Top 10 UK and Top 20 US hit in the same year and giving John Deacon his first Queen hit single.

    Elsewhere, 1977’s “Long Away” remains the only Queen single to feature Brian May on lead vocals; and the same year’s B-side “Drowse” includes a rare Queen performance from Roger Taylor on guitar. Queen saw out the decade with a run of hits that included the gospel-flavored “Somebody To Love,” memorably performed by Queen and George Michael at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992, and finished on a high with 1979’s US #1 hit, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” an exuberant rockabilly pop song composed by Freddie Mercury in the bath in Munich.

    By touching on prog rock, gospel, acoustic balladry, Elvis-style rock’n’roll and more, these songs alone encapsulate Queen’s diversity in the 1970s. However, the band threw out the rulebook completely in the decades that followed, embracing funk, hard rock, soul and pure pop, yet always sounding unmistakably Queen. The band used synthesizers for the first time on 1980’s “Play The Game” single; Freddie sang some of his vocals in Spanish on the 1982 hit “Las Palabras De Amor,” and 1986’s “One Year Of Love” featuring unusually a saxophone. The album is completed by latter-day Queen hits, including 1991’s #1 hit “These Are The Days Of Our Lives” and 1995’s “Too Much Love Will Kill You,” together with the poignant “A Winter’s Tale,” recorded during Freddie Mercury’s final Queen recording sessions in Montreux in 1991.

    Queen Forever is both a showcase for these exclusive new recordings, but also an enduring tribute to the extraordinary musical achievements of John Deacon, Brian May, Roger Taylor and the late, great Freddie Mercury whose singular talent we can again marvel at with the arrival of these previously unheard tracks.

    Queen Forever. Forever? Who can tell? But for now we can be certain that this highly rewarding collection of Queen new, rare, and at their most accomplished, more than serves to uphold the band’s indisputable place in music history and is certain to earn a prized place in music collections for a long time to come.

    Queen certainly rates in the top among the world’s favorite bands. The UK’s Official Charts Company earlier this year confirmed Queen’s 1981 Greatest Hits album as Britain’s best-selling album of all time all after surpassing the 6 million in sales.

    Queen Forever–Track Listings:

    Single CD:

    Let Me In Your Heart Again
    Love Kills – The Ballad
    There Must Be More To Life Than This (William Orbit Mix)
    It’s A Hard Life
    You’re My Best Friend
    Love Of My Life
    Drowse
    Long Away
    Lily Of The Valley
    Don’t Try So Hard
    Bijou
    These Are The Days Of Our Lives
    Las Palabras De Amor
    Who Wants To Live Forever
    A Winter’s Tale
    Play The Game
    Save Me
    Somebody To Love
    Too Much Love Will Kill You
    Crazy Little Thing Called Love
    2-CD SET

    CD1

    Let Me In Your Heart Again
    Love Kills – The Ballad
    There Must Be More To Life Than This (William Orbit Mix)
    Play The Game
    Dear Friends
    You’re My Best Friend
    Love Of My Life
    Drowse
    You Take My Breath Away
    Spread Your Wings
    Long Away
    Lily Of The Valley
    Don’t Try So Hard
    Bijou
    These Are The Days Of Our Lives
    Nevermore
    Las Palabras De Amor
    Who Wants To Live Forever

    CD2

    I Was Born To Love You
    Somebody To Love
    Crazy Little Thing Called Love
    Friends Will Be Friends
    Jealousy
    One Year of Love
    A Winters Tale
    ‘39
    Mother Love
    It’s A Hard Life
    Save Me
    Made in Heaven
    Too Much Love Will Kill You
    Sail Away Sweet Sister
    The Miracle
    Is This The World We Created
    In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited
    Forever

    For more information, visit queenonline.com.


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    We don't know about you, but around here, September brings to mind tours and massive live shows — probably because it's the only month where summer and fall, the two biggest rock touring seasons, collide.

    So, as our thoughts turn to the gigs we've reported on, witnessed and celebrated this year, we thought we'd get our readers — as in, you guys! — involved as we attempt to pinpoint rock's greatest live band or artist!

    Welcome to Guitar World's official readers poll for September (It's the first readers poll we've conducted since November 2013, all you poll haters out there), the Battle of the Greatest Live Bands. It kicked off Wednesday, September 3.

    Although we (obviously) had thousands of artists and/or bands to choose from, we decided to narrow things down to a mere 32 names, which is perfect for a month's worth of intense — and fun (it's supposed to be fun, people!) matchups. All the artists were carefully selected by Guitar World's entire editorial staff.

    Most importantly, note that this poll involves ONLY still-existing bands, so you won't get to watch the Doors duke it out with Led Zeppelin! Pantera will not go head to head with Cream. The Jimi Hendrix Experience will not compete with ... you get the idea.

    Here are our 32 artists, in alphabetical order, and you can check also out the entire bracket of matchups at the end of this page.

    AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Dillinger Escape Plan, Eagles, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Jack White, Kiss, Korn, Metallica, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Phish, Queen, Radiohead, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Rolling Stones, Rush, Slayer, Slipknot, Soundgarden, Tool, U2, Van Halen and ZZ Top.

    Today's Matchup: Vote Now!

    PHISH go head to head with VAN HALEN. We don't need to tell you about these bands. We'll let the recently shot videos below do the talking! Vote now; you have one full day!

    Let's Go to the Video!

    Yesterday's Winners

    Rammstein (54.42 percent) defeated Slipknot (45.58 percent). Thanks for voting! Head HERE to see every matchup so far.

    Behold the Latest Bracket

    Bracket 9-19



    How the Bracket Was Compiled

    Here's how the bracket was — very unscientifically — compiled.

    We drew the artists' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Quebec Nordiques baseball-style cap) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of bands are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We're actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out!

    Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which artist has (or has had) the most to offer within his/their genre, perhaps which one has or had more natural talent or technical skill, which one had the biggest influence on other live acts, etc.

    Let's get started! As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting match-ups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning!


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    In the video below, Aaron Saunders from Rockford, Illinois, post-hardcore band The Color Morale does a guitar walkthrough of "Lifeline (Left to Write)," a track from his band's latest album, Hold on Pain Ends.

    The album, which was released on September 2, is available on iTunes here.

    The band is currently on a fall tour with We Came As Romans through October 5, and will embark on the Get Real Tour with labelmates The Word Alive, which routes through Europe and returns to the U.S. for a nationwide tour. Full tour dates below the video.

    THE COLOR MORALE TOUR DATES

    w/ We Came As Romans, For Today, Crossfaith, and Palisades
    9.20 - Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose ***
    9.21 - Tulsa, OK @ Vanguard ***
    9.22 - San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live
    9.24 - Corpus Christi, TX @ House of Rock
    9.25 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
    9.27 - Memphis, TN @ New Daisy Theatre
    9.28 - Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
    9.30 - Knoxville, TN @ The International
    10.1 - Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
    10.2 - Newport, KY @ Thompson House
    10.3 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
    10.4 - Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe at Old National Centre
    10.5 - Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
    *** w/ For Today

    European Tour w/The Word Alive

    10.19 - York, UK @ Fibbers
    10.20 - Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms
    10.21 - Cardiff, UK @ Clwb ifor Bach
    10.22 - Manchester, UK @ Sound Control
    10.23 - Glasgow, UK @ Cathouse
    10.24 - Norwich, UK @ Epic Studios
    10.25 - Brighton, UK @ Audio
    10.26 - Newcastle, UK @ O2 Academy 2
    10.27 - London, UK @ Underworld
    10.28 - Southampton, UK @ Joiners
    10.29 - Paris, France @ La Boule Noire
    10.30 - Stuttgart, Germany @ Kellerklub
    10.31 - Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Dynamo
    11.1 - Oberhausen, Germany @ Kulttempel

    w/The Color Morale, Our Last Night, Dead Rabbitts, and Miss Fortune

    Nov 7 - San Diego, CA @ SOMA
    Nov 8 - Sacramento, CA @ Assembly
    Nov 9 - Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
    Nov 11 - Tucson, AZ @ The Rock
    Nov 12 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre
    Nov 13 - El Paso, TX @ Tricky Falls
    Nov 14 - San Antonio, TX @ Korova
    Nov 15 - Dallas, TX @ The Door
    Nov 16 - Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
    Nov 18 - Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
    Nov 19 - Ft Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room
    Nov 20 - Jacksonville, FL @ Underbelly
    Nov 21 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
    Nov 22 - Greensboro, NC @ Greene Street Club
    Nov 23 - West Springfield, VA @ Empire
    Nov 25 - Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
    Nov 26 - Worcester, MA @ Palladium
    Nov 28 - Reading, PA @ Reverb
    Nov 29 - New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
    Nov 30 - Plymouth, MI @ Compuware Arena
    Dec 1 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
    Dec 2 - Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room
    Dec 3 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom
    Dec 4 - Joliet, IL @ Mojoes
    Dec 5 - St Paul, MN @ Amsterdam
    Dec 6 - Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose
    Dec 7 - St Louis, MO @ Fubar
    Dec 9 - Lawrence, KS @ The Granada Theatre
    Dec 10 - Denver, CO @ The Marquis Theatre
    Dec 11 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
    Dec 13 - Mesa, AZ @ The Nile Theatre


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