Dave Grohl Confirms Foo Fighters Hiatus

David Grohl of Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl says his band Foo Fighters is officially taking a break.

Grohl posted an open letter to the group’s Facebook account Tuesday, calling the band “my life,” but noting “it’s a good thing for all of us to go away for a while.”

Grohl told fans Saturday at the Global Citizen Festival he didn’t know when the band would play together again, and affirmed that in the letter.

“Without making a big deal out of it, we don’t have any shows after this. This is it, man,” Grohl said at the concert in NYC’s Central Park. “Honestly, I don’t know when we’re gonna do it again… and this is the perfect place to do it.”

He went more in-depth in the letter, writing, “Never in my wildest dreams did I think Foo Fighters would make it this far… There were times when I wanted to give up. But I can’t give up this band. And I never will. Because it’s not just a band to me. It’s my life. It’s my family. It’s my world.”

Grohl says he’s “not sure” when the Foo Fighters will play again, and is now focused on his forthcoming Sound City documentary and album. “A year in the making, it could be the biggest, most important project I’ve ever worked on,” he said of the project. “Get ready… It’s coming.”

He created Foo Fighters in 1994 after his time as the drummer in Nirvana, recording the band’s self-titled debut before inviting other members to join. The band has been one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most enduring critical and commercial successes, winning 11 Grammys, including five earlier this year.

© 2012 The Associated Press.

The Rolling Stones Unearth Vintage Clips for ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ Trailer

Retrospective documentary covers the rockers’ entire career

The Rolling Stones – Crossfire Hurricane (Trailer)

Published on Sep 25, 2012 by The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones, the rock ‘n’ roll icons who have defined creativity, daring and durability, are to be chronicled in a kaleidoscopic new film that documents the key periods of their career and their incredible adventures.

The film will be broadcast live by satellite to over 250 cinemas across Europe, from the London Film Festival Premiere on Thursday 18 October and include live coverage from the red carpet before the film screening begins. For more information and to book tickets, go here: http://www.rollingstones.com/crossfire-hurricane/

‘Crossfire Hurricane’, directed by Brett Morgen, provides a remarkable new perspective on the Stones’ unparalleled journey from blues-obsessed teenagers in the early 60’s to rock royalty. It’s all here in panoramic candour, from the Marquee Club to Hyde Park, from Altamont to ‘Exile, from club gigs to stadium extravaganzas.

With never-before-seen footage and fresh insights from the band themselves, the film will delight, shock and amaze longtime devotees, as well as another generation of fans, with its uniquely immersive style and tone. ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ places the viewer right on the frontline of the band’s most legendary escapades.

Taking its title from a lyric in ‘Jumping Jack Flash’, ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ gives the audience an intimate insight, for the first time, into exactly what it’s like to be part of the Rolling Stones, as they overcame denunciation, drugs, dissensions and death to become the definitive survivors. It’s the backstage pass to outdo them all.

The odyssey includes film from the Stones’ initial road trips and first controversies as they became the anti-Beatles, the group despised by authority because they connected and communicated with their own generation as no one ever had. “When we got together,” says Wyman, “something magical happened, and no one could ever copy that.”

From the outset of the film, viewers know they’re in for a white-knuckle ride. No sooner had the early Stones line-up first played live under that name in the summer of 1962 than they were bigger than the venues that tried to hold them. Wyman remembers how the crowds were soon inspiring manic behaviour, especially among screaming girls, whose uncontrollable excitement was obvious as stardom beckoned for the band already earmarked as the bad guys with press headlines — ‘Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?

Riots and the chaos of early tours are graphically depicted, as is the birth of the Jagger-Richards songwriting partnership. The many dramas they encountered are also fully addressed, including the Redlands drug bust, the descent of Brian Jones into what Richards calls “bye-bye land,” and the terror and disillusionment of 1969’s Altamont Festival.

The film illustrates the Stones’ evolution from being, as Mick vividly describes it, “the band everybody hated to the band everybody loves”: through the hedonistic 1970s and Keith’s turning-point bust in Canada to the spectacular touring phenomenon we know today. Richards also reveals the song that he believes defines the “essence” of his writing relationship with Jagger more than any other.

Asked in a formative interview in the film what it is that sets them apart from other groups, Jagger says with quiet understatement: “A chemical reaction seems to have happened.” Keith Richards added, “You can’t really stop the Rolling Stones, you know when that sort of avalanche is facing you, you just get out of the way”. It’s been happening ever since, and the life and times of the Rolling Stones have never been as electrifyingly portrayed as they are in ‘Crossfire Hurricane.’

Worldwide distributors of ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ are Eagle Rock Entertainment in London, with Tremelo Productions and Milkwood Films as the production companies.

As befits the first rock band to reach the 50-year milestone with their global stature now greater than ever, the film combines extensive historical footage, much of it widely unseen, with contemporary commentaries by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and former Stones Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor. Period interviews, extensive live performance material and news archive give the production a truly kinetic aura and no-holds-barred approach. ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ has taken over a year to make and produce with the full cooperation of The Rolling Stones and will be released in November.

A Guitar Maker Aims to Stay Plugged In

Workers build Fender guitars in a factory in Corona, Calif., east of Los Angeles.

Fender is the world’s largest maker of guitars. But the company, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is struggling to keep up in a tight economy. A piece of flame maple is prepared — one of the first steps to building a guitar.

IN 1948, a radio repairman named Leo Fender took a piece of ash, bolted on a length of maple and attached an electronic transducer.

You know the rest, even if you don’t know you know the rest.

You’ve heard it — in the guitar riffs of Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Bruce Springsteen, Mark Knopfler, Kurt Cobain and on and on.

It’s the sound of a Fender electric guitar. Mr. Fender’s company, now known as the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, is the world’s largest maker of guitars. Its Stratocaster, which made its debut in 1954, is still a top seller. For many, the Strat’s cutting tone and sexy, double-cutaway curves mean rock ’n’ roll.

But this heart of rock isn’t beating quite the way it once did. Like many other American manufacturers, Fender is struggling to hold on to what it’s got in a tight economy. Sales and profits are down this year. A Strat, after all, is what economists call a consumer discretionary item — a nonessential.

More than macroeconomics, however, is at work here. Fender, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is also being buffeted by powerful forces on Wall Street.

Read entire article by The New York Times

Keeping the Music Alive – Slide Show

Credit: Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Fan Sites for Pop Singers Settle Children’s Privacy Charges

The operator of fan Web sites for pop stars Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Rihanna and Demi Lovato agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty to settle federal charges that the sites had illegally collected personal information about thousands of young children, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.

Artist Arena, a company that operates fan web sites for pop stars like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, agreed to settle federal charges that the sites had violated a children’s privacy protection law.

In a complaint, the Federal Trade Commission alleged that Artist Arena, the operator of the sites, had violated a children’s online privacy rule by collecting personal details — like the names, e-mail addresses, street addresses and cellphone numbers — of about 101,000 children aged 12 or younger without their parents’ permission.

The law, called the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA for short, requires operators of Web sites to notify parents and obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting, using or disclosing personal information about children younger than 13.

The sites are BieberFever.com, SelenaGomez.com, RihannaNow.com and DemiLovatoFanClub.net. The agency did not accuse the pop stars themselves of any wrongdoing.

At a conference on children’s marketing in New York on Wednesday, Edith Ramirez, a member of the F.T.C., said the settlement still needs to be ratified in court.

Read entire article published by the New York Times October 3, 2012

Suzanne Vega – American Songwriter

Suzanne Vega

Veteran singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega took a novel approach to her back catalog with her self-released Close Up album series, re-recording stripped-down versions of her songs and grouping them by theme (Love Songs, People and Places, States of Being). The latest, Songs Of Family, just hit stores. We asked Vega about her approach to her craft, getting good feedback, going to Tom’s Diner and more.

Where did the idea to do the Close Up album series originate?

I always liked the idea of regrouping the songs by theme, which is something I do when I perform live. When I found myself without a record deal in 2008, I decided to record my songs simply without the production of the different decades. This gives me a way of owning a physical copy of my life’s work, since I don’t own the original recordings. Those are owned by A&M and Blue Note.

Has putting these Close Up albums together changed how you view your career and oeuvre, or revealed any truths to yourself?

No, I am very familiar with my career and work, but I think the audience has enjoyed the different themes. They have seen similarities that they wouldn’t have before.

I met you once a million years ago at a Jack Hardy songwriting circle. From what I understand, you would frequently attend and interact with these amateur songwriters and give and receive feedback. What did you get out of the experience? Do you do anything similar now?

I met Jack Hardy when I was 20 years old. So the group wasn’t “amateur” to me at that time. Even after I was successful, I knew that Jack would tell me to work on my melodies, that he would pick out and praise a good metaphor, turn of phrase or stretch of alliteration.

Regardless of the business side of things, I knew the best people in the group would be honest with me and I valued that. Lately I am starting to get to know a different group of songwriters whose opinions I value.

When’s the last time you ate at Tom’s Diner?

I ate there a few months ago. I only go there when dragged there by the media these days.

Who are your songwriting heroes?

The big three for me are Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen with a large helping of Paul Simon and Laura Nyro. From Lou Reed, I learned to be blunt and tell the truth. From Leonard Cohen, I learned not to be afraid of the dark and melancholy. From Bob Dylan, I learned to expand my mind and the power of the image and metaphor.

What was the first song you ever wrote? Tell us about it.

It was called “Brother Mine”. It was about my brother and how I would always love him even though he got into fights. I liked the song “Liverpool Lullaby” as sung by Judy Collins and I wanted the song to have that tough tone to it. It took me three years to finish it. I finished it at the age of 14.

What’s the last song you wrote or started?

It’s a song called “Song of the Fool” and I sang it for the first time two nights ago.

What is your approach to writing lyrics?

If they say what I want them to say, they rhyme, they are truthful and it feels right coming out of my mouth, then it works for me.

What percentage of songs that you start do you finish?

80%. I waste very little.

What’s a song on Vol. 4 you’re particularly proud of and why?

“Brother Mine”, my first song, is on there. The most recent song is one called “Daddy is White”, which I like also.

What’s a lyric or verse from Vol. 4 you’re proud of?

When bloods sees blood of its own/It sings to see itself again/It sings to hear the voice its known/It sings to recognize the face.

It’s about meeting my birth father for the first time.

Are there any words you love or hate?

I like “equivocate” in certain contexts.

The most annoying thing about songwriting is…

The music industry.

Does it get easier or harder to write songs, the more you write?

It gets harder because the standards are higher.

Who do you consider an underrated songwriter?

I think Laura Nyro is a great songwriter. Her songs should be studied as great words of poetry and music.

What do you consider to be the perfect song (written by somebody else), and why?

“America” by Paul Simon is a great blend of personal and universal vision. And so many others of his.

“And When I Die” by Laura Nyro” is a great, powerful song about mortality. It’s cheerful, powerful and uplifiting.

END of interview—————————

Luka – Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Vega (born Suzanne Nadine Vega: 11 July 1959, in Santa Monica, California) is an American singer-songwriter noted for her eclectic folk-inspired music. She lived most of her life in New York City, attending the New York City High School of the Performing Arts (the school seen in the feature film musical Fame), where she studied modern dance.

However, Vega realized that her talent in dance was not sufficient to make her living doing it. While attending Columbia studying English, she penned many songs and performed in college and community “coffee houses” inside and outside the New York City area.

She was discovered in 1984, releasing her eponymous debut the following year. However, it was not until her sophomore effort, Solitude Standing, that Vega hit the big time.

Vega has a prolific catalogue, and in 2003 she released a retrospective collection. Beauty & Crime, her seventh album, was released in 2007. Inspired by the city where Suzanne grew up and still currently resides, Beauty & Crime revolves around Suzanne’s experiences in New York.

Lou Reed and Metallica On the making of ‘Lulu’

Uploaded by RollingStone on Oct 31, 2011
“Any type of situation where you can just do something different and put yourself in a different place for inspiration is always great,” says Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich at the launch party for Lulu, his band’s new collaboration with Lou Reed, at the Steven Kasher Gallery in Manhattan. “Everything we did on this project was so impulsive, so momentary, off the floor, in a great big circle playing to each other – that’s not how we normally make music.”

Lulu is based on a series of plays by German dramatist Frank Wedekind, as interpreted by Robert Wilson. “Laurie Anderson and I sat going through it scene by scene to get the basic plot, the way Bob was approaching it,” says Reed, describing his process before taking his lyrics to Metallica.

Nimrod Antal to Direct 3D Feature Film for Metallica

Metallica

Nimrod Antal, the director of Predators and Vacancy, has been tapped by legendary metal band, Metallica, to direct their 3D feature film. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band is looking to make the project a blend of narrative and concert footage which will star James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo, and, of course, the legions of Metallica fans. The film is expected to shoot this coming August with a release planned for the summer of 2013. Going thirty plus years strong, Metallica is one of the biggest bands on the planet, starting as one of the founding four of thrash metal along with Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. They’ve sold more than 100 million albums in their career and have influenced at least that many fans. Details are short on the project so far, but with a history as rich in ups and downs as Metallica’s, the story should pretty much write itself. Hit the jump for comments from Metallica’s Ulrich and from Antal himself, along with a bonus Metallica music video shot by Darren Aronofsky.

Check out what Metallica’s contentious drummer, Lars Ulrich, had to say about the decision to bring Antal on to direct the band’s feature project:

“I’ve been a fan of Nimróds since his first Hungarian film, Kontroll, showed up at Cannes in 2004 and blew everybody away. I’ve watched with excitement his career in Hollywood blossom over the last few years. Within five minutes of meeting him I was addicted to his enthusiasm, his take on the creative process and his “thinking outside of the box” personality. Let’s get on with it!!!”

Equally enamored with the project was the director, a longtime fan of the legendary metal band:

“Metallica has always been a huge part of my life, and it’s an incredible opportunity when we get to work with our heroes. We are going to harness the powerful and almighty energy of Metallica’s live shows, inject a narrative into it, and shoot it in 3D to elevate the entire experience.”

This feature won’t be the band’s first foray into Hollywood, as director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream) recently shot a music video for Metallica that featured The Velvet Underground vocalist, Lou Reed. While Antal’s take on a 3D concert feature is sure to have a different aesthetic, you can still check out the video below:

Lou Reed & Metallica: The View (Directed by Darren Aronofsky)

Via Collider