Jason Mraz earned his highest chart debut yet in April as his new album, Love Is A Four Letter Word bowed at #2 on the Billboard 200. The first single, "I Won't Give Up," is in its 18th week on the Billboard Hot 100, and has sold more than 1.1 million singles; the case of NBC's "Glee" will sing the tune on the May 15 episode. Mraz will launch a world tour in support of the album in Korea in June, including a two-month U.S. amphitheatre run from August into October. And last fall, Mraz launched the Jason Mraz Foundation, a charitable initiative supporting human equality, arts education, environmental preservation spinal cord injury recovery organizations.
TOGA! TOGA! Barenaked Ladies are writing the score for the upcoming stage musical adaptation of the timeless 1978 film National Lampoon's Animal House. Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Elf, Spamalot) will directing the show. The band just released Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before, demos, B-sides and other rarities from their Warner Bros. Records years, 1994-2003. They'll hit the road in July and August for a tour dubbed "The Last Summer On Earth" and also featuring Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, and Cracker.
Joe Jackson will release his 19th studio album, The Duke, on June 26. It's an album featuring songs by the legendary jazz composer Duke Ellington, re-arranged in Jackson's own inimitable style. It's a deeply personal project for Jackson, whose longstanding affinity for Ellington's pioneering spirit has served as a key inspiration throughout his own three-decades-plus career. The Duke finds the five-time Grammy nominee interpreting 15 Ellington classics over the course of ten tracks, interspersing melodic and rhythmic elements of various compositions in a manner that's consistent with Ellington's own freewheeling approach. The Duke features guest vocals from Iggy Pop and Sharon Jones, as well as Iranian singer Sussan Deyhim and Lilian Vieira of the Brazilian/Dutch collective Zuco 103; and instrumental contributions from violinist Regina Carter, bassist Christian McBride, rock guitar hero Steve Vai, drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson (and other members of The Roots), and two of Jackson's old associates, guitarist Vinnie Zummo and percussionist Sue Hadjopoulos. Jackson is currently putting together a live band to take The Duke on tour this fall.
She's just 19 years old, but Charli XCX has already been releasing her unique pop creations for half a decade, getting her start at East London warehouse parties at age 14. Today she's in art school in London while preparing to release her first EP for the IAMSOUND label on June 12. Check out the "Nuclear Seasons" video here. She made her New York live debut in March, and the New York Times' Jon Caramanica said "she was a little starburst, bright and untamed. Still only 19, she looked as if sheĠd been working rooms like this for decades, as if her performance were a dress rehearsal for some arena show the following night." Charli will support dates for Santigold later this month, and will open four dates on Coldplay's U.S. arena tour in August.
In his first major initiative as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Herbie Hancock has established April 30 as the annual date of International Jazz Day. Hancock previewed the inaugural event at an April 27 celebration at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, featuring master classes, workshops, films, lectures and performances by musicians from around the world. Then, on April 30, Hancock began the first International Jazz Day with a sunrise concert in New Orleans (where the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was underway) and ended it with a celebratory concert at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, hosted by Morgan Freeman, Quincy Jones, Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro, and featuring performances by Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Hugh Masekela, Stevie Wonder and many more -- including Hancock himself, of course.
|Walk Off The Earth
Walk Off The Earth catapulted to international renown in January when they posted a video of their cover of Gotye's hit single "Somebody That I Used To Know," featuring all five members of the Canadian band playing the same guitar simultaneously. More than a hundred million views later, Walk Off The Earth have signed with Columbia Records, re-created the Gotye cover live on "The Ellen Degeneres Show," and toured the U.S. and Europe, including an upcoming set at Lollapalooza in August. Meanwhile, all those YouTube viewers discovered the band's marvelous world in their many other creative videos, where ukuleles fall from the sky on queue, band members hand off instruments to one another without missing a beat, and absolutely anything, from a water bottle to a handgun, might be turned into an intstrument. Just watch.
The Los Angeles singer-songwriter Mariah McManus will support the recent release of her but album, Nice To Meet You, with a month-long Hotel Cafe residency beginning May 31. Her songs have been featured on ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and The CW's "Hart of Dixie," and the New York Times said that "her sweet voice is sometimes direct and clear, and sometimes works over syllables using an aggressive tongue (with faint flickers of Bjorkian strangeness amidst the Taylor Swiftish purity)." She has also been featured on the NPR/WXPN new artist series World Cafe: Next.
Robert Francis was given his first guitar by the legendary Ry Cooder, mentored by Chaka Khan and taught as a teenager by the Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante. His new album Strangers in the First Place, out May 22, features guest performances by Cooder, guitarist Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and legendary session drummer Jim Keltner. Francis enjoyed particular success in Europe on his last album, 2009's Before Nightfall, with the single "Junebug" reaching the top ten in Germany and Switzerland, and #1 in France, where it was the second-highest-selling single of 2010. He'll play select solo dates in June, followed by a co-headline tour with Scars On 45 in July.
Jesse McCartney stars in the new horror film "Chernobyl Diaries," which centers around a group of young vacationers who visit the abandoned site of the infamous 1986 nuclear accident, only to find that they're not alone. Watch the trailer at the film's official website. "Chernobyl Diaries" was directed by Paradigm client Bradley Parker, and hits theaters May 25. (Also, the opening title song is Supergrass's 1995 hit "Alright," which we totally dig.)
Ozomatli created the score for the Sony TV pilot "El Jefe," starring Ryan Hansen, Mercedes Ruehl and Martin Mull. The band also performed all the music for the new video game "Sesame Street: Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece" from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, available for Wii® and Nintendo DS® in June 2012.
On April 20, The Dead announced the release of "Grateful Dead Game: The Epic Tour," a web-based video game in which players create their own personalized character and guide them on a trip through Grateful Dead space and time in the form of ten historic Dead shows from 1970-1990, chosen by fans. New chapters will be added to the game every few weeks.
Chely Wright opened the LIKEME Lighthouse, an LGBT community center in Kansas City....
Idina Menzel is touring theaters and PACs this summer in support of her new live album, Idina Menzel Live: Barefoot At The Symphony....
The summer tour plan for Umphrey's McGee includes half a dozen co-headline dates with G. Love & Special Sauce....
Furthur announced their fall tour already; get on it, everybody else....
River City Extension are hitting the road May 29 for a five-week tour supporting their new album, Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Your Anger
Aerosmith's Joey Kramer is launching his own coffee line....
Toby Keith celebrated 10 years of playing for U.S. troops in the Middle East on USO tours this spring....
Sebadoh are in the studio for the first time in 13 years....
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Graffiti6 and David Gray have songs on the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" soundtrack....
Brand New will play The Bamboozle and have confirmed a short Canadian tour in August....
Anthony Green, Band of Heathens, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Dan Mangan, Heartless Bastards, Nikki Lane, Rachael Yamagata, Reptar, Three Blind Wolves and Will Johnson & Sarah Jaffe all did Daytrotter live sessions....
The Polyphonic Spree will perform the music of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at a special Halloween show in London....
Paul Kelly released his autobiography, How to Make Gravy, in tandem with his eight-disc box set The A to Z Recordings....
The Morning Benders have changed their name to POP ETC and will hit the road this summer with the Dirty Projectors....
Grandaddy will reunite at the Outside Lands Festival in August, and have a series of European festival appearances confirmed in the weeks following....
The Futureheads went a cappella for their fifth album, Rant....
The Decemberists' Colin Meloy will publish his second young adult novel, Under Wildwood, on September 25 via Random House....
John Fogerty joined the Black Keys onstage at Coachella to pay tribute to Levon Helm with a cover of The Band's "The Weight"....
Smashing Pumpkins will release their new album Oceania on June 19....
Dave Matthews Band premiered a new song, "Mercy," on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" in April....
Thousand Foot Krutch's new album is proving to be the get-pumped-up tunes of the year, with song placements in NCAA basketball cover, NASCAR and WWE broadcasts, and on the soundtrack for this autumn's "EA Sports NHL 2013" video game release....
The Dead's Bob Weir performed live with members of The National and The Walkmen for a cover of Cass McCombs' "Love Thine Enemy" at his TRI Studios venue in March....
The Fray will co-headline a two-month summer tour with Kelly Clarkson....
Interpol singer Paul Banks will release a new solo EP in June, with full-length album to follow in the fall....
Sigur Ros will tour major North American markets in July/August in support of their new album Valtari (Icelandic for "steamroller")....
Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio) has started a new band, Matt Skiba and the Sekrets, with members of My Chemical Romance and AFI. They released an album May 8, and will hit the road in June for a major-market club tour....
Lily Allen is coming out of retirement to record a new album....
The Doobie Brothers announced a summer co-headline tour with Chicago....
God Street Wine are re-reuniting for a three-night stand at New York's Gramercy Theatre in August....
Murs is curating the L.A. County Museum of Art's first ever hip-hop concert series, "Through The Mic," starting this month and going through October....
Ed Harcourt wrote and recorded with Lisa Marie Presley for her new album....
Oh, and fun. saved rock and roll.
NEW CLIENTS: Animal Kingdom, Ash, Austin Mahone, Dee Snider, The Digital Age, Dwight Yoakam, Foxes, Helena, Kat Edmonson, Mario Cantone, Mayday Parade, The McClain Sisters, Merriment, Mikky Ekko, The Milk Carton Kids, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Naia Kete, Red Wanting Blue, Richie Sambora, The Royal Royal, Sparta, Tallhart, Three Blind Wolves, We As Human, William Clark Green, and Zach Williams And The Bellow.
IN STORES NOW: New releases out in the last two months from Anya Marina (Felony Flats), Dave Barnes (Stories To Tell), Delta Spirit (Delta Spirit), Dropkick Murphys (Going Out In Style: Fenway Park Bonus Edition), Say Anything (Anarchy My Dear), The Decemberists (We All Raise Our Voices To The Air, Live Songs 04.11-08.11), The Ting Tings (Sounds From Nowheresville), Band of Heathens (The Double Down - Live in Denver), Nada Surf (The Dulcitone Files EP), Pop Etc (formerly The Morning Benders) (mix tape), The Pierces (You & I), Dev (The Night The Sun Came Up), Joan Osborne (Bring It On Home), Lou Barlow (Weed Forestin' (reissue)), Susan Justice (Eat Dirt), Slightly Stoopid (Live at Roberto's TRI Studios), Adam Cohen (Like A Man), Of Monsters and Men (My Head Is An Animal), The Lumineers (The Lumineers), Willis Earl Beal (Acousmatic Sorcery), Mike Gordon (Steamroller Wheelies: A Restoration Convoy), Devin (Romancing), Eight and a Half (Eight and a Half), Lissy Trullie (Lissy Trullie), Scars on 45 (Scars on 45), World Party (Arkeology 5-CD set), Jason Mraz (Love Is A Four Letter Word), Moriah Peters (I Choose Jesus), Mrs. Magician (Strange Heaven), Our Lady Peace (Curve), The Dead (All The Years Combine: The DVD Collection 14-DVD box set), Thousand Foot Krutch (The End Is Where We Begin), Sarah Jaffe (The Body Wins), Yuna (Yuna), Brian Jonestown Massacre (Aufheben), Greylag (The Only Way To Kill You EP), Reptar (Body Faucet), Santigold (Master Of My Make-Believe), The Neighbourhood (I'm Sorry), Barenaked Ladies (Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before rarities compilation), Dee Snider (Dee Does Broadway), John Fullbright (From the Ground Up), Justin Jones (Fading Light), Matt Skiba and the Sekrets (Babylon), The Wood Brothers (Live Volume 1: Sky High), Lecrae (Church Clothes mixtape), and John Butler Trio (Tin Shed Tales).
COMING SOON: New releases coming this month from Admiral Fallow (Tree Bursts In Snow, May 21), Saint Etienne (Words and Music by Saint Etienne, May 21), Cassadee Pope (of Hey Monday) (Cassadee Pope (solo EP), May 22), JBM (Stray Ashes, May 22), MercyMe (The Hurt and The Healer, May 22), Peter Cincotti (Metropolis, May 22), Robert Francis (Strangers in the First Place, May 22), Young Man (Vol. 1, May 22), Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Here, May 29), Foreigner (Alive & Rockin' live album, May 29), Preteen Zenith (Rubble Guts & BB Eye, May 29), Sigur Ros (Valtari, May 29), The Walkmen (Heaven, May 29), Brandi Carlile (Bear Creek, June 5), Emeli Sande (Our Version Of Events, June 5), Langhorne Slim (The Way We Move, June 5), Rhett Miller (The Dreamer, June 5), River City Extension (Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger, June 5), Shawn Colvin (All Fall Down, June 5), and The Chris Robinson Brotherhood (Big Moon Ritual, June 5).
ON THE VIDEO PAGE: New official videos, TV appearances and more from Alkaline Trio, Arctic Monkeys, Brandi Carlile, Coldplay, Dee Snider, Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande, fun., Ingrid Michaelson, The Lumineers, Marina and the Diamonds, Metric, O.A.R., Of Monsters and Men, Pulp, Punch Brothers, Santigold, Say Anything, Scissor Sisters, Sigur Ros, Toby Keith and more.
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