News Items Of The Week, May 7, 2010

Compiled by Carol Anne Szel

Singer/songwriter Chely Wright – a celebrated figure in country music both for her artistry and her performances in front of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan – admits in her memoir, “LIKE ME: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer” (Pantheon Books), to keeping her homosexuality a secret from her family, friends, fellow artists, and fans. Simultaneously, with her memoir, Wright released her new record, “Lifted off the Ground,” produced by Rodney Crowell, a very personal album that was five years in the making.

Wright, who was recognized by the Academy of Country Music as the Top New Female Vocalist in 1995 and has been featured in People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful list, has sold over one million records in her career and hit #1 on the Billboard Country charts with the song “Single White Female.

“No one like me in country music has ever admitted his or her homosexuality,” says Wright. “There are gays in Nashville, but as far as anyone is led to believe, they are not those of us on magazine covers. How could I be gay? Well, I am.” With that Chely Wright sets the fearlessly candid tone that permeates her memoir, becoming the first openly gay country music artist.

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Carly Simon and Queen Latifah are the latest additions to the Lilith 2010 line-up.  Simon will appear on three dates (Boston, Hartford and New York), and Latifah will appear on two dates (Detroit and Las Vegas).

Lilith co-founders Terry McBride and Marty Diamond comment on the latest artist additions. Says McBride, “Carly Simon embodies the entire spirit of Lilith. She is a generational icon who continues to have a tremendous influence on so many women, whether musicians or fans.” Adds Diamond, “Queen Latifah’s spirited performances on the original Lilith Fair are still some of the most memorable. She is a role model and inspiration to many, and we are thrilled that she is taking the time from her hectic schedule to rejoin the tour. ”

The line-ups for the remaining 10 cities set to go on-sale over the next two weeks are now posted on LilithFair.com. Tickets are currently on-sale for 26 of the 36 markets.

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More than 15 years after Ozzy Osbourne debuted OZZFest, the defining blueprint for hard rock tours and festivals returns this August in six American cities with an explosive bill co-headlined by OZZY and, in their first-ever OZZFest appearance, Mötley Crüe.

The main stage will feature full sets from Ozzy, Mötley Crüe and Rob Halford, who last appeared on OZZFest in 2004 with Judas Priest DevilDriver and Nonpoint will round out the main stage line-up.  Second stage headliners and six-time OZZFest veterans Black Label Society will be joined by Drowning Pool, Kingdom of Sorrow, and Goatwhore, Skeletonwitch, Saviours and Kataklysm.

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The first annual Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival is set to tour North America with a late summer trek featuring a the lineup of multi-platinum headliners Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold, along with Stone Sour and Halestorm featured on the main stage.  The line-up also features performances from Jägermeister Second Stage headliners Hellyeah, as well as Airbourne, Hail The Villain, New Medicine and the Jägermeister Battle of The Bands Winner in each city.  The 36-date tour launches August 17 in Minneapolis, MN and play arenas and amphitheatres across North America before wrapping October 4 in Madison, WI.

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A new live double-CD from Dweezil Zappa entitled “Return Of The Son Of…” The album is set to be released on June 22nd. The cd consists of 14 live recordings of Frank Zappa classics from Dweezil’s  Zappa Plays Zappa project from the past two years.  Regarding the CD, Dweezil says ” It contains some lengthy guitar solos – love ‘em or hate ‘em it’s the place where I connect most with my Father’s music. Each time I play a solo I try to imbue my own playing with some of my Dad’s idiosyncrasies both technically and sonically.” Dweezil will be continuing the Zappa Plays Zappa tour with new dates in June and July.

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Alabama founding member and Country Music Hall of Famer Jeff Cook releases “Shaken, Not Stirred” on May 11, 2010.
The new album features an eclectic mixture of some of Cook’s favorite classic hits, as well as brand new material.  Cook also brings in Teddy Gentry for some familiar Alabama harmonizing as well as Danielle Peck for a duet of the Pointer Sisters’ classic “Fire!”

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The 30th edition of Live From Daryl’s House is a celebration of the life of the late T-Bone Wolk, the longtime musical director for Daryl Hall and John Oates, who passed away on Feb. 27 from a heart attack at the age of 58. The episode brings together several former members of the band, including guitarist G.E. Smith, sax player Mark Rivera and drummer Mickey Curry, with current members Paul Pesco and Charlie DeChant for a set of T-Bone’s favorite songs, including The Band’s “The Weight,” NRBQ’s “If I Don’t Have You,” the Isley Bros.’ “Caravan of Love,” Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ “I Miss You,” Professor Longhair’s “In the Night,” Percy Mayfield’s “Please Send Me Someone to Love” and H&O’s own “Change of Season.” The installment debuts May 15 at www.lfdh.com.

Daryl Hall started the free monthly webcast in 2008 , which features Hall jamming with various musicians in his mountain home after having the idea of “playing with my friends and putting it up on the Internet.” Past episodes of Live From Daryl’s House have featured a mix of well-known performers like Smokey Robinson, The Doors’ Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, Toots Hibbert, Nick Lowe, K.T. Tunstall, Todd Rundgren, and more.

On June 11, look for Daryl to perform with former Live From Daryl’s House guests Chromeo at Bonnaroo, where he’ll be taking the webcast experience to the live masses at the famed Tennessee festival.

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Boise, Idaho’s Built to Spill have confirmed a string of shows with Kings of Leon which begin in Chula Vista, CA on July 9 and end in Bristow, VT on Aug.7.  The band will once again tour in support of their current and seventh release on Warner Bros. Records , “There Is No Enemy.”

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Stereos, Canada’s latest export, is ready to take U.S. audiences by storm. Even before the release of its self-titled debut release on Universal Canada, the band’s first single for the party anthem “Summer Girl” was certified double platinum in digital downloads and debuted at No. 2 on the charts. The full-length release went gold in only three months and is now headed to platinum status. “Summer Girl” will hit radio stateside on June 7th.
Pulling from R&B, hip-hop, reggae, rock, metal and punk into its self-described “crunk-rock” sound, Stereos is now embarking on a U.S. tour which kicked off May 4th  in Santa Ana, CA and criss-crosses across the country until August. You can catch up on the band and tour by heading to www.myspace.com/stereo

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The band Terrible Things is a recipe of Taking Back Sunday (Fred Mascherino), a bit of Coheed and Cambria (Josh Eppard) and a dash of Hot Rod Circuit (Andy Jackson.)  Terrible Things, the new Universal Motown all-star rock group, has already gotten over 1 million plays on MySpace just from their demo alone. They will hit the road with Anberlin and Story of the Year in May followed by select dates on the Vans Warped Tour this summer.

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Taylor, Michigan’s I Am Abomination are pleased to release their GOOD FIGHT MUSIC debut, To Our Forefathers, this coming Tuesday, May 11th. In addition to the release, I Am Abomination are debuting each individual track this week on the web! Each track is available at a different location, such as AOL, Hails N’ Horns Magazine, Ultimate Guitar, Shockhound, and more

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Stuart Moxham, who originally came to the public’s attention with the austere pop of Young Marble Giants is about to release the first record on his own hABIT label, a sampler of things to come called “Personal Best.”

A multi-million selling cover by Courtney Love’s Hole on “Live Through This” of his YMG-era song “Credit In The Straight World” gave Stuart more recent recognition.

Moxham’s currently recording the new solo album in his own studio, performed exclusively on actual instruments, eschewing all sampling and other computerized tomfoolery. The album will feature contributions by his father Terence Moxham, daughter Melody Moxham and new sidekick Charlie Rose.

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Black Label Society‘s brand new album is officially confirmed for an August 10th North American release date. “Order of the Black” will feature Black Label at its best with frontman/lead axeman Zakk Wylde’s signature guitar virtuosity and howling vocals, as well as a propulsive rhythm section, courtesy of bassist J.D. Deservio and drummer Will Hunt, along with a few surprises.  Wylde commented in jest, “The Doom Crew and I have been holed up in the Black Label Bunker for the last few months laying down some of the heaviest, sexiest tracks imaginable.  We can’t wait for Berserkers worldwide to hear the symphonic masterpiece that is the new BLS record!”  “Order of the Black” will be released in North America via E1 Music.

In other news, Black Label Society has just been confirmed to headline the second stage of 2010’s Ozzfest.  This marks the band’s sixth appearance on the explosive hard rock package tour.  Please see below for tour dates.  Following Ozzfest, BLS will head out on its own worldwide headlining tour in support of “Order of the Black” through 2011.

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