Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hear Alan Jackson Turn to 'Jim and Jack and Hank' in New Single

Hear Alan Jackson Turn to 'Jim and Jack and Hank' in New Single:

Alan Jackson has released his first single since last year's "A Million Ways to Die," drumming up buzz for his new album, Angels and Alcohol, one month ahead of its release. Written by the "Chattahoochee" crooner himself, "Jim and Jack and Hank" is rooted in the two-stepping spirit of early-Nineties country, doubling as a sign that Angels and Alcohol — which arrives after a pair of albums exploring gospel and bluegrass music — marks a return to Jackson's country beginnings.

During the song's first verse, Jackson's fed-up girlfriend leaves him for good, speeding out of town with the couple's dog in the shotgun seat. Angry, Jackson turns to the bottle — and Bocephus — for comfort. As long as he's got the company of Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Hank Williams (Sr. and Jr., apparently, as both are mentioned), he doesn't need her to stick around.

Along with Angels and Alcohol's title track, a traditional-sounding ballad that's become a fan favorite during his Keepin' It Country Tour, "Jim and Jack and Hank" is one of the only songs Jackson has previewed from the upcoming album. Produced by longtime partner Keith Stegall, the record hits stores July 17th, with Jackson playing a handful of shows — including an upcoming performance at the Rock the South benefit show in Cullman, Alabama — in the interim.

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Monsanto Says That Neil Young's New LP Is Based on 'Myths'

Monsanto Says That Neil Young's New LP Is Based on 'Myths':

After years of withering criticism by Neil Young, culminating with the upcoming release of his album The Monsanto Years, the agrochemical company Monsanto has responded to the singer in a statement to Billboard.

"Many of us at Monsanto have been and are fans of Neil Young," they wrote. "Unfortunately, for some of us, his current album may fail to reflect our strong beliefs in what we do every day to help make agriculture more sustainable. We recognize there is a lot of misinformation about who we are and what we do – and unfortunately several of those myths seem to be captured in these lyrics."

"The farmer knows he's got to grow what he can sell, Monsanto, Monsanto / So he signs a deal for GMOs that makes life hell with Monsanto, Monsanto," Young sings on the title track. "Every year he buys the patented seeds / Poison-ready they're what the corporation needs, Monsanto."

The Monsanto Years (which comes out on June 29th) also takes on Starbucks for their use of GMOs. "Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO labeling," the company said. "As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we prefer a national solution."

Chevron refused to comment on Young's lyrics, though Walmart did bite. "As you might have seen recently, Walmart raised its lowest starting wage to $9 an hour," they told Billboard. "We’re proud of the opportunity we provide people to build a career and have a chance at a better life."

Young's new album was recorded with Promise of the Real, featuring Willie Nelson's sons Micah and Lukas. In a recent interview, Micah said it was "too late in the game for subtle lyrics" and took to Facebook to clarify his thought.

"I never said they aren't powerful," he wrote. "I never said they don't evoke the thought-provoking imagery any true Neil fan would expect. Quite the opposite — these songs are extremely emotional and sung with an urgent passion that only Neil could convey. In fact, I find the raw bluntness of the lyrics to be that much more potent and refreshing, especially in these foggy times of confusion, misinformation, and ever-pervading bullshit."

Neil Young and Promise of the Real kick off their North American summer tour July 5th at the Marcus Ampitheater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Eagles of Death Metal Announce First Album in Seven Years

Eagles of Death Metal Announce First Album in Seven Years:

Eagles of Death Metal, the project of Jesse Hughes and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, have returned with a new song, "Complexity," the first offering from their upcoming LP, Zipper Down.

"Complexity" is rooted in Hughes and Homme's predilection for classic rock & roll, and is propelled by a hip-shaking backbeat and the persistent plunk of a piano. The track also boasts plenty of blown-out guitars and charmingly goofy lyrics about not taking rock music — or anything for that matter — so seriously.

The single also arrives with outrageous artwork in which Homme and Hughes are dressed like clueless Star Trek crew members, wearing uniforms with a devil horn patch in place of the Starfleet insignia.

Eagles of Death Metal have yet to announce a release date for Zipper Down. The LP marks the band's first since 2008's Heart On. Eagles of Death Metal are currently on tour in Europe, with plans to return to North America for a handful of dates beginning in late August.

Despite the lengthy delay between Eagles of Death Metal albums, both Hughes and Homme have remained busy, with the former releasing Honkey Kong in 2011, a solo album under the moniker Boots Electric.

Homme, meanwhile, has spent much of the past two years touring in support of Queens of the Stone Age's 2013 effort …Like Clockwork, the band's first album since 2007. Amongst notable contributions from Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor, Elton John and Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears, …Like Clockwork also featured original bassist Nick Oliveri, who was fired from the band in 2004.

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Beastie Boys Receive $668,000 From Monster for Legal Bills

Beastie Boys Receive $668,000 From Monster for Legal Bills:

Beastie Boys' long-running legal battle against Monster Energy may finally be nearing conclusion after the judge overseeing the case ruled that the energy drink company must pay the Ill Communication group an additional $668,000 to cover legal fees. The group had been seeking $2.4 million, but after reviewing their bills, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled that the band would still come out ahead by more than $500,000 following this latest decision. According to the New York Times, Engelmayer wrote that the Beasties "opted to pay for, and received, the Cadillac Escalade, not the Honda Civic" of legal representation.

The Beastie Boys were awarded $1.7 million in June 2014 after a federal jury ruled that Monster infringed on the group's copyright and that the energy drink makers misled consumers into thinking that the Beastie Boys endorsed the product.

However, six months later, the Beastie Boys filed another lawsuit asking that Monster pay restitution for the $2.4 million in legal fees that the band had accrued in the original court battle and Monster's subsequent efforts to appeal the verdict. The Beasties argued in January that they'd actually lost money on the Monster trial, despite their initial $1.7 million award.

The trial stems from an incident where Monster posted a 23-minute medley of Beastie Boys songs mixed by DJ Z-Trip as a MP3 download and promotional video on their website without the Beasties' permission; the Beastie Boys filed their lawsuit against Monster in August 2012, just months following the death of Adam "MCA" Yauch.

One of the conditions in Yauch's will was that the group never license their music to endorse products, and the Beastie Boys have come hard at any company that violates that wish.

"Presiding over trial and hearing the surviving Beastie Boys' testimony, it was apparent to the court that this case had great personal significance to them," Engelmayer wrote in his decision. "Monster's commercial exploitation of the band's music and songs, and what the Beastie Boys perceived as Monster's crass misappropriation of the name of the recently deceased Yauch in its video promoting its energy drinks, appeared to have deeply offended plaintiffs."

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Pilgrimage Festival Boosts Lineup With Chris Stapleton, Dawes

Pilgrimage Festival Boosts Lineup With Chris Stapleton, Dawes:

Less than one week after the close of Bonnaroo 2015, another Tennessee-based festival is gearing up for its own music-filled weekend. The Pilgrimage Festival, which just announced its final round of performers, will take place September 26th and 27th in Franklin, Tennessee, armed with an A-list lineup whose headliners include Willie Nelson, Wilco and Sheryl Crow.

Newly-added performers include Chris Stapleton, Dawes, Cage the Elephant, Band of Horses, Trampled by Turtles, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Holly Williams, Nawas and Kingfish. Although the lineup has its fair share of rock, Pilgrimage will focus heavily on modern-day roots music. Neko Case, Punch Brothers, Iron & Wine, Will Hoge, the Lone Bellow and Nikki Lane all dot the lineup. New Orleans icons Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will also play their own sets, too, as will pop-rock icons Weezer and funk-soul greats Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires. Family folk duo Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, who made a splash at last year's Americana Music Festival — held 20 minutes north of Franklin's city limits, in Nashville — are also scheduled to play Pilgrimage, which takes place one week after the 2015 Americana Fest.

Organized by Better than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin, a Franklin resident whose recent projects include co-writing hits for Sugarland, Howie Day and Tristan Prettyman, the Pilgrimage Festival will take place on a century-old horse farm. There will be a heavy emphasis on acoustic performances, with most bands setting aside a portion of their set for stripped-down songs. Finally, in a marked contrast to festivals like Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza, Pilgrimage will bring its music to a stop by 7:30 p.m., giving attendees a fighting chance to avoid post-festival maladies like "the BonnaFlu" and "CoughChella."

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See Dierks Bentley Perform Inspiring New Song 'Riser' at CMA Fest

See Dierks Bentley Perform Inspiring New Song 'Riser' at CMA Fest:

When Dierks Bentley recorded the soaring anthem "Riser," he knew he always wanted to release it to radio as a single. But he was also aware that such a move would be a gamble. After all, serious mid-tempo songs don't often get much airtime on country radio, and the first single off his Grammy-nominated album Riser, the sobering "Bourbon in Kentucky," quickly died at radio.

"We put 'Bourbon in Kentucky' out in the middle of the summer and it was just too heavy," Bentley told Rolling Stone Country then. "It wasn't working, and we knew it'd be a tough sell, but we were gutsy to try. And my fans still love it. I play it at every show."

"Riser" too has become a fan favorite — so much so that Bentley is pushing ahead with releasing the Travis Meadows and Steve Moakler-written song as the album's fifth single.

"When I first heard that song, wow. It is such a special song. It really hit me hard. Not only did we know we were going to record it, but we thought it'd be the cornerstone of the record," said Bentley, who performed the title track this past weekend on the LP Field main stage at CMA Music Festival. (Watch the video above.)

With its message of determination, perseverance and, ultimately, survival, "Riser" is worlds apart from the here's-to-the-good-times tracks that make up radio playlists. Instead, it's all about the bad times — and how one overcomes them.

"I don't see how 'Riser' would be a scary song. It's empowering and I think it's necessary," Meadows, a celebrated Nashville songwriter who conquered his own addictions to make the cult record Killing Uncle Buzzy, told Rolling Stone Country. "I got tired of fighting and laid down and quit. That was the darkest period of my life, dealing with depression, the crisis of faith, of life and a mid-life crisis."

"You hear a song like that and you have to meet the guy behind it," Bentley said. "Travis has been through a lot — he's lived and breathed and died with that song. I feel honored to have it. . . I have a lot of respect for those guys who let me record their songs. I want the whole world to hear it and do the song justice, and give that song as big a platform as possible. Especially a song like 'Riser.' It has been and really could be so impactful on people's lives."

The title track has already inspired tattoos of the album's artwork — the "Riser Bird" — among Bentley's fans. At a recent performance in Nashville, Meadows debuted a new leather guitar strap with the logo. With a groundswell of support for the anthem, Bentley may be on the cusp of a movement, a defining brand with which he and his audience can identify. And, most importantly, "Riser" may also do what "Bourbon in Kentucky" could not — rise at country radio.

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Dixie Chicks to Reunite for European Tour

Dixie Chicks to Reunite for European Tour:

Dixie Chicks, the best-selling female band of all-time, will return to the concert stage in 2016, and stateside fans who want to catch the trio will need to have their passports in order. Singer Natalie Maines, guitarist Emily Robison Strayer and fiddle player Martie Maguire announced on their website that they'll embark on a European tour in 2016.

Related: Booting Ass & Taking Names: 20 Best Country Revenge Songs

"Superstars, renegades, innovators, heroes, villains, and moms – for over a decade, the Dixie Chicks have grown from a band into a phenomenon, with over 30 million albums sold," the post begins, followed by a list of destinations on the upcoming trek. "Starting in Amsterdam, the tour will then head to the UK and Ireland to play arenas in Birmingham, Manchester, London, Glasgow, and will culminate in Dublin."

The Amsterdam date, at Heineken Music Hall, takes place April 20th and the tour concludes in the Republic of Ireland's capital city on May 4th. The Grammy-winning group's London date, on May 1st, will take place at the O2 Arena, about 13 miles east of the O2 Empire in Shepherd's Bush, the site of Maines' infamous 2003 declaration in protest of then-President Bush and the impending Iraq War. In 2006, they returned to what Maines called "the scene of the crime," where she repeated the headline-grabbing quote that included the incendiary line, "We're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas," which received a thunderous ovation from the crowd and swift retribution in their home state and beyond. Maines' comments were included in the band's 2006 documentary, Shut Up and Sing.

Since Maines' statement was met with a widespread boycott of their music at country radio, the Chicks have since only released one new album, 2006's Taking the Long Way, which earned them five Grammy awards, including Album of the Year. They toured with the Eagles in 2010, the same year Maguire and Strayer formed the Court Yard Hounds duo. Each year since then, they have played a few select dates as a group, with Maines releasing her solo rock LP, Mother, in May 2013. Court Yard Hounds released their second album, Amelita, two months later. From October 2013 to March 2014, they traveled North America and Europe on the Long Time Gone Tour.

On Saturday, June 20th, Strayer will be among the acts performing at the #Austin4Wimberley Flood Relief Benefit in Austin. Proceeds from the event will benefit victims of the widespread flooding and tornadoes that devastated the area last month. Tickets, including VIP packages, are available here.

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On the Charts: Muse, Rolling Stones Continue British Reign

On the Charts: Muse, Rolling Stones Continue British Reign:

More than two decades after they formed, British prog-rockers Muse have finally scored their first Number One album on the U.S. charts as their new LP Drones debuted atop the Billboard 200. Muse's seventh studio album moved 84,000 total albums in its first week of release, a drop from the 101,000 copies the band's The 2nd Law sold in its first week in 2012 on its way to Number Two, Billboard reports.

Muse's Number One landing comes a week after fellow Brits Florence and the Machine occupied the top spot. As Billboard notes, this is the first time in 30 years that two different British rock bands finished at Number One in consecutive weeks. The last time this happened: 1985, when Tears for Fears' Songs From the Big Chair was unseated from atop the album charts by Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms.

Muse and Florence and the Machine weren't the only British rockers making moves in the top 10: The Rolling Stones' 1971 classic Sticky Fingers found itself at Number Five thanks to the album's stocked reissue. The Sticky Fingers rerelease moved 36,000 total albums, giving the LP its best chart position since the original Sticky Fingers slotted in the Number Five spot on Aug. 14, 1971.

Florence and the Machine's How Big, How Beautiful, How Blue fell to Number Four in its second week, shedding 73 percent of its debut week sales to finish its second week with 37,000 copies sold. Taylor Swift's 1989 held strong at Number Two thanks to the continued sales of her "Bad Blood" remix, while Of Monsters and Men's Beneath the Skin wrapped up the Number Three spot with 61,000 copies, the Icelandic group's best debut yet on the Billboard 200.

No other debuts managed to infiltrate the upper reaches of the charts as Ed Sheeran's X, Sam Hunt's Montevallo, A$AP Rocky's At.Long.Last.A$AP, Maroon 5’s V and Meghan Trainor's Title fleshed out the rest of the Top 10.

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Joey Bada$$ Plots Festival Benefit for Deceased Labelmate's Family

Joey Bada$$ Plots Festival Benefit for Deceased Labelmate's Family:

Joey Bada$$ has detailed the first annual Steez Day Festival, an event honoring late collaborator Capital Steez, who founded the Brooklyn hip-hop collective Pro Era in 2011 and took his own life in 2012. The festival will feature performances from Bada$$ and Pro Era, along with Flatbush Zombies, the Underachievers, Smoke DZA, Phony PPL and more. Steez Day, part of New York City's SummerStage series, will be held July 7th in Central Park. Proceeds from all tickets – which are available to order at TicketFly – will be donated to Steez's family.

Joey also shared a gritty video for "Paper Trail$," a cinematic track from his 2015 debut LP, B4.DA.$$ (one of Rolling Stone's 45 Best Albums of 2015 So Far). Directed by Tom Gould, the black-and-white clip focuses on the rapper's life prior to his burgeoning hip-hop career, as he hustles on crime-filled streets to provide for himself and his mother.

"They say money is the root of all evil / I say money is the root of all people," he rhymes over producer DJ Premier's strings, piano and scratching. "It's the dollar dollar bill, it's the dollar bill that kills, y'all," he warns – in a nod to Wu-Tang Clan's "C.R.E.A.M." And his words turn prophetic, as the clip ends with a violent climax. Watch below.



Joey is currently on the road for his West Coast leg of his World Domination tour, which kicked off June 16th in Santa Cruz, California. The rapper has dates scheduled throughout June and July, including a number of European festivals.

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Trump Campaign: We'll Stop Using Neil Young's Music

Trump Campaign: We'll Stop Using Neil Young's Music:

One day after Neil Young criticized Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for using Young's 1989 song "Rockin' in the Free World" at a campaign event, Trump's campaign manager tells Rolling Stone the candidate will refrain from any future use of Young's music.

"We won't be using it again," campaign manager Corey Lewandowski says. "There are plenty of other songs to choose from, despite the fact that Mr. Trump is a big fan and likes Neil very much. We will respect his wish and not use it because it's the right thing to do."

Young's management company Lookout issued a statement on behalf of the singer on Tuesday, stating, "Donald Trump was not authorized to use 'Rockin' in the Free World' in his presidential candidacy announcement. "Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America."

Despite Young's protestations, though, Lewandowski asserts that the campaign's usage of the song was done through proper and legitimate channels. "We've done everything legal and by the book," he says. "The Trump Campaign for President wrote two checks, which were cashed, and signed two contracts: One was with [performance-rights organization] ASCAP and the other was with BMI. We have two legally binding contracts in place that allow us to go to their repertoire of music and use those [tracks] legally."

By law, ASCAP is obligated to grant a license to any business, including political campaign organizations, that requests it, provided all paperwork is in order. "If ASCAP and BMI have not properly licensed that music to Neil, then they shouldn't have it on their website," Lewandowski says. "But we have a proper license in place through legal, binding documents with cashed checks."

When reached for comment, a representative for ASCAP referred Rolling Stone to their Music in Political Campaigns page. On their site, ASCAP addresses artists' legal rights and criticisms under the question, "Can the campaign still be criticized or even sued by an artist for playing his or her song at an event?"

"Yes. If an artist does not want his or her music to be associated with the campaign, he or she may be able to legal action even if the campaign has the appropriate copyright licenses," ASCAP says. "While the campaign would be in compliance with copyright law, it could potentially be in violation of other laws, including "Right of Publicity" and "False Endorsement."

This isn't the first time Trump and Young have crossed paths on the political music spectrum. In 2006, Trump attended a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young show during the group's Freedom of Speech tour. At one point, Trump and author Salman Rushdie stood up and sung along to the 2006 song "Let's Impeach the President," written and produced by Young.

"He's got something very special," Trump told Rolling Stone in 2008. "I've listened to his music for years. His voice is perfect and haunting. I've met him on occasions and he's a terrific guy."

For Lewandowski, the controversy appears to be personal against Trump, though it hasn't diminished the campaign staff's confidence. "I'd be willing to wager that the Trump campaign is the only one you're calling out," he says. "I don't understand [that] other than the fact that he's the only guy that's going to win the Republican nomination."

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Little Big Town Postpone Tour, Jimi Westbrook to Undergo Surgery

Little Big Town Postpone Tour, Jimi Westbrook to Undergo Surgery:

The reigning CMA Vocal Group of the Year has been forced to postpone its summer tour. Little Big Town announced today that all shows through July 30th have been either canceled or postponed so that member Jimi Westbrook can have surgery to remove a polyp on his vocal cord.

The group, made up of Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet, shared the news with fans via a statement on their website.

"With heavy hearts we want to let you guys know that Jimi will have to undergo surgery next week to remove a polyp on his vocal cord. As a result, doctors have ordered him to rest his voice and completely recuperate before we continue touring," it read.

Little Big Town went on to express regret for missing the shows and assured their fan base that they'd share updates on Westbrook's condition.

"It breaks our hearts to let you guys down, but Jimi's health is the most important thing and he is expected to make a full recovery with rest and treatment," the statement concluded, before thanking fans for their understanding and support.

The band, who scored a validating hit with the poignant ballad "Girl Crush," performed a headlining set at CMA Music Festival this past weekend in Nashville and joined the Oak Ridge Boys onstage for a rendition of "Elvira." Little Big Town also filmed segments for ABC's CMA Music Fest special, which they'll host on August 4th. The quartet was set to play in Reno, Nevada, last night but canceled the concert after Westbrook lost his voice. Their summer tour featured support from David Nail and Ashley Monroe.

Check with Little Big Town's website and the venues for further information, including rescheduled dates.

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Neil Young: 'I Make My Music for People, Not for Candidates'

Neil Young: 'I Make My Music for People, Not for Candidates':

One day after 2016 presidential candidate – and hardcore Neil Young fan – Donald Trump played "Rockin' in the Free World" to launch his campaign, the rocker has penned a long statement decrying the song's usage as well as the current economics of politics. Without mentioning Trump by name, Young acknowledged on Facebook that "a U.S. presidential candidate" rallied around the Freedom track "without my permission."

"Music is a universal language, so I am glad that so many people with varying beliefs get enjoyment from my music, even if they don't share my beliefs," Young wrote. "But had I been asked to allow my music to be used for a candidate - I would have said no."

Young also took issue with the fact that numerous publications paired a photo of him and Trump together with the story about the campaign's use of "Rockin' in the Free World," which could be misconstrued as Young supporting Trump's candidacy. Young clarified that the photo was "taken during a meeting when I was trying to raise funds for Pono" and had nothing to do with politics.

Following the uproar, Trump's campaign manager told Rolling Stone that the real estate mogul will refrain from playing "Rockin' in the Free World" on the campaign trail. "We won't be using it again," campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said. "There are plenty of other songs to choose from, despite the fact that Mr. Trump is a big fan and likes Neil very much. We will respect his wish and not use it because it's the right thing to do."

While the Trump campaign claimed that they received permission from ASCAP to use the song, a spokesperson for the rocker's Lookout Management said in a statement that "Donald Trump was not authorized to use 'Rockin' in the Free World' in his presidential candidacy announcement. Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America." However, the campaign may have legally purchased the rights to use the song from ASCAP without having to inform Young specifically.

Young further explained his stance on the use of his music and politics. "I am Canadian and I don't vote in the United States, but more importantly I don't like the current political system in the USA and some other countries," Young wrote. "Increasingly, democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests. The money needed to run for office, the money spent on lobbying by special interests, the ever increasing economic disparity and the well-funded legislative decisions all favor corporate interests over the people's."

The rocker's statement also took aim at the recent remarks from Monsanto, Starbucks and Walmart regarding his upcoming LP The Monsanto Years. "When I speak out on corporations hurting the common man or the environment or other species, I expect a well-financed disinformation campaign to be aimed my way," Young wrote. "Such is the case with the reaction to my new album The Monsanto Years, which covers many of these issues."

Young concluded his statement by writing, "I do not trust self-serving misinformation coming from corporations and their media trolls. I do not trust politicians who are taking millions from those corporations either. I trust people. So I make my music for people not for candidates."

Read Young's entire statement below.

Yesterday my song "Rockin in the Free World" was used in an announcement for a U.S. presidential candidate without my permission.

A picture of me with this candidate was also circulated in conjunction with this announcement but It was a photograph taken during a meeting when I was trying to raise funds for Pono, my online high resolution music service.

Music is a universal language. so I am glad that so many people with varying beliefs get enjoyment from my music, even if they don't share my beliefs.

But had I been asked to allow my music to be used for a candidate - I would have said no.

I am Canadian and I don't vote in the United States, but more importantly I don't like the current political system in the USA and some other countries. Increasingly Democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests. The money needed to run for office, the money spent on lobbying by special interests, the ever increasing economic disparity and the well funded legislative decisions all favor corporate interests over the people's.

The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling is proof of this corruption as well as are the proposed trade deals which would further compromise our rights.
These Corporations were originally created to serve us but if we don't appropriately prioritize they will destroy us. Corporations don't have children. They don't have feelings or soul. They don't depend on uncontaminated water, clean air or healthy food to survive. They are beholden to one thing - the bottom line.
I choose to speak Truth to this Economic Power. When I speak out on corporations hurting the common man or the environment or other species, I expect a well financed disinformation campaign to be aimed my way.
Such is the case with the reaction to my new album The Monsanto Years, which covers many of these issues. I support those bringing these issues to light and those who fight for their rights like Freedom of Choice.
But Freedom of Choice is meaningless without knowledge.
Thats why its crucial we all get engaged and get informed.
That's why GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children. They need freedom to make educated choices at the market. When the people have voted for labeling, as they have in Vermont, they need our support when they are fighting these corporate interests trying to reverse the laws they have voted for and passed in the democratic process.

I do not trust self serving misinformation coming from corporations and their media trolls. I do not trust politicians who are taking millions from those corporations either. I trust people. So I make my music for people not for candidates.

Keep on Rockin in the Free World.
Neil Young

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Bad Religion, Pennywise, Descendents Lead It's Not Dead Fest Lineup

Bad Religion, Pennywise, Descendents Lead It's Not Dead Fest Lineup:

It's been over three decades since the Exploited reminded mohawked rockers that "punk's not dead," a sentiment that resounds throughout the lineup of the first-ever It's Not Dead Festival in California. Bad Religion, Pennywise, Descendents and NOFX are among the dozens of groups slated to perform on the San Manuel Amphitheater Festival Grounds in San Bernardino on October 10th.

The Vandals, 7 Seconds, Bouncing Souls, Anti-Flag, Strung Out, Fishbone, H20, Lagwagon, Goldfinger, Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake will also perform on the fest's main stage. The second stage will feature the Adolescents, Agent Orange, CJ Ramone, Sham 69, Swingin' Utters, the Dickies, T.S.O.L. and others. D.I. will headline the third stage.

The fest will also feature an "old-school skate/BMX jam," according to organizers, which will feature shows by famous skateboarders Mike Frazier, Steve Caballero, Christian Hosoi, Omar Hassan and Neal Hendrix, as well as pro skaters Lizzie Armanto, Alex Perelson and Josh Borden and BMX rider Dennis McCoy. There will also be an art exhibition dubbed "Art's Not Dead," which will display works by Mark deSalvo, Dave Naz and Natalia Fabia, among others, and a spotlight on authors at its "Punk's Well Read" book signing area. Authors, including Jeff Alulis, Danny Bland, Cecil Castellucci and T.S.O.L. frontman Jack Grisham, will take part in signings.

"It's Not Dead Festival is basically any punk rock fan's dream lineup," co-producer Kevin Lyman, who also founded the Warped Tour, said in a statement. "Where else will you be able to see all these legendary bands in one place, on one day?"

Tickets for the fest go on sale on June 22nd at 10 a.m. PST via the fest's website.

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Dolly Parton Announces Rare Stripped-Down Nashville Concert

Dolly Parton Announces Rare Stripped-Down Nashville Concert:

Although she's been a Nashville resident since 1964 and a Grand Ole Opry member since 1969, Dolly Parton's live concert appearances in Music City have, of late, been few and far between. But on July 31st, exactly 13 years and 10 days since her last full concert at the Ryman Auditorium, the global icon returns to the historic stage for the Dustin Wells Foundation's Gift of Music concert to benefit the W.O. Smith School of Music.

"The 'Gift of Music' is something that runs deep within my kin folks," Parton said in a statement. "I love and cherish the Ryman and I am really excited to perform there to help raise money for the Dustin Wells Foundation. This goes to help many young kids that are part of the W.O. Smith School of Music. Through all of us working together we can make a difference in helping a child feel the magic in making music."

Tickets for the all-new "Dolly Parton: Pure and Simple" concert event, which will feature a more streamlined version of her usual full-band show, are $85 and $55 plus applicable service charges, and will be available starting at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 20th, online at www.ryman.com. A limited number of VIP packages will be available at the Dustin Wells Gift of Music website.

Although she has embarked on several sold-out tours throughout the world, including playing to a record-setting crowd of more than 100,000 at England's Glastonbury Music Festival last year, Parton's last full-length concert in Nashville was during her Halos & Horns Tour in 2002. The pop-country superstar's most recent trek, the Blue Smoke World Tour in 2014, grossed more than $23 million with 47 stops throughout North America, Europe and Australia.

After Dustin Jack Wells, a music major at Belmont University, lost his life in a car accident in 2005, his family and friends set up a foundation in his honor. All monetary donations to the foundation are used to reach out to others in his memory and to enrich the lives of the young people who attend the W.O. Smith school. Since 2008, the benefit concert has featured performances from Dierks Bentley, Ronnie Dunn, Lee Greenwood, Kellie Pickler, Lady Antebellum, Peter Frampton, Peter Cetera, Gunnar Nelson and many others.

One week after the Gift of Music concert event, on August 8th and 9th, Parton will perform four sold-out shows at her Dollywood theme park in east Tennessee. Proceeds will benefit the singer-philanthropist's Imagination Library.

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Iron Maiden Announce New Double Album 'The Book of Souls'

Iron Maiden Announce New Double Album 'The Book of Souls':

Metal legends Iron Maiden have announced the release of their new album, The Book of Souls, for later this fall. The album will set a couple of milestones for the group: It will be the band's first-ever double studio LP and also feature the sextet's longest-ever song. The 92-minute album will be released on September 4th, a date predicated on frontman Bruce Dickinson getting time to recover from his recent bout with tongue cancer. He got the "all clear" last month.

The band recorded the album late last year in Paris with producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley, who has co-produced the group's records since 2000's Brave New World. Maiden recorded "finishing touches" on the album earlier this year. Artist Mark Wilkinson, who has previously made art for Maiden, Judas Priest and Marillion, designed The Book of Souls' cover.

The band said that they're excited about the personal advancements they achieved while making the record. "We approached this album in a different way to how we've recorded previously," bassist and frequent songwriter Steve Harris said in a statement. "A lot of the songs were actually written while we were there in the studio and we rehearsed and recorded them straight away while they were still fresh, and I think that immediacy really shows in the songs. They have almost a live feel to them."

"We're really excited about The Book Of Souls and had a fantastic time creating it," Dickinson added. "We started working on the album in late summer 2014 and recorded it at Guillame Tell Studios in Paris, where we'd done the Brave New World album back in 2000, so the studio holds special memories for all of us. We were delighted to discover the same magical vibe is still alive and very much kicking there.... By the time we'd finished we all agreed that each track was such an integral part of the whole body of work that if it needed to be a double album, then double it's going to be!"

The album will be available in standard and deluxe hardcover editions, triple vinyl and high res audio. Clocking in at over 18 minutes, album closer "The Empire of the Clouds" – which Dickinson wrote himself – is the band's longest-ever song. It's also worth nothing that "Tears of a Clown," as listed in the track list below, is an original Maiden song and not a Smokey Robinson & the Miracles cover.

The group is planning on hitting the road to support the album next year assuming that Dickinson remains healthy. The singer revealed that he had been diagnosed with a tumor on his tongue this past February, and the band reported in March that he was recovering well. Last month, Dickinson reported that his doctor had given him the "all clear."

"I'm a firm believer in trying to maintain a positive attitude, and the encouragement from the global Maiden family meant a great deal to me," the singer wrote in a statement at the time. "Right now, I'm feeling extremely motivated and can't wait to get back to business as usual, as soon as I can!"

The Book of Souls Track List:

Disc 1

1. "If Eternity Should Fail"
2. "Speed of Light"
3. "The Great Unknown"
4. "The Red and the Black"
5. "When the River Runs Deep"
6. "The Book of Souls"

Disc 2

7. "Death or Glory"
8. "Shadows of the Valley"
9. "Tears of a Clown"
10. "The Man of Sorrows"
11. "Empire of the Clouds"

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