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Archive for 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008 Top 15 albums of 2008 (Part 3 of 3)

Well folks here it is… Our final top 15 albums of 2008. From writers in 8 countries we have tallied all the votes, crunched the numbers and POW… this is it… broken down into 3 groups (15 to 11. – 10 to 6. then 5 to 1.) Here is our list for the year. ENJOY! Now for the top of the heap, Number 5 to 1!!

Hope you enjoy our selections, See you in January!

1 Tv On the Radio: Dear Science
(Halfway Home- Video)

New York’s TV On the Radio used to make difficult music that was easier to admire than to like. However, their fourth album seems to answer the conundrum of how to make experimental music popular. Led by guitarist/production wizkid David Sitek, Dear Science comes laden with awkward drums, avant jazz squawks, the hum of electric pylons and what at one point sounds like the whirr of a recorded hedge trimmer. However, the noises inhabit tunes that are never less than singable. With influences as diverse as The The, afrobeat and the funky guitar sound favoured by Chic and Haircut 100, Dear Science is both visceral and cerebral. Tunde Adebimpe sings everything from pop critique (“Angry young mannequin, American apparently”) to old-fashioned sauce (“I’m gonna shake you, I’m gonna make you come”). The driving Spector-Numanesque Halfway Home may be album opener of the year, while the spectacularly lovely Family Tree is, implausibly, an art rock ballad. Career-defining stuff. And our album of the year.

2 White Denim: Exposion
(Shake Shake Shake- Video)

Right off the bat on Exposion, it’s hard to pin White Denim down. The first riff could be one jagged and broken guitar line. Or it could be a breakneck, two-guitar interplay. Or it could be samples of guitar notes cobbled together to make a fractured riff. It’s broken down and crackled enough to be made of busted parts, but based on a string of notes so quick and infectious that it is the perfect hook to pull you into the album. It also sets up an album where things that appear broken or backwards are actually the driving forces. On “Transparency”, you can hear the dry ruffle of the guitarist’s hard strumming almost as clearly as you can hear the chords coming out of the amplifier. “Migration Wind” opens with a cacophony of battling guitar notes and deep-underwater bass lines. “Shake Shake Shake” is almost too fast for its own good, the guitars so full of treble they sound like they might crack. But nothing ever does crack on Exposion. It always manages to just barely hold together. Not only does it keep its jagged pieces knotted together to make a whole, it meshes different sounds throughout the record. The frenetic energy on every track works against the album’s bluesy intentions in a very interesting way, making the emotion on these songs sound more exasperated and desperate than beaten down and sad. The vocals, even at their quietest, are full-throated howls of want and not keening wails of melancholy. And our baying hawkers—the whole band shouts in the background throughout the record—lead us through a rough and beautiful freak show of sounds. There’s the psychedelic pop of “Ieieie”. The atmospheric southern rock of “You Can’t Say”. The pastoral folk into sawdust power-pop of “Heart from All of Us”. From song to song, the band surprises the listener with a new take on a sound that is all theirs. Even when they take a break from the rough speed of most of their songs, they don’t lose any of their boundless energy. “WDA” has the laidback jazzy feel of mid-career Sea and Cake, while “All Truckers Roll” is all country road feel, but both break away from their starts in their own way. The former gets crunchier as it goes, while the latter crumbles from its sweet beginnings into the scratch and fizzle of cymbals and distortion squeaks.
From beginning to end, Exposion threatens chaos, but White Denim know the value of pushing to the edge without going over. The pop sensibility behind all this sprawling, sweaty R&B, mixed with a heavy dose of the roadrunner speed and snarl of garage punk, is what drives the haphazard beauty of this album. At its most out of control, this album exudes an impressive amount of focus, and in the end, White Denim gets to have it both ways. They’re as catchy as any pop band going, but they also handle strange sounds, texture, and off-kilter compositions as well as your favorite noise experimenter. No matter what music you’re into, Exposion probably has something for you.

3 Tabacco: Fucked up Friends
(Backwoods Alter- Video)

Solo debut from the main constituent behind Black Moth Super Rainbow. Features vocals from Aesop Rock. Early version of Fucked Up Friends’ audio was featured on Tobacco’s limited DVD collaboration with visual artist Beta Carnage. Follows up Black Moth Super Rainbow’s 2007 smash hit, Dandelion Gum. On his first solo album, Tobacco explores a darker, starker, and altogether more badass dimension of his complex vision. With his group, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Tobacco distinguishes himself as a master of jagged beats, glowing melodies, and pronounced tension. This time, he works alone, in rural Pennsylvania, away from conventions and interference. And the results? They are magnificent.

4 Calexico: Carried to Dust
(Two Silver Trees- Video)

It’s impossible to experience any undue tension or stress while listening to Calexico. Despite time spent in Los Angeles, where they met, founders Joey Burns (vocals, guitar) and John Convertino (drums) produce sounds more reflective of their sun-blasted Tucson environs. Since spinning off Howe Gelb’s indomitable Giant Sand and forming their own collective, their songs have always been too hushed, too much like lullabies not to soothe the most savage breast, and Carried to Dust marks their most relaxed and confident effort to date. Burns and Convertino pursue such a mellow, yet expansive muse that they blur the lines between indie rock, imaginary soundtracks, and ethnographic explorations. As with the work of Douglas McCombs (Tortoise) and Sam Beam (Iron & Wine), who contribute to their sixth long-player, this isn’t such a bad thing (the duo previously collaborated with Beam on 2005’s In the Reins). What they lack in edge or, God forbid, trendiness, the band makes up for in beauty and creativity. Note, for instance, the cascading keyboard figures of “Two Silver Trees” or the way toy piano and chimes entwine on lovely closer “Contention City.” Calexico don’t make music to get the party started, but to bring it to a warm and satisfying conclusion.

5 Deerhunter- Microcastle
(Nothing Ever Happened- Video)

Deerhunter wants to stay put. To be locked in windowless rooms. To never age. To sleep. To be dead. In a way, it’s ironic that the Atlanta band gets tagged as punk, even when it’s attached to prefixes like “psych,” “ambient,” or “art”: Punk music agitates for upheaval, but Deerhunter seeks only stasis. “I had a dream no longer to be free,” goes “Agoraphobia,” and the line summarizes Microcastle: Deerhunter’s latest is a complete
fantasy, a shimmering depiction of what it’s like to wish fervently for calm, but know it’s not coming. The harsh, ambient darkness of 2007’s Cryptograms is mostly absent on Microcastle, replaced by blazing gold and orange hues, warmly whirring guitar solos, pepped-up drumming, pop hooks, and gauzy echoes of Motown and krautrock. The bolder sound signals that Deerhunter is now less concerned with the scarring effects of loss, conflict, and the passage of time, and more concerned with the ways to escape those things—even if that escape is fleeting. On “Little Kids,” a group of drunken youths symbolically reject aging by lighting an old man on fire. But as the flames rise, so does the sumptuous shoegaze squall and Bradford Cox’s soft insistence that those kids will “get older still.” Freedom from hurt: Deerhunter realizes it’s impossible, but Microcastle shows it’s a beautiful idea all the same.

Monday, December 1, 2008

White Denim- Let’s talk about it (Video)

Kanye West- 808 and Heartbreak (Album Review)

I have this vision of Kanye West sitting in a hotel room, sad-eyed and head down, listening to his lady break up with him. She rattles off a long list of reasons why it’s not working, and West storms off in a huff, angry yet devastated.

The next day, he goes straight to the studio and records “808s & Heartbreak,” which is out today, just a little more than a year since his last album, “Graduation.”

That’s probably not how it happened, but on “808s,” West holds a serious grudge. He sounds reactionary, ready to exact revenge on anyone who’s broken his heart. It is by far the strangest record he’s ever made: a willfully sullen and uncompromising electro-pop album from one of hip-hop’s biggest stars. Aside from the first two singles (“Love Lockdown,” “Heartless”), much of “808s” sounds like a sonic wasteland, with West’s digitized voice floating in like a tumbleweed.

It’s his first serious attempt to sing more than rap. But he relies so heavily on Auto-Tune, the du jour studio trick that dominates Top 40 urban radio, that you don’t get a real sense of his vocal chops. He doesn’t sing so much as he allows Auto-Tune to bend his pitch, flattening out all the nuances.

But his vocals are easy to overlook because the production values are so interesting. The songs have a lot going on, yet they sound bone-dry, sometimes industrial and cold. “Say You Will” opens the album on a spartan note, trailing off into three minutes of blips pinging back and forth.

The biggest problem here is West’s songwriting. Some of his better lyrics would be clever as one-off rhymes in a rap song, but they’re not strong enough to build into full-blown choruses. The shockingly shallow hook of “Amazing” is just West looping the words “so amazing”; not even guest rapper Young Jeezy, sounding like he’s just snuffed out his 100th cigarette of the day, gives the song much life. Similarly, Lil Wayne’s talent is squandered on “See You in My Nightmares.”

After a foreboding cello intro, West hints at inner turmoil on “Welcome to Heartbreak,” but it’s hard to feel sorry for a guy who seems to have it all. “My friend showed me pictures of his kids/ And all I could show him was pictures of my cribs,” he sings.

He’s more in his element on the dance track “Paranoid,” perhaps because he’s back to rapping. He’s quick on his feet as he glides over the kind of pulsating ’80s synthesizers you might expect from Lupe Fiasco. And West finally gets in some good lines: “You wanna check into the Heartbreak Hotel/ But sorry, we’re closed.”

At least the brokenhearted star gets in the last word – it’s just too bad he decided to sing it.

Live Earth India Canceled After Terror Attacks

The Live Earth India concert, scheduled to be held in Mumbai on Sunday (Dec. 7), has been called off after terror attacks in India’s financial capital killed nearly 200 people.

Jon Bon Jovi, Roger Waters and Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan were to share the stage at the event to raise funds for lighting homes with solar energy in places where people do not have access to electricity.

Islamist gunmen held Mumbai hostage for three days last week using assault rifles and grenades at two luxury hotels and other landmarks, killing close to 200 people, including 22 foreigners.

“We are all shaken up by this event, and even though we believe in the cause of global warming, we have indefinitely postponed the Live Earth concert,” said Viraf Sarkari, director of the Wizcraft event management firm, the local organiser.

Many international artists due to perform at the event were bound by advisories issued by their countries asking citizens not to travel to India, making this an “overriding factor” in the decision to cancel the concert, he added.

“We have artists like Jon Bon Jovi and Roger Waters, so we had to take this into account as well,” he said.

The statement was issued by Live Earth founder Kevin Wall, former United States vice president Al Gore and R.K. Pachauri, chairman of the United Nations Inter-government Panel for Climate Chang

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kingblind Thanksgiving Mixed Tape (Mp3’s)

Enjoy our collection of Thanksgiving themed tunes, See you next week!

Poi Dog Pondering- Thanksgiving

Adam Sandler – The Thanksgiving Song

Graham Parker – Almost Thanksgiving Day

William S. Burroughs – A Thanksgiving Prayer

Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant Thanksgiving Massacre

Loudon Wainwright III – Thanksgiving (live)

DM Stith: “Thanksgiving Moon (demo)”

George Winston – Thanksgiving


In what has to rank as one of the most unlikely developments in rock, the awe-inspiring primal force of the Jesus Lizard will return, briefly, in 2009. The original lineup of David Yow, Duane Denison, David Wm. Sims and Mac McNeilly will reform for a very limited series of live dates in 2009, starting with the All Tomorrow’s Parties event dubbed The Fans Strike Back in Minehead, UK on May 9 and 10 and ending with a final appearance in Chicago in late November. These shows will be the Jesus Lizard’s first since disbanding in 1999 and the first in twelve years to feature the original storied quartet. As anyone who has experienced the Jesus Lizard live can attest, they are one of the most intense and visceral musical assemblies to ever stalk a stage. This fleeting reunion offers an incredible opportunity to either be blown away all over again or to immerse yourself in the sweaty power and driving mayhem for the very first time.

In celebration of this event, Touch and Go Records will reissue four full-length releases from the Jesus Lizard in May 2009. Remastered recordings of Head, Goat, Liar, and Down will be available on both LP and CD, all with expanded packaging and liner notes. Bob Weston is heading up the remastering process with Steve Albini, the original session engineer, sitting in.

Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


New York, NY – Brody Dalle, lead singer and songwriter of the
influential punk band The Distillers, is marking the next step in her
career with her new band Spinnerette. The band will release their first
new music, Ghetto Love, a digital EP available only at beginning December 11th. The 4 song EP will
include brand new Spinnerette songs all penned by Brody Dalle and
produced by Alain Johannes. On December 16th, the Spinnerette Ghetto
Love EP will also be available on iTunes.

After disbanding The Distillers in 2006, Brody took the last few years
to regroup and start a family with husband Joshua Homme. During this
time, she began focusing on a new direction to take her music and
mapping out the path to calling her own shots for her new project. The 4
new songs on the Ghetto Love EP – ‘Ghetto Love,’ ‘Valium Knights,’
‘Distorting A Code,’ ‘Bury My Heart,’ represent the first songs written
by Dalle for Spinnerette and are inspired by the birth of her daughter
and death of her father. They touch upon themes of redemption, salvation
and religion.

“The profound joys and deep sadness in that period couldn’t help but
come out in my art, as with all experiences worth exploring further.
Having such extremes occur in a compacted period ensured that they all
appear in this collection of Spinnerette songs,” Dalle reveals.

Brody has always been the keeper of her own destiny and that spirit is
front and center in this new chapter in her life. Not being one to jump
through hoops for anyone and caring passionately about her art, Brody is
firmly at the helm of releasing her music independently and preserving
complete creative control. “I can’t conform my art to fit someone
else’s expectations. So, in this crazy world of the ‘music business’ –
I’m focused on finding a way to ensure I get to keep doing it for a
living,” adds Dalle.

The fire among Brody Dalle devotees remains ignited as Spinnerette
recently previewed new material at three sold-out shows in Southern
California to captivated audiences of both old and new fans. The blaze
for Dalle has also hit Indie 103 and KROQ in LA, BBC Radio 1 in the UK,
Triple J radio in Australia, and 102.1 The Edge and George
Stroumboulopoulos’ radio show in Canada who have all spun new
Spinnerette music for their listeners.

Ghetto Love was recorded at PinkDuck and 11AD studios in Los Angeles.
Additional musicians on the ep include Alain Johannes (Queens of the
Stone Age, Eleven), Tony Bevilacqua (The Distillers), and Jack Irons
(Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers).

Fountains Of Wayne Get Busy On New Album

It’s been a busy year for Fountains Of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger. After nabbing a nomination for best original score for the songs he co-wrote for the Broadway adaptation of Cry-Baby, he was asked by writing partner David Javerbaum to help pen the lyrics for “A Colbert Christmas Special,” which began airing this week on Comedy Central.

Now, things are back in motion for Fountains Of Wayne’s next record, which Schlesinger hopes to have out in 2009.

“We still have a ways to go, but we have eight songs that are relatively close to complete now. We’re looking to regroup after the New Year and do the second batch,” Schlesinger said. “I think we’re trying some different things on this record, but we’re still the same band, to me. It’s kind of too early to say what direction it’s going to as a whole.”

Schlesinger’s also in the midst of recording with Ivy, originally his main band but overshadowed in recent years by the success of Fountains Of Wayne. “That one’s been slow going for many reasons,” he reports. “But we have a record that is halfway done as well. Two other members had babies recently.”

Fountains Of Wayne will take to the road this winter for a short acoustic tour, which Schlesinger promises will showcase a handful of new tunes.

Here are Fountains Of Wayne’s tour dates:

Jan. 14: Bellingham, Wash. (Walton Theater)
Jan. 15: Seattle (Triple Door)
Jan. 16: Portland, Ore. (Wonder Ballroom)
Jan. 18-19: San Francisco (Cafe Du Nord)
Jan. 21-22: Los Angeles (Largo)
Jan. 23: San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (Coach House)
Jan. 24: San Diego (Anthology)
Feb. 19: Alexandria, Va. (Birchmere)
Feb. 20: Annapolis, Md. (Ramshead)
Feb. 21: Philadelphia (Tin Angel)
Feb. 25-26: New York (Joe’s Pub)
Feb. 28: Boston (Paradise Rock Club)
Marc 1: Northampton, Mass. (Iron Horse Music Hall)

Damon Albarn: ‘Blur are reforming for rehearsals’

Damon Albarn has confirmed that Blur will be reuniting next year.

The singer revealed his old band, including guitarist Graham Coxon, will be working together just before a special one-off performance of his opera ‘Monkey: Journey To The West’ at the BBC Radio Theatre in London this afternoon (November 25).

Before playing his composition that has been specially rearranged for the stripped-down performance, Albarn was asked by the host Janice Long whether Blur will be playing next year.

“Blur are certainly going to rehearse and see if we’re into it,” he said.

The band’s last album was 2003’s ‘Think Tank’, though guitarist Coxon only appeared on one track, having left the group a year earlier.

After the Blur news was confirmed, the live reworking of the ‘Monkey’ then took place, with the hour-long show featuring a huge string section, plus five male and female singers at the front of the stage.

Albarn sat among the performers for the performance, though apart from briefly directing the lighting took a back seat for most of the gig.

However, towards the end he joined in on a hand-held organ and guitar for a couple of tracks.

The gig will be going out live on BBC Radio 2 on Saturday (November 29) evening.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beatles’ John Lennon ‘forgiven’ for ‘Jesus’ claim

Semi-official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has run an article forgiving the late Beatle John Lennon for a controversial statement he made in 1966, when he claimed that his band were “more popular than Jesus”.

The article in the newspaper, which normally reports on the comings and goings of the Pope, said that Lennon had just been showing off and praised the band.

The article said that Lennon’s comments had been “showing off, bragging by a young English working-class musician who had grown up in the age of Elvis Presley and rock and roll and had enjoyed unexpected success”.

The newspaper was marking the 40th anniversary of the band’s self-titled album known as ‘The White Album’.

Lennon’s 1966 comments, made in an interview with the London Evening Standard, had criticised religion.

“Christianity will go,” he said. “It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right.

“We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first – rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

Paul McCartney: ‘Beatles and EMI ‘stalled’ over iTunes plan’

The Beatles’ back catalogue isn’t set to be available for legal download on iTunes any time soon, as Sir Paul McCartney has revealed that negotiations are “stalled” between Apple Corps and EMI.

McCartney said that despite having been involved in negotiations with the Liverpool legends’ label, no satisfactory outcome was likely to come about soon.

“When it’s something as big as The Beatles, it’s heavy negotiations,” he said in a London press conference this afternoon (November 24). “We’re [the band members and their estates] very for it, but there are a couple of sticking points.

“It’s stalled – there are a couple of sticking points between EMI and The Beatles. No change there then!”

The news on the updated situation follows reports in March that The Beatles and EMI were set to agree on a deal that would see the band’s music become available on iTunes.

A deal has, however, been struck that will see a Beatles version of the ‘Rock Band’ computer game released.

McCartney was speaking as he launched his side project with producer Youth. The pair record under the name The Fireman, so kicked things off at the Fire Station pub in Waterloo, south London.

The pair’s album, ‘Electric Arguments’, is released today (November 24).

Guns and Roses: Chinese Democracy (Album Review)

In their heyday, Guns N’ Roses were remarkable for their ability to ride catastrophe. Following Use Your Illusion I and II, however, in 1991, huge fissures developed in the band, which even they couldn’t endure. One by one, the original band members left, most fatefully guitarist Slash, apparently unable to endure the “dictatorial” tendencies of singer Axl Rose

Work on this, their first album proper since then, actually began in the mid-90s. However, it’s been made in such fits and starts, with such a liquid line-up (even Brian May dropped in at one point) that it would be a miracle of Sistine proportions if it amounted to anything coherent and consistent.
Such worries are, sadly, not without foundation. Soundwise, Chinese Democracy is all over the place. Tracks actually vary in volume according to their disparate ages, with the likes of “I.R.S.” (around on bootleg for years) quite clearly having been cut and finished years before the track that precedes it.

A similarly tangled story accompanies the music. Chinese Democracy is evidently the work of a man becoming progressively more interested in avant-rock forms: virtually every track on Chinese Democracy starts out sounding like it might amount to something that extends GNR’s parameters in truly unexpected directions (noir-ish ambient, electronic, even brass band on “Madagascar”). However, Rose’s experimental hankerings generally give out after about 10 seconds. Oh Slash, where art thou?

Scouring the album for redeeming moments, one could cite the steely, futurist angst of “Shackler’s Revenge” and the pianistic “This I Love”, which in making Elton John and Freddie Mercury sound like Chas N’ Dave, must at least merit some kind of high camp award. And in “Prostitute” Rose offers a hint of atonement which excites fleeting sympathy. What kind of surreal pass has your life come to, after all, when you get involved in a fistfight with Tommy Hilfiger?
With rumours that the original G N’R are set to reform next year, and mega metal currently in the ascendancy, the insanity looks set to carry on regardless.

Rolling Stone gave this thing 4 stars? Give me a break.. Just because you put lipstick on a pig.. Well, you know the rest.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chinese Democracy WTF?
After 14 years of waiting, 14 tracks, 14 studios, 14 million dollars, 12 guitarists, nine producers and one chicken coop, Guns n’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy is finally hitting the shelves at your local Best Buy store on Sunday.

“Daily Fix” is breaking down the numbers of one of rock’s most anticipated albums, including the 305,687,295 Dr. Pepper cans the soda company promises to giveaway in celebration of the release.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jeremy Enigk Rocks Out On New Album

Former Sunny Day Real Estate frontman Jeremy Enigk returns to the heavier rock sound of his old band on his third solo album, tentatively titled “OK Bear” and due in February via his own Lewis Hollow label.

The album was recorded outside Barcelona with a group of musicians introduced to Enigk by a mutual friend from Seattle and produced by Santi Garcia and Standstill’s Ricky Falkner. “These guys are Sunny Day Real Estate fans and the moment they got their hands on my songs, whether they were mellow or not, they turned them into heavy rockers,” Enigk said.

“OK Bear,” whose title comes from a phrase Enigk accidentally said while stringing together what he thought were nonexistent Spanish words, includes rockers like “Late of Camera” and “Find Idea,” alongside “April Storm” (“That’s on a Ryan Adams/”Love Is Hell”-type of kick,” Enigk says) and the Gram Parsons-inspired “Same Side Imaginary.”

“This is probably the first time I’ve ever dabbled with a country feel. Because it’s me, it doesn’t sound like a country song too much, but you can hear the influence,” Enigk says of the latter.

The artist is playing a handful of new songs on a just-started U.S. tour, which also features a second guitarist. Fans can expect a mix of solo tracks, including the rarely played “Call Me Steam” and “Burn,” alongside precious few Sunny Day Real Estate tunes.

Some songs were written on piano, like ‘Canons’ and ‘Burn,’ and although the arrangements are the same, I’m playing the piano lines on guitar,” Enigk says. “I’m also using distortion on an acoustic guitar. There are moments where it sounds like a band, minus drums. It has that intensity.”

Enigk is hoping to tour with a full band next year, but concedes the cost may be prohibitive in the States. “I think I can do a full band in Europe, because the guys who played on the album are willing to go,” he says. “I wouldn’t have to fly them out. We could start in Spain and go from there. My goal is to tour as much as possible. In what incarnation, I have no idea.”

As for his musical past, Enigk has resisted offers to reunite Sunny Day Real Estate, whose influence over the so-called “emo” subgenre of rock seems to grow with each passing year. Also on ice is the Fire Theft, his post-SDRE band with bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith.

“We never really broke up — we just said we’d take a break and that we’ll get back to it when we’re ready,” Enigk says. “But we’ve just not talked about it since. It may happen one day.”

Simmons Sounds Off At Touring Conf. Keynote

Having recently completed a 30-plus-date European tour, Kiss will “eventually when we’re ready tour America,” co-founder Gene Simmons said during a keynote address today (Nov. 20) at the fifth annual Billboard Touring Conference, held at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York.

Referring to Kiss as the “juggernaut of all rock’n’roll brands,” Simmons said the band is currently working out future tour details. “We’ve been talking with [manager Doc McGhee] about Europe and then doing a year-long tour maybe this coming summer, but we’ll see,” Simmons said. “Kiss and Queen, that would be a smash. That would kill. So far (it’s) 50/50.”

During the address, Simmons, who is also a reality TV star and entrepreneur, stressed the duties of being a live performer. “I don’t care if you’re Axl Rose, forgot to tie your shoelaces or your father molested you when you were three — you’re a bitch if you don’t show up onstage when it says 9 o’clock,” he said, drawing loud applause from the audience.

“You need to have the integrity and self-respect to respect the promoter who paid you the money in advance, the hall and the people who makes all our lives possible,” he continued.

Speaking to an audience of primarily concert promoters, venue officials and booking agents, Simmons warned those in the live entertainment industry that it wouldn’t be wise to lower concert ticket prices. “Don’t do that, you’re training an entire generation of people to pay less for something and then more for something else,” he said. “They won’t know what the value is and they’d rather pay less every time.”

Simmons stressed that the touring business needs to quickly think about the future of its model. “Thank God you’re the last vestiges of a dying breed, because the record industry is already dead, because we trained the people [that] they don’t have to pay for stuff that they used to pay for,” he said. “The record industry allowed that and people are shocked they’re out of business.”

Meanwhile, Simmons expressed his discontent with the fact that Kiss, which he co-founded in 1972, has not yet been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “A lot of those guys on the board can go and get my sandwich when I want, and I mean that in the nicest way,” he said. “There are disco bands, rap bands, Yiddish folk song bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but not Kiss. I believe we have more gold records in America than any other group, but it’s OK.”

Billboard executive director of content and programming for touring and live entertainment Ray Waddell conducted today’s Q&A with Simmons. The keynote address was filmed for an episode of his A&E reality show “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” currently in its third season.
(via billboard online)