YES WORKING ON FOLLOW-UP TO 2011’S FLY FROM HERE
Progressive rock icons Yes are in the studio working on a new album that will serve as the follow-up to their latest full-length record, 2011’s Fly From Here. A post on the group’s Facebook page is titled “In the Studio – 2014” and features five photos of the band members – Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes and latest lead vocalist Jon Davison – in a Los Angeles studio with producer Roy Thomas Baker. A note above the photos simply says: “Yes embark on the recording of their latest album.”
SPRINGSTEEN, FALLON SKEWER CHRISTIE WITH “BORN TO RUN” PARODY
Here is just one more reason why so many people can’t wait for Jimmy Fallon to replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. If you missed it, on Tuesday night, Fallon and guest Bruce Springsteen performed a brilliant parody of the Boss’ anthem “Born to Run,” retitled “Governor Christie Traffic Jam,” hammering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is up to his neck in controversy over his alleged involvement in shutting down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge connecting Fort Lee, NJ and New York City. Springsteen was on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to promote the release of his latest album, High Hopes, and later he performed the title track, “Heaven’s Wall” and “Just Like Fire Would” with the E Street Band.
YOUNG STRIKES UP SPAT WITH CANADIAN GOVERNMENT OVER OIL USE
Canadian-born rocker Neil Young is currently on a four-show concert tour in his native country to support members of the First Nations indigenous groups, who are fighting to stop the mining of oil sands. Young says the mining harms the environment, but the Canadian government begs to differ. On Monday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, “Even the lifestyle of a rock star relies, to some degree, on the resources developed by thousands of hard-working Canadians every day.” In a statement, Young replied: “Rock stars don’t need oil. I drove my electric car from California to the Tar sands and onto Washington DC without using any oil at all and I’m a rock star. My car’s generator runs on biomass, one of several future fuels Canada should be developing.”
CROSBY COMMENDS SON ON CONTRIBUTION TO NEW ALBUM CROZ
Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee David Crosby is counting down the days until the release of Croz (due January 28), his first solo album in two decades. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash principal said that during the recording of the album he counted on his son, James Raymond, and guitarist Marcus Eaton, a lot. Crosby said, “James has matured as a writer – his stuff is very strong. I am writing with him and by myself, and several times Marcus joined us…I am very happy with the level of the songs on this record – stoked, in fact.”
WEIR, GOV’T MULE CLIMB ONTO MOUNTAIN JAM LINEUP
Initial participants have been announced for the 10th annual Mountain Jam Festival, set to take place June 5-8 at the Hunter Mountain ski resort in Hunter, NY. Acts inked to jam on the mountain include Bob Weir & RatDog, Gov’t Mule, which features Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes (who along with Derek Trucks, have announced they’re leaving the band at the end of the year), the Tedeschi Trucks Band, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, the Avett Brothers, Dark Star Orchestra and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, who will perform a solo set.
CHICAGO, REO SPEEDWAGON LOCK DOWN 15-STOP SUMMER TOUR
Two of Illinois’ finest rock exports, Chicago and REO Speedwagon, will team up for a stretch of summer concert dates that will get underway August 2 in Phoenix, AZ and end in Dallas on August 31. Along the way, the Midwest maestros will entertain folks in cities such as Denver, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati, Hartford, Holmdel, NJ, Wantagh, NY, Boston, Atlantic City, Raleigh and Atlanta.
QUEENSRYCHE NAME TUG OF WAR COULD END BY THE END OF THE MONTH
The legal battle being waged by both sides of the Queensryche camp for ownership of the name could be decided before the Super Bowl is played on February 2. Asked during a recent radio interview if the case was headed back to court, former frontman Geoff Tate said, “I hope it doesn’t. We’re in settlement talks right now. I’m kind of hoping it will all be settled by the end of the month. Either way it’s in my favor. I’m just waiting for the paperwork to dry.” Meanwhile, in a separate interview, original drummer Scott Rockenfield said, “Negotiations are ongoing – there’s still time for anything to happen. We feel good and look at it as light at the end of the tunnel. The right decision will be made in time.”
U.S. ALBUM SALES CONTINUED TO NOSEDIVE IN 2013
It should come as no surprise that as album sales continue to tumble, streaming music continues to take off in the opposite (positive) direction. According to Nielsen SoundScan, last week 4.25 million albums were sold in the United States, a total that represents the lowest weekly sales tally since SoundScan began monitoring music retail sales in 1991. Moreover, 2013 album sales fell 8 percent from the year before, and even digital sales have begun to head south, while streaming continues to move north: 118 billion songs were streamed last year, and increase of 32 percent from 2012. This week, the soundtrack to Disney’s Frozen remained at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for a second straight week, but overall music sales continue to melt.