Archive for the ‘Album Release Date’ Category

Ironically, it’s songwriter Diane Warren and not Beyonce herself who defines the diva’s fourth album, “4,” with a line like, “I want to leave my footprints on the sands of time.” Less flashy but just as ambitious as 2008’s “I Am . . . Sasha Fierce,” the new set finds Beyonce in genre-blending, career statement mode, weaving together mostly pop and R&B flavors in these dozen tracks. The album is quieter and torchier than its predecessors, with the singer delivering uniformly stellar vocal performances. Rich but not over-sung, she ruminates on love (“1+1”), lost love (“Best Thing I Never Had”) and the gray areas in between (“I Care,” “I Miss You,” “Start Over”). Messy arrangements trip up “Party” (with Andre 3000 and Kanye West) and the Boyz II Men-sampling “Countdown.” But the track “Love on Top” is a buoyant slice of girl-group pop and “Run the World (Girls)” is the expected shout-out to the independent women who may or may not have put a ring on it since Ms. Fierce last reared her head.

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Success is a devilish opiate. A swift and heady drink that goes down smooth at first, and then starts to burn your throat and rattle your bones. Only to leave crater sized holes in your constitution the next day. We all love a good success story, don’t we? But interestingly, what usually makes it ‘good’ are not the ‘good’ things about the story. No. It’s the bad things that perk our ears up. It’s the tragedy inherent in the struggle that keeps us tuned in. I am in a band called Incubus. We are all about the same age; and we started our band in 1991. Our story is not unlike other success stories. It has its peaks and valleys, its struggles, its triumphs, its highest highs and lowest lows. But it’s not the bad parts of our unfolding story that have intrigued people over all of these years. To tell you the truth, I am not sure exactly what has kept people interested in us this long. I’d like to think it’s the music we make and ultimately share. I’d like to think it’s because we have struck chords with people at very specific times in their lives and that when they hear certain songs they are harkened back to the not so distant past wherein life changing events and turns in their own stories coincided with lyrics and rhythms. Sounds meandering into symmetry with an individual’s psyche like that rare moment when your body and your shadow line up on a wall. If the music has been the true catalyst for our (once again) unfolding success story, than I’d say we were right on track. Perhaps we are wanderers who have tasted the drug, smiled and mused at the kaleidoscope it wrought, then woke the next day, shook it off and kept truckin’.

Still mildly hungover from our night on the town, we decided that it was hi-time we wrote another record. It had been five years since the release of ‘Light Grenades’, our last full length offering, and we were feeling a collective itch to chase that dragon once again.
By about three songs into the writing process, I think we began to understand that we were unearthing something new. And excitedly, we began chasing that new rabbit as far down, around and into the wormhole as it led us. At a certain point amongst all of this creative wandering we began to understand quite clearly that certain creative mantras were reemerging. Both consciously and unconsciously. Words like, ‘economy’, ‘elegance’, ‘space’, and ‘restraint’ kept creeping back into our many conversations. Words we had toyed with in the past, but never so deliberately and never so confidently. Sprinkle into this caldron a dash of whimsy and a pinch of psychedelia, let it stew in the recording studio for a couple of months and you get this: ‘If Not Now, When?’ Our unabashed, romantic, lush, sonic love letter to the world. It’s darker, slower, more rich, more refined, and more involved than anything Incubus has birthed to date. And I am so happy to share it with all of you. This entire time, Incubus has essentially been searching for a sense of balance between all of the possibilities inherent in crafting a song. I do believe that for many years now we have been searching for something different. Something unique, both to the world and to us as a band. We decided that ‘If Not Now, When?’ our 6th full length studio album would be just that.

In the title track, we set the tone of the album. A stirring in the water somewhere, a long time ago, sends ripples outward. Beautifully. Symmetrically, and relentlessly pulsing out, out, out. They travel countless miles and eventually arrive at shallow waters. Then the triumphant finale. The breaking wave, after gaining thousands of miles of momentum, arcs forward into the future; the wave is about to break. If not now, when? A unique event in space and time. Never to be repeated ever again. Now. Now. Now.

Our first single, ‘Adolescents’ is perhaps the most familiar sounding Incubus song on this new album. It begins with Michael’s unmistakable and inimitable guitar work and rolls its way into a kind of drunken waltz. Creeping its way into the idea that we are collectively just about to reach our cultural teenage years. It does seem like we’ve been around forever. Us, I mean. People. Culture. But all it takes is a sojourn into Earth’s biological record to realize that WE are quite new! And the transitions at play in our complex little game are akin to the struggles that an adolescent might endure.

‘Promises, Promises’, is our homage to the pop songs of yester-morrow. Referencing the deservedly ubiquitous artists of our parents’ generation, we are here attempting to craft an artisan’s clock. A piece that ticks effortlessly on the strength of its good design, its beauty and its simplicity. Herein a young girl, after so many failed attempts at love, has resigned herself to a “road of least resistance”. Armoring herself against the pain of intimacy by only engaging in surface affairs. Only to meet someone who she CAN trust with her most valued of possessions, her heart. But she can barely recognize what the real thing looks like after so much time running away from it.

‘Friends and Lovers’ is a song that I always hoped we would write. I do believe it is my most favorite thus far. It speaks to the heart of many of our culturally held biases about relationships and what love looks like. It combats the long held notions of love and intimacy and plainly states that Friends make the best Lovers. And that love can in fact be born of friendship and can indeed last outside of our pre-prescribed notions of what it looks like, feels like and how it endures. Movies and Religion have largely defined our cultural notions of this most important of topics. And in this song it was my attempt to share a different idea of what modern love might look like.

‘Tomorrow’s Food’ was written about two years ago. Making it the first song penned for this album. Here Michael shows us once again how deep his musical well runs. A vibrant, sonic quilt is wrapped around us and we are lulled by its choices and its warmth. Lyrically I am specifically referencing Philosopher Ken Wilbur’s quote from ‘A Brief History Of Everything’, “No epoch is finally privileged. We are all tomorrow’s food. The process continues. And spirit is found in the process itself, not in any particular epoch, or time, or place.” No one had ever put so succinctly and eloquently into words how I felt about growing up. About reaching my mid-thirties. After reading this quote, and witnessing the vast push and pull at play between the old and the new, the young and the not so young, I saw the inherent beauty and wisdom in the process of it all. And consequently, wrote a song about it. It is in this reporter’s opinion that we are in the midst of a massive shift. Culturally, ethically, artistically, technologically, intellectually, philosophically and spiritually. Almost of the “-ally’s”. This shift has occurred before; with different details and end results of course. And this shift will happen again. Absolutely. The new thing at play is our awareness of this shift. The awareness that there is never an ‘end of the world’. Only the process and the choice to witness and to participate. What may feel like the end of the world is that humbling moment when you realize that a new set of ideas has usurped your generation’s ideas. Confused and confounded by the “way things are going” you can’t help but think it’s all going to s***, and that you have to fight to defend what you’ve built. But in actuality what is occurring is a necessary evolution. A handing over of the collective baton. If not now, when?

When we recorded and released our first album ‘S.C.I.E.N.C.E.’, we were but wee lads overflowing with enthusiasm and energy. We’d never really toured, we’d never had an audience other than our family and friends. We ended up touring around America and Europe quite relentlessly for over two years in search of… rock and roll? By the time we sputtered, coughed and crawled our way home we were exhausted. But strangely inspired. We began writing songs for what became our sophomore effort, ‘Make Yourself’. An album that when finished, evoked a kind of head scratching reaction out of us. Being that we had unintentionally helped define a new sub-genre of music with the previous one. It seemed almost counter-intuitive that we had just written a rock and roll album filled with melody, restraint, thoughtfulness (both musically and lyrically), and God forbid…singles! (If this narrative had moving imagery attached, I would place a quick edit to Godzilla tearing apart a city somewhere. People running frantically in all directions and a few brave souls here and there pointing up at the fiendish, pre-historic creature from the deep.) Make Yourself was met with trepidation by our new-found listeners. We had flipped the switch on them. Pulled the old switcheroo. We even got nervous at certain points that perhaps we had made a mistake in trusting those instincts to keep moving in this more ‘song’ oriented direction. But a few months after its release, things began slowly arcing towards success. And I stress, slowly. Slowly but surely. In the end, our creative instincts had pointed us in the right direction. It was a meandering compass, but a good one.

If Not Now, When? is the coalescing of this slow arc. The wave that has been traveling so long, about to break. A force that is capable of both beauty and destruction, but is most noteworthy because of it’s uniqueness as an event that will never occur again. Waves have broken before it, waves will break afterwards, but each one is an individual canvas. This one is ours. Yours and mine.

So, if success is a drug, then Incubus is a functioning addict. I know how trite it sounds to be commenting on our own success but I see our addiction as a collective one. You have enabled us thus far and what we are creating in the process will be worthy of conversation for a long time to come. When I say ‘WE’ I mean you and I. All of us. This is, after all, a conversation that started in the early 90’s and has continued until today. A stroll along a winding path through many landscapes and over much terrain. Yes, our bones ache, our dogs are barkin’, our shoes have holes in them, and we don’t look as good with our shirts off anymore. But that doesn’t mean we won’t keep walking! And conversing along the way. I’d like to start thinking of success less as an opiate and more of a segue into the good parts of a conversation.  (Source: Enjoy Incubus)

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Oscar- and Grammy-winning actor/singer/comedian Jamie Foxx was seen celebrating his 43rd birthday, as well as the release of his new album Best Night of My Life, inside the Palms Sunday night.

Foxx began his big night out with dinner at N9NE Steakhouse surrounded by his friends and family. The group enjoyed such signature dishes as the Rock Shrimp and Organic Scottish Salmon before Foxx left to do a meet-n-greet with some radio contest winners inside the Studio at the Palms recording studio.

Later that night, Foxx was presented with a birthday cake created by Caked Las Vegas as well as a key to the Playboy Club inside the Palms while inside the sexy nightspot. While he was there, Foxx hopped on the mic and performed for the sold-out crowd, singing some songs off his new album. The album drops next Tuesday, Dec. 21.

In addition to celebrating his birthday/album release at N9NE Steakhouse and the Playboy Club, Foxx also celebrated in the Palms’ Hardwood suite, which features an indoor regulation half-basketball court. No doubt Foxx’s trip to Las Vegas was a slum dunk!

N9NE Steakhouse represents a bold new era for the great American steakhouse and generates a scene that redefines the beloved American dining institution. Created by Executive Chef Barry S. Dakake, signature dishes include rock shrimp, sashimi N9NE, garbage salad, Morty’s organic chicken, Kobe short rib, lobster mashed potatoes and a variety of prime-aged steaks such as filet mignon and bone-in rib eye. A circular champagne and caviar bar lies in the center of the room beneath a domed silver-leaf ceiling with a 300-color computerized lighting system. Attesting to the restaurant’s timeless design, N9NE Steakhouse features luxury components such as limestone walls, mirrored mosaics, ultra-chic booths, a glass-ensconced wine room, a sleek lounge and a private dining room.

venged Sevenfold NightmareAvenged Sevenfold have decided to use their former record label, Hopeless Records, to release vinyl editions of their new album, ‘Nightmare’.  The vinyl edition is going to be available in 6 different formats, (standard black double LP set to to a deluxe blood-red colored LP and a T-shirt). In 2002, Hopeless Records released Avenged Sevenfold’s debut album, ‘Sounding the Seventh Trumpet.’

The deluxe editions of ‘Nightmare’ will feature blood-red vinyl in a double gatefold and are limited in quantity to only 2,500 copies (each individually numbered).

‘Nightmare’ was produced by Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem) and mixed by Andy Wallace.  Nightmare is the first album without drummer Jimmy Sullivan, who died from an overdose (accidental) in December 2009.  The drummer for Dream Theater, Mike Portnoy, has taken the place of Sullivan and is expected to tour with Avenged Sevenfold at the Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival.