Dirt - Friday, Aug 04, 2017

The Pulse Of Radio reports Pearl Jam has posted a trailer online for what appears to be a new concert film called Let’s Play Two. The documentary will chronicle the group’s 2016 two-night stand at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Aug 20th and 22nd of last year, “Let’s play two” was part of late Chicago Cubs player Ernie Banks‘ catchphrase of “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame… let’s play two!” Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder is a devoted Cubs fan.

The group played two epic performances at Wrigley, blending in covers from Cheap Trick, Ramones, Pink Floyd, The Who, The Beatles, Neil Young and Bob Dylanwithin their stellar 10-album catalog of original songs.  Pearl Jam is known for changing its set list completely from night to night. Guitarist Mike McCready told us the band feels lucky its fans respond to songs from its entire repertoire: “We’re lucky in the sense that we can go out and play every night and play different stuff ’cause we have so much stuff to play, and people are receptive to it. There are fans that like — their favorite record is No Code or their favorite record is Vs. And we’re lucky in a way that people want to hear new music from us — at least that’s my perception.”

Let’s Play Two was briefly listed on Amazon last year and then pulled. The Twitter post featuring the teaser simply read, ”Coming soon.”  There is a dedicated website for the film, but at present all that is shown is the trailer and a place for fans to enter their email address for updates.

Pearl Jam has released one previous film, a band history called Pearl Jam Twenty, and has made dozens of official live bootleg recordings available in addition to an official concert album, 1998′s Live On Two Legs.

Avenged Sevenfold’s evolution of new album THE STAGE continues with their latest release, a blistering cover of Del Shannon’s 1961 No. 1 hit, “Runaway,” featuring a guest appearance by Vandals’ guitarist Warren Fitzgerald and lead vocals by Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Zacky Vengeance – click HERE to listen.

When we decided to expand the album and add new tracks, everyone in the band chose a song that would be interesting to cover,” says Avenged Sevenfold vocalist M. Shadows. “Zacky came up with the idea of doing a punk rock version of the Del Shannon classic. While in the studio, Synyster brought up our old friend Warren Fitzgerald, saying it’d be great to have him play on the track and give the song the kind of reckless abandon he’s known for with The Vandals. With Warren on board, Zacky wanted to have a crack at singing, which really put the song over the top. I do a little talking thing with him in the middle of the track, but that’s it. The rest is all him and it came out great.”

I’ve always loved ‘Runaway’ and the dark undertone hidden behind the upbeat doo wop track,” says Zacky. “You can hear sincere anguish in his voice. I raised my hand to add a little punk rock flair to the vocals, have some fun, and give the fans a little something to talk about.”

Adds Fitzgerald, “I’ve known the Avenged Sevenfold guys for years and obviously Brooks [Wackerman, A7X drummer] played with The Vandals, and our bands are both from Huntington Beach, so the ties run deep.  But I was still surprised and honored that they asked me to play on the track. I think it’s a really cool choice for a cover and the guys were very generous in the studio. They’re all incredible musicians and to have them say, ‘do what you do,’ was really flattering. So I did, and we had a blast, and I’m tickled to death with how it all turned out.”

“Runaway,” which marks the first Avenged Sevenfold recording featuring someone other than M. Shadows on lead vocals, follows the band’s rendition of Mexican folk song “Malagueña Salerosa,” a reimagining of Mr. Bungle’s “Retrovertigo,” and original track “Dose.” The latter saw them teaming with mobile game developer/publisher Gameloft for a sneak preview of the song as a special level in “Dungeon Hunter 5,” the latest episode of the successful hack and slash series.

THE STAGE is the band’s 7th studio album and first for Capitol Records. Co-produced by A7X and Barresi, THE STAGE is a work of immense scope and ambition, featuring 11 panoramic tracks tied together by an Artificial Intelligence theme. Inspired by the writings of Carl Sagan and Elon Musk, the album is the band’s first thematic release. Its epic 15-minute-plus closing track, “Exist,” features a guest appearance by award-winning astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson giving a spoken word performance he penned specifically for the album. Guitar World, who spotlighted Gates and Zacky Vengeance with a cover story, lauded the disc for being “the most surprising and ambitious album of their career.” The Guardian  and NME each gave it four stars, with the latter calling the album “their best yet,” adding that “they’ve truly arrived.” Q called it the group’s  “boldest album yet” and Classic Rock called it “a metal masterpiece.” Avenged Sevenfold recently released a video for a second album track, “God Damn,” which already has 3.3 million views. The album hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock, Hard Rock and Alternative Albums charts, No. 4 on the Top 200 and debuted Top 5 on iTunes in over 35 countries.  Its title track hit Top 5 at rock radio and its companion video has amassed over 18 million YouTube views to date.

The band recently announced that they’re transforming the album into an evolving body of work by adding a series of new tracks over the course of the coming months.

According to Blabbermouth, our friends  Pop Evil are hard at work on its fifth studio album, which it intends to release early next year. The group has been working with Kato Khandwala (The Pretty Reckless, Papa Roach, One OK Rock, Breaking Benjamin)  at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville, TN and will finish up the disc in Los Angeles in the coming weeks. Frontman Leigh Kakaty said, “The band is in such a great creative groove right now . . . We have recorded close to 20 songs for the album and are now narrowing down our choices before heading to L.A. to finish the record.”

Kakaty added, “It’s been the smoothest recording process to date, and we’ve been taking our time and giving each song its due diligence. One thing I can say is you will get a little bit of everything from us on this album. We’re letting all our emotions out on this one. No boundaries.”

The Michigan-based act began writing the album at home during the months of April and May, after completing the tour cycle for its 2015 previous effort, Up with Adam Kasper (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Foo FIghters) in Seattle. That disc Up featured the Top Three rock hits ”Footsteps,” “Take It All” and “Ways To Get High.”

Pop Evil is also taking some time off from the studio to get out and play some summer shows. The band plays the second of two night in its hometown of Flint, MI on Friday night (Aug 4th) and will remain on the road through late September at festivals and state fairs.

Linkin Park broke a chart record set by David Bowie this week by having an astounding 23 songs on Billboard‘s Hot Rock Songs chart. The group also dominated the Top Rock Albums and Hard Rock Albums charts, with all this coming in the wake of singer Chester Bennington‘s suicide two weeks ago on July 20th. The previous Hot Rock Songs record holder was David Bowie, who landed 21 songs on the chart in January 2016, following his death that same month.

Ironically, co-vocalist Mike Shinoda told us around the time of the band’s 2014 album The Hunting Party that he wasn’t happy with what he was hearing on rock radio: “What I wanted was different from what’s out there, and part of it was that if you listen to alternative radio, at least in L.A., the rock station out here and, you know, it’s not an insult to them but like their listeners want basically pop music.”

The highest charting of Linkin Park’s 23 tracks was its 2003 hit, “Numb,” which peaked at Number Two.

The band notched six other cuts in the Top 10, including “In The End” at Number Three, “Heavy” at Number Four, “What I’ve Done” at Number Seven, “Crawling” at Number Eight, “Somewhere I Belong” in the ninth slot and “One More Light” in the 10th position.

The latest Linkin Park album, One More Light, jumped from Number Three to Number One on the Top Rock Albums chart, moving an equivalent of 50,000 albums. The group also captured the Number Two and Three spots with its 2000 debut, Hybrid Theory, and 2003 follow-up Meteora. That made them the first band to secure all three spots on the Top Rock Albums chart in a single week.

Bennington was buried last week in a private ceremony in Southern California. His death led to a massive outpouring of grief and tributes from fans and musicians worldwide.

Nine Inch Nails Add Violence EP and In This Moment‘s sixth studio album Ritual both debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart earlier this week. Despite little traditional pre-release promotion, the Nine Inch Nails EP landed at Number 17 on the survey with 24,000 copies sold. Meanwhile, In This Moment‘s Ritual shifted 22,000 units during its first week to debut at Number 23, although it sold 14,000 copies less than 2014′s Black Widow.

You can check out In This Moment’s track, “Black Wedding” featuring guest vocalist Rob Halford of Judas Priest, posted above.

AC/DC is releasing a picture book chronicling their Rock Or Bust tour.  The official trailer for “Rock Or Bust: The Official Photographic Tour Book” can be seen above. The book will begin shipping October 16 from Rufus Publications.

The first official AC/DC book with an introduction by Angus Young, the book covers the full extent of AC/DC’s groundbreaking 2015 world tour supporting the multi-million selling Rock Or Bust album, released in 2014.

Starting with Coachella, the “Rock Or Bust” tour has played to millions of fans around the world, setting records for attendance and sell out times. It is also the last tour to feature legendary vocalist Brian Johnson.

Renowned music photographer Ralph Larmann has captured AC/DC throughout this incredible tour, creating an amazing photographic documentary of the band and fans in action.  Read more here. Thanks, Blabbermouth.
Celebrating life:  Today:  Barack Obama, our 44th President of the United States, turns 56. Saturday:  Pat Smear of Foo Fighters is 57 and Apocalyptica’s leader Eicca Toppinen is 42.

Have a great weekend!  Tune into hardDrive with Lou Brutus this weekend as we pay tribute to Chester Bennington.

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