Happy New EAR! I hope you all had a great break and are ready for a killer 2012! Let’s just hope it is a lot better than 2011. Good riddance to a ridiculously horrible year in many ways!….Sorry those WI Badgers lost the Rose Bowl. I know, all you guys in Madison today are bummed. I am just counting the days til Jan 9th and the BCS Game! Geaux Tigers!….Now it won’t come as a big surprise to some of you, but rock has been taking it’s lump of late. Shinedown’s Brent Smith went on Twitter over the holidays to vent a bit and rally his fans! "I love all kinds of music, but I definitely have a love for rock ‘n’ roll. That being said, did you know — there is not a charted rock band, or artist on the top singles or albums until Number 68? Number 68 is Nickelback." (He must’ve been looking at the Top 200 Singles chart) He went on to say, "I know that the rock community is strong . . . If you want 2012 to b e the year that rock ‘n’ roll returns, then stand up and put your fist in the air and declare that rock music has RETURNED!" Smith added, "I’m not playin’ people, this is serious and has become personal for me. Rock music has made me who I am and changed my life . . . We hold the power to make a change in music . . . to make a difference, to have an epiphany that we miss songs with substance. It’s time to spit the BUBBLE GUM out." (Thanks Pulse of Radio) The new single from Shinedown called "Bully" drops this morning!…..Chevelle have added new dates with Janus and Middle Class Rut and I’ve got em in Rood Rage….Rolling Stone published their annual Readers’ Poll of their favorite albums for 2011. Foo Fighters "Wasting Light" came in at Numero Uno! And Black Keys fans will be happy to know "El Camino" was Number 3. Radiohead‘s "The King of Limbs" was # 2. See www.rollingstone.com for more! And that’s where we discovered Van Halen will perform at Cafe Wha?, a small club in New York’s Greenwich Village, on Thursday (Jan 05.) The club holds 250 people and was owned by David Lee Roth’s uncle and where acts like Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan made their NYC debuts! It was reported Van Halen had been rehearsing at the Roxy nightclub in West Hollywood, CA recently. Apparently this supposed "showcase" will be for media only. Hopefully we’ll get an invite!….Bullet For My Valentine’s Matt Tuck announced the band will start work on their next album the end of the month! Look for a summer release….Happy 66th to Them Crooked Vultures/Led Zeppelin’s bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones. A lovely man, that John!