Before I get ready to get on my freeway survival gear and get set to make the long trek up to Los Angeles to catch The Cure at The Pantages tonight, I wanted to share a few highlights that arrived in my inbox today. Enjoy!
Paul Weller set to release 'Sonik Kicks' on March 27, 2012
Special London shows scheduled for March, with shows in the U.S. to follow
First Single “Around The Lake” Available On iTunes Next Week
Enjoying a constant critical high and a never ending creative peak, Paul Weller continues to push the boundaries with his forthcoming new album Sonik Kicks, scheduled for release on March 27, 2012 on Yep Roc Records. The album is the follow up to the Mercury Prize Award nominated Wake Up The Nation and is also Paul’s eleventh solo album. Once again, it's his best yet.
For fans eager to hear a taste of what’s to come, RollingStone.com will be previewing the first single “Around The Lake” beginning today. The song will also be available for purchase on iTunes beginning next week.
Sonik Kicks features fourteen brand new tracks: “Green,” “The Attic,” “Kling I Klang,” “Sleep of the Serene,” “By the Waters,” “That Dangerous Age,” “Study in Blue,” “Dragonfly,” “When Your Garden’s Overgrown,” “Around The Lake,” “Twilight,” “Drifters,” “Paperchase,” and “Be Happy Children.” Both Noel Gallagher and Graham Coxon appear as special guests on the album.
Since Weller isn’t one to wait 20 years to be invited to perform his “classic” album, he has decided to do so now. Sonik Knicks will be performed in full at The Roundhouse in London, England on March 18th & 19th. Tickets go on sale 9 a.m. on Friday Nov 25. US shows are in the works for Weller and will be announced at a later date.
2012 will also mark two important anniversaries for Paul Weller. In 1977 (35 years ago) The Jam burst on to the music scene with their debut album In The City, which without question was one of the most important punk albums to ever be released. Since then Weller consistently changed and evolved his sound through his work with The Style Council and as a solo artist. It was 20 years ago in 1992 when Weller released his self-titled first ever solo album.
With Sonik Kicks Paul Weller once again shakes up his palate and stirs his influences anew. He mixes pop art punch with soulful communication; jazzy explorations into psychedelia and dub with razor-sharp melodies and abstract soundscapes with clear-eyed forest-folk.
Chimes of Freedom - 75 Newly Recorded Bob Dylan Songs by Over 80 Artists Scheduled for January 24, 2012 Release -- Salutes Amnesty International's 50th Anniversary and Life-Saving Human Rights Work
The Collection Features Songs By
* Adele * The Airborne Toxic Event * Joan Baez * Natasha Bedingfield * Jackson Browne * Cage the Elephant * Elvis Costello * Darren Criss * Miley Cyrus * Dave Matthews Band * K'NAAN * Ke$ha * Mark Knopfler * Diana Krall * Lenny Kravitz * Kris Kristofferson * Ziggy Marley * Maroon 5 * Tom Morello * My Chemical Romance * Joe Perry * Queens Of The Stone Age * Raphael Saadiq * Seal & Jeff Beck * Silversun Pickups * Patti Smith * Sting * Sugarland * Pete Townshend * Lucinda Williams * Evan Rachel Wood
Two iconic forces that have impacted the past 50 years - the life-saving human rights activism of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Amnesty International and the incomparable artistry of Bob Dylan - are being saluted by 80 musicians who contributed new or previously unreleased recordings to Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.
Chimes of Freedom is Executive Produced by legendary music executive Jeff Ayeroff and Julie Yannatta, who spearheaded Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur - a 2007 collection of John Lennon solo compositions performed by major artists including U2, Green Day and R.E.M.
The collection is scheduled for physical (4 discs) and digital release in North America on January 24, 2012 through Fontana Distribution. It will be distributed internationally through Fontana International, a Universal Music company, on January 30.
Chimes of Freedom features a stellar and diverse group of artists across the generational and musical spectrum. The performers, including many of Amnesty International's longtime supporters, range in age from teenage pop star Miley Cyrus, 19, to folk music legend Pete Seeger, who, at 92, records Dylan's poignant "Forever Young," with a children's chorus.
The diversity of the musicians and musical genres - from rock, rap, hip-hop to pop, folk, country, jazz and blues -- attests to Amnesty's depth of support in the music community, the universal appeal of the core message of human rights, and the breadth of Dylan's impact on culture. Almost every track on the album is being released for sale for the first time* - except for the title song, Dylan's original 1964 recording of "Chimes of Freedom." Seventy songs were recorded especially for this release - with the addition of a few previously unreleased recordings.
"This album is a powerful fusion of the music community's respect for Amnesty's life-affirming work and for Bob Dylan's enduring brilliance," said Ayeroff and Yannatta. "We are proud to have worked with Amnesty to produce this remarkable project."
In 1962, Amnesty International evolved from a one-year campaign to free political prisoners into a worldwide movement fighting for justice, freedom and human dignity; today the organization has more than three million supporters in 150 countries. In March of that same year Bob Dylan's debut album was released, launching an unparalleled recording career.
"Over the half century, Dylan's art has explored and expressed the anguish and hope of the modern human condition," observed Sean Wilentz, the noted historian, in the album liner notes.
"Bob Dylan's music endures because he so brilliantly captures our heartbreak, our joy, our frailty, our confusion, our courage and our struggles," said Karen Scott Amnesty International's Manager of Music Relations. "His words convey a depth of meaning that few artists can equal, inspiring us and always moving ahead of our expectations. We at Amnesty International are deeply grateful to this legendary musician and to all of the artists who have contributed to this project."
All of the artists, session musicians, arrangers, engineers, producers and recording studios worked pro-bono to support the human rights cause. Almost 30 tracks on the album were mixed gratis by famed engineer Bob Clearmountain. Bob Ludwig and Adam Ayan of Gateway Mastering donated their mastering services. The album cover illustration is by Grammy Award winning artist Mick Haggerty. Eight tracks were produced or executive produced by Martin Lewis, who as co-creator/producer in the 1970s of Amnesty's ongoing "Secret Policeman's Ball" benefit series, instigated Amnesty's outreach to rock musicians by recruiting and producing Pete Townshend, Sting, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Bob Geldof and others. Executive Producers for Amnesty International are Helen Garrett, director of special projects, and Karen Scott, manager of music relations.
Through Chimes of Freedom, Amnesty International seeks to enlist support for its fight against censorship and attacks on free speech - whether involving artists, writers, musicians, political activists or bloggers. In this campaign, Amnesty is fighting for people such as the imprisoned Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo in China, a scholar and human rights defender imprisoned since 2009 for writing about corruption and criticizing China's political system. In addition to purchasing the album at www.amnestyusa.org/chimes, supporters will find actions they can take to help individuals whose freedom of expression is under threat.
The tracklisting for Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International is as follows:
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
Ballad of Hollis Brown
Tom Morello The Nightwatchman
Blind Willie McTell
Most of the Time
This Wheel's On Fire
Simple Twist of Fate
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
Mariachi El Bronx
Blowin' in the Wind
The Gaslight Anthem
Changing of the Guards
Not Dark Yet
My Morning Jacket
You're A Big Girl Now
The Airborne Toxic Event
Boots of Spanish Leather
Girl from the North Country
Queens Of The Stone Age
Rainy Day Woman # 12 & 35
Steve Earle & Lucia Micarelli
One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)
Heart Of Mine
You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
Lay Down Your Weary Tune
License to Kill
Lay, Lady, Lay
Ring Them Bells
Love Minus Zero/No Limit
Seven Curses (Live)
The Belle Brigade
No Time To Think
Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You (Live)
Mr. Tambourine Man
4th Time Around
All I Really Want To Do
Make You Feel My Love (Recorded Live at WXPN)
With God On Our Side
I Want You
Neil Finn with Pajama Club
She Belongs to Me
Bob Dylan's Dream
Tomorrow Is A Long Time
Just Like a Woman
The Times They Are A-Changin'
Fistful Of Mercy
Buckets Of Rain
Man Of Peace
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
My Chemical Romance
Desolation Row (Live)
RedOne featuring Nabil Khayat
Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Paul Rodgers & Nils Lofgren
Darren Criss featuring Chuck Criss and Freelance Whales
Cage the Elephant
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Band of Skulls
It Ain't Me, Babe
Property of Jesus
Ed Roland and The Sweet Tea Project
Shelter From The Storm
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
I Shall Be Released
Carolina Chocolate Drops
Seal & Jeff Beck
Like A Rolling Stone
Bob Dylan's 115th Dream
Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) (Live)
One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)
I'll Remember You
Dave Matthews Band
All Along the Watchtower (Live)
Subterranean Homesick Blues
We Are Augustines
Mama, You Been On My Mind
Tryin' To Get To Heaven
Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)
Gotta Serve Somebody
Evan Rachel Wood
I'd Have You Anytime
Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Live)
Chimes Of Freedom
When The Ship Comes In
Song To Woody
Man In The Long Black Coat