Usher Unleashes ‘The UR Experience’ In Atlantic City

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(PCM) After two packed shows in New York and Philadelphia, nearby Atlantic City demanded a dose of The UR Experience. Usher brought his sensational live act to Boardwalk Hall last night, and fans packed the 15,000-seat bungalow on the beach. Usher is touring in anticipation of his next album, UR, which is currently in the works.

The show got off to an explosive start as Usher took to the stage and laid down one of his signature dance moves amid a plethora of pyro. He opened with “My Way”, an appropriate track to kick things off on the tour branded with his very initials and the title track to his breakout sophomore release. He then cranked out back-to-back smash hits “OMG” and “Love In This Club”, and never looked back. Usher proceeded to unleashed a monstrous 28-song set filled with #1 hits and Grammy-winning tracks.

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Other highlights from the evening included “Lovers and Friends”, “U Remind Me”, “Lil’ Freak”, “Confessions”, “Good Kisser”, “Burn”, “Climax”, “Superstar”, and a sweet mashup of “Hey Daddy/My Boo/I Need a Girl”. Usher hit the crowd with the one-two punch of “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” and “Yeah!” to conclude the set, and returned for a euphoric encore of “Without You”. The hit songs alone made the show awesome, but the top-notch choreography and the infusion of a live band greatly enhanced what Usher has shown us in the studio.

Throughout his career, Usher has sold over 60 million albums worldwide. He is one of the most decorated artists of his generation, with 8 Grammy Awards, 8 American Music Awards, 20 Billboard Music Awards, 2 MTV Video Music Awards, 9 Soul Train Music Awards, and 2 People’s Choice Awards just to name a few. Usher broke out with is Grammy-nominated second album, 1997’s My Way. The disc has since gone on to be certified 7x platinum by the RIAA.

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His last for studio albums have all debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. He hopes to continue that streak in 2015 with his eighth album UR. Usher has been working on his new material with the songwriting and producing team of Jermaine Dupri, Eric Bellinger, Brian Alexander Morgan, and Bryan-Michael Cox.

Beginning in 2013, Usher served as a coach on NBC’s hit show The Voice during Seasons 4 and 6. In Season 6, he coached singer Josh Kaufman to victory in the competition. The North American leg of Usher’s current tour wraps up on December 14 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. In early 2015, Usher will jet to Europe for another leg of The UR Experience that runs through March 26.

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A full gallery of images from the show can be found here!

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Band Aid 30 Wants You to Buy the Song, Stop the Virus

BandAid30(PCM) Band Aid 30 is available for purchase today, and like always, the funds raised are going to a very worthwhile cause.

The 2014 revamping of the charity pop supergroup is reminding people around the world that it’s Christmas time not for world hunger or to raise awareness and bring justice to a war-stricken area, but to bring an end to the Ebola epidemic that is still ravaging West Africa due to early inaction and spread.

Band Aid 30 was organized by Bob Geldof, Midge Ure, and producer Paul Epworth, and covered Geldof and Ure’s 1984 track Do They Know It’s Christmas? The lineup included the organizers/originators, as well as some of today’s biggest Top 40 artists, including Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, One Direction, Olly Murs, Sam Smith, and Jessie Ware.

Other artists on the track, which premiered during last night’s episode of The X Factor, include Clean Bandit, Sinead O’Connor, Underworld, Roger Taylor, Disclosure, Jimmy Napes, Elbow, Emeli Sande, Angélique Kidjo, Paloma Faith, Chris Martin, Bono, Bastille, Fuse ODG, and Seal.

Watch Band Aid 30’s video below, buy the track on iTunes, Google+, or pre-order as a physical single CD here or on Amazon, and donate to Stop the Virus here!

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Could This Be The Most Insane Music Video Ever?

(PCM) Our MusicGuy passed me over a link to what just so happens to be one of the most insane music videos I have ever laid eyes on, so of course I had to share it with all of you!

The video is for the song “Chick Chick” by the C-pop group Wang Rong Rollin and let’s just say it features something for the boys, the girls and … the farm animals! (Seriously)

After watching this video it truly makes me wonder just what else Wang Rong Rollin are actually “rollin”, if you catch my drift. The video has been viewed over 3 million times on YouTube, so apparently some people are digging it or at least understand!

What do you think?  Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below!

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This Band Has The Most Fitting Name Ever: Meet SomeKindaWonderful

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(PCM) One of our newest musical addictions here at PCM is without a doubt the infectious soulful pop grooves of SomekindaWonderful. We are always on the search of something that sounds a little bit different in a world of cookie cutter rock bands and SomekindaWonderful has been a diamond (should we say “rhinestone”) in the rough.

The band has just recently released their new track “Rhinestone Melodies” and are currently offering it up as a free download for fans in support of the band’s first-ever and current tour with Bad Suns and New Politics.

You can check out the track below and of course download it here!

SomekindaWonderful’s debut album was released via Downtown Records back on June 16th and reached #8 on the iTunes Alternative albums charts. The band also boasts of 2 million combined plays on major streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora and Soundcloud.

A full list of the band’s remaing tour dates can be found below:

Fri
11/14
Milwaukee, WI
The Rave/Eagles Club

Sat
11/15
Indianapolis, IN
Deluxe at Old National Centre

Sun
11/16
Chicago, IL
House of Blues

Tue
11/18
Cincinnati, OH
Bogart’s

Wed
11/19
Louisville, KY
Mercury Ballroom

Thu
11/20
Cleveland, OH
House of Blues

Fri
11/21
Columbus, OH
Newport Music Hall

Sat
11/22
Detroit, MI
St. Andrew’s Hall

Tue
11/25
New York, NY
Irving Plaza

Wed
11/26
Boston, MA
Paradise Rock Club

Fri
11/28
Buffalo, NY
Town Ballroom

Sat
11/29
Philadelphia, PA
TLA

Sun
11/30
Hartford, CT
Webster Theater

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Culture Club Cancel North American And UK Tour Dates

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(PCM) It is with great regret that the members of Culture Club have announced the cancellation of their tours in North America and the UK scheduled for November and December 2014.

It became necessary to do so this week when a polyp was discovered in George’s throat. The throat specialist has ordered George to not sing as it may necessitate an operation.

George and the band are devastated by this news and so it is with much regret that the tour is cancelled until further notice. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.

“We are hoping we can reschedule the concerts for next year, and hopefully George’s problem will be resolved,” said the members of Culture Club.

The band wish George a speedy recovery and added ….“To our fans we wish to thank you for your loyalty and know that we love you all.”

Be sure to check out the band’s upcoming new album “Tribes”, which you can pre-order here!

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James Franco And Tim O’Keefe Reveal New Project For Their Art Duo “Daddy”

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(PCM) James Franco and Tim O’Keefe announced today that their art band duo Daddy will release it’s next project Let Me Get What I Want in 2015, and it will consist of a full length album + feature an accompanying full length video/film.

James recently published a book of poetry called Directing Herbert White: Poems. Two sections in that book are called “Poems Inspired by Smiths’ Songs,” which were reactions to a bunch of Smiths’ songs; each poem sharing the title of the song that inspired it. James and Tim were looking for a jump off for their next project and while discussing the poems and their love of the Smiths decided to use these poems and began to create new songs around them. Soon it was clear, this would be the album and they decided the original songs titles would share the titles of James’ poems that had inspired them.

Get This: The guys got Andy Rourke (original bassist for the Smiths) to play on every track!

There are videos for each song on the album and they can be played in order as an hour-long film or watched separately. The 10 videos all relate to each other to tell a cohesive story, and form a full-length film. When playing all 10 videos (watching it like a full length film) there is no “beginning” or “end” point, it works like a loop. (i.e. the “last” video, or video 10, connects to the first video, video 1, seamlessly). A painting (by James) for each title appears before each song begins. There are 3 main characters in the film: Tom, Erica, and Sterling. The film explores their relationships to one another. This video focuses on Tom.

The footage was shot by students of James’ mother at the high school that James attended in Palo Alto and the same one that inspired the poems in the first place. Students were given the poems (before they were songs) and asked to shoot based on the poems (which eventually became the lyrics).

James and Tim then took the footage and re-cut the images to the songs. Daddy recently (and secretly) screened the new Daddy music film as part of a recent Franco art show presented at Palo Alto High School, and sponsored by Pace Gallery.

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Loudwire Music Festival Is Headed Your Way This Coming Summer!

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(PCM) Plans for next summer may just happen to include a trip to Grand Junction, Colorado after hearing the recent announcement at the first-ever Loudwire Music Festival being held June 26, 27 and 28th at Jam Ranch!

One of the leading websites in the rock world, Townsquare Media’s Loudwire will be putting together its’ first ever music festival in 2015 and it was also revealed that Grammy award-winning and multi-platinum band Linkin Park will be one of three daily headliners for this exciting new festival.

“We’re really excited to play the first ever Loudwire music festival,” says Chester Bennington, lead vocalist of Linkin Park. “This will be one epic rock show!”

The inaugural Loudwire Music Festival will feature some of the world’s greatest rock bands from all genres of rock–hard, classic, alternative, metal and indie–performing across three stages. Additional artists will be announced in the months leading up to the festival.

”We are very excited to launch the Loudwire Music Festival at Jam Ranch,” remarked Dhruv Prasad, Executive Vice President, Live Events for Townsquare Media. “Loudwire is one of our flagship brands–spanning broadcast radio, syndicated radio and a national website–so the addition of a live festival seemed a natural way to evolve the brand and deliver a great experience to rock music fans.”

Festival-goers will have the option of a fully immersive weekend with the festival’s on-site camping selections. Camping options range from standard (within walking distance to the festival grounds) starting at $95 to premier (the closest camping to the festival grounds) and VIP (campgrounds for VIP ticket holders only, close to festival grounds), starting at $180.

Weekend ticket options include General Admission weekend passes for $79. Reserved Seating starts at $225, and the VIP Seating & Experience starts at $400. Additional festival information, including ticketing and camping options, can be found here. Stay connected with up-to-date information on the Loudwire Music Festival on Facebook or by following @LoudwireFest on Twitter.

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New Album On The Way From Wu-Tang Clan To Celebrate The Groups 20th Anniversary

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(PCM) It has been over 20 years since Wu-Tang Clan dropped their debut album and now the Staten Island group consisting of RZA, GZA, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, U-God, Masta Killa, Ghostface Killah and Cappadonna are returning with a new album titled A Better Tomorrow that hits stores on December 2nd.

Seven years since the group’s last proper album, A Better Tomorrow was helmed by RZA aka The Abbott who has created a smorgasbord of beats while the murder’s row of lyricists assault his booming tracks. Whether it’s the voice of the late ODB, or dusky Kung-Fu movie samples spread throughout the mix, tried and true WTC fans, and curious newcomers will find something to love about the new album which is available for pre-order now featuring three instant grat tracks.

Opening with the rumbling “Ruckus In B Minor,” which dropped yesterday on Funkmaster Flex’s HOT 97 show, listeners are taken a cohesive ride via 15 tracks of hardboiled rap music relaying messages about the mix of street life, spiritual redemption, weaving crime tales worthy of noir novels, and reminiscing on the days of New York-past. Last night at Quad Studios, journalists and tastemakers alike were invited to a private first-listen of the new record with RZA, U-God and Masta Killa with refreshments provided by Red Bull.

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Concert Review: Fleetwood Mac Are Spell-Binding In Philly

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(PCM) Words can not even begin to describe just how excited we were to get a chance to attend Fleetwood Mac’s recent show at a very sold-out Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.

The band’s nearly three-hour performance was flawless and it was a true gift for fans to be able to experience the band’s classic line-up back together once again. There is something about witnessing Fleetwood Mac performing together on-stage that is simply magical and the show was truly hypnotizing from beginning to end.

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Fleetwood Mac has a a decades spanning career and their set list was chock full of fan favorites that included set opener “The Chain”, “You Make Loving Fun”, “Second Hand News”, “Rihannon”, “Landslide”, “Go Your Own Way” and many many more! The band played for nearly three hours packing twenty-four hits into their set!

One aspect of the show that stood out to us was just how comfortable and relaxed the band appeared to be on stage. As a band they were harmonizing beautifully and appeared to be having the time of their lives sharing their gift of song with the eager audience.

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After quite a lengthy absence, having Christine McVie back with the band again just added to the evenings magical elements. Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham even commented on stage that it was the beginning of a new era for the band.

The band members were also incredible gracious and engaging on the stage. It was wonderful to hear stories about the band’s roots and the back stories behind some of our favorite songs. Hearing Stevie Nicks tell the story about The Velvet Underground clothing shop in San Francisco and her ultimate vision for the band at that point in time was incredibly inspirational.

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It is also worth noting that age is doing absolutely nothing to slow this band down. Vocalist Stevie Nicks still has the very same haunting and ethereal stage presence as she did in years past. Her performance of “Gold Dust Woman” was truly out of this world as we were completely hypnotized by Nicks as the golden muse twirling about the stage.

We also have note that guitarist Lindsey Buckingham proved yet again that he can shred with the best of them, as his guitar solo was epic and drummer Mick Fleetwood’s drum solo was absolutely phenomenal as well.

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Fleetwood Mac and their aptly titled, On With The Show Tour appear to only just be getting started and this tour is without a doubt one of the must-see shows of the year!

Photography credit: Ken Schuler

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Static-X Founder Wayne Static Dead At Age 48

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(PCM) It is with a heavy heart that we report that Static-X founder Wayne Static was passed away at the age of 49.

Wayne Richard Wells was best known by his stage name Wayne Static and was the enigmatic former frontman and namesake of Static-X, who later forged a successful solo career. Wayne was scheduled to co-headline tours with Powerman 5000 and Drowning Pool over the next several months.

According to his publicity team at FiXT Publicity, no additional information about his passing is available at this time. There had been quite a few rumors circulating the net that were claiming that Wayne’s cause of death was due to an accidental drug overdose, however sources have now revealed that drugs did NOT play a factor in Wayne’s passing and the only additional information that has been released at this time is that he passed away in his sleep.

Wayne is survived by his wife, former porn star Tera Wray, whom he wed in 2008. Our sincere condolences go out to Wayne’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.

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