ABC Classic Hits
Credit: Randall Slavin

Matchbox Twenty's first foray into the world of NFTs -- the new technology that allows people to own a unique piece of digital content -- has worked out pretty well.

The band's first NFT offering, which included the rights to high-res digital images of the original lyric sheets for their hit song, "Unwell," was sold for $24,000, proceeds from which went to the charities RADical Hope and The Trevor Project.  Then, a donor kicked in an additional $50,000 directly to RADical Hope in support of the whole project.

RADical Hope addresses America's youth mental health crisis, while The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.

During a conversation about the NFT auction on the app Clubhouse last Thursday night, Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, who wrote "Unwell," spoke about why he wanted to tie the song to the current state of mental health in the country.

"What we're really talking about is the mental health of our future generations," Rob said. "Who we're going to be ten years from now depends on how we treat people now, and I think the Trevor Project and RADical Hope are pinpointing a huge group that we might lose if we don't let them know how special they are and how normal they are."

"Unwell," a top-10 hit in 2003, was recently interpolated by superstar DJ and producer Steve Aoki for a new song called "Used to Be," featuring vocals by Kiiara and Wiz Khalifa. A new acoustic version incorporates Rob's vocals as well.

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Cleopatra Records

A new collaborative single called "X Moves" featuring the unusual pairing of late hardcore rapper DMX with Yes guitarist Steve Howe, Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice and legendary Parliament-Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins has just been released as a digital download and via streaming services.

The track features DMX's profanity-packed rapping over Howe's spacy guitar riffs, Paice's stampeding beats and Collins' funky bass grooves. Bootsy also trades some spoken verses with DMX, who, sadly, died on Friday after suffering a heart attack at his home last week.

The track was co-produced and mixed by Jürgen Engler, frontman of the German industrial metal band Die Krupps. The song's other co-producer, Cleopatra Records founder Brian Perera, said in a statement, "As 'X Moves' shows, [DMX was] one of the most innovative and original hip hop artists around. Our hearts go out to all of DMX's family, friends and supporters."

A seven-inch, colored-vinyl single version of "X Moves" pressed on red or silver vinyl will be issued this August, and can be pre-ordered now at CleoRecs.com.

(Video contains uncensored profanity.)

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Credit: Ace Bouchard

Just a reminder that former Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard will play a special livestream concert this Saturday, April 10, that will feature, for the first time ever, a full performance of his 2020 solo album, Re Imaginos, which is a reworked version of his old band's 1988 concept album, Imaginos.

The show will take place live from the Deko Entertainment label's 2Trax Studios, and will be viewable at Mandolin.com, starting at 4 p.m. ET. The event celebrates the arrival of a two-LP vinyl edition of Re Imaginos, which was released today.

Bouchard will be performing live, with accompaniment from David Hirschberg on bass and backing vocals, as well as pre-recorded tracks. In addition, Albert tells ABC Audio that his brother and ex-Blue Oyster Cult band mate Joe Bouchard has contributed some video of him playing trumpet parts that will be featured in the presentation.

In addition to performing all of Re Imaginos, Albert will be playing some Blue Oyster Cult deep cuts and solo tunes, as well as doing some musical improvisations.

Standard tickets for the concert cost $10, while VIP tickets offering a virtual one-on-one meet and greet with Albert can be purchased for $40.

Limited-edition colored-vinyl Re Imaginos bundles and a T-shirt commemorating the livestream event are available now at Merchbucket.com. Fans purchasing those items will receive a 10% discount on the livestream show.

As previously reported, Bouchard says he recorded Re Imaginos for Blue Oyster Cult fans "so that they can hear a more properly realized version of the tale" told on the Imaginos album.

Albert considers Re Imaginos a tribute to late Blue Oytser Cult manager, producer and lyricist Sandy Pearlman, whose surreal horror- and science fiction-influenced writings were the basis for Imaginos.

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EMI Music Australia

Australians unite on a new remix of Crowded House's recent single "To the Island" by modern-rock act Tame Impala, aka Kevin Parker.

The Sydney-born Parker put his spin on the track, a cut off the Melbourne-formed band's upcoming studio album Dreamers Are Waiting, which is due out on June 4 and can be pre-ordered now.

"With all the world upended and nothing in its right place we became curious to hear how our favorite contemporary musicians and record makers might reimagine a Crowded House song," says frontman Neil Finn, who originally hails from New Zealand.

"I emailed our version of 'To the Island' to Kevin Parker with an invitation to take it apart and reassemble in his own unique way," adds Finn, who also became a touring member of Fleetwood Mac in 2018. "Happily, he really liked the song and it was an absolute delight to hear what he made from it, an exotic fantasy I would call it."

The Tame Impala remix of "To the Island" is available now as a digital download and via steaming services. It also will be included on a seven-inch vinyl single, alongside another remix by New Zealand band Unknown Mortal Orchestra, that also will be released on June 4.

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Frontiers Music srl

Former Styx singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung has released the lead single from his upcoming farewell studio album, 26 East, Volume 2, a six-minute, prog-rock-flavored rock tune titled "The Isle of Misanthrope" that's available now as a digital download and for streaming.

Coinciding with the track's release, DeYoung has debuted a surreal, over-the-top music video for the song at his official YouTube channel.

Writing about the clip on his Facebook page, DeYoung humorously points out that it features "rockin' monks, space travel, time machines, mysterious orbs, dinosaurs, ancient ruins, three masters, strange sunglasses, beautiful sea sirens, howling wolves, fake lutes, screaming guitar solos, funky monks, (can you ever have too many monks) and hidden Styx stuff."

He adds, "There's a mysterious narrative unfolding in this six-minute opus with numerous musical and video twists and turns, harkening back to [Styx's] great Equinox and Grand Illusion albums. Harken harken."

DeYoung explains in a statement that, lyrically, the songs "is a commentary on the contemporary state of mankind under the guise of ancient times. The more things change the more they remain the same."

26 East, Volume 2, a sequel to DeYoung's 2020 album 26 East, Volume 1, will be released on June 11, and is available for pre-order now.

Ides of March and ex-Survivor member Jim Peterik, who co-wrote five songs that appeared on 26 East, Volume 1, collaborated on an additional four songs on Volume 2. Peterik also contributes guitar, bass and backing vocals to the record, while The Ides of March's horn section is featured on a track called "Hello Goodbye."

In addition, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello lends his talents to the song "The Last Guitar Hero."

Here's the full 26 East, Volume 2 track list:

"Hello Goodbye"
"Land of the Living"
"The Last Guitar Hero"
"Your Saving Grace"
"Proof of Heaven"
"Made for Each Other"
"There's No Turning Back Time"
"St. Quarantine"
"So Little Did We Know"
"Always Time"
"Isle of Misanthrope"
"GIF"

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Mike Pont/Getty Images

On Thursday night, Cheap Trick celebrated the release of their new studio album, In Another World, by performing on CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  Fans who watched the band's rendition of the rocking "Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll" probably noticed that bassist Tom Petersson was sitting down throughout the performance, and now he's revealed why that was.

In a message posted on CheapTrick.com, Tom, who turns 71 next month, explains, "I had to have open heart surgery a month ago and I'm under doctor's orders to take it easy. I'm currently recuperating and slowly but surely getting stronger every day. Can't wait to get back to see all of you again soon."

You can check out Cheap Trick's Late Show performance on the program's official YouTube channel.

In Another World was released today, and features 13 tracks, including "Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll" and a cover of John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth," the latter of which boasts a guest appearance by Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

Cheap Trick is scheduled to begin a tour of Australia on April 30 called Under the Southern Stars 2021 that also features Bush and Stone Temple Pilots. It's not known if Petersson will be participating in the trek, which runs through May 16.

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Courtesy of Consequence

The two-day virtual livestreamed music festival Protect Live Music! kicks off today, April 9, at 5 p.m. ET.

REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin and Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads are among more than 90 artists who will perform during the benefit event, which is hosted by the website Consequence -- formerly Consequence of Sound -- and will raise money for the National Independent Venue Association, or NIVA. NIVA supports independent music venues affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other artists on the Protect Live Music! lineup include Bruce Hornsby, Van Halen bassist Wolfgang Van Halen's new band Mammoth WVH, Jon Batiste, The MelvinsThe Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon, Duane Betts of Allman Betts Band, and Hearty Har, the group led by John Fogerty's sons Shane and Tyler.

Harrison will be teaming up with one-time Talking Heads touring guitarist Adrian Belew and Brooklyn-based group Turkuaz to play songs from his old band's 1980 album Remain in Light.

To gain access to the streaming event, you can reserve virtual tickets by visiting Consequence.net.

The festival will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET both today and on Saturday, April 10. You can check out a full schedule of the performances at Consequence.net.

To raise money for the cause, a line of Protect Live Music! merchandise is being sold at Consequence's online store.

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BMG

Cheap Trick's 20th studio album, In Another World, gets released today.

The 13-track collection features all the familiar Cheap Trick elements, including Beatles influences, glam, power pop, heavy rock and power ballads, but there also are less familiar aspects, such as introspective tunes and topical songs alluding to politics and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reflecting on the material on the new album, guitarist/songwriter Rick Nielsen admits to ABC Audio, "I'm more of a 'jump to it' and 'wear my influences on my sleeve' [guy]...But…I think we've become more thoughtful."

That being said, Nielsen maintains, "[W]e've never tried to be what we're not, never tried to be the next new trend. We like what we like, and we do that pretty well."

An interesting aspects of the album is that it features two versions of the same song, "Another World," one a melodic ballad and the other a revved-up rocker.

Nielsen says Cheap Trick had already recorded the slow version of "Another World" and was "goofing around" in the studio when he suggested trying to playing the song super fast.

"[W]e kept the same chords and we kept the same almost everything, but it's a completely different song," notes Rick. "'Cause not everybody likes the slow romantic ballads."

In Another World ends with a cover of John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth," which features a guest appearance by Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

Nielsen says he decided to ask Jones if he wanted to play on the track after jamming with Steve on the song during a visit to the radio show Jones hosts.

"It was kind of fun," Rick says of the collaboration. "And…it was a good match...'cause we liked [the Sex Pistols]." (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)

Here's the In Another World track list:

"Here Comes the Summer"
"Quit Waking Me Up"
"Another World"
"Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll"
"The Party"
"Final Days"
"So It Goes"
"Light Up the Fire"
"Passing Through"
"Here's Looking at You"
"Another World (Reprise)"
"I'll See You Again"
"Gimme Some Truth"

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Credit: Ross Halfin

Pink Floyd's David Gilmour is featured in a new preview from the upcoming film and album documenting the star-studded London tribute concert that Mick Fleetwood organized last year celebrating Fleetwood Mac's early years and the group's original leader, Peter Green.

A video of Gilmour playing a version of the atmospheric 1968 Fleetwood Mac instrumental "Albatross" on a lap-steel guitar has premiered on YouTube, while the audio is available now digitally.

David was accompanied by the show's house band, which included Fleetwood and Zak Starkey on drums, ex-Fleetwood Mac member Rick Vito on guitar, and others.

"Albatross," which was written by Green, is the only Fleetwood Mac song to reach #1 on the U.K. singles chart.

The concert film, titled Mick Fleetwood & Friends Celebrate the Music of Peter Green and the Early Years of Fleetwood Mac, will premiere April 24 via video on demand at nugs.tv. Audio, home video and digital editions will be released on April 30.

Other performers at the show included Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, The Who's Pete Townshend, ex-Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, Oasis' Noel Gallagher and U.K. blues great John Mayall. A number of other current and former Fleetwood Mac members also performed, including Christine McVie, Crowded House's Neil Finn, and founding guitarist Jeremy Spencer.

Green didn't attend the event and, sadly, passed away in July 2020 at age 73.

Mick Fleetwood & Friends will be released in multiple formats, including a box set featuring the concert on Blu-ray, two CDs and four vinyl LPs, and a 44-page hardbound book offering sleeve notes, photos and more.

Visit MickFleetwoodandFriends.com for more details.

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ABC/Christopher Willard

A few weeks ago, Lionel Richie appeared on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and host Jimmy Kimmel asked the famed balladeer if he'd ever made love to one of his own songs, with Richie answering, "Not that I can recall." Kimmel wasn't satisfied with the answer, so when fellow American Idol judge Luke Bryan appeared on the show Wednesday night, he sought a second opinion.

"I asked Lionel, 'Have you ever made love to one of your songs?' and he dodged the question a little bit," Jimmy told Luke.

"There's no way he hasn't!" Bryan responded. 

Kimmel then noted, "He says he doesn't remember, but I know! Even I have made love to one his songs." Jimmy replied.

To which Bryan replied, "Everybody has!"

Jimmy said, "I guess, yeah, so what I wanted to ask you is, do you think Lionel has made love to one of his songs?"

"One million percent [yes]," shot back Luke.

"A million percent?" said Kimmel.

"That may even be a low percentage," Bryan insisted, as the audience laughed.

"Have you made love to one of your songs?" Jimmy then asked Luke.

After stuttering and stammering for a minute, Luke said, "Well..." and then added, "Just let me get back home!"

Hmm. We say the answer to that is also "one million percent."

(The conversation takes place about 9:10 into the video.)

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Light in the Attic Records

ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons has contributed a song to a new tribute album May the Circle Remain Unbroken: A Tribute to Roky Erickson that will be released as a limited-edition colored-vinyl LP on July 17th as part of the 2021 Record Store Day event.

The album features a variety of mostly contemporary artists saluting late Texas psychedelic rock pioneer Roky Erikson, who died in 2019 at age 71.

Erikson was best known as the frontman for the 1960s psychedelic-rock group The 13th Floor Elevators, who scored a minor chart hit in 1966 with their debut single, the garage-rock classic "You're Gonna Miss Me." After the band's 1969 breakup, he went on to release many solo albums with various backing bands. Roky, who battled drug and mental health issues throughout his life, was known for writing songs that reflected his fascination with aliens, demons and monsters, but also penned many melodic introspective and romantic tunes.

May the Circle Remain Unbroken features covers of 13th Floor Elevators songs, as well as tunes from throughout Erikson's solo career. Gibbons' rendition of the 1967 13th Floor Elevators single "(I've Got) Levitation" kicks off the album.

Other artists featured on the tribute include Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, ex-Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan, Gary Clark Jr., Neko Case, and Lucinda Williams, as well as the duo of Alison Mosshart of The Kills and longtime Bob Dylan guitarist Charlie Sexton.

May the Circle Remain Unbroken also comes packaged with a 16-page booklet that includes rare photos, liner notes by album producer Bill Bentley, and a bonus flexi disc featuring an unreleased Erikson track, "Love Hieroglyphics," recorded during the early 1970s.  A CD version of the album is expected to be released later this year.

Here's the full track list:

Side One
"(I've Got) Levitation" -- Billy F Gibbons
"Starry Eyes" -- Mosshart Sexton
"For You (I'd Do Anything) " -- Jeff Tweedy
"Clear Night for Love" -- Lynn Castle & Mark Lanegan
"Don't Fall Down" -- The Black Angels
"Be and Bring Me Home" -- Neko Case

Side Two
"Red Temple Prayer (Two-Headed Dog)" -- Margo Price
"Roller Coaster" -- Gary Clark Jr. & Eve Monsees
"Night of the Vampire" -- Ty Segall
"You're Gonna Miss Me" -- Lucinda Williams
"If You Have Ghosts" -- Chelsea Wolfe
"May the Circle Remain Unbroken" -- Brogan Bentley

Bonus RSD-only flexi disc:
"Love Hieroglyphics" -- Roky Erickson

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© The Prince Estate/Photo: Mike Ruiz

A previously unheard studio album that Prince recorded in 2010 called Welcome 2 America will get its release on July 30 in multiple formats and configurations.

The 12-track collection finds Prince musing on a variety of issues and themes that concerned him about the state of the U.S. at the time, and that now seem prescient.

In advance of Welcome 2 America's arrival, the album's title track has been released as a digital single and via streaming services.

The song features Prince offering up a spoken-word critique of modern-day America focusing on the superficiality of social media, reality TV and celebrity culture, the corporate-run music business and more.

Welcome 2 America, which you can pre-order now, will be available on CD, vinyl LP and digitally, as well as a deluxe version featuring the CD, the LP and a Blu-ray with a video of a full unreleased concert that Prince played with his New Power Generation backing band in April 2011 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

The concert featured performances of Prince classics like "Controversy," "Let's Go Crazy," "Delirious," "1999," "Little Red Corvette," "Purple Rain" and "Kiss," as well as covers of songs by India.Arie, Janet Jackson, Bob Dylan, Wild Cherry, Kool & the Gang and Roxy Music.

The deluxe collection comes packaged with a 32-page companion book and a variety of memorabilia, including a photographic art print and a poster, as well as replicas of a setlist, a ticket and backstage passes.

Limited-edition colored vinyl variants of the Welcome 2 America LP are available at Prince's online store and Target.

This Sunday evening, a segment focusing on the story behind Welcome 2 America will air on CBS' 60 Minutes.

Here's the Welcome 2 America track list:

"Welcome 2 America"
"Running Game (Son of a Slave Master)"
"Born 2 Die"
"1000 Light Years from Here"
"Hot Summer"
"Stand Up and B Strong" (Soul Asylum cover)
"Check the Record"
"Same Page, Different Book"
"When She Comes"
"1010 (Rin Tin Tin)"
"Yes"
"One Day We Will All B Free"

And here's the Blu-ray's track list (Live at The Forum, April 28, 2011):

"Joy in Repetition"
"Brown Skin" (India.Arie cover)
"17 Days"
"Shhh"
"Controversy"
"Theme from 'Which Way Is Up'" (Stargard cover)
"What Have You Done for Me Lately" (Janet Jackson cover)
"Partyman"
"Make You Feel My Love" (Bob Dylan cover)
"Misty Blue" (Eddy Arnold cover)
"Let's Go Crazy
"Delirious"
"1999"
"Little Red Corvette"
"Purple Rain"
"The Bird" (The Time cover – Prince composition)
"Jungle Love" (The Time cover – Prince composition)
"A Love Bizarre" (Sheila E. cover – Prince composition)
"Kiss"
"Play That Funky Music" (Wild Cherry cover)
"Inglewood Swinging" (cover of Kool & the Gang's "Hollywood Swinging")
"Fantastic Voyage" (Lakeside cover)
"More Than This" (Roxy Music cover)

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Zoobs

The first trailer for Cher's upcoming Smithsonian Channel documentary Cher & the Loneliest Elephant has arrived.

In the clip, Cher recalls first meeting with Kaavan, the elephant who's been kept in chains for nearly 20 years in a run-down zoo in Pakistan. "He was shackled; he was suffering," Cher says.

Since the death of the zoo's only other elephant, Kavaan also didn't have any company, which led to him suffering from depression, psychosis and obesity.  "Elephants are just like we are. They're so family-oriented and emotional," Cher says. "And so I wanted to free him."

"What does it take to relocate a five-ton elephant across the entire continent of Asia?" she asks.

The documentary follows the music legend as she and her newly-launched charity Free the Wild work with an international rescue organization called Four Paws to receive permission to move Kavaan to a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia, and then work out all the logistics. In November of 2020, the journey began.

"We just didn't stop fighting," Cher says.

The documentary launches on Earth Day, April 22, on Paramount+, and will then premiere on the Smithsonian Channel on May 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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Courtesy of Roger Waters

Founding Pink Floyd singer/bassist Roger Waters finally has announced rescheduled dates for his This Is Not a Drill tour of North America, which originally was supposed to kick off in July 2020 before being postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 36-date trek, which now will take place in 2022, is set to kick off on July 6 in Pittsburgh will run through an October 8 show in Dallas. The outing includes two-night stands in Toronto, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Those who purchased tickets to the previously announced 2020 tour dates will be sent an email with updated information. Fans are encouraged to hold on to the original tickets, which will be valid for the new dates. For additional ticket questions, fans should contact their point of purchase.

As previously reported, the This Is Not a Drill concerts will be staged "in the round," a first for Waters.  In a new statement, he describes the tour as "a ground breaking new rock and roll/cinematic extravaganza."

He continues,"[I]t is a stunning indictment of the corporate dystopia in which we all struggle to survive, and a call to action to LOVE, PROTECT and SHARE our precious and precarious planet home. The show includes a dozen great songs from PINK FLOYD'S GOLDEN ERA along side several new ones, words and music, same writer, same heart, same soul, same man."

The 77-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer finishes his message by noting, "Could be his last hurrah. Wow! My first farewell tour! Don't miss it."

Waters also has posted a video trailer for the rescheduled tour on his YouTube channel in which he explains the themes behind the trek.

Check out all of the dates at RogerWaters.com.

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Rhino

A new four-disc Joni Mitchell collection titled The Reprise Albums (1968-1971), featuring remastered versions of the iconic singer/songwriter's first four studio albums, will be released on June 25.

The package, which includes 1968's Song to a Seagull, 1969's Clouds, 1970's Ladies of the Canyon and Mitchell's lauded 1971 album, Blue, will arrive three days after the 50th anniversary of Blue's release.

You can pre-order The Reprise Albums now as a four-CD set, a four-LP 180-gram vinyl release and digitally.

Fans who pre-order the CD or vinyl version of the set from JoniMitchell.com will receive a limited-edition print of the cover art, a previously unseen Mitchell self-portrait. An essay by Go-Go's singer Belinda Carlisle is included in the package.

For Song to a Seagull, Mitchell recently collaborated on an updated mix. According to Joni, the original mix of the David Crosby-produced album "was atrocious…It sounded like it was recorded under a jello bowl, so I fixed it!"

Clouds peaked at #31 on the Billboard 200 and features such memorable songs as "Both Sides, Now" and "Chelsea Morning."

Ladies of the Canyon went to #27 on the Billboard 200, and includes classics like "Big Yellow Taxi," "Woodstock" and "The Circle Game."

Blue is widely considered Mitchell's masterpiece. The album peaked at #15, and includes such enduring tunes as "My Old Man," "Little Green," "Carey," "River" and "A Case of You."  The newly remastered version of "A Case of You" is available now as an advance digital single.

The Reprise Albums (1968-1971) will be followed later this year by Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 2, a box set featuring rare live and studio recordings from the same time period.

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