Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament announces new solo album ‘I Should Be Outside’

Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament has announced a fourth solo album under his own name, titled ‘I Should Be Outside’.

The album is due on August 10 via Monkeywrench, and follows his surprise-released ‘American Death Squad’ EP last year.

In a statement shared through Pearl Jam’s Ten Club newsletter on Thursday (June 10), Ament went into more detail about how the new record came together – you can read it below.

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Last year’s EP, consisting of five short songs, was also composed during lockdown after Pearl Jam’s planned 2020 tour dates were postponed due to the coronavirus.

“In the days following the postponement of our tour, I found it necessary to find an outlet for the energy we had created going into the tour,” the musician said in a statement at the time. “Pivot was the word of March. So, every morning, I retreated to the studio with the goal of writing a song every day, no matter how shite.

“Days of isolating and watching the news of the destruction courtesy the virus (and the ineptitude of our leadership or as named here, the American Death Squad) made for vivid dreams and a helplessness. These were some of the first songs out of the gate. Raw and succinct.”

You can pre-order the vinyl for the first two songs from ‘I Should Be Outside’ – ‘I Hear Ya’ and ‘Bandwidth’ – here.

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Pearl Jam, meanwhile, will be playing a pair of US festival dates in September, at Asbury Park, New Jersey on September 18, and at bandmate Eddie Vedder’s Ohana Festival in California on September 26.

The band will embark on a delayed European tour in June and July 2022, including two dates at BST Hyde Park in London – see more info about that tour here.

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Foo Fighters announce intimate gig for vaccinated Los Angeles fans next week

Foo Fighters have announced an intimate club show for vaccinated fans in Los Angeles, set to go down this coming Tuesday (June 15) at the 610-capacity Canyon Club.

Tickets will cost a mere $26, in celebration of 2021 marking the band’s 26th anniversary. They’ll be available for purchase today (June 13), exclusively in-person for punters over the age of 21. In order to secure a maximum of two non-transferrable tickets, buyers will need to show photo ID and proof of vaccination, having received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days ago.

The show will serve as a warmup for the Foo Fighters’ headliner at the Madison Square Garden in New York next Sunday (June 20), which is set to mark the first full-capacity show at the iconic venue in over 450 days. There, the band will play to almost 21,000 concertgoers, all of whom are also required to prove they’re vaccinated to gain entry.

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Last week, a small, yet vocal group of anti-vax Foo Fighters fans renounced the band over the gig, with one particularly enraged punter saying they “never thought the Foo Fighters would support suppression, segregation, and discrimination”.

Next month, the band will embark on a six-date run of headline shows across the Midwest, Oklahoma and New Mexico, with the promise of “many more to come”. They also have an impressive string of festival dates on the horizon, including this year’s Lollapalooza Chicago and Bonnaroo, and next year’s Boston Calling and Rock In Rio (for its Lisboa edition).

2022 will also see them head to the UK and Europe for a recently rescheduled stint of headline dates.

The Foos are set to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame this October, alongside fellow performers Jay-Z, The Go-Go’s, Carole King, Todd Rundgren and Tina Turner. Dave Grohl responded to the news last month, saying “I don’t think any of us ever imagined this would happen”. In February, he stated that former Police drummer Stewart Copeland should be the one to induct the band into the Hall Of Fame.

Foo Fighters released their tenth full-length effort, ‘Medicine At Midnight’, back in February. Their fifth UK #1 album, it was supported with the singles ‘Shame Shame’ (which was debuted on SNL and later performed on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert), ‘No Son Of Mine’ (for which the band released a live music video, and declared it an homage to Motörhead’s Lemmy) ‘Waiting On A War’ (which was followed by a stirring music video and performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live), ‘Chasing Birds’ and ‘Making A Fire’.

NME gave the record a four-star review, dubbing it “an injection of joy” and “the soundtrack to the summer we all crave”.

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In April, Grohl and Mick Jagger teamed up for the surprise single ‘Eazy Sleazy’, which NME described as “lockdown in a song”.

Grohl and the Foo Fighters have been notably active in efforts to help those displaced by the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this year, the band teamed up with bike manufacturer Brompton to create custom one-off bikes that were auctioned off for Crew Nation, the charitable fund from Live Nation helping those in the music industry who have been out of work during the pandemic.

The band also performed for the Rock-N-Relief charity livestream in March, and at the Vax Live festival in May. The latter saw AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson join the Foo Fighters for a cover of ‘Back In Black’, and went on to raise £214million to help global vaccine efforts.

At the start of the year, Grohl – alongside Run The JewelsKiller Mike and Quincy Joneswas named on a new advisory board in the US to help support artists affected by the pandemic. The following month, he shared a list of album suggestions for kids being homeschooled during the pandemic.

Grohl has also kept busy with a string of projects away from the Foo Fighters, including his documentary What Drives Us and forthcoming memoir The Storyteller: Tales Of Life And Music.

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John Mayer shares beautiful acoustic rendition of new single ‘Last Train Home’

John Mayer has shared a beautiful acoustic rendition of his new single ‘Last Train Home’ – watch it below.

Taken from the singer, songwriter and guitarist’s upcoming eighth studio album ‘Sob Rock’, the original version of the track features vocals from Maren Morris and sounds like was recorded in the ’80s at the height of yacht rock.

Taking to Instagram this evening (June 12), Mayer decided to give fans a live acoustic rendition of the record.

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“I decided to take the new song for a spin on acoustic guitar,” he wrote. “I can’t thank you enough for embracing this track the way you have. It makes me even more excited for you to hear the album.”

You can watch Mayer’s stripped back version of ‘Last Train Home’ below:

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Mayer announced the release of ‘Sob Rock’ earlier this month, sharing its ’80s-inspired artwork on social media.

Set to arrive on July 16, it’s his first album since 2017’s ‘The Search For Everything’, a loose concept album based around dealing with a breakup.

You can see the tracklist for ‘Sob Rock’ below:

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01. ‘Last Train Home’
02. ‘Shouldn’t Matter But It Does’
03. ‘New Light’
04. ‘Why You No Love Me’
05. ‘Wild Blue’
06. ‘Shot In The Dark’
07. ‘I Guess I Just Feel Like’
08. ‘Til The Right One Comes’
09. ‘Carry Me Away’
10. ‘All I Want Is To Be With You’

In addition to new music, Mayer is reportedly nearing a deal to host his own talk show, expected to launch on the Paramount+ streaming service.

As reported in April, the show would feature performance segments and interviews with “musicians, artists and other cultural figures in a setting designed to look like an after-hours club”.

Meanwhile, Big Sean has revealed that he’s sitting on three unfinished tracks with John Mayer.

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The Joy Formidable share fierce new single ‘Chimes’

The Joy Formidable have released a new single called ‘Chimes’ – you can listen to it below.

The fierce new track is the third preview of the Welsh rock band’s upcoming album, ‘Into The Blue’, and follows previous singles ‘Back To Nothing’ and the album’s title track.

Due out August 20 via Hassle, ‘Into The Blue’ is The Joy Formidable’s fifth studio album, and their first since 2018’s ‘AAARTH’.

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Speaking about the band’s new single, lead singer and guitarist Ritzy Bryan said: “I was at a low point just prior to writing this record, I was going through a difficult breakup that left me feeling quite lost and questioning myself.

“In the middle of that sadness, I had a whole week of strange little serendipitous events that ended up inspiring the lyrics for ‘Chimes’. I felt like something or someone was looking out for me. Little signs and symbols that makes you feel like there’s a lot that we don’t understand about our connectivity, the earth talking back to you.”

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She continued: “The wind chimes that my grandfather made (he passed in 2013), they hang at my house here in Utah, they’ve come all the way from Manchester, UK to the SW desert. They would ring even without a breeze. I imagined that he was rooting for me to move forward, to trust in things again and that the love you put out will eventually come back to you.”

In a three-star review of the band’s second album, ‘Wolf’s Law’, NME‘s Mark Beaumont wrote: “Even the cataclysmic title track lures us in with a piano introduction full of desolate romance before unleashing the hounds of Wagnerian hell, but the prime intention of ‘Wolf’s Law’ is to overwhelm with bluster, muscle and noise, to orchestrate us clean out of our boots.

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“Which makes for a great record to listen to while teetering on the edge of a cliff in a thunderstorm, but on an iPhone on public transport, it can feel a touch over-egged.”

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Willow Smith says she used to get bullied for being a Black girl who liked rock music

Willow Smith has revealed she used to get bullied in school for being a Black girl who liked rock music.

The actor and singer, known mononymously as Willow, released her new single ‘Transparent Soul’ – a pop-punk outing featuring Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker – back in April.

Speaking at the time of its release, Smith said the song was the beginning a new era with her career and that she was “so grateful and excited to start this new journey”.

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Speaking about her formative years as a rock and metal fan in a recent interview with V Magazine, Smith told Alexis White of metal core band Straight Line Stitch that she used to get bullied in school for being a Black girl who was a fan of Paramore and My Chemical Romance.
“But being a Black woman in the metal crowd is very, very different on top of the pressures that the music industry puts on you,” Smith said. “Now, it’s like an added pressure of the metal culture, the metal world, and just rock in general. I used to get bullied in school for listening to Paramore and My Chemical Romance.”
White responded: “Yeah, there’s a lot of,“Hey, you’re Black. You’re not supposed to listen to that.”
“Exactly! And it’s not okay,” Smith continued. “Just through the music that I’m putting out right now and the representation that I can bring to the mix, I just hope that the Black girls who are listening to my music and listening to this album see that there’s more of us out there. It’s a real thing, you’re not alone. You’re not the only Black girl who wishes she could flip her hair to the side, and wear black eyeliner, you know what I mean?”

Elsewhere in the interview, Smith talked about her forthcoming album and how it will include a lot more guest features than her previous record, 2019’s Willow, including one from Avril Lavigne.

“I’m so excited that I’m going to be having a song on the album with Avril Lavigne,” Smith said. “She is so iconic. From [ages] 13 to 16, she was my idol. It’s really nice to be able to have a quintessential pop-punk record with the pop-punk queen.”

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