Alice In Wonderland
In an era of digital recordings, Pro Tools and Auto-Tune, the world hungers for musical authenticity! And what better instrument to satisfy that hunger than the ever-humble, yet equally noble, cowbell? Ever since Will Ferrell and the ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast rallied around this cause, the cries for “MORE COWBELL!” have reverberated across the land – nay, the continents! So the least we could do was add our own baritone to the chorus; here then, are the Top 10 Cowbell Songs.
From: ‘Led Zeppelin II’ (1969)
Our first choice for the Top 10 Cowbell Songs had to involve a dynamite drummer like John Bonham, who pummeled that big-ass white whale into shape with his trusty cowbell. Although, considering how rarely Bonham returned to it in later years, with Led Zeppelin perhaps he rode the little sucker so hard that it breathed its last on ‘Moby Dick.’
Listen to ‘Moby Dick’
'Rock & Roll, Hoochie Koo'
From: ‘All American Boy’ (1974)
As Rick Derringer’s 'Rock and Roll, Hoochie Coo' made all too obvious, cowbells can be downright…SEXY! That's right, we said 'sexy.' Or is that sexual? Well, naughty at the very least. Is it any coincidence Derringer never equaled his biggest hit in the years that followed by failing to heed his own advice? That’s right…not enough cowbell.
Listen to 'Rock & Roll, Hoochie Koo'
'Born on the Bayou'
Creedence Clearwater Revival
From: ‘Bayou Country’ (1969)
CCR's greatest musical feat – besides crafting a vast catalog of absolutely timeless songs, of course – was fooling so many people into thinking they were roughneck southern boys, when in fact they hailed from Northern California; so you surely have to credit the 'rural,' qualities of the cowbell for making songs like 'Born on the Bayou' sound so convincingly ‘suvvern.’
Listen to 'Born on the Bayou'
'Fool for the City'
From: 'Fool for the City' (1975)
Now, Foghat weren't even American by birth (British lads, one and all), and yet their mastery of the blues rock idiom ensured most folks simply assumed they were raised on a cotton farm. Not by accident, the group’s natural affinity for the cowbell left no room for suspicion – even when applied to an urban hymn like 'Fool for the City.'
Listen to 'Fool for the City'
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
From: ‘Are You Experienced?’ (1967)
In Mitch Mitchell, the Jimi Hendrix Experience possessed one of rock's most versatile percussionists; a secret weapon able to weave exotic jazz techniques into the power trio's otherworldly material. But even a sophisticate such as Mitchell could appreciate the emphatic 'bong' of a cowbell, as exemplified by 'Stone Free' — a mandatory entry in our Top 10 Cowbell Songs list.
Listen to 'Stone Free'
From: ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends?’ (1975)
Perhaps no song has featured the cowbell quite as prominently as War's cheeky ode to Chicano hot rod culture, 'Low Rider' – check it and see. Nor have there been many other songs to introduce the instrument to a wider variety of listener given the band's incomparable cross-genre appeal throughout a career dabbling in rock, funk, R&B, jazz and, yes, Latin music.
Listen to 'Low Rider'
'Hair of the Dog'
From: 'Hair of the Dog' (1975)
Talk about mandatory: Scottish hard rockers Nazareth were clearly born to cowbell, if 1975's menacing 'Hair of the Dog' is any indication. Perhaps the band's signature tune, even considering a long career filled with memorable cuts, 'Hair of the Dog' would honestly be nothing without its driving cowbell, which is wielded like a lead instrument from start to finish.
Listen to 'Hair of the Dog'
'Don't Fear the Reaper'
Blue Oyster Cult
From: ‘Agents of Fortune’ (1976)
How could we omit the song most responsible for reintroducing the cowbell into the mainstream vernacular (via that famous SNL skit mentioned above) and, by extension, motivating this list of the Top 10 Cowbell Songs? Sure, Blue Oyster Cult's morbid love song, 'Don't Fear the Reaper,' was already a classic rock staple, but it didn't achieve cultural ubiquity until Will Ferrell and company had their way with it.
Listen to 'Don't Fear the Reaper'
'We're an American Band'
Grand Funk Railroad
From: 'We're an American Band' (1973)
As American as baseball and apple pie (and assault weapons), Grand Funk Railroad seemed like an unstoppable force around the time they unveiled this, one of their signature tunes. Produced by Todd Rundgren (no stranger to cowbells, as his own song, 'Heavy Metal Kids,’ will attest), 'We're an American Band' needs no further description – just let the cowbell do the talking.
Listen to 'We're an American Band'
'Honky Tonk Women'
The Rolling Stones
From: 'Honky Tonk Women' Single (1969)
When you're dealing with a task as challenging as choosing the number one cowbell song in existence, the only relatively safe course of action is reaching for the heavens – here represented by the world's greatest rock and roll band, The Rolling Stones. And how can you go wrong with perhaps the raunchiest song ever written, “Honky Tonk Women,' even though the prevalent cowbell heard throughout was allegedly banged, not by Charlie Watts, but the song’s producer, Jimmy Miller – clearly a man not afraid to tell a band when they need “MORE COWBELL!”
Metallica fans have been patiently waiting, and today (Jan. 15) the band rewarded them with the news that their highly anticipated 3D concert movie will be titled ‘Metallica Through the Never.’ Plus, the group let it be known that the film will receive a theatrical release on Aug. 9.
In a posting on their website, the band revealed that they’ve been working throughout the fall and into early 2013 with director Nimrod Antal and his team of editors to create the movie. In addition to Metallica, the film will also center on a crew member played by actor Dane DeHaan. The actor’s character is sent on an urgent mission while the band is playing in front of a sold-out crowd and he unexpectedly finds his world turned upside down.
Metallica signed a deal with independent marketing and distribution company Picturehouse to bring their film to theaters around the world. The band was impressed with the track record of Picturehouse founder Bob Berney, who had overseen the release of two of the biggest independent films ever — ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ and ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ The movie mogul recently re-entered the picture as the firm’s CEO and his first project in that role will be ‘Metallica Through the Never.’
Drummer Lars Ulrich stated the following on the band’s website:
Metallica’s way of doing things is to jump into unexplored creative endeavors with no safety net whatsoever. Putting this movie together for the last couple of years has been a pretty wild ride, and we’ve definitely done our fair share of flying without a net! Bringing Bob and [Picturehouse President] Jeanne [Berney] and the new Picturehouse team in at this point provides us with a much-needed level of security for the distribution of the film. Their spirit of independence and desire to work outside the box is something we can relate to in every way and this makes them both a welcome addition and a natural fit in the Metallica family.
After recently announcing that they would be releasing their fourth album in 2013, the members of Alter Bridge have now started working on the new disc.
On Friday (Jan. 4), the band posted the picture on the left of guitarist Mark Tremonti and singer Myles Kennedy in the studio on Facebook with the caption “It begins today.” And today (Jan. 7), they stated, “Writing on ‘AB4′ has begun. Very productive sessions so far!”
The band will try to get in as much work as possible over the next couple of weeks, as both Tremonti and Kennedy will be out on the road very shortly.
Tremonti is heading out with his solo band for a tour of Europe and the United States in February and March, as his latest single ‘Wish You Well’ starts to heat up rock radio.
Meanwhile, Kennedy will be out on the road with Slash in Europe starting Jan. 31. See the dates here.
The upcoming Alter Bridge album will be the follow-up to 2010′s ‘ABIII,’ which yielded the hit singles ‘Isolation’ and ‘Ghost of Days Gone By.’ Tremonti is also working on a new album with Creed.
Architects of Air build ‘luminaria’ – monumental inflatable structures designed to generate a sense of wonder at the beauty of light and colour.
From, Hong Kong to Honolulu, Taipei to Tel Aviv, Sydney to Singapore, the monumental walk-in sculptures of Architects of Air have enchanted audiences around the world. Since 1992, over 2 million visitors in 38 countries across 5 continents have immersed themselves in the spectacular, luminous world of Architects of Air.
Visitors remove their shoes before entering an airlock. Once inside they can wander freely or just lay back and enjoy the ambience of the structure.
The first reaction is often one of delight at the unexpected beauty of the light.
The radiance of the daylight transmitted by the coloured pvc of the luminarium is surprising in its luminosity and makes a direct impact on the senses.
Through labyrinthine tunnels and cavernous domes, visitors move in a medium of saturated and subtle hues. Vivid reflections of liquid colour spill across the curved walls creating a world apart from the normal and everyday.
Visitors are excited to discover how different colours blend or resonate; how they transform faces and clothing. Some explore, following their maps through the maze immersing themselves in radiant colour.
No two visits to a structure are alike as the atmosphere inside alters according to changing weather and changing light outside. The experience is also affected by how the public inhabits the luminarium.
It is a paradox that such a stimulating environment can simultaneously be so calming. Many people find the luminaria a place for rest or meditation.
Visitors try to put their experience into words – comparing the experience to being in a futuristic space station or the human body.
Stone Sour vocalist Corey Taylor has just announced via his Twitter page that the band’s ‘House of Gold & Bones Part 2′ will be released in April. Along with the news of the album’s release, Taylor assures fans that the first single from ‘Part 2′ will be hitting fans very soon.
Although Corey Taylor has received an insane amount of praise from his tenure in Slipknot, the singer has a tremendous amount of plans for Stone Sour in the next two years, beginning with the ‘Part 2′ single ‘Do Me a Favor,’ which will be released “very soon” according to Taylor.
Taylor tweets, “Happy 2013! Big things soon: HoGaB pt 2 in April, comic #1 in April, book #2 this summer. But 1st single from pt 2 coming very soon!!”
The comic Taylor is referring too is the first installment of a four-part graphic novel that coincides with the two-part ‘House of Gold & Bones’ album. The ‘book #2′ that Taylor is referencing is his follow-up to ‘Seven Deadly Sins.’ It has the working title of ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven.’
Taylor recently told Billboard that 2014 will also hold big things for Stone Sour. “[In] 2014, we are plotting and planning a world tour that is very special, where we do two nights in one place. We play Part 1 top to bottom, the next night Part 2 top to bottom involving a pretty elaborate stage thing that we’re cooking up now. And once we do that, we’re gonna film everything and try to put together a very comprehensive DVD set.”
Stay tuned for more news on Stone Sour and ‘House of Gold and Bones – Part 2.’ In the meantime, Stone Sour are set to embark on a U.S. tour with Papa Roach later this month.
We just finished a great year of hard rock and metal music and it’s good to know that there’s plenty more where that came from as the calendar hits 2013. Today’s Readers Poll let’s you have your say on what 2013 album you’re anticipating the most.
Are you a fan of the classic metal bands? If so, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Slayer have been in the studio working on new music that’s expected to arrive this year. Are veteran grunge bands your thing? Then you might want to keep an eye out for new Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam records. Are you a Nikki Sixx fan? That’s good, because we’re expecting new music from both Motley Crue and Sixx: A.M. this year.
We also expect to see new albums coming from rock vets like Alter Bridge, Buckcherry, Hatebreed, Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, Avenged Sevenfold and Rob Zombie! Fans are also likely anxious to check out passion projects like the second half of Stone Sour‘s ‘House of Gold & Bones’ album or the upcoming debut from Disturbed singer David Draiman‘s new industrial band, Device. And, of course, there’s early 2013 albums coming from Black Veil Brides, Bullet for My Valentine and Hollywood Undead.
It was soon after Green Day began to launch into their ‘¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!’ tour in September when frontman Billie Joe Armstrong suddenly entered rehab for unspecified substance abuse. After an uncertain three months, Green Day have announced their triumphant return with a string of 2013 North American tour dates.
On Sept. 21, Green Day were slated to perform at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas. During the band’s performance of ‘Basket Case,’ Billie Joe Armstrong stopped the song dead in its tracks to voice his displeasure about being given a “one minute left” sign by festival organizers. One profanity-laced outburst and smashed guitar later, Green Day fans quickly defended Armstrong in his protest as word got around that the band were only given 25 minutes of the 45 they were promised. But just as we thought the entire picture was visible, Armstrong was admitted to rehab two days later.
“Dear friends… I just want to thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown for the past few months,” begins Armstrong in a written statement. “Believe me, it hasn’t gone unnoticed and I’m eternally grateful to have such an amazing set of friends and family. I’m getting better everyday. So now, without further ado, the show must go on. We can’t wait to get on the road and live out load! Our passion has only grown stronger.”
The collective members of Green Day sent out a separate message thanking their fans, as well as apologizing for cancelled tour dates. “We want to thank everyone for hanging in with us for the last few months,” the members of Green Day begin. “We are very excited to hit the road and see all of you again, though we regret having to cancel more shows.”
For those who had already bought tickets to Green Day’s original ‘¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!’ tour, your tickets will be honored at any of the following new dates. Otherwise, refunds are available via the original point of purchase. Green Day also promise that additional West Coast shows will be announced in early 2013.
Green Day 2013 Tour Dates:
3/28 – Chicago, Ill. – Allstate Arena
3/29 – Moline, Ill. – I Wireless Center
3/31 – Pittsburgh, Pa. – Consol Energy Center
4/01 – Rochester, N.Y. – Blue Cross Arena
4/03 – Philadelphia, Pa. – Liacourias Center
4/04 – Fairfax, Va. – Patriot Center
4/06 – Uncasville, Ct. – Mohegan Sun Arena
4/07 – Brooklyn, N.Y. – Barclays Center
4/09 – Providence, R.I. – Dunkin Donuts Center
4/11 – Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Centre
4/12 – Quebec City, Quebec City – Quebec Colisee
Cancelled Tour Dates:
1/07 – Green Bay, Wis. – Resch Center
1/10 – Wilkes-Barre, Pa. – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
1/11 – State College, Pa. – Bryce Jordan Center – Penn State Univ.
1/18 – Manchester, N.H. – Verizon Wireless Arena
1/25 – Portland, Maine – Cumberland Co. Civic Center
1/30 – Cleveland, Ohio – Wolstein Ctr. / Cleveland St. Univ.
2/02 – Madison, Wis. – Alliant Energy Center Mem. Coliseum
2/04 – Omaha, Neb. – CenturyLink Arena
2/06 – Broomfield, Colo. – 1STBANK Center
2/08 – Las Vegas, Nev. – MGM Grand Garden Arena