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News On Stage

2014 Tour Announced

1390479-the-black-keys-kroq-accoustic-617-409The Band is set to conquer 2014 with plans for a massive North American tour. The band, minus founding bassist, will embark on a 33-city tour from mid-January to March with support from Best Coast, Cults and Fidlar.

The band released a four-track called EP-1 on September 3rd, following bassist’s departure from the band earlier this year. «Everyone was just devastated,» The manager, told us. «But everybody believed in the songs. We decided to just carry on and see what happens.»

The group has been busy, playing Riot Fest last month and also stopping by Late Night With Jimmy Fallon with new touring bassist Kim Shattuck. The rockers are currently on a European tour, which kicked off this weekend.

The band has also shared a video for EP-1 track «Andro Queen. It’s a trippy, dimly-lit journey directed by Ondi Timoner.

Will Hermes of Rolling Stone called the song’s keyboards “a serrated organ growl backed up with a SWAT team of hand claps” and cited it as an example of Danger Mouse’s prowess as a producer and co-writer. Summarizing the song, Hermes wrote, “It’s Sixties bubblegum garage pop writ large, with T. Rex swagger and a guitar freakout that perfectly mirrors the lyrics, a paranoid rant that makes you shiver while you shimmy.” John Soeder of The Plain Dealer labeled it one of the album’s finest and said that it sounded like a hybrid of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” and Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2″.

Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly said that the song, “with its swarm-of-bees organs and acid-trip gospel harmonies, could be a lost Nuggets gem”. Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times, writing about the song’s retro stylings, said that it “sounds as if it’s existed forever”.

Will Hermes of Rolling Stone called the song’s keyboards “a serrated organ growl backed up with a SWAT team of hand claps” and cited it as an example of Danger Mouse’s prowess as a producer and co-writer. Summarizing the song, Hermes wrote, “It’s Sixties bubblegum garage pop writ large, with T. Rex swagger and a guitar freakout that perfectly mirrors the lyrics, a paranoid rant that makes you shiver while you shimmy.” John Soeder of The Plain Dealer labeled it one of the album’s finest and said that it sounded like a hybrid of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” and Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2″.

Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly said that the song, “with its swarm-of-bees organs and acid-trip gospel harmonies, could be a lost Nuggets gem”. Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times, writing about the song’s retro stylings, said that it “sounds as if it’s existed forever”.

Will Hermes of Rolling Stone called the song’s keyboards “a serrated organ growl backed up with a SWAT team of hand claps” and cited it as an example of Danger Mouse’s prowess as a producer and co-writer. Summarizing the song, Hermes wrote, “It’s Sixties bubblegum garage pop writ large, with T. Rex swagger and a guitar freakout that perfectly mirrors the lyrics, a paranoid rant that makes you shiver while you shimmy.” John Soeder of The Plain Dealer labeled it one of the album’s finest and said that it sounded like a hybrid of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” and Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2″.

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News On Stage

The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park

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Who was here in 1969? asked Mick Jagger, referencing the Rolling Stones historic Hyde Park show, held just two days after original guitarist Brian Jones’ death, at which a crowd estimated at a quarter of a million people turned up to pay their respects. “Welcome back,” he said in response to those who stood with hands raised. “It’s nice to see you again.“

Back then, nobody had paid a penny to see the Stones; 44 years on, some tickets were changing prices for upwards of a thousand pounds. Inevitably, the times, they have a changed.

The bank manager long ago won the battle for the heart of the Stones – surveying the baffling number of hospitality packages and “tiers” of general admission at Hyde Park, one can’t help but feel sorry for the poor fan who just wanted a ticket for the gig. But all one’s scepticism disappears the minute the riff of Start Me Up explodes out of the speakers, an awful lot more sure-footed than it sounded on the TV from Glastonbury.

And while a sizeable section of today’s audience weren’t even born the last time Mick and co ambled through Midnight Rambler here, the fact that they’d turned out in their thousands to tread in their parents’ sandal-steps speaks volumes about the band’s enduring appeal. Things got off to a less than auspicious start. Keith Richards fluffed not one, but two of opener Start Me Up’s opening three chords – a riff one suspects, given the number of times he’s played it, would be harder for him to play wrong than right.

Fortunately they proved to be the only bum notes of a near-immaculate set that not just recreated the previous weekend’s Glastonbury crowd-pleasing histrionics, but arguably surpassed them. Richards looked more relaxed and far better dressed, trading licks and cigarette smoke with long-term sparring partner Ronnie Wood.

Drummer Charlie Watts was the epitome of insouciant cool, providing the rock-solid foundations from which the likes of It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It), Honky Tonk Women and an epic Paint It Black were majestically constructed.

The Stones may no longer be “the greatest rock’n’roll band in the world” (is anyone?), but their muscle memory and catalogue mean they are still a fearsome force once they’re in full flow. Gimme Shelter has the unstoppable, lumbering force of a supertanker; Paint It Black, an eternal monument to the point in time when blues fans started dropping acid, still sounds like it was written by some sinister, alternate consciousness, then gifted to the band – the nihilism of the lyric may be cartoonish, but the attack of the music isn’t.

The presentation, too, is stunning. There are no fancy props on stage, but the band are enveloped on huge screens, which during Sympathy for the Devil portray the trees of Hyde Park in flames, while firepots belch orange flame and drape the front 30 or 40 yards of the crowd in smoke. It’s thrillingly effective, and only the delighted whoops of 65,000 or so prevent it feeling suitably demonic. And if Jagger’s call-outs to “everyone at the back” feel forced, given that thousands have paid a good bit extra for the privilege of standing nearer the front, then the explosive force of Midnight Rambler (with added Mick Taylor) or Jumpin’ Jack Flash forces one to swallow qualms. A beautiful You Can’t Always Get What You Want and the inevitable (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction finish the show, and it’s hard to believe, as Keith Richards grins through his fag smoke, that they won’t be back doing it all again soon.

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Concert Reviews News On Stage

Crossroads Festival Review

Eric Clapton was the opening act of his own Crossroads Guitar Festival on April 12. He took the stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden just before the official starting time of 7:30, as if he couldn’t wait to get the night going. Seated with an acoustic guitar, dressed in shades of gray and wearing glasses, Clapton performed a short set with his current touring band, starting with an earthy stroll through Charles Brown’s “Drifting Blues.” He also set the tone for the next ten hours, spread across the 12th and 13th, by giving generous spotlight and solo time to his initial guests: singer-guitarist and ex-Clapton sideman Andy Fairweather-Low and country picker Vince Gill.

It was a characteristic gesture for Clapton, one of rock’s most self-effacing guitar heroes, and Crossroads itself, which featured sets and guest shots by more than two dozen other guitarists including Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Mayer, Keb’ Mo, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Robert Cray, Steve Cropper, Robbie Robertson and rising star Gary Clark Jr. Clapton, 68, is the founder and supervising spirit of the festival, which benefits his Caribbean addiction-treatment facillity of the same name and was held indoors for its fourth edition, after single-day outdoor extravaganzas in Dallas in 2004 and Chicago in 2007 and 2010.

Clapton is also Crossroads’ inevitable headliner. He closed on the 13th, this time on electric guitar and with a surprise guest, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. The latter looked fit and soloed with short, tart phrases in the Big Bill Broonzy-Little Walter chestnut “Key to the Highway” and the 1958 Chuck Berry B-side “Sweet Little Rock and Roller.” Richards also took a moment to honor Clapton, with good rude humor, for doing “such a beautiful job” with this shindig. “So let’s give him the clap!” Richards said with a hoarse laugh, putting his hands together.

Blues and Fraternity

But Clapton mostly curates and attends each Crossroads as a student, fan and genially competitive friend. On the first night at the Garden, after that acoustic set, Clapton came back out to swap breaks and smiles in a variety of settings: with the Allman Brothers Band; the jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel; and a formidable row of bluesmen, including Cray, King and Jimmie Vaughan. The emphasis in that gang, all seated out of respect for the 87-year-old King, was on fraternity. “If you give them a big hand,” King told the audience, gesturing to the others, “you make me feel good.” In fact, although he played only intermittent guitar, King held up his vocal share of “Sweet Sixteen” and “Everyday I Have the Blues” like an undiminished lion. And when it was Clapton’s turn to solo in the latter, he turned up his heat as if called on in class by a master teacher.

In his two songs with Rosenwinkle, Clapton demonstrated why he is – appropriately for such a reluctant star – still one of rock’s busiest session guitarists and live sidemen: his ability to elevate another’s starring moment with blending fluency. The up-tempo shuffle “Way Down That Lonesome Road” was closer to Clapton’s usual stride, and he answered Rosenwinkel’s rounded-treble be-bop charge with a slicing flair in his straight-blues runs. But in the ballad “If I Should Lose You,” Clapton soloed with the right supporting distance in tone and ego, complementing Rosenwinkel’s fluid poise with dextrous, understated melancholy.

Later, with the Allmans, Clapton did it again in the Derek and the Dominos rush of “Why Does Love Got to Be So Bad.” He and guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks all soloed in the song’s long, closing sigh, their strong, individual voices meshing into a glistening, bittersweet tangle in the growing quiet. Read more

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Interviews News

Secret Influences Behind The Last Album

coach13Going to Carnival for the first time and seeing rara music, which is a kind of street music with all of these horns and African percussion. I remember being on a beach at three in the morning, and there was a voodoo drummer playing, and he had been dancing for like, four hours with kids and teenagers and they started to get the spirit. It really kind of makes you feel like a hack being in a rock band, having musical experiences like that. Butler shares stories behind songs including «Here Comes the Night Time» and «Reflektor,» reveals influences ranging from Søren Kierkegaard to the 1959 film Black Orpheus, and discusses his life-changing trips to Haiti and Jamaica.

You’ve talked about how albums like The Suburbs and Funeral were rooted in a time and place. Was that the case with Reflektor?

Well, going to Haiti for the first time with Regine was the beginning of a major change in the way that I thought about the world. Usually, I think you have most of your musical influences locked down by the time you’re 16. There was a band I felt like changed me musically [in Haiti], just really opened me up to this huge, vast amount of culture and influence I hadn’t been exposed to before, which was really life-changing.

Going to Carnival for the first time and seeing rara music, which is a kind of street music with all of these horns and African percussion. I remember being on a beach at three in the morning, and there was a voodoo drummer playing, and he had been dancing for like, four hours with kids and teenagers and they started to get the spirit. It really kind of makes you feel like a hack being in a rock band, having musical experiences like that. It’s just like, «Oh right. There’s living, beating folk music that’s alive in the modern world.» I’ve always listened to folk records, but actually experiencing it reminded me of the whole point.

«I was learning from what I saw and applying it to my own life, lyrically, I’m not trying to tell other people’s stories. We’re just trying to allow an experience to change you.»

Well, going to Haiti for the first time with Regine was the beginning of a major change in the way that I thought about the world. Usually, I think you have most of your musical influences locked down by the time you’re 16. There was a band I felt like changed me musically [in Haiti], just really opened me up to this huge, vast amount of culture and influence I hadn’t been exposed to before, which was really life-changing.

Well, going to Haiti for the first time with Regine was the beginning of a major change in the way that I thought about the world. Usually, I think you have most of your musical influences locked down by the time you’re 16. There was a band I felt like changed me musically [in Haiti], just really opened me up to this huge, vast amount of culture and influence I hadn’t been exposed to before, which was really life-changing.

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Interviews News

A conversation with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant

John Paul Jones, Led Zeppelin’s bassist and keyboard player, was quietly playing backgammon and half listening to a phone-in radio talk show on New York FM.

“I was in a club last night when someone asked me if I wanted to meet Jimmy Page,” the show’s host suddenly offered between calls. “You know, when I think about it, there’s no one I’d rather meet less than someone as disgusting as Jimmy Page.”

Jones bolted up from his game. “Let me just say that Led Slime can’t play their way out of a paper bag and if you plan on seeing them tomorrow night at the Garden, those goons are ripping you off. Now don’t start wasting my time defending Led Slime. If you’re thinking about calling up to do that, stick your head in the toilet and flush.”

Jones, normally a man of quiet reserve, strode furiously across the room. He snapped up a phone and dialed the station. After a short wait, the talk show host picked up the phone.

“What would you like to talk about?”

“Led Zeppelin,” Jones answered cooly in his clipped British accent. The line went dead. Victim of an eight-second delay button, the exchange was never given air time.

It was a familiar battle, as Jones saw it. Although Led Zeppelin has managed to sell more than a million units apiece on all five of its albums and is currently working a U.S. tour that is expected to be the largest grossing undertaking in rock history, the band has been continually kicked, shoved, pummeled and kneed in the groin by critics of all stripes. “I know it’s unnecessary to fight back,” Jones said. True enough: The Zep’s overwhelming popularity speaks for itself. “I just thought I’d defend myself one last time.”

The night after that aborted defense, in the first of three concerts at Madison Square Garden, Led Zeppelin brought a standing-room-only audience to its feet with one of the finest shows of its six-year career. On Page’s unexpected midset impulse, the band launched unrehearsed into a stunning 20-minute version of his tour de force, “Dazed and Confused.” The tension of uncertain success was an evident and electric element in Zeppelin’s performance that evening. “No question about it,” lead singer Robert Plant enthused before returning to the stage for a second encore of “Communication Breakdown,” “the tour has begun.”

It has been a long time since Zeppelin last rock & rolled. After 18 months spent laboring over their new double album, Physical Graffiti, the band has some warming up to do. “It’s unfortunate there’s got to be anybody there,” Plant said. “But we’ve got to feel our way. There’s a lot of energy here this tour. Much more than the last one.” The tour’s official opening night, January 18th at the Minneapolis Sports Center, went surprisingly well considering the circumstances. Only a week before, Jimmy Page broke the tip of his left ring finger when it was caught in a slamming train door. With only one rehearsal to perfect what Page calls his “three-and-a-half-finger technique,” the classic Zeppelin live pieces, “Dazed and Confused” and “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” were indefinitely retired. Codeine tablets and Jack Daniel’s deadened the pain enough for Page to struggle through the band’s demanding three-hour set.

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Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin’s manager and president of Swan Song, the group’s record company, found those first few dates strange: “A Led Zeppelin concert without ‘Dazed and Confused’ is something I’ll have to get used to. In a lot of ways that number is the band at its very best. There’s one point in the song where Pagey can take off and do whatever he wants to. There is always the uncertainty of whether it will be five or 35 minutes long.”

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News On Stage

Black Keys Join Rolling Stones Onstage

the_black_keys-valley_viewOver 10 years and seven albums, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have turned their basement blues project into one of America’s mightiest bands. Weaned on Stax 45s and Wu-Tang loops, the Black Keys smeared the lines between blues, rock, R&B and soul, with Auerbach’s horny Howlin Wolf yowl bouncing off garage-y slashing and nasty body-rocking grooves.

Like that other guitar and drums duo from the Rust Belt, the Akron, Ohio, guys brought raw, riffed-out power back to pop’s lexicon. On 2010’s Brothers, they found a perfect balance between juke-joint formalism and modern bangzoom. The result was a few Grammys and so many TV ad placements, The Colbert Report did a sketch about it. El Camino is the Keys’ grandest pop gesture yet, augmenting dark-hearted fuzz blasts with sleekly sexy choruses and Seventies-glam flair. It’s an attempt at staying true to the spirit of that piece-of-shit minivan on the album cover – similar to their first touring vehicle – while reimagining it as a pimpmobile. This is the Black Keys’ third meeting – following 2008’s Attack & Release and one track on Brothers – with Danger Mouse, a.k.a. Brian Burton. Here, the band essentially becomes a trio, with Burton as co-producer/co-writer throughout. His brilliance, as the planet heard on Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, is blowing details of classic pop up to Jumbotron scale. Listen to the keyboard part that kicks in the door of El Camino’s «Gold on the Ceiling»: a serrated organ growl backed up with a SWAT team of hand claps. It’s Sixties bubblegum garage pop writ large, with T. Rex swagger and a guitar freakout that perfectly mirrors the lyrics, a paranoid rant that makes you shiver while you shimmy.

The single «Lonely Boy» works the same way, launched on a gnarly, looped guitar riff whose last note slides down like a turntable that someone keeps stopping. Then a sugar-crusted keyboard comes in, along with what sounds like a boy-girl chorus, changing the swampy chug into a seductive singalong.

The single «Lonely Boy» works the same way, launched on a gnarly, looped guitar riff whose last note slides down like a turntable that someone keeps stopping. This is the Black Keys’ third meeting – following 2008’s Attack & Release and one track on Brothers – with Danger Mouse, a.k.a. Brian Burton. Here, the band essentially becomes a trio, with Burton as co-producer/co-writer throughout. His brilliance, as the planet heard on Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, is blowing details of classic pop up to Jumbotron scale. Listen to the keyboard part that kicks in the door of El Camino’s «Gold on the Ceiling»: a serrated organ growl backed up with a SWAT team of hand claps. It’s Sixties bubblegum garage pop writ large, with T. Rex swagger and a guitar freakout that perfectly mirrors the lyrics, a paranoid rant that makes you shiver while you shimmy.

The Keys cited the Clash as an influence for El Camino, and that influence is evident in the increased zip of the grooves, and in the group hug between roots music and rock spectacle: See «Hell of a Season,» whose choppy guitar chords and relentless beat twists into a dubby, uptight reggae pulse.

Of course, you can just as easily hear Led Zeppelin in «Little Black Submarines,» an acoustic blues that gets run over halfway through by electric riffs and brutish drums, Carney doing a hilariously great junkyard John Bonham. There’s still a strange jukebox anonymity to the Keys’ approach; their vintage organ and guitar sounds often project larger personae than the band itself. But part of the reason Carney and Auerbach keep finding new ways to shake up that old-school blues-rock rumble is that they’re workaday dudes smart enough to get out of the way of their own songs. Like Clark Kent’s or Peter Parker’s, their 99 percentness only seems to enhance their powers.

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JamSession Theme Documentation

Contents — Quick Navigation

  • Installation
  • How To Create a Maintenance page
  • How to Create The Main Menu
  • Main Slider — Create Main Slider Page
  • Main Slider — How To Create Slides
  • Using Theme Customizer With Live Preview
  • Using Theme Settings
  • Custom Post Types — Video/ Photo Album /Event/ Album
  • Custom Page Templates — Archives/ Contact With Sidebar/ Contact Full Width / Discography Archive/ Next Events/ Past Events/ All Events/ Videos/ Full Width Page
  • reCAPTCHA Validation

Installation of JamSession Theme

The instalation is really easy and intuitive, so please carefully read the following instructions. If you have any other technical questions, feel free to send us a mail to support@smartwpress.com.

There are two ways to install a WordPress theme:

      • Directly upload the zipped theme file via WordPress admin panel.
      • Upload the unzipped theme folder, directly on your server using a FTP client.

Install JamSession Theme Using WordPress Theme Installer

1. Log in to WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to Appearance -> Themes
2. Click on the 2nd tab, Install Themes and choose Upload option.
3. For upload, choose the file jamsession.zip, which can be found inside the archive downloaded from ThemeForest.
4. Once the upload has finished, click Activate.
5. You will see the following message: This theme requires the following plugin: JamSession Post Types. Please choose Begin Installing Plugin option.
6. Click on Install link and that is all.

Install JamSession Theme Using a FTP Client.

1. Log In to your site using your FTP client, and enter to your WordPress theme folder, wp-content/themes.
2. Unzip jamsession.zip file and upload jamsession folder to wp-content/themes location.
3. Log into your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to Appearance -> Themes and activate the teme.
4. You will see the following message: This theme requires the following plugin: JamSession Post Types. Please choose Begin Installing Plugin option.
5. Click on Install .

Please navigate to the next pages for the rest of the installation instructions.

THEME CONFIGURATION

The configuration of JamSession theme is simple and intuitive. Below, we’ll describe how to define configure it according to your needs by defining the menu, using theme customizer, theme settings, adding slides, image posts, video custom posts and events.

Creating a maintenance page

You may want to show the visitors a custom page, while setting up your website. JamSession theme helps you do that, by creating a maintenance page. Please follow this steps:
1. Go to Pages -> Add New
2. Select a title for your page (like «Comming Back Soon» or «Comming Soon»). This name will be visible on the maintenance page.
3. Insert the text content that you want your visitors to see.
4. Add a featured image for this page — the featured image will be the background for the new maintenance page, so please use a good resolution.
5. Set the page template for this page to Maintenance Page from the bottom right part of the page.
6. Save the page.
7. Go to Appearance-> JamSession Settings
8. On General Options you must set Maintenance Mode to Maintenance Mode Enabled and on Maintenance Page select the page you’ve just created, based on the Maintenance Page template.
9. Press on Save Changes and this should be all. Admin and logged in users should be able to see the real version of the website, while the rest of the visitors will see the maintenance page.

Main Menu

Go to Appearance -> Menus and click on create a new menu option. Give it a name, Main Menu for instance and click on Create Menu. A new tab tab option, Manage Locations should appear now. Edit your Menu by adding elements from the left side of the page. When you are done, click on the 2nd tab, Manage Locations, select the menu you just defined and click Save Changes. The menu should now be visible on the front page.

Main Slider

In order to have the main slider as homepage of your website, you just need to create a empty page and use Main Slider Page as template for that page.

1. Go to Pages -> Add New
2. Add a title for the new created page — Main Slider Page
3. Select the template to be used for that page — Main Slider Page
4. Click on Publish and the page is now created.
5. Go to Appearance -> Customize
6. Select Static Front Page option on the bottom left of the page
7. Select the page you’ve just created — Main Slider Page for static front page
8. Click on Save and you have a slider on homepage.

Each slide, can be defined from WordPress admin menu. This functionality is provided by JamSession Post Types plugin, that we’ve just activated. After activating the plugin, new menu options should be available on the WordPress admin menu.

At the first point of instalation, JamSession theme comes with a default slide. It will be visible as long as no other slide is defined.

Creating Slides

Go to Slides -> Add New Slide. The following fields need to be filled:

1. Post Ttitle — this is the message that appears on the bottom right part of the slider.
2. Hide Title & Message — Allows you to hide the title and link message from the slider.
3. Message — Link Message that appears on the bottom right of the page.
4. URL — URL of the page that will be loaded when the visitor clicks on Message.
5. YouTube URL, Vimeo URL — If YouTube or Vimeo is present, the slider will show the play button, allowing the visitor to see the video in full screen. If both fields are filled, the slider will play YouTube.
6. Featured Image — This is the main slider image.

Featured image MUST be set, otherwise the slider will not appear on the front page.