Friday, July 08, 2011

More Van Halen Rumours

The rumours about Van Halen's new album and tour continue to pour out, and our friends over at have all the latest. In part:

What we know is that the album is done and mixed...John Shanks finishing production work on it earlier this year (with other producer names likely to appear inside the album credits.) The rumoured album title is VH '11, 2011 (or Two Zero One One to be precise) and all rumours point to a mid/late September release.
A single was again rumoured to hit airwaves this weekend, but failed to happen.
What I have previously stated is that I personally believe the new album will be released in October, after Van Halen return home from Australia and a single could likely appear late this month or in August.

Head on over to read the rest.

Look, I'm a Van Halen fan. Have been since day one. But the last 13 years of rumours and nothing but a couple of, at best, mediocre "oldies" tours - something Eddie Van Halen said he'd never do - have left me a little... cautious.

Is it wrong that I'm more excited about the upcoming release of Apple's Lion OS? At least I'm pretty sure that will actually happen.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ding Dong, the Major Label is Dead

When I was starting out as a musician almost thirty years ago, the ultimate goal everybody always had was to "get signed". That was what made you a rock star.
Over the years, I've had several friends who were "signed", only to find out that it was a bigger hindrance than help. In fact, getting signed to a label ended the careers of several people I know.

I've said for a long time now that there's no real benefit for an artist to be "signed" any more. Advances had to be paid back out of your end as an artist. Record an album? You pay. Tours? You pay. And with the advent of iTunes, Amazon, and services like BandCamp, CD Baby, and TuneCore, artists can have complete control not only of what they release, but how.

Michael Lefsetz has been on the same train of though as I have. In this latest article, he says in part:

"the Internet killed the major label distribution stranglehold. Anyone can sign up with Tunecore and get their music on iTunes. ANYBODY! Sure, the music won't sell, except to family and friends, but it's what this represents that's important. Access and the ability to get paid. The power has shifted.

As for terrestrial means ever less. Same with TV. You can thank technology, most especially the Internet, for that. People watch what they want when they want. The days of sitting in front of the TV seeing what's next are heading towards extinction, killed by the DVR and online access."

Read the rest here:

I'll just add:

"...never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee" - John Donne

Ding dong.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mark Tremonti Says He's Heard the New Van Halen Album

Mark Tremonti, guitarist for Alter Bridge and Creed, and long a friend of Eddie Van Halen, says he's heard the rumoured new Van Halen album.

"...recently I was in Los Angeles and Wolfgang invited me to his Dad's house and I got to go to 5150 studios and watch Eddie and Alex [Van Halen] and Wolfgang play their new record from front to back. So I was one of the only people who have heard the new VAN HALEN. It was incredible."

Read the whole article here.

I'll be waiting anxiously. I remain skeptical, as VH have't released a new record in thirteen years, but if they do release one this Fall as seems to be the intention, I'll be first in line to pick it up. I hope it's good.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Michael Lefsetz tells us what we can learn from Rebecca Black

If you haven't seen Rebecca Black's Youtube hit, "Friday", you should do that first, here:

After you've seen that, check out Michael Lefsetz' article about things we can learn from this phenomenon.
Here's a favourite:

14. Give the money away. Not only does it deflect criticism, it helps your bona fides. In other words, Rebecca Black is smarter than Beyonce. In the new world, you give back simultaneously with making it. Black is giving her profits to earthquake relief in Japan. How come she's smarter than all those stars who played for a dictator?

Read the rest:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Van Halen Reported To Be Mixing a New Album?

Well, Van Halen were recording a new album, I guess at some point they'd have to mix it.

Posted with my usual skepticism, but BlabberMouth reports:

Today, respected Metal Show host, Eddie Trunk, tweeted that he heard gossip from a “reliable source” that the “VH album is close to done and will come out this year. Label TBD” This matches up perfectly with what we heard from a trusted source at the beginning of March – that the recording process is going great and the band is starting to mix the new tracks. Also, from another reliable source of ours today, we hear that this Fall is the most probably time that the album will be released and a tour will begin.

I'd love to see some new material, especially if it's up to the quality of the six albums recorded previously with David Lee Roth.

Waiting patiently, as always...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sammy Hagar's Autobiography

Sammy Hagar, of Montrose, Van Halen, and solo fame, has an autobiography called "Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock". Available at Amazon and lots of other places, it's a must read if you love rock bios as much as I.

Michael Lefsetz has some things to say about it in his Encore Newsletter column.

Here's a bit of his column:

I don't believe every word in this book. Especially about Sam's early days, growing up in Fontana. And there are historical inaccuracies, stating that Sam's band played the cuts from "Who's Next" before it was released, and even John Kalodner's name is misspelled, but when it comes to the inside, Sam gives us his take, unvarnished, and it's like being backstage, the real dressing room where your heroes are spent and drugged-out and wasted and arguing after performing for ninety minutes and getting blow jobs under the stage.

I just got the book, and have just started reading it. I don't believe every word either, but some of the stuff about his time in Van Halen is compelling, and there have been too many similar tales about Eddie Van Halen in particular from different sources to write Sammy's account off entirely as sour grapes from an ousted band member.
If you have any interest in the soap opera that has been Van Halen, check it out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Some NAMM News I Can Use

Not everybody knows this, but I started my musical life as a guitarist, way before I got into the recording side of things. When I heard that Marshall were introducing an Yngwie Malmsteen Signature amp, I wondered what they could possibly add to the classic Marshall Super Lead that I've come to know and love. As it turns out, they came up with some pretty cool stuff. The attenuator and valve failure circuitry will especially appeal to anyone who has tried to use a Marshall live. Check here for the details: