Rock Rundown

Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard has shared a new song called "Proxima B" that he wrote to coincide with a since-canceled spring solo tour.

Although he debuted an acoustic version of the tune earlier this spring, the studio edition features complete instrumentation. He plans to release it as a seven-inch single and a cassette, with a gentle cover of the 1981 hardcore song "Filler" by Minor Threat as the B-side.

"Proxima B" is named after a possibly Earth-like planet that scientists have discovered, with Gibbard explaining, "The three things you need to know about Proxima B to understand the song are: One, there's a planet called Proxima B that they think has water on it. It's somewhat Earth-like. Secondly, it orbits the star called Centauri. And three, there's been a lot of talk of ‘Ooh, maybe we can get there at some point.' So I wrote this song in response to that."

Gibbard has been busy during the lockdown, streaming daily and weekly performances from his living room, releasing a charity single and participating in other relief efforts.



Musicians around the world were quick to react to the horrific death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who passed away on Monday evening (May 25th) in Minneapolis.

Following an arrest for alleged fraud, Floyd was captured on video being knelt on by a white police officer named Derek Chauvin for over seven minutes despite screaming that he couldn't breathe. Despite onlookers protesting the policeman's behavior and urging him to stop, Floyd lost consciousness, and later died in custody.

Chauvin -- who had 18 previous complaints lodged against him -- was fired on Tuesday (May 26th), along with three other officers.

Now artists such as Billie Joe Armstrong, Panic! At The Disco, Yungblud and many more are speaking out against what appears to be another brutal miscarriage of justice.

Armstrong posted an image of Malcolm X with one of the slain black leader's expressions, which read, "That's not a chip on my shoulder. That's your foot on my neck."

Yungblud posted a "Justice for George Floyd" petition with the message, "sign this not jus for the future but for right now."

Rapper, rock artist and actor Ice T wrote, "When these things happen you get to see how people REALLY feel... I've been speaking out on Police Brutality for over 30yrs... And I've heard EVERY excuse."

Sharon Osbourne wrote, "Humanity was absent...let's not close our eyes and be complicit."

At press time, protests had spread to several cities around the country, with demonstrations in Minneapolis giving way to rioting and fires.



I Prevail has shared an updated version of the track "DOA" from last year's Trauma album. The new version of the tune and its video feature rapper Joyner Lucas. The clip depicts drug abuse, homelessness, violence, death and a myriad of other issues plaguing the nation. The song is now available at digital service providers.

The video includes a moving statement that reads, "We can choose to flourish or die, But whatever we choose, we will do it together."

I Prevail released Trauma, its sophomore effort, back in March 2019. The band was later nominated for two Grammy Awards: "Best Rock Album" for Trauma and "Best Metal Performance" for the single "Bow Down." Another single, "Hurricane," topped the rock radio chart.

I Prevail was scheduled to tour this spring with Five Finger Death Punch and Papa Roach, starting in early April, but the trek was postponed to the fall. It is now slated to kick off on September 28th in Sunrise, Florida, although that could also change.



Out today (May 29th) is the 40th anniversary deluxe version of Rush's 1980 Permanent Waves collection. The new set is available as a "super deluxe" edition, as well as a two-CD, triple-LP, and via digital formats. The 'Super Deluxe Edition' features two CD's, three 180-gram audiophile black vinyl LP's and a 40-page hardcover book filled with re-imagined artwork by original album designer Hugh Syme, unreleased photos from the band's archive, and an exclusive 12,000-plus-word essay.

Also included is a blank sheet of Le Studio letterhead, a 20-page 5-inch by 7-inch Le Studio notepad, two replica tour programs, along with three Neil Peart handwritten lyric sheet lithos, and three band member backstage laminates, among other collectibles.

Despite the support of key cities like Cleveland, radio play was rare for Rush during the first six or seven years of the group's career. Alex Lifeson told us that this led Rush to focus on a long-term career rather than hits: "In the early years, radio had very, very little interest in us. It really wasn't until 'The Spirit Of Radio,' 'Tom Sawyer' that we started to get any kind of half-decent airplay. And it was never an issue with us -- we were more concerned about the album itself and doing it the way we believed it should be done, and not making any compromises to get a hit single."

The tracklisting to the 40th anniversary edition of Rush's Permanent Waves:

Disc One: Permanent Waves

"The Spirit Of Radio"
"Freewill"
"Jacob's Ladder"
"Entre Nous"
"Different Strings"
"Natural Science"

Disc Two: Live

"Beneath, Between & Behind" (Manchester)
"By-Tor & The Snow Dog" (London)
"Xanadu" (London)
"The Spirit Of Radio" (Manchester)
"Natural Science" (Manchester)
"The Trees" (Manchester)
"Cygnus X-1" (London)
"Cygnus X-1 Book II" (London)
"Closer To The Heart" (Manchester)
"Jacob's Ladder" (Missouri)
"Freewill" (London)

AUDIO: ALEX LIFESON SAYS RUSH WAS ALWAYS FOCUSED ON A LONG-TERM CAREER, NOT HIT SINGLES


Korn has recorded a new acoustic version of the song "Can You Hear Me" from last year's The Nothing album. The track premiered Thursday (May 28th) on SiriusXM and will likely hit digital platforms this weekend.

Singer Jonathan Davis said the band recorded the tune by sending computer files to each other from their homes. Davis explained, "If it's a good song, it usually translates well to any form you put it in . . . I remember (producer) Rick Rubin saying it's a good song if it translates well with just an acoustic guitar and vocals. So we just got together and vibed it out, and it's a really cool, different version of it."

The Nothing, Korn's 13th studio album, debuted at Number Eight on the Billboard 200 chart in its first week of release last September, tying Van Halen for the fifth most Top 10 albums on the chart among rock bands.

The disc also contains the Top Five rock radio hit "You'll Never Find Me."



The organizers of California's Coachella Festival are reportedly reaching out to this year's lineup and seeing if those artists can perform in 2021 instead, as the chances of the festival taking place this fall grow more remote.

Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean were slated to headline the 2020 edition of the event in Indio, California, with Lana Del Rey, Thom Yorke, FKA Twigs, Danny Elfman, Lil Uzi Vert, Run The Jewels and many more on the bill. Some of the acts that have been asked to return in 2021 have already agreed, while others are yet to be confirmed. Not every act is being asked back.

The festival, usually scheduled for two weekends in April, was one of the first major music events to be postponed as the coronavirus pandemic spread rapidly throughout the globe. It was moved to October in the hope that it could safely take place by that time.

Coachella and promoter Goldenvoice have yet to officially announce the postponement to 2021. According to Bloomberg, Coachella generates as much as $100 million in sales for Goldenvoice. It attracts around 250,000 fans over its two weekends.



Metallica have embarked on a quest to establish their top fan favorite song via an official bracket on their social media platforms.

The band seeded the bracket with the tracks that have the highest Spotify plays, multiplying them by how many times those tracks have been played live. "Some Kind Of Bracket" will be playing out across the coming weeks until the final winner is selected.

The band wrote, "BAT-TERY GO! It's time for your fav Metallica songs to go head to head in #SomeKindOfBracket. Vote on daily match-ups in our Instagram stories and on Facebook until we crown the champ!"

Bassist Robert Trujillo told us a while back which older Metallica songs he enjoys playing: "Anything off Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets is always a great, fun time for me as a bass player. I love playing 'Disposable Heroes,' we don't play it very often. So I don't know, there's a lot. Every song is great. It's just always about having a good time, especially with the old stuff."

Going by Spotify data, "Enter Sandman" from 1991's self-titled "black album" holds a commanding lead with over 503,488,528 plays, while "Nothing Else Matters" from the same LP is solidly in second place with 471,521,496 plays.

AUDIO: METALLICA'S ROBERT TRUJILLO ON WHICH OLD SONGS HE LIKES TO PLAY


Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford will publish his autobiography, titled Confess, on September 29th. The book will span Halford's entire life and career, including his decision to publicly come out as gay in 1998, his struggles with addiction, and his reasons for quitting Judas Priest in 1992 and then rejoining the band in 2003.

In a press release, he called the book "a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to expose every facet of myself. Digging deep with nothing to hide and nothing to fear was in many ways exciting, fun, disturbing, terrifying and cathartic. I've held nothing back. It's time for me to ‘confess.'"

Halford has always called himself a private person, telling us a while back that he becomes a different person -- the "Metal God" -- when he hits the stage: "Something happens -- I don't know what it is. It's kind of intangible. It's probably best left unanalyzed, because it might be (laughs) too scary to find out what the hell's going on. I know that something takes over -- that's just the full extent of the passion that I have for my music, and the fact that to some extent, it's always been my therapy."

Halford confirmed last year that he was working on an autobiography, after previously insisting he would never write one because of privacy concerns.

Judas Priest's last studio album, 2018's Firepower, was released to great acclaim from fans and critics. A 50th anniversary tour scheduled for this year has been postponed, however, due to the pandemic. The band has started working on music for its 19th studio effort.

AUDIO: ROB HALFORD SAYS HE UNDERGOES A CHANGE WHEN HE HITS THE STAGE


Pearl Jam is teaming with the Black Eyed Peas to co-host the ABCinemaNOW national live streaming premiere of the feature documentary Parkland Rising on Tuesday, June 2nd at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The film is a look at the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who started an international movement to call attention to the need for enhanced and uniform gun safety laws after 17 people were shot to death at the school by a former student.

Pearl Jam will host the screening on the band's YouTube channel and Facebook page, with a second screening to follow on Friday, June 5th. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions. The events will also be available on the film's Facebook page, Black Eyed Peas' Facebook page and Katie Couric's Facebook page.

Pearl Jam has been active online with charitable activities following the postponement of the band's spring tour. The group will headline a virtual concert by Seattle-based artists on June 10th.



Robert Plant has topped the list of the "25 Best Rock Band Lead Singers," according to the ClassicRockHistory.com website. The Led Zeppelin frontman beat out the Number Two runner up, the late, great Freddie Mercury, with Journey's Steve Perry coming in at Number Three. The Number Four spot went to Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, with Deep Purple's Ian Gillian rounding out the Top Five.

ClassicRockHistory.com spelled out the parameters around choosing the 25 singers -- and explained why they differed from other vocalists of the era: "Its very important to note that this is not a list of the best rock singers of all time. This list defines the '25 Best Rock Band Lead Singers'. There is a big difference between the two. We have also left out solo artists that are defined usually with a band. Such as Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band or Elvis Costello & The Attractions just as examples. Solo artists have also been left of the lists. So legends like Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and so forth do not quality because this one is all about the bands."

Robert Plant explained that throughout his career he's luckily been able to rise to heights of the talent surrounding him: "It's the company you keep, y'know? I mean that's the very essence of life within and surrounding music. I mean, I'm very, very fortunate not to be held down by not being an instrumentalist. I can, kind of, arrive and disappear and I can add to a moment with a group of people -- or I can destroy the moment."

The "25 Best Rock Band Lead Singers" -- according to the ClassicRockHistory.com:

1. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin
2. Freddie Mercury of Queen
3. Steve Perry of Journey
4. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith
5. Ian Gillian of Deep Purple
6. Paul Rodgers of Free and Bad Company
7. Ann Wilson of Heart
8. Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones
9. Roger Daltrey of The Who
10. John Lennon & Paul McCartney of The Beatles
11. Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac
12. Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad
13. Jon Anderson of Yes
14. Eric Burdon of The Animals
15. Frankie Valli of The Four Seasons
16. David Lee Roth / Sammy Hagar of Van Halen
17. Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses
18. Greg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band
19. John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival
20. Janis Joplin of Big Brother & The Holding Company
21. Jim Morrison of The Doors
22. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden
23. Lonesome Dave Peverett of Foghat
24. Ronnie James Dio / Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath
25. Bon Scott / Brian Johnson of AC/DC

AUDIO: ROBERT PLANT ON THE FREEDOM OF BEING A VOCALIST


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