Reunited Audioslave, Prophets of Rage Explode at Anti-Inaugural Ball

January 21, 2017 Music

"This stage is a no-Trump zone!" declared guitarist Tom Morello midway through Friday's Anti-Inaugural Ball in Los Angeles, headlined by two of his bands, the politically charged Prophets of Rage and a reunited Audioslave. "Immigrants and Muslims are welcome here. Racism, homophobia and bullying will not be tolerated."

Held in the 600-capacity Teragram Ballroom in downtown L.A., Prophets of Rage could have easily packed the room by themselves, but the night was intended as a gathering of forces in response to the day's inauguration of Donald Trump. Hosted by Jack Black, the concert delivered a full roster of established and emerging voices, including sets by Jackson Browne and outspoken rapper Vic Mensa.

"If

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Metallica’s Kirk Hammett on Trump Speech: ‘Reject American Carnage’

January 21, 2017 Music

Metallica's Kirk Hammett urged fans to "defend democracy" and "reject American carnage" in a Twitter response to Donald Trump's grim inauguration speech.

"Trump's Inaugural Address and his asking us to put America first sounds, to me, familiar to what was said in speeches going around Germany in the 1930's... and later Russia in the 1940's," the guitarist wrote.

"Pay attention people! Stand up for truth, compassion and togetherness. Don't settle for anything less. Reject lies, fear-mongering, misguided anger. The system wants us divided, so it's easier to control us emotionally."

Hammett also attacked Trump's campaign promise and the closing words of his inauguration address,

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T.I. Pens Moving Open Letter to ‘Us’ on Inauguration Day

January 20, 2017 Music

Following T.I.'s candid open letters to Barack Obama and Donald Trump, the rapper has concluded his series with a message to "us," which he describes as "the Black community, the hip hop community or whoever is against the oppressive communities that have historically tried to bring us down."

"Every one of us must do something to contribute to transforming our community for the better," the rapper wrote in the open letter, which he sent to Ebony. "We have been underserved, underprivileged and unfortunate for far too long. There are no more excuses. It's not enough to have limited progress and allow our expectations and sense of purpose to evaporate. 

In the open letter, T.I. also recommends that the

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Sleater-Kinney Members, Stephen Malkmus Record New Songs for Protest LP

January 20, 2017 Music

Members of Sleater-Kinney, Stephen Malkmus and Built to Spill's Doug Martsch are among the artists who have contributed new music to Battle Hymns, an Inauguration Day release that was created in direct response of the political climate in the United States.

Proceeds from the collection of "protest songs" will be divided between Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and 350.org. Battle Hymns is available now as a pay-as-you-want download through the Quasi site. Quasi's Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss served as a backing band on some of Battle Hymns' tracks and contribute their own track "Ballad of Donald Duck & Elmer Fudd."

Weiss' Sleater-Kinney bandmates Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein also appear on the

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Protesters Sue Elvis Presley’s Graceland Over Discrimination

January 20, 2017 Music

Five protesters sued Elvis Presley's estate Graceland and the city of Memphis for discrimination after claiming they were prohibited from entering a Presley vigil.

In the federal civil rights lawsuit, members of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, an offshoot of the Black Lives Movement according to the Associated Press, attempted to stage a protest at Graceland last August 16th during an annual candlelight vigil marking Presley's date of death. 

Shortly before the protest, the Coalition of Concerned Citizens revealed plans to stage a protest, called "Operation Blue Suede Shoes," at the vigil because "Graceland represents the tremendous disparity of what works for a few what doesn't work for the many," the

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John Mayer Details Origin, Inspiration Behind Four New Songs

January 20, 2017 Music

"This is the longest I've gone in the incubation process of a record," says John Mayer, from the complex of rooms at Capitol Studios where he has spent hundreds of hours working on his new LP, The Search For Everything. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter's seventh studio album is being released in waves, with the first four-song installment arriving Friday.

Mayer tells Rolling Stone he knew from the outset that he wanted to make as ambitious an album as possible. "My starting point is, 'I want to leave the Earth as a writer,'" he explains. "I wasn't interested in doing anything I've done before, and I wanted to stoke the fire of abstraction and just start punching hard." The singer, who has also

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Jack White Will Open Third Man Records Pressing Plant

January 19, 2017 Music

Jack White will officially launch Third Man Records' own vinyl pressing plant, Third Man Pressing, on February 25th at the label's Detroit location. The facility, located in the city's historic Cass Corridor neighborhood, houses "eight of the first newly built presses in 35 years" and will be capable of churning out 5,000 records in an hour-span.

The pressing plant, the "only fully climate-controlled pressing plant work environment in the world," will operate using an environmentally friendly "closed-loop, chilled-water system that maximizes water sustainability," according to an announcement on the label's official site.

The opening day celebration will include performances, exclusive merchandise and the sale of

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Hear Arcade Fire, Mavis Staples Team for Emphatic ‘I Give You Power’

January 19, 2017 Music

Arcade Fire recruited Mavis Staples for a bombastic new anthem, "I Give You Power."

The song is available to stream via Tidal and finds Arcade Fire putting an industrial spin on the dance-rock sound of their last album, Reflektor, without skimping on the disco gospel. 

"It's never been more important that we stick together & take care of each other," the group tweeted, adding that all proceeds from the song will go to the ACLU.

The track opens with a bruising bass synth and Win Butler's soft vocals. Staples joins soon after and takes control, carrying "I Give You Power" brilliantly with her ageless roar as the song builds into a dance floor rallying cry.

"I Give You Power" marks

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Diamanda Galas: Hear Apocalyptic ‘O Death’ From Her First LP in Years

January 19, 2017 Music

Composer, vocal powerhouse, contemporary avant-garde icon, Diamanda Galás – hero to modern jazz musicians and extreme metal bands alike – is returning with two albums, her first in nearly 10 years. 

The first, All the Way, interprets jazz, blues and folk standards in her inimitable way, powerfully reframing melodies made famous by artists like Frank Sinatra and Johnny Paycheck through virtuosic fireworks, free-jazz distention, apocalyptic emotion and a peerless range of vocal techniques. At Saint Thomas the Apostle Harlem gathers a series of nine "death songs" culled from a recent sold-out, three-night stand in New York for the Red Bull Music Academy. Both LPs will be released on March 24th, on her own Intravenal Sound

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Musicians Terrified Over Possible Obamacare Repeal

January 19, 2017 Music

After years of jumping around onstage playing bass for Washington, D.C. punk trio Ex Hex, 37-year-old Betsy Wright is dealing with the rarely spoken downside of being a high-energy working musician. The musician's chronic rheumatoid arthritis forces her to take an expensive drug called Enbrel to prevent her joints from fusing – she pays for it with health insurance purchased through the Affordable Care Act. If Republicans repeal Obamacare, she'll be one of numerous independent artists who, along with more than 20 million Americans, will abruptly lose their coverage. 

"We were hoping to do some more touring in the fall, but I don't know how I'm going to be able to do that — I don't know how to get insurance without having a

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