Black Sabbath Celebrate New Release With Special Online Event

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

Black Sabbath’s decades in the making album, 13 will finally see the light of day tomorrow, Tuesday, June 11th.  In celebration, the band—Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi—will hold a special live Town Hall via Google+ Hangout.  It will be streamed live on Google+ and YouTube.  The Town Hall will also be broadcast live on Ozzy’s Boneyard on SiriusXM at 7:00pm EDT.  The band will be joined by both Ozzy’s son Jack (who directed the clips to launch 13) and Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk (who covered the drums on the album) for the event.  Osbourne and Butler will appear live at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art while Tony Iommi will appear live from Birmingham, England.  Jack Obsourne and Brad Wilk will be on hand live from Los Angeles for the presentation.  Comedian Jim Norton will host the show.  Norton is a co-host of the Opie and Anthony Show on SiriusXM, and is also a host on Ozzy’s Boneyard.

Viewers can tune in to the special event live on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/officialsabbath.  Fans that have SiriusXM can tune in to the even on Ozzy’s Boneyard on channel 38 and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio app for smart phones and other connected devices.  Audiences can also watch the event online at http://www.siriusxm.com

Black Sabbath fans can keep up with all of the latest from the band online at http://www.blacksabbath.com, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, http://twitter.com/OfficialBlackSabbath, http://instagram.com/officialblacksabbath, and http://google.com/+blacksabbath

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Sabbath’s “13″ Well Worth The Wait

 

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

It goes without saying after having listened to it that Black Sabbath’s 13 is one of the best hard rock/metal albums of 2013.  This record has been decades in the making.  And the wait was well worth it, even with someone other than Bill Ward on drums.  Ozzy’s vocals and Tony Iommi’s guitar work are at their peak throughout this record.  So many rock bands have tried hard to emulate Sabbath’s sound since its breakup so long ago.  But few if any have managed to come close since then.  So it is nice to have one of rock’s elite back (even if one member isn’t present) to reclaim its proper place in rock’s upper echelons.

Right from the opening moments of the album’s opener, ‘End of the Beginning’, listeners know they are in for something special on this record.  Geezer’s bass and Tony’s guitar work are pummeling along with Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine) on drums in the song’s opening moments before laying back to let Ozzy’s haunting vocals take the spotlight.  Rick Rubin actually made the right choice bringing in Wilk to cover the drums in place of Bill Ward for this record.  When the rest of the band comes back in, the combined wound will take audiences back to Black Sabbath’s glory days.  Ozzy, Tony, and Geezer show that they are still the originators and have not lost a single step along the way.  It’s like old times.  As Ozzy sings here, “Don’t look back/Live for today/Tomorrow is too late.”  It couldn’t have been better said considering this band’s history.

13 offers listeners plenty of heaviness.  For all the heavy moments, worthy of raising the horns high, it also has a more subdued moment in the song, ‘Zeitgeist.’  This is such an interesting song in that it is a full-on acoustic opus.  In lieu of drums, Wilk has opted instead for perhaps a pair of bongos.  And Tony and Geezer have both gone acoustic, too.  There is something about this combination (along with Ozzy’s vocals) that makes for a work that could easily be compared to the likes Pink Floyd, believe it or not.  It is also the album’s shortest track.  It clocks in at just over four and a half minutes long.  In that short time, it makes for one of the album’s most interesting moments.

If any one song on this new album stands out more than the others, it is ‘Live Forever.’  This is the second shortest song on the record.  It comes in at just under five minutes long.  It’s also one of the album’s heaviest numbers.  Yet again, it’s more proof that Ozzy and company haven’t lost any steam in the three decades plus since the band’s last album.  Of course, having mega-producer Rick Rubin manning the boards doesn’t hurt, either.  Rubin really brought out the best of the band on this track.  Tony’s guitar solos are incredible to say the least.  They are the sort of solos that will have young guitarists around the world trying to emulate him, putting their own takes on his work on YouTube.  And yet again, Brad Wilk is just as impressive behind the kit.  He shows here, and throughout the record just how versatile he is as a drummer, pounding out some impressive polyrhythmic patters without missing a second.  And Ozzy sounds more in control of his vocals here than anywhere else on the album.  That isn’t to say that he sounds bad anywhere else.  The way that Ozzy laments in this song, “I don’t mind dying/Cause I’m already dead/Pray not for the living/I live in your head/Dying is easy/It’s living that’s hard/I’m losing the battle/Between Satan and God” could so easily be interpreted in direct relation to everything that Ozzy has gone through in recent years.  Considering recent reports concerning his admission to having been addicted to certain substances over recent years, instead of staying clean, it sounds like a personal statement that he perhaps felt during that time.  If so, it’s a powerful statement, especially with the song’s musical backing.  Though interestingly enough, the rest of the song sounds like a tongue in cheek stab at the religious establishment, considering Ozzy is actually anything but the “Prince of Darkness” that he has been made out to be.

‘Live Forever’ is one of the best of the best on Black Sabbath’s new album, 13.  It musical side and lyrical side together make it quite the interesting track.  Though, it’s just one of eight total tracks on the band’s new album that any long-time Black Sabbath fan will enjoy.  There are seven other tracks on this disc that any true metal and hard rock purist from which they can choose as their favorite.  The album will be available in stores and online June 11th via Republic Records.  The band will tour in support of the album beginning July 25th in The Woodlands, Texas.  Fans can keep up with the band’s tour dates and more on its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath and on its official website, http://www.blacksabbath.com

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Black Sabbath Announces First New Slate Of Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

Black Sabbath has announced the first handful of dates for its upcoming tour in support of its much anticipated new album, 13.  Four shows have been announced.  All four are American dates.  The current slate of dates is available below. 

DATE                  CITY                 VENUE
Sun, 8-4             Holmdel, NJ           PNC Bank Arts Center
Wed, 8-14         Toronto, ON           Air Canada Centre
Sat, 8-24           Seattle, WA           Gorge Amphitheatre
Tue, 9-3            Los Angeles, CA    Los Angeles Sports Arena

 

Tickets for these tour dates go on sale beginning this Saturday, April 20th.  Fans can actually RSVP for early access to early tickets by going online to http://bit.ly/Sabbath_RSVP.  Those early tickets will be available this Thursday, April 18th.

Along with the early tickets being available this Thursday, Black Sabbath will release the first single from 13, ‘God is Dead?’  The song will debut across Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s forty-plus Active Rock and Mainstream Rock radio stations nationwide.  It will debut this Thursday at 3pm/12pm PT. 

For all of the latest updates on the band’s tour, its upcoming album, singles and more, fans can follow the band online at http://www.blacksabbath.com, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, http://twitter.com/OfficialSabbath, and http://instagram.com/officialsabbath

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Black Sabbath Releases Cover Art, Track Listing For Long Awaited Album

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

It’s been over three decades since the members of Black Sabbath released any new material.  This Summer, one of rock’s greatest bands at long last returns.  The band will release its first album in thirty-five years in 13.  And now, fans of this legendary band are getting their first hint of the album.  The band has released the upcoming album’s artwork and track listing.  The album consists of eight tracks.  The shortest of those songs clocks in at just over four minutes long.  The album’s longest track clocks in at nearly nine minutes. 13 will be available June 11th.  Rage Against The Machine Drummer Brad Wilk joined the band to record the album in place of former drummer Bill Ward.  Renowned producer Rick Rubin manned the boards for this album.

The track listing is as follows:

1.  End of the Beginning (8:07)

2.  God is Dead? (8:54)

3.  Loner (5:06)

4.  Zeitgeist (4:28)

5.  Age of Reason (7:02)

6.  Live Forever (4:49)

7.  Damaged Sou (7:43)

8.  Dear Father (7:06)

The band will tour in support of 13 beginning next Saturday, April 20th.  The current tour dates take the band across Europe.  A full list of tour dates is available on the band’s official Facebook page, http://www.Facebook.com/BlackSabbath.  Fans can pre-order the upcoming album—which will be available on CD, vinyl, Deluxe 2-CD Set, and Super Deluxe box set—through the band’s official website, http://www.blacksabbath.com.

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Steel Panther’s New Live BD A “Solid” Release For Fans

Courtesy:  DC3/Universal Republic/3 dimensions/AGPS Management

Courtesy: DC3/Universal Republic/3 dimensions/AGPS Management

Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s founding fathers, once said that death and taxes were life’s two constants.  If he were alive today, Franklin would change his tune and say that there are in fact three more constants in the twenty-first century.  Those constants are sex, drugs, and rock & roll.  Many bands have tried to live those constants.  Many have succeeded.  But few have truly lived those constants like the glam rockers of Steel Panther.  This California based band actually started in 2009.  Since that time, its members—Lexxi Foxx, Michael Starr, Satchel, and Stix Zadinia—have become the poster boys for everything that was at one point all that rockers lived for.  The band has already released two albums under its current moniker.  And now thanks to Universal Republic Records, audiences get a new chance to experience all the testosterone fueled, alcohol infused bombacity that is Steel Panther live in its new live release, British Invasion.

British Invasion was recorded live at the famed Brixton Academy during its most recent live tour in support of its most recent album, Balls Out.  Brixton Academy has hosted some of rocks biggest names including both Machine Head and Sepultura.  Now Steel Panther can add its name to the list of huge names that have performed there.  Fans of the aforementioned bands got quite the show with each one.  And Steel Panther’s fans get a show that they’ll enjoy in this new release, too.  Not only do fans get a full set from its performance at Brixton, but there’s also the bonus of five extra songs recorded live at the band’s performance at the Download 2012 Festival.  The audio and video mix on both of the main and bonus performance are quite clear.  And whether one has seen SP live before or not, audiences get a show that has all the over the top antics and music that audiences have come to expect from this band.  To sweeten the deal, the band and its label, Universal Republic Records, have included a booklet complete with lyrics to every song performed in the main set.

The booklet included with the Blu-ray is just part of what viewers will appreciate from this performance.  Audiences get out of this performance, a band that actually interacts with the audience in attendance.  And it’s not just your standard back and forth banter, either.  The entire band gets in on the act.  It’s little things like that that make a performance memorable.  Though of course, the band’s interaction with its audience is just half of what will make the band’s fans enjoy this recording.  There’s also enough T & A to make any college frat boy happy for quite some time.  The band even brings in some “adult entertainers” to help with its show in more than one song.  Add in the impressive audio and visual editing and mixing and fans get in this recorded performance a show that fans of Steel Panther will be watching time and again.  The band’s new DVD and Blu-ray are both available online and in stores now.  Regardless of whether or not fans manage to pick it up, they’ll still have the chance to see the band live as it’s currently touring in support of the new live release now.  Fans can get all the latest tour dates and news from the band now online at http://www.steelpantherrocks.com, http://www.facebook.com/steelpantherkicksass, http://twitter.com/#!/Steel_Panther, and http://www.myspace.com/steelpantherkicksass.

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Django Unchained Soundtrack Streaming Online With Tarantino Commentary

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

In celebration of the release of his new movie to theaters nationwide, director Quentin Tarantino is offering fans a track by track introduction to each song on the soundtrack to the Golden Globe nominated movie as each song streams in its entirety.  Audiences can check out the songs complete with Tarantino’s introductions online now at http://www.UnchaindSoundtrack.Com.  The creation to Django Unchained is the first time that Tarantino has worked with artists in order to create original music for the soundtrack to any of his movies.  Among the artists appearing on the soundtrack to Django Unchained are the likes of Rick Ross and John Legend.  Star Jamie Foxx appears on the movie’s soundtrack, too.

This new take on the Django Unchained soundtrack is available streaming online until Wednesday, January 2nd.  The special presentation was originally run on Little Steven’s Underground Garage on SiriusXM Channel 21 on December 14th.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.