Welcome to Red Bull’s bi-weekly rock music bulletin, where we will be recalling some of the biggest and most unforgettable moments in the culture within the past two weeks, as well as dish out exclusive news bits.
- The White Stripes have officially called it quits. On February 2nd, the Grammy Award winning rock duo announced their split, marking an end to an illustrious 14-year career that saw them release six studio albums. In a joint statement on their website, Jack and Meg White revealed the break was “not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health. It is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way.” The White Stripes are perhaps best known for their hits “Blue Orchid,” “Fell In Love With A Girl,” “Icky Thump” and “Seven Nation Army.”
- In other depressing news, LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy announced via their website, LCDSoundsystem.com, that the band will hold their final show ever at Madison Square Garden on April 2nd. The group will play for nearly three hours and perform music that has never been heard publicly before. Murphy also stated, “If it’s a funeral, let’s have the best funeral ever!” Tickets go on sale February 11th on BoweryPresents.com and Ticketmaster.com.
- Now that the sad stuff is it out of the way, here is a reason to rejoice: The Foo Fighters will be releasing their currently untitled seventh studio album on April 12th. The 11-track collection, which is the follow-up to 2007’s Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, features returning member, guitarist Pat Smear, as well as a collaboration with Dave Grohl’s former Nirvana band mate, bassist Krist Novoselic. Last month, the rock troupe previewed a 30-second teaser on their website for the record “Burning Bridge.” More details to come in the weeks ahead.
- Warped Tour 2011 is four months away and tour creator, Kevin Lyman, hasn’t wasted anytime in naming bands for the traveling summer festival. Nearly forty artists have been tapped for the bill thus far including post-hardcore outfit Dance Gavin Dance, piano rock warriors Foxy Shazam, power pop troupe Hellogoodbye, indie pop band The Ready Set, Christian rock collective Relient K and crunk rockers Family Force 5. More artists will be named within the month. The summer’s hottest concert series kicks off June 24th in Dallas, Texas and is set to conclude August 14th in Hillsboro, Oregon.
- The Cake has gone stale! After debuting at the top of the Billboard 200 with a measly 44,000 units sold, the lowest ever in Billboard history, folk rockers The Decemberists knocked the group off the throne with their new studio album The King Is Dead. Their sales more than doubled Cake’s in their opening week, moving over 94,000 units. While victory was sweet, the Decemberists dropped to the number ten for the week of February 2nd.
That week, singer-songwriter Amos Lee claimed the top slot with his latest effort Mission Bell. Moving only 40,000 units, Amos Lee re-writes history by becoming the lowest-selling number one debut in Billboard history – a record that was previously set by Cake three weeks earlier. As of February 9th, Nicki Minaj holds the top slot.
- Zoltan Bathory has transformed from “metalist” to medalist. The guitarist for music juggernaut Five Finger Death Punch recently claimed the silver medal in his division at the Abu Dhabi Pro World Trials Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Congrats brother! In other related FFDP news, the group will host their 2nd annual “Love Songs For Tough Guys” Valentine’s Day program. Check your local radio listings and tune in.
- The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards will be televised live this coming weekend and the rock music community will make their presence felt. Arcade Fire is nominated in the Album of the Year category for their latest offering The Suburbs, as well as Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for the smash “Ready To Start.” The Black Keys, Kings Of Leon, Muse and Jeff Beck & Joss Stone will also be competing in that category. Maroon 5’s “Misery,” Paramore’s “The Only Exception” and Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” are up for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or A Group With Vocals, but will be up against television pop culture phenomenon Glee. Yeah, that award might be hard for rock to snag.
Music legends Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant and Neil Young will battle it out for the Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, Alice In Chains, Ozzy Osbourne, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots and Them Crooked Vultures will go head to head for the Best Hard Rock Performance, and Young, Jeff Beck, Muse, Pearl Jam and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers are up for the Best Rock Album.
To catch all this excitement, as well as the award for Best Opera Recording, tune into CBS on February 13th at 8 o’clock as the Grammys emanates from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
For more from Bear Frazer follow him on Twitter: @BearFrazer