The Rock Report keeps rock music fans posted on the latest. Check it out every Friday.
Smashing Pumpkins Return With “Oceania”
Only weeks after expressing his distaste for the major-label system (and comparing today’s musical artists to strippers) at SXSW, Billy Corgan, frontman for the alt-rock band Smashing Pumpkins, is singing a different tune. Corgan, who at one point believed LPs were no longer relevant, has signed a deal with EMI to release the quartet's forthcoming studio album, “Oceania,” which is scheduled to drop on June 19. It is the band’s first album since “Zeitgeist” in 2007. Evidently, full-length albums still serve a purpose.
Aerosmith Gettin’ Busy
This week, Aerosmith promised their as-yet untitled 15th studio album would be released in three months. Front man Steven Tyler was mum on the details but revealed the names of three songs: “Beautiful,” “Legendary Child” and “Out Go The Lights.” The group will reunite with Jack Douglas, who produced several of the band's albums, including the band’s seminal “Toys In The Attic” in 1975, on the project. To promote the album, Aerosmith will hit the road this summer in what the band calls the “Global Warming Tour,” which will begin on June 16 in Minneapolis and end on August 8 in Tacoma, Washington.
Look What Jet’s Done
The Australian rock band Jet have broken up. Earlier this week, Jet, who are best known for their 2003 breakthrough smash “Are You Gonna Be My Girl,” which was featured in Apple’s early iPod commercials, called it quits in statement on their website. The group wrote, "After many successful years of writing, recording and touring we wish to announce our discontinuation as a group. From the many pubs, theatres, stadiums and festivals all across the world it was the fans that made our amazing story possible and we wish to thank them all. Thank you, and goodnight." (Outro solo.)
Goodbye Morning Benders, Hello Pop, Etc.
The Morning Benders are no more – but, thankfully, that’s in name only. After learning the moniker is a common slang term for “homosexual” in Britain, the indie rock group decided a change was in order. “We simply cannot go on using a name that is demeaning to the gay community,” the band wrote in a letter on their website. “The reason we are making music is to reach and unite as many different kinds of people as possible, and the idea that our name may be hateful towards anyone makes us sick.”
The San Francisco troupe are now going by Pop Etc. They have already launched a new website popeetcetera.com and are offering a free download of their new mixtape.
Shinedown Shows Fans How It’s Done
Southern rockers Shinedown dropped their fourth studio album, “Amaryllis,” this week, but in addition to that, the group also released an eBook, “For Your Sake: Inside the Making of Shinedown's Amaryllis.” The 75-page digital book, available at Apple's iBookstore, gives fans a glimpse of the recording process and includes exclusive pictures and videos.
Westland Moves Forward Amidst Big Changes
Boston alternative rockers Westland could be closing in on the Promised Land. The band recently played for executives at Universal, and while Westland’s lead vocalist, Aaron Bonus, is hush-hush on the details, he admits something big is in store.
“All I can say at this moment is that the new record we are recording will be released on one of the majors,” he said.
But first, he’ll need a band.
Last month, three of Westland’s five members left, for various reasons, ranging from relationship issues to depression. “The fact is this is an incredibly hard job,” says Bonus. “It takes and takes and rarely gives anything back. Some people can handle it, and some get consumed by it.”
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