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Tim Commerford Hints At New Rage Against The Machine Album

In possibly the most pleasant exchange that has ever resulted from TMZ accosting a celebrity on the street, former Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim Commerford has shyly hinted at a possible new album from the funk metal pioneers. When asked if the defunct group were working on a new album, Commerford quietly answered, “Maybe…maybe.” Since the band’s breakup twelve years ago, vocalist Zack de la Rocha has worked on a string of collaborations with various artists, while the remaining three Rage members – Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello, and drummer Brad Wilk – formed Audioslave with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell. Though Rage have performed several festival dates since their official breakup, there has been no substantial news about a new album yet. The vague TMZ interview with Commerford provides the most information that fans will get about a new album thus far. That, and his apparent appreciation for Gucci Mane’s facial tattoos and his penchant for “removing teeth” as a fashion statement.

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The Second Coming of Soundgarden

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome artist fades from popularity, their fans later wonder, “Where are they now?”  You may not know it, but many artists you’ve loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour once more. Fortunately, you now have “Second Coming” to reintroduce some of your favorite acts of the last few decades and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future.

THEN: The year was 1984, and, like many of their friends, Seattle residents Chris Cornell and his roommate Hiro Yamamoto decided to form a band. The singer and bassist recruited a drummer and guitar player to form a grunge rock/metal group called Soundgarden, named after a local park sculpture that made strange noises in the wind. After releasing two EPs, the band put out their first LP, Ultramega OK. The punk-infused record garnered national attention along with a GRAMMY award nomination for Best Metal Performance. Following the release of two more LPs at the dawn of the ’90s and a successful tour opening for Guns ‘n’ Roses, the band was perfectly poised for the grunge takeover . Then, in 1994, Soundgarden released Superunknown. The album’s first single “Black Hole Sun” was a huge hit. Three million copies sold and two GRAMMY Awards later, Superunknown solidified Soundgarden’s place as one of the most prominent grunge bands to date. Unfortunately, the public’s interest in grunge waned by Down on the Upside‘s release in 1996, and the group disbanded in 1997.

NOW: After the breakup, the members of Soundgarden continued to play music in separate groups; most notably, Chris Cornell formed the group Audioslave with former members of Rage Against The Machine. Cornell also had a successful solo career, for which he recorded three albums over the span of ten years. After shooting down reunion rumors for years, Soundgarden finally confirmed their reunion in 2010. Since then, they have played a few shows and festival dates, but have yet to embark on a full-fledged tour. The band has been hard at work in the studio writing their next album, their first studio album since 1996. Most recently, they contributed a song to the Avengers soundtrack, which marks their first new recording since reuniting. Look out for their new record coming later this year!

Any true 90′s rock fan knows every word of this song by heart. Let’s reminisce over the trippy video for “Black Hole Sun”…

Sound And Vision: Reunited Bands Try To Make Lightning Strike Twice

For the love of money.
According to Sting, when I interviewed him in 1996, there’s no other reason to bring a band back from the dead. Yet one must assume that Sting—who’s had a gold and platinum solo career for more than three times the seven years he was a member of The Police—had more than money on the brain when he reunited the band in 2007, after more than two decades of inactivity, for a thirtieth anniversary world tour.
Think about it: If Diana Ross can try to regroup with Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong (though she ended up with two ’70s Supremes with whom she’d never actually performed and possibly never even met until minutes before the ill-fated 2000 “reunion” was announced), why can’t all other former bandmates get along—or at least get back together. Are you listening, ABBA? Though a musical reunion of Sweden’s fab four, or the UK one from the ’80s (that would be The Smiths), remains as unlikely as a resurgent Rubik’s cube or Carter Country, in recent years, we’ve seen a number of bands—from the Pixies to Yaz to the “classic” original line-up of Duran Duran—come together again.
Some did it for the love of money, some because of fading solo careers and some because as we get older those nostalgic impulses become harder to ignore. One imagines the latter must have been a big part of the reason why rich solo superstar Robbie Williams mended fences last year with Take That—who’d already reformed in 2005, nine years after breaking up—and participated in Progress, their first album together in fifteen years. This month, the original Take That will hit the road with Pet Shop Boys.
On May 10, The Cars, who haven’t released a new studio album since Ronald Reagan was in office, will drive their act into this millennium with Move Like This and a ten-date reunion tour that begins in Seattle on the day of the album’s release. They won’t be the only ’80s throwbacks on the road in the coming months. Bobby Brown recently said that the off-and-on-and-off-and-on-again New Edition has a new album and tour in the works. Perhaps they should join New Kids on the Block (who’ll be performing live this summer with Backstreet Boys) and soon-to-be summer tour mates Tiffany and Debbie Gibson for a Monsters of ’80s Pop package.
Then there’s Soundgarden, the band who along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam created grunge’s holy triumvirate in the early ’90s. They split in 1997, and although Chris Cornell had success as a member of Audioslave, his solo career never quite caught on. Can grunge thrive in 2011? We’ll find out when the Seattle band, set to tour in July, releases its work in progress later this year, but the odds might be stacked against them.
With a few exceptions—the Eagles, Steely Dan and Take That, whose Progress has enjoyed massive UK sales—reunited bands generally have had more success with comeback tours than with new music. Roxy Music, the Pixies and Psychedelic Furs have been back together for years, but neither band has released new albums. And Blondie, whose Panic of Girls is due on July 4, had middling US success with 1999′s No Exit and 2003′s The Curse of Blondie (though the former did produce the No. 1 UK single “Maria”).
In 2008, New Kids on the Block, whose reunion tour year featured Lady Gaga as an opening act, got off to a good start with The Block (first-week sales: 100,000), but the album failed to go gold in the US. The Cars’ new single, “Sad Song,” hasn’t gone higher than No. 37 on Billboard’s Rock Songs chart since its March 1 release, which doesn’t bode too well for the buzz-free Move Like This. Meanwhile, Duran Duran’s nostalgia value makes the group a huge touring attraction, but the new albums featuring the original line up (minus guitarist Andy Taylor) have sold only modestly.
But with album sales continuing to free fall anyway, it might not even matter. Releasing new music keeps the bands from being strictly oldies acts, and if the love of money is their bottom line, most of them are getting exactly what they’re after on the road.
[Ed. Note: Rockers and pop stars aren't the only ones taking a trip down memory lane. Check out more comebacks and reunions in hip hop.]

The Winter of Our Content

Winterbloom

Supergroups can go both ways—the members’ star power can collide and spectacularly self implode with one hit, a la Velvet Revolver and Audioslave. Or they can integrate more gracefully and enjoy a longer ride, like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Winterbloom is almost certainly destined for lasting adoration. The side project of five, renowned Boston-based singer-songwriters already selling-out shows on their own—the group coalesced after what was supposed to be a one-off performance together at a Cambridge club. Listen to just one of their songs and you’ll understand why the audience fell hard that night. Start with “The Alchemist,” a full collaboration between member songwriters Antje Duvekot, Anne Heaton, Meg Hutchinson, Rose Polenzani and Natalia Zukerman. Sparse and lovely, the tune familiarizes the audience with each voice in turn—every ridge and notch, every barb and lilt. Apart, their timbres are completely unique, but together they melt into sailing harmonies that bring on the chills. “Rexroth’s Daughter” is alt-country perfection, a quixotic and dusty union of lap steel and burnished croons. For “Tumbalalaika (The Riddle)” Winterbloom trades Americana for a Slavic folk song—haunting and dark. There’s an enormous amount of talent at this table so you’ll want to sit with these songs a good while.

Metal Monday: A Look at Metal Supergroups

OSBlog02_MetalMondays_MASTERImagine for a second that you’re Scott “Wino” Weinrich of Saint Vitus and The Obsessed fame, and you have had a shortage of musical projects to work on. Maybe you have a few friends and colleagues who are in a similar situation. Wouldn’t the obvious choice here be to form a band or project with those fellow musicians? Of course it is the obvious choice, and so that is exactly what Wino did.  A few years ago, he teamed up with Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Al Cisneros (Sleep) and Dale Crover (Melvins) to form the supergroup Shrinebuilder (although the exact point when the group went from speculated project to fruition is still a bit unclear). The group’s self-title debut came out in October of ’09 to much excitement and critical acclaim.

Read more about the successes and failures of metal supergroups after the jump

 


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