Axe shredding rockaholics, virtual mix maestros and all of their friends will come together and party this holiday weekend with new downloadable content for Activision Publishing Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) Guitar Hero® and DJ Hero®. Available today and featuring some of the biggest hits from global pop sensations such as Lady Gaga, Pussycat Dolls, Rihanna, Duran Duran and Maroon 5, the Pop 1 Track Pack for the Guitar Hero Music Library and the DJ Hero Dance Party Mix Pack will provide hours of nonstop, party rockin’, beat blastin’ entertainment for the whole crew to enjoy.
Setting the ones and twos ablaze today, the DJ Hero Dance Party Mix Pack delivers a trio of new mixes – Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” Mixed With “Girls On Film” by Duran Duran, Pussycat Dolls’ “Buttons” beat juggle and Rihanna’s “S.O.S.” beat juggle – that will have digital DJ’s spinning, scratching and battling as they take their 4th of July parties to the next level.
Guitar Hero fans looking to pick up their axes, grab their drum sticks or rock the mic right are in for a treat this weekend with a trio of hit pop artists in the Pop 1 Track Pack for the Guitar Hero Music Library that will have these budding musicians rocking out with all their friends to Lady Gaga’s club anthem, “Just Dance,” Maroon 5’s hit single, “This Love” and the Synthpop hit, “Fireflies,” by Owl City.
The Guitar Hero Pop 1 Track Pack will be available on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for 440 Microsoft Points, on the PlayStation®Store for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system for $5.49 and for Wii™ for 550 Wii Points™. All songs in the track pack will also be released as downloadable singles for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for 160 Microsoft Points, PLAYSTATION 3 system for $1.99 and Wii for 200 Wii Points each.
The DJ Hero Dance Party Mix Pack will be available on Xbox 360 for 640 Microsoft Points and PLAYSTATION 3 system for $7.99. All mixes will be released as downloadable singles for Wii for 300 Wii Points each.
The Pretty Reckless are kicking off the 2010 Vans Warped Tour today in California. Stay tuned for the release of their debut album, Light Me Up, due out later this year. A brand new EP is available now.
2010 Vans Warped Tour dates:
June 25 / Los Angeles, CA / Home Depot Center
June 26 / San Francisco, CA / Shoreline Amphitheatre
June 27 / Ventura, CA / Seaside Park
June 29 / Phoenix, AZ / Cricket Pavilion
June 30 / Las Cruces, NM / N.M.S.U. Practice Field
July 1 / San Antonio, TX / AT&T Center
July 2 / Houston, TX / The Showgrounds at Sam Houston
July 3 / Dallas, TX / Superpages.com Center
July 5 / St. Louis, MO / Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
July 6 / Indianapolis, IN / Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
July 7 / Pittsburgh, PA / Post Gazette Pavilion
July 8 / Cleveland, OH / Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre
July 9 / Toronto, OH / Arrow Hall
July 10 / Montreal, QC / Parc Jean Drapeau
July 11 / Hartford, CT / The Comcast Theatre
July 13 / Boston, MA / Comcast Center
July 14 / Buffalo, NY / Darien Lake PAC
July 15 / Scranton, PA / Toyota Pavilion
July 16 / Philadelphia, PA (Camden) / Susquehanna Bank Center
July 17 / Uniondale, NY / Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
July 18 / Oceanport, NJ / Monmouth Park Racetrack
July 20 / Washington, D.C. / Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 21 / Virginia Beach, VA / Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
July 22 / Charlotte, NC / Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
July 23 / Tampa, FL (Saint Petersburg) / Vinoy Park
July 24 / Miami, FL / Cruzan Amphitheatre
July 25 / Orlando, FL / Firestone Amphitheatre
July 26 / Atlanta, GA / Lakewood Amphitheatre
July 28 / Cincinnati, OH / Riverbend Music Center
July 29 / Milwaukee, WI / Marcus Amphitheatre
July 30 / Detroit, MI / Comerica Park
July 31 / Chicago, IL / First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Aug 1 / Minneapolis, MN / Canterbury Park
Aug 2 / Kansas City, MO (Bonner Springs) / Sandstone Amphitheater
Aug 5 / Edmonton, AB / Northlands Grounds
Aug 7 / Salt Lake City, UT / Utah State Fairgrounds
Aug 8 / Denver, CO / Invesco Field
Aug 11 / Pomona, CA / Pomona Fairplex
Aug 12 / Sacramento, CA / Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Aug 13 / Boise, ID / Idaho Center Amphitheatre
Aug 14 / Seattle, WA / Gorge Amphitheatre
Aug 15 / Portland, OR / Washington County Fairgrounds
Transformers: War for Cybertron challenges players to become the ultimate weapon as a TRANSFORMERS character in the final, epic war that will determine the survival of their entire race. Armed with a diverse arsenal of lethal, high-tech weaponry and the ability to instantly convert from robot to vehicle at any time, players will engage in heart-pounding battles on land and in the air in this gripping, 3rd person action shooter set in the TRANSFORMERS’ war-ravaged homeland. Complete with several multiplayer modes, Transformers: War for Cybertron allows gamers to play through story missions with their friends in drop in/drop out online co-op, and also create their own TRANSFORMERS character for competitive head-to-head multiplayer modes, choosing among four distinct character classes, personalizing its look and selecting from a huge variety of weapons, skills and abilities.
With her current single “Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)” claiming the #1 spot for 5 consecutive weeks on the Urban Mainstream Airplay chart, 12-time Grammy winning singer and multi-platinum superstar Alicia Keys will illustrate why she remains on top of the charts with two upcoming television performances and a headlining concert at the Essence Music Festival.
This Friday, June 25th, Keys will be in an “Empire State of Mind” when she performs her hit songs on Good Morning America’s Concert Series. Held at the Summerstage Rumsey Playfield in New York City’s Central Park, fans can join the New York native as she also announces the winner of her www.iamasuperwoman.com Head Blogger job search, powered by Monster.com.
Topping Billboard’s Artists of the Decade list, Keys will grace the stage at the 2010 BET Awards on Sunday, June 27th with a career retrospective performance. The recipient of four previous BET Awards, this year Keys has been nominated for four BET Awards including Best Female R&B Artist, and three nods for her collaboration on Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” in the categories of Best Collaboration, Video of the Year and Viewers Choice.
On July 3rd, Keys returns to New Orleans for a 3rd time to headline the 16th annual Essence Music Festival. Keys 90-minute set will include all of her hits spanning from her 2001 debut album Songs in A Minor to her current smash album The Element of Freedom.
Celebrating a decade in music, Alicia’s has sold over 30 million critically acclaimed albums and has garnered 12 Grammy Awards amongst other noteworthy awards and honors during her illustrious career. Alicia’s current album, The Element of Freedom, sold 417,000 copies in its first week of release and reached platinum within one month. Alicia recently capped off her sold-out U.S. and international tour with an amazing live performance at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, where she continues her unwavering commitment to provide medicine to families with HIV/AIDS via her non-profit organization Keep A Child Alive (KCA).
505 Games U.S. and Field & Stream, the world’s leading outdoor magazine, today announced that Field & Stream: Total Outdoorsman Challenge is now available on the Xbox 360™ videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft. In Field & Stream: Total Outdoorsman Challenge, players master a variety of authentic hunting skills, including bullet trajectory, weapon aim and expert tracking techniques on their quest to become the ‘Total Outdoorsman’.
“Field & Stream: Total Outdoorsman Challenge is a hunting sim created to meet the outstanding expectations of the respected brand behind it,” said Adam Kline, president of 505 Games U.S. “With this new title, hunting game fans and loyal readers of Field & Stream can now hone their skills in a year-round hunting season that offers more realistic gameplay and more big game than ever before.”
Field & Stream: Total Outdoorsman Challenge drives players to sharpen their sixth sense and test their mettle against the great outdoors to ultimately earn the coveted title of ‘Total Outdoorsman’. Through a true-to-life, first-person perspective, players will track over 30 big and small game species on land and in the air across authentic environments featuring realistic wildlife activity and varying weather conditions. To become the ultimate tracker, gamers must listen for animal calls, search the ground for tracks, and use ‘Scent Vision’ to spot and hunt their prey. Players can close in on targets using special scents and decoys, as well as permanent hideouts and vantage points as their hunting skills become more advanced.
“Now whether you’re in the woods or in the comfort of your own home, you will be able to test your skills to see if you have what it takes to be a Total Outdoorsman,” said Eric Zinczenko, group publisher of Field & Stream. “Our staff worked hard to ensure the game portrays realistic hunting scenarios and players are really going to see the impact of their input in Field & Stream: Total Outdoorsman Challenge.”
Virtual hunters and marksmen will test their worth in the outdoors in both serious and casual modes. Beginning with Practice Mode, players must work to perfect their aim with skeet shooting, a first step for any great hunter. Free Hunt Mode allows gamers to hunt any animal without restrictions, regulations or licenses. Ultimate Hunt Mode lets players truly experience the thrill of the hunt with challenging gameplay requiring players to use traditional tracking and stalking techniques to hunt prize catches and brave the wilderness.
One of the most notable and successful ska-punk bands of all time, Sublime, has sold over 17 million albums worldwide. The group痴 success stems from their multi-platinum landmark debut album, 40oz. to Freedom, lo-fi follow up, Robbin’ the Hood and the multi-platinum self-titled major label debut (a virtual greatest hits set in itself) all widely regarded as music collection staples.
The founding members of Sublime, drummer Bud Gaugh and bass player Eric Wilson, along with new front man, singer/guitarist Rome make up Sublime with Rome. The group will kick off their summer tour on July 7th in Redmond, WA and will make their way across the US. Stopping along the way to play a number of festival dates, Sublime with Rome is finally giving a number of songs their proper stage debuts including “Under My Voodoo,” 釘urritos,” and the fan favorite, “What I Got.” Accompanying the band on a number of headlining tour dates will be the The Dirty Heads who currently have a #1 single with “Lay Me Down.”
Fans who are anxious to see the band live can now watch never before seen footage from Sublime with Rome’s performance at last year’s Smoke Out Fest! For a full list of tour dates, head to the band’s official website!
Sublime with Rome Tour Dates:
07-Jul Remond, WA Marymoor Amphitheater
10-Jul Morrison, CO Red Rock Amphitheatre
11-Jul Kansas City, MO City Market – KRBZ’sBuzz Under The Stars
13-Jul Chicago, IL Charter One Pavillion
14-Jul Milwaukee, WI The Eagles Club
16-Jul Detroit, MI The Fillmore
17-Jul Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
18-Jul Baltimore, MD Pier Six Pavilion
20-Jul Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
21-Jul Glen Allen, VA Innsbrook Pavilion
23-Jul Atlanta, GA Masquerade Music Park
24-Jul St Augustine, FL St Augustine Amphitheatre
25-Jul Boca Raton, FL Sunset Cove Amphitheater
27-Jul New Orleans, LA The Howlin’ Wolf
28-Jul Dallas, TX Superpages.com Amphitheatre
30-Jul Las Vegas, NV The Beach at Mandalay Bay
13-Aug Gilford, NH Meadowbrook
14-Aug Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
15-Aug Bethlehem, PA Musikfest
19-Aug Boston, MA Bank of America Pavilion
20-Aug Toronto, ON Kool Haus
22-Aug Montreal, Que Metropolis
24-Aug Rochester, NY Main Street Armory
25-Aug Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony Summer Stage
29-Aug Hamburg, GE Wasserski-Arena Pinneberg
10-Sep Cleveland, OH Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre
11-Sep Indianapolis, IN WRZX XFEST
18-Sep Tempe, AZ Tempe Beach Park
08-Oct London, ENG Shepherds Bush Empire
U.K. buzz band Athlete can now boast of being the only band to be heard through all of time and space. The band’s classic song “Changes” will be used as the first ever rock song on the longest-running science fiction television show in the world, Doctor Who.
The song plays at a key point in the upcoming episode “Vincent And The Doctor” which can be seen for the first time in the U.S. on BBC America this Saturday night June 26th at 9pm. The series, which now stars Matt Smith as the 11th incarnation of the Doctor, has drawn raves on both sides of the Atlantic. Writer Richard Curtis (Nothing Hill, Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral) penned the episode and personally requested the song’s use.
“We are delighted that our song Chances was chosen by the legendary Richard Curtis to be used in Doctor Who,” commented lead singer Joel Pott. “The show is such a long standing and iconic BBC drama and to be the first band to ever have a song on the soundtrack really is an honour.”
Athlete are currently in the middle of a spring / summer U.S. tour in support of their latest album, Black Swan. The band’s new album is a musical summary of everything Athlete has been through, the good, the bad and the ugly. But although its songs burn with literate emotion, this certainly isn’t a downbeat record. In fact, the album begins with the hurtling FM rush of the glorious track, “Superhuman Touch,” which catapults the album to life with the opening line, “I’m on fire and nothing’s gonna hold me back.”
Produced by the esteemed Tom Rothrock (Foo Fighters, Elliott Smith, Elbow, Beck), Black Swan positively glows with snagging melodies, rich musicality and the band’s heartfelt tales. These songs together make Black Swan the strongest album Athlete has ever recorded. The reaction to Black Swan has been nothing short of overwhelming both here and in the UK with Alternative Press stating, ““If proper venues for a band called Athlete are Stadiums, then this southeast London quartet have finally made an album worthy of their name… super-earnest reflections with melodies and arrangements direct and sturdy enough to bear the emotional weight.” NME proclaiming, “Awash with gorgeous melodies, the best thing they’ve ever done.” And Q Magazine raving: “Strong results… from the rueful to the thunderous. A band reborn.”
Athlete first rose to prominence seven years ago with the spirited, electro-tinged, indie-pop of their Mercury-nominated debut, Vehicles And Animals, Athlete have established themselves among the UK’s finest songsmiths. The southeast Londoners have sold more than a million copies of their three hit albums (the other two being 2005’s Tourist and 2007’s Beyond The Neighbourhood); packed out venues across the world; picked up an Ivor Novello award; and topped both the UK’s album and airplay charts.
Athlete’s North American tour dates are listed below.
ATHLETE TOUR DATES:
JUNE 24 Dallas TX Cambridge Room @ HOB
JUNE 25 Austin TX Stubbs Bar-B-Q
JUNE 26 Houston TX Walters On Washington
JUNE 28 Birmingham AL WorkPlay Theater
JUNE 29 Atlanta GA Vinyl
JUNE 30 Chapel Hill NC Local 506
JULY 1 Pittsburgh PA Club Cafe
On her forthcoming Island Records debut, Canadian born singer/song writer, Jenna Andrews weaves a deep tapestry of emotion, personal growth and introspection in her debut album. She imbues everything from pop to soul with poignant lyrics, suggesting a strength and wisdom beyond her years.
“I know everybody’s gone through pain,” Jenna confides. “I talk to the little girl in me or the little girls that are dealing with similar things to remind them that you can do big things in your lives if you have hope.”
Relying on that very hope, Jenna left home after just six months of college, determined to make a name for herself in Vancouver. The going was rough; some nights she couldn’t afford to fill her gas tank, preventing her from getting to work. So she would spend those car-bound nights learning the guitar and writing songs; how ironic that a car without gas would eventually steer her to the office of Chairman Antonio ‘L.A.’ Reid, where she’d sign to Island Def Jam. That said, the more you learn about Jenna Andrews, the less surprised you become to hear of unwavering determination.
Music, particularly jazz and R&B, was her mother’s passion. She would take Jenna on long drives and introduce her to great vocalists like Donnie Hathaway and legendary singer/ songwriters such as Carly Simon and Carole King. As a young girl, Jenna connected with the music of her mother’s generation more than the music of her own peers. “Melody can make you feel any given emotion—happy, sad, angry,” she explains. “But lyrics are hugely important because when you attach amazing lyrics to the melody, it synchs. A great song resonates like nothing else in the world.”
Jenna’s mother noticed her daughter’s innate talent but didn’t want to push her. Jenna, however, needed no such prodding. She learned the piano by ear and started writing songs when she was just 14 years old. She would eventually travel with a youth performance troupe. By high school, her performances at downtown Calgary nightclubs fetched as many as 500 patrons per night. So while Jenna was scribbling furiously in her song book, so too would the proverbial writing appear on the wall.
Jenna decided to leave college, and her family, and move to Vancouver. She scraped out a meager existence playing at open mic nights. “I wanted to struggle, and I wanted to really, really discover myself as a musician and as a person,” Jenna reveals. “I just wanted to go through the pain because I felt like it was helping my music.” How prophetic this would prove.
With no money for Christmas presents that year, Jenna instead composed a song for her parents entitled “Adore.” “It was never meant to be exploited,” Jenna explains. “I really wasn’t thinking of it having anything to do with my career. It was just for my love of the music, and for my parents.” Yet this personal ditty trigged public groundswell when the studio owner/producer heard the song and insisted that Jenna make it available via MySpace. She did, and promptly fielded calls from industry heavyweights Bryant Reid (brother of L.A. Reid) and Toronto-based Chris Smith Management, the force behind Nelly Furtado among others.
Jenna signed with Chris Smith and spent the next year writing and recording with hitmakers ranging from Babyface to Max Martin (Pink, Carrie Underwood, Britney Spears, Celine Dion). The result is eclectic—pop to jazz with funk and soul elements, and even some sultry beats. But more apt than any genre label is a feel. It’s real. “My album is heartfelt and honest. It came out very naturally,” Jenna delights. “Every song is really close to my heart. I want my listeners to feel like I’m right beside them in any circumstance they face.” And certainly Jenna has navigated some rough seas, particularly a negative body image that triggered an enduring eating disorder. But her travails alone won’t define her. “There is a lot more going on here than just pain,” she insists. “I feel like you need your first album to show your different colors. I don’t want it to seem like I’m this dark person all the time.”
Maroon 5 have released two multi-platinum studio albums (2002’s Songs About Jane and 2007’s It Won’t Be Soon Before Long), scored a string of hit singles (“This Love,” “She Will Be Loved,” “Harder to Breathe,” “Sunday Morning,” “Makes Me Wonder”), won three Grammy Awards, and sold 15 million albums around the world. Now the Los Angeles quintet is back with its third-studio album, entitled Hands All Over — a killer hybrid of rock, pop, funk, and R&B, that showcases the band’s considerable strengths: buoyant, unforgettable melodies, sleek, stylish grooves, charged lyrics about turbulent relationships, and crisp, dynamic performances.
Adam Levine, the band’s lyricist, began writing the songs that appear on Hands All Over after winding down from a world tour in support of It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. A few months later, Maroon 5 received a phone call from veteran studio wizard Robert John “Mutt” Lange (AC/DC, Foreigner, The Cars), who had heard that Maroon 5 were beginning to write a new album and expressed an interest in producing it. “We didn’t even talk to anyone else,” Levine says. “Mutt is undeniably one of the most successful producers who’s ever lived.”
Levine’s first performing experience — in fact the event that ignited his desire to become a singer and musician — actually involves Lange. The story goes like this: 20 years ago, when Levine was 10, he attended a friend’s birthday party “at one of those places in the San Fernando Valley where the kids dress up in rock’n’roll gear and lip-sync their favorite songs,” he says. Levine chose the Def Leppard classic “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” “I knew I could sing because my music teacher told me I had a voice, but I had never really performed before. I grabbed the mic and just went for it. Afterwards I knew that I’ve got to do this for the rest of my life. That’s what got the whole ball rolling for me.” The classic anthem “Pour Some Sugar On Me” was, of course, famously produced by Lange. “If that’s not a full 360, I don’t know what is,” Levine says. “It doesn’t get more circular than that.”
In July 2009, the members of Maroon 5 — Levine, keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, bassist Mickey Madden, guitarist James Valentine, and drummer Matt Flynn — decamped to Lange’s studio in Vevey, Switzerland, on the north shore of Lake Geneva where they worked distraction-free with the Swiss Alps looming in the distance. “Just being near those majestic mountains and lakes was so inspiring,” says Jesse Carmichael. “Waking up and seeing these giant snow-capped peaks, it set the tone for the record and made the whole thing feel like some sort of magical summer camp experience.” Adds Carmichael: “Mutt really helped us play to the best of our ability. And it drove us to be bigger and better than ever. Everything he does is huge.”
“Huge” is a good way to describe Hands All Over, starting with the hard-rocking title track that is heavier than anything Maroon 5 has ever done. Says Valentine: “It doesn’t sound like anything we’ve done so far.” Another stylistic departure is “Out of Goodbyes,” a stunning country ballad that features musical and vocal contributions from Nashville chart-toppers Lady Antebellum. “We’ve always loved country music,” Levine says, “and they brought that necessary twang to it with the lap steels, ambient guitar, and Hillary Scott’s pretty country voice.” Other highlights include the deeply groovy “Don’t Know Much About That,” the propulsive “Stutter” (“a great showcase for Adam’s voice,” Valentine says) and “Misery,” which will thrill long-time Maroon 5 fans with its funky guitars and high-stepping melody.
Maroon 5 first hit it big in 2002 with Songs About Jane, which went quadruple platinum and spawned four hit singles: the blockbuster Top 40 No. 1 “This Love,” the Top 5 “She Will Be Loved,” as well as “Harder to Breathe” and “Sunday Morning.” Its success cemented their status as a world-class rock band and led to a 2005 Grammy Award win for “Best New Artist.” They followed up Songs About Jane with Acoustic (2004), a collection of unplugged songs, and Live — Friday the 13th (2005), which earned them a second Grammy for “Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal” for the 2006 live recording of “This Love.”
In May 2007, Maroon 5 released It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, selling nearly half a million copies its first week of release. The Grammy-nominated album featured several hits, including “If I Never See Your Face Again” and “Makes Me Wonder,” which earned Maroon 5 their third Grammy, once again for “Best Pop Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocals.” In 2009, they released Call & Response: The Remix Album, an 18-track “mixtape” that featured Pharrell Williams, Mark Ronson, Swizz Beatz, Paul Oakenfold, and many others, putting a new twist on the band’s biggest hits. Maroon 5 also collaborated with Rihanna on a Grammy-nominated new version of “If I Never See Your Face Again,” which appeared on the re-release of the Barbados-born pop star’s 2007 album Good Girl Gone Bad. (Levine has also collaborated with Ying Yang Twins, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Natasha Bedingfield, and K’naan.)
Along the way, Maroon 5 toured the world, including a sold-out headlining tour of the U.S., during which they partnered with environmental action organization Reverb to reduce their carbon footprint. Known for their commitment to the environment, Maroon 5 also became members of the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and were honored at the 2006 Environmental Media Awards and have pledged both time and energy toward Global Cool, an initiative launched to fight global warming by motivating a billion people worldwide to reduce their personal energy use.
It won’t be any different in 2010 when Maroon 5 release Hands All Over, which is as accessible and broadly appealing as anything the band has ever done, including their breakthrough smash Songs About Jane. “Every record should be like our first, that’s the way we think about it,” Levine says. “We don’t ever want to rest on our laurels or get too cozy. We always want to keep aspiring to do our best — and this album captures that.”