From BenHarper.com:

Just in time for Earth Day, Brushfire Records will release Jack Johnson and Friends – Best of Kokua Festival on April 17th. The album features a 13-track compilation of live performances from Jack Johnson’s benefit concert for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. It includes two tracks with Ben Harper, including a duet of Bob Marley’s “High Tide or Low Tide” and a performance of “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” with Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson and Ben Harper.

Culled from six years of his eco-minded music festival, Jack Johnson and Friends – Best of Kokua Festival highlights onstage collaborations with Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Dave Mathews, Ziggy and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and more.

Proceeds from Jack Johnson and Friends – Best of Kokua Festival and the tour will benefit the Kokua Hawaii Foundation.

Jack Johnson and Friends – Best of Kokua Festival track listing:

1. Better Together – Jack Johnson with Paula Fuga
2. Cry, Cry, Cry – Ziggy Marley with Jack Johnson & Paula Fuga
3. A Pirate Looks At Forty – Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
4. Mudfootball – Jack Johnson with Ozomatli & G. Love
5. Constellations – Jack Johnson with Eddie Vedder & Kawika Kahiapo
6. Take It Easy – Jackson Browne with Jack Johnson & John Cruz
7. Island Style – John Cruz with Jack Johnson & Jackson Browne
8. Breakdown – Jack Johnson with Jake Shimabukuro
9. Further On Down The Road – Taj Mahal with Jack Johnson
10. Welcome To Jamrock – Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley with Jack Johnson & Paula Fuga
11. High Tide or Low Tide – Ben Harper & Jack Johnson
12. Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain – Willie Nelson with Jack Johnson & Ben Harper
13. I Shall Be Released – Jack Johnson, Eddie Vedder, Zach Gill & Friends


davidp2007 posted this on the SmashingPumpkins.com board:

Since the original thread was about gathering submissions for the contest, I figured it was best to begin a new thread to let everyone know what happens next. I will paraphrase some of the information from our official announcement as well as add additional info

After two months of promotions, and SP fans coming together to breathe life into covers of their favorite Pumpkins tunes from the Pre-Gish era to Siamese Dream and Pisces Iscariot (1988-1994), the deadline for submissions has now passed for the SP Early Years Cover Song Contest. With 30 SP covers submitted, the contest surpasses the number of submissions that were received for the Act IV/ThePumpkins.net Zeitgeist Cover Song Contest. Act IV and ThePumpkins.net would like to thank everyone who submitted tracks for making this contest a smashing success! (forgive the pun)

So you may be wondering what happens next? Well now is the time for you to have your say! Fans of the Pumpkins worldwide are invited to listen to all 30 covers that are being hosted at ThePumpkins.net: http://thepumpkins.n…er-song-contest

After you give a listen to all the covers, cast your vote for your favorite cover! You will have from now till March 16, 2012 to vote for your favorite cover. Remember you can only vote once, so make your vote count!

Meanwhile, a selection committee of representatives from the SP Online Fan Community will be listening and voting for the ‘Best Cover Song’.

The winners of both the ‘Best Cover Song’ and ‘Fan Favorite Cover’ will win some cool SP related merch and a spot on the extended version of the Ghost Children/Machines of God digital EP, which is being given away for free with purchases of the Ghost Children 2/Friends and Enemies charity compilation. All profits from Ghost Children 2 are being donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

And just when you thought it was over, we are pleased to announce a brand new category and a special guest judge. None other than BILLY CORGAN will be judging an additional category “Best New Interpretation of A Song”. The selection committee will be helping Billy narrow down the field of entries, but he will be making the final determination of who wins in that category. The winner of this category will also earn a spot on the Ghost Children/Machines of God digital EP in addition to other prize(s) that have yet to be determined at this time.

For more information, please check out the official announcement: http://www.act4.net/…nouncement.html

We would like thank all our sponsors and Billy Corgan for making this all possible.

Once again, to listen to all the covers and cast your vote for the “Fan Favorite Cover”, please go to ThePumpkins.net: http://thepumpkins.n…er-song-contest


From The Cold and Lovely’s PledgeMusic:

My name is Meghan Toohey and my band is The Cold and Lovely. This project has been a long time coming for me and I’m so excited to share it with you! Years ago I fronted a band called The So and So’s in Boston, MA. I moved to LA six years ago and switched my focus to playing guitar for other artists (The Weepies, Lenka, Lucy Schwartz) and working as a music producer (Vivek Shraya, Garrison Starr, Margaret Cho). This record is a return to my own music, something I have been waiting for the right time to jump back into.

When my friend Nicole Fiorentino (The Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, Spinnerette) heard my demos, she expressed interest in working with me and encouraged me to finish those songs and write others. When The Smashing Pumpkins set up camp in Sedona, AZ to write their upcoming release, “Oceania”, Nicole asked me to come along. It was in the very magical land of Sedona that I had a sort of “rebirth” as a writer. In this tiny cabin in the middle of the woods, I wrote and recorded 16 songs all on my laptop, many of which are included on our debut album.

While volunteering at the Rock Camp for Girls in Los Angeles, Nicole and I connected with Patty Schemel (Hole, Imperial Teen, Hits So Hard Documentary). After listening to the demos, Patty offered up her monster drums skills and we got her into the studio. Her very distinct drumming cemented the sound of the band and Nicole and I knew the three of us would make up the core of The Cold and Lovely.

After years of crazy music industry experiences, we all simply love music and have created a record that comes from our hearts. We feel very passionately that it deserves to be heard, which is why we are asking for your help. Several of our friends have contributed by making special appearances on the record, including Brian Aubert of Silversun Pickups.

Not surprisingly, our charity of choice is the Rock Camp for Girls where we spent time mentoring girls/women and teaching them how to support one another, work together and empower themselves. It’s been an amazing and transformational experience for all of us. We hope you will choose to support this wonderful cause through our pledge campaign!

Thanks for visiting and we hope you pledge and help us put our record out in to the world. We hope you enjoy our music and the exclusives we are offering for our campaign!

Meghan, Nicole, and Patty

In other Patty Schemel news, her documentary ‘Hit So Hard’ hits theaters in April:

New York April 13, Los Angeles April 19, San Francisco April 27


In a new interview with Alex Marvez, it was revealed that Billy Corgan in the past negotiated with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (also known as Impact Wrestling) for a spot on their creative/writing team. Corgan also discussed why he decided to start his new pro wrestling promotion Resistance Pro, he said he continually found himself watching WWE Monday Night Raw and thinking, ‘I can do this better’ and ‘I would have done that.’

Billy also discussed The Rock vs. John Cena match that is set to main event WrestleMania 28: “There’s a lot of debate out there whether the animosity between John Cena and The Rock is legit or hype for (‘Wrestlemania 28’). I bet it’s probably a bit of both, but that’s exactly what I’m talking about. It’s more intrigue for what’s real and where jealousy may lay as oppose to the ‘fake’ part of the storyline. That’s what’s going to ultimately drive pay-per-view buys — the reality aspect. I don’t think at the end of the day seeing people as real people undermines your ability to be a successful promotion.”


The Quietus has up a new interview with Mark Lanegan, where he mentions there’s currently an anthology of his solo career in the works.  Below is an excerpt where Lanegan talks about the dynamics of the Trees:

1992’s Sweet Oblivion, the band’s sixth album, seemed to mark the point where you were suddenly given a fair degree of creative control over the Screaming Trees’ music.

ML: Yeah. At several different points during the lifetime of that band, leading up to and after that, I really didn’t want to do it anymore. After our first major label record [1991’s Uncle Anesthesia] I was probably at my most disenchanted, which is saying a lot. Sometimes I wasn’t into doing it, for whatever reasons. But the guys had gotten a new drummer and were encouraged by that, and also by the advance they’d gotten for the next record on a major. They asked me to do it and I said: “No, I’m done.” Then they asked me again. By that time I’d made a solo record [1990’s The Winding Sheet] and had written the songs, so I said: “OK I’ll do it, but I have to do it my way. I have to be 100% on all these songs. I don’t mean I have to be the one writing them, but I have to be OK with them all.” Because even at that point it’d always been four guys in a democratic situation, but it’d been an uneasy one. The Conner brothers fought all the time and me and Gary Lee, who was the guitar player and the main creative force, had a difficult relationship. It was very unhappy for a long time. Anyhow, after saying I wouldn’t do it, I ended up coming into my own, creatively, with Sweet Oblivion. [Laughing] So I was right!


This has some new U.S. dates on it that I didn’t post earlier, credit goes to Consequence of Sound:

Mark Lanegan Band 2012 Tour Dates:
02/25 – Oslo, NO @ Rockerfeller
02/26 – Helsinki, FI @ Circus
02/28 – Groningen, NL @ Oosterpoort
02/29 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
03/01 – Eindhoven, NL @ Effenaar
03/02 – Antwerp, BE @ Trix
03/04 – Bristol, UK @ Academy
03/05 – Manchester, UK @ Academy 2
03/07 – Dublin, IE @ Academy
03/08 – Belfast, NI @ Mandela Hall
03/09 – Glasgow, UK @ ABC
03/10 – Leeds, UK @ Cockpit
03/12 – Birmingham, UK @ Library
03/13 – London, UK @ Shepherds Bush Empire
03/14 – Cologne, DE @ Luxor
03/15 – Hamburg, DE @ Gruenspan
03/17 – Copenhagen, DK @ Amager Bio
03/18 – Berlin, DE @ Columbia Club
03/19 – Warsaw, PL @ Proxima
03/20 – Prague, CZ @ Lucerna Music Hall
03/22 – Vienna, AT @ Arena
03/23 – Zurich, CH @ M4 Festival (Schiffbau)
03/24 – Bologna, IT @ Estragon
03/25 – Milan, IT @ Alcatraz
03/27 – Bilbao, ES @ Kafé Antzokia
03/28 – Santiago, ES @ Sala Capitol
03/30 – Porto, PT @ Hard Club
03/31 – Lisbon, PT @ TMN ao Vivo
04/01 – Madrid, ES @ Sala Kapital
04/02 – Barcelona, ES @ Sala Bikini
05/10 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
05/11 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
05/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
05/13 – Boston, MA @ Paradise
05/15 – Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
05/16 – Detroit, MI @ Small’s
05/17 – Chicago, IL @ The Metro
05/20 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
05/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Gene Autry Museum – Heritage Courtyard
05/23 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
05/25 – George, WA @ Sasquatch! Music Festival
05/26 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom


Updated the story on Wednesday afternoon:

Yesterday in the comments section of my article about some possible late 90’s photos of Layne Staley surfacing, people were discussing another photo of Layne that surfaced about a year ago that also might be from the late 90’s/early 2000’s. I have now been able to confirm that this is the first ever photo of Layne to surface from his reclusive years (and at this point the final ever photo of Layne available to the public), and the earliest it could have been taken was September 1998.  The photos indicate that it was taken on a Halloween sometime between 1998 and 2001.

Here is the proof from Jrock73:

The guy with the red flannel is Jimmy Shoaf (drum tech for many Seattle bands in he early 90′s). I’m also inclined to think this is late 90′s because yes, of course Layne looks much more frail and pale. But also, Jimmy Shoaf looks older than he did in the early 90′s.

Here’s another clue: the shirt Layne is wearing is “Metal Gear Solid” (video game) although the shirt is printed upside down:

Many published stories talk about Layne’s love for video playing video games, especially during his reclusive years. I think this game was released with a special t shirt promo around Sept 1998. So this pic couldn’t be any earlier than 1998.

Not sure who the other guy (in Clockwork Orange costume) is..

Whatever the conclusion is in regards to the actual year/ date of this photo. One thing is certain, that is absolutely, positively Layne Staley.


Thanks to Mark Yarm:

Hey, all! The paperback version of Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge (Three Rivers Press) is out March 13. Click here to read some of the glowing press the book has received.

In the meantime, you can enter to win a copy at GoodReads (deadline is Feb. 29, 2012). But why not just go ahead and pre-order the paperback right now: Amazon,  Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who’s picked up ELOT in hardcover and/or helped to spread the word about the book. You guys rule. Make sure to follow this blog for lots of cool stuff in the coming weeks, including some juicy, previously unpublished outtakes. Also, follow me on Twitter and Facebook. And finally, PLEASE REBLOG!

Grungily yours,
Mark Yarm (not Arm)


Some previously unseen photos of the late Layne Staley of Alice In Chains have surfaced on eBay on an auction for Layne’s sunglasses, which sold for $1,800.  The auction features a few photos of Layne as proof that they were his sunglasses, and the photos, according to the seller autographs99, are from Layne’s final ever public musical performance with the Second Coming.  If this were indeed to be photos from Layne’s final ever performance (post summer 1996 AIC shows/Grammys 1997 appearance) these would be the first post February 1997 photos of Layne Staley to surface.  Below are two of the other newly surfaced photos.

Now let’s try and figure out when the photos may have actually been taken.

Layne played a handful of shows with the Second Coming in fall 1994 and then another show with them in fall 1995.

Above is a photo of Layne performing with the band in fall 1994, looking nothing at all like he does in the newly surfaced photos.  His hair here is vintage Layne, a bit shorter and slicked back.  Layne’s performance with the band in fall 1995 was during the Tripod era of Alice In Chains, when he also had shorter hair, so the photos are unlikely to be from any of those performances.

The only time Layne sported a look like this at all was in spring 1994, but the only reported performance he did during that time period was a brief performance with Tool, and he had a ski mask on while performing.  So it is a possibility that the photos are from this time period, but his hair looks longer (especially on the side) and his face is whiter in the newly surfaced photos.

Here is an enlarged version of one of the newly surfaced photos.

Sorry if I bored everybody with this article, I’m a die hard Layne fan and his reclusive years fascinate me.  I have always wanted to see a picture of him from that time era, and also hear some of the rumored home solo recordings he made during this time.

If any readers have any insight as to when these photos may have been taken, let me know!