Rockschool Introduces New Hot Rock Guitar Books

RockschoolPRESS RELEASE: Rockschool’s best selling Hot Rock Guitar series has just been expanded with the launch of the new Grades 4 and 5 books. The acclaimed Hot Rock range brings you eight classic tracks in a variety of music genres giving you a choice of musical styles to play. The new books include songs from some of the most respected, best selling and famous bands on the planet and are an excellent tool for the ‘Free Choice Pieces’ in graded exams. Each massive new book comes complete with edited exam versions of eight classic rock songs drawn from a range of musical styles. Read More …

NEWS: Grammy nominations announced

The nominations for the 2009 Grammys were just announced, and there are some surprising choices for the more rock-based stuff. Let’s check it out:

Best Hard Rock Performance:

DISTURBED – “Inside The Fire”
JUDAS PRIEST – “Visions”
THE MARS VOLTA – “Wax Simulacra”
MÖTLEY CRÜE – “Saints Of Los Angeles”
ROB ZOMBIE – “Lords Of Salem”

Hmm… Cool to see The Mars Volta nominated, but I’m not sure who’s gonna win out of this lot. Probably Disturbed. Are Motley Crue cool enough to actually win a Grammy in 2009?

Best Metal Performance:

DRAGONFORCE – “Heroes Of Our Time”
JUDAS PRIEST – “Nostradamus”
METALLICA – “My Apocalypse”
MINISTRY – “Under My Thumb”
SLIPKNOT – “Psychosocial”

Pfft. Everyone knows the best metal performance this year has been Testament on “More Than Meets The Eye.” Looks like someone’s desperately pushing for Judas Priest to do well this year. NEXT!

Best Rock Instrumental Performance:

DAVID GILMOUR – Castellorizon
METALLICA – Suicide & Redemption
RUSH – Hope (Live For The Art Of Peace)
ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA – Peaches En Regalia

YES! YES! Zappa FTW! I can imagine the Grammy going to Gilmour instead as a kind of lateral tribute to late Pink Floyd keyboard player Richard Wright, but if ZPZ win for Peaches I’m going to be so freaking happy. By the way, Steve Vai plays on this version, thereby continuing the Grammy tradition of nominating Steve in this category every year since 1832.

Best Rock Album:

COLDPLAY – Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
KID ROCK – Rock N Roll Jesus
KINGS OF LEON – Only By The Night
METALLICA – Death Magnetic
THE RACONTEURS – Consolers Of The Lonely

I think this one will go to Kings Of Leon, who seem unable to do any wrong at the moment. Death Magnetic was a lot of things to a lot of people, but it’s well and truly metal, and Grammy voters, a great deal of whom work behind the scenes, might use their vote to send a message to Metallica that the mix of Death Magnetic was not, y’know, commercially acceptable. Anyway, Extreme’s Saudades De Rock should have been nominated.

Album Of The Year
COLDPLAY – Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
LIL WAYNE – Tha Carter III
NE-YO – Year Of The Gentleman
RADIOHEAD – In Rainbows

I think/hope/wish Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will win this one. Raising Sand is a great album and it’d totally rule to see it take out Album of the Year, even though it’d probably encourage Plant further along his current musical path, and further away from a full-blown Led Zeppelin reunion tour.

More on the Grammys at the Chicago Sun Times.

NEWS: New releases – 01/12/2008

The first week of December is typically sparse on new releases but is a big one for reissues ahead of Christmas, so this week there are re-releases of the entire back catalogues of Bon JoviGuns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson.


Warrel Dane/Jeff Loomis: Praises to the War Machine/Zero Order Phase Century Media
Here’s a Christmas present for the headbanger in your life. Specially packaged gift set of solo albums by Nevermore’s Warrel Dane and Jeff Loomis (who is a very Jason Becker-inspired guitarist with his own signature Schecter 7-string). Check out that skull-and-Flying-V ribbon on the packaging. There are various other 2-CD sets in this Century Media series, including Strapping Young Lad’s City and Heavy As A Real Heavy thing

Kings of Leon: Only by the Night (2008 UK Tour Edition) (Incl. Bonus DVD) Sony BMG
One of the surprise hits of the year (at least to me: when I saw them live there was only a small crowd, then five years later, BOOM!), this special UK-only two disc (CD + PAL/Region 0 DVD) tour edition of their 2008 album includes a bonus five track live DVD that features Use Somebody, On Call, Sex On Fire, Crawl and Manhattan. The version also includes the original UK only artwork.

Best Of Chess: Original Versions Of Songs in Cadillac Records Chess
The 2008 movie ‘Cadillac Records’ is the story of Chess Records. The soundtrack album includes covers of songs by Etta James (played by Beyonce Knowles), Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Little Walter (Columbus Short), Willie Dixon (Cedric the Entertainer), Chuck Berry (Mos Def), Howlin’ Wolf (Eamonn Walker) and more. This album, though, features the original classics.


Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same [Blu-ray] Warner Home Video
Blu-Ray version of this classic live concert film, complete with freaky fantasy sequences, Jimmy Page’s heroic double-neck Gibson-wrangling, and the understated genius of John Paul Jones. The playing and cinematography are notoriously flawed, and Zep sure could go on and on in concert, but this is an important concert film if only because it’s the only full show the mighty Zep ever released.

Kiss: Kissology Volume II 1978-1991 VH1 Classics
This 6 disc set covers KISS’s simultaneous solo albums, several full concerts including a 1980 show from Sydney, Australia, a 1990 show from Detroit, Michigan, the Vinnie Vincent years, the abandonment of make-up, and, oh my god, the made-for-TV movie ‘Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park’ in its entirety. Check out the other volumes in the series too.

Metal – A Headbanger’s Journey Warner Home Video
This brilliant documentary by a metal-loving anthropologist will be of immense interest to metal fans but is also entertaining enough for non-headbangers, as it traces the development of metal as a parallel to social, geographic and economic factors.