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Mastered and ready for June release, Black Country Communion's 2nd album, BCC2, is longer, harder and darker, according to singer and bassist Glenn Hughes.

BCC 2 70 mins. Long. A Rock 'n Roll Rollercoaster... organic... darker than "1"... my darkest lyrics since Addiction," said Hughes via Facebook. (Addiction was Hughes 5th solo album. Released in 1996 it is the album that is regarded as his heaviest, both musically and lyrically. Many of the songs focus on Hughes drug addiction that he experienced through the 1980s).

On Thursday, Hughes mentioned he had a mastered CD in hand. This comes after commenting that "BCC has given me a new belief in Rock 'n Roll'" And yesterday (Friday Feb 25), Hughes comments that:

Joe Rocks [sic] harder than ever... and I get to sing some desperate blues... this album has woken the Rock

Hughes is not the only one excited about BCC 2. Kevin Shirley is reported to have said it's the "best album of his career." The Caveman, Kevin Shirley, has himself said on Facebook, "...it's sounding awesome. Anyone ready for some big Bonham drums."

Desperate blues, Joe Bonamassa rocking hard and big Bonham drums. Sounds like BCC2 is an album to look forward too.

Leaving behind recording, Black Country Communion announced their first two North American shows this week. BCC will perform two shows in California before beginning their European tour in June, appearing in San Diego June 9th and Anaheim June 10th. More shows will be announced.

From: Ramble On
Hot off an on-stage part in the Royal Operas, Anna Nicole: The Party Always Ends, Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones is set to compose an opera himself.

Jones has been involved in work to compose an opera based on the Isabel Allende short story, The Judge's Wife.

The Judge's Wife will feature a libretto by Amanda Holden. Jones' friend Gerald Thomas will direct the opera, which is set for a fall 2013 production. Stuart Stratford will conduct.

Thomas' current play, Throats, features a piano composition by Jones. Throats is playing at the Pleasence Theatre, London until March 27th. Anna Nicole, The Party Never Ends has two more performances, Tuesday March 1 and Friday March 4th at the Royal Opera House.

In December, Jones and Thomas met at the Hoxton Hotel in London to discuss the opera project. They recorded the meeting, and released a YouTube video of it.



From: Ramble On
Original Led Zeppelin Artwork to be Auctioned
Bonham's in New York will be auctioning off a bunch of original rock artwork on March 10. As part of The Art of Rock & Roll event, the auction house will be featuring items from bands including Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, The Police, The Clash, Richard Hell, The Ramones, Ozzy Osbourne, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane, Journey, U2, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd and the Sex Pistols.

The pieces include paintings, drawings, sketches and studies, printing plates and poster sets, according to ArtDaily.org. The work of famous rock artists, including Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Jamie Reid, Alton Kelly and Randy Tuten, will be included in the auctions.

The items range from psychedelic concert posters from the '60s to original album artwork, such as the photographic piece for Osbourne's album, No Rest for the Wicked. The piece, created by Bob Carlos Clarke, is estimated to fetch between $4-$6,000.

A rare proof of Led Zeppelin's 2003 DVD, comprising a photographic Chromalin proof of the outer box cover has been signed by the artist, Andie Airfix, and framed. It's pre-sale estimate is $400-$600.

From: Gibson Lifestyle
LIVE FROM THE ARTISTS DEN SEASON THREE PREMIERES ON PUBLIC TELEVISION - BEGINNING APRIL 1, 2011

Artists Den | Robert Plant "House of Cards" from Artists Den on Vimeo.

New York, NY (February 22, 2011)— The Emmy-nominated show connects music fans with an incredible, curated line up of icons and rising stars performing in unique and intimate venues. The exciting new season features Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Ray LaMontagne, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Squeeze, Daniel Merriweather, A Fine Frenzy, and Lisa Hannigan.

Before his Artists Den taping at Nashville's War Memorial Theater, rock icon Robert Plant commented, "To work your craft, you've got to be close in with your musicians, so I enjoy intimacy now. I can't say that I'd be in a hurry to go to Madison Square Garden again."

"For a third season, we are pleased to present Live from the Artists Den on public television," said Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of WNET. "This year's lineup offers the depth and variety of talent that our viewers expect. This series continues to showcase our mission to provide the best arts programming to the public in creative, innovative ways."

Live from the Artists Den is shot in high-definition. Visit www.artistsden.com for a complete TV schedule:

Beginning April 1 – Elvis Costello, backed by his band, The Sugarcanes, at The New York Public Library's world-famous Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

April 8 – Grammy winner Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs at the Don Strange Ranch in Texas Hill Country

April 15 – Vermont rockers Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, filmed at sunset in New York's Bryant Park

April 22 – Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robert Plant and the Band of Joy at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville

April 29 – A reunion concert by UK pop legends Squeeze, filmed on a different summer day in New York's Bryant Park

May 6 – A special compilation episode featuring three standout emerging artists in different settings, kicking off at Sotheby's auction house in New York with R&B singersongwriter Daniel Merriweather, followed by alternative pop songstress A Fine Frenzy and folk singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan (best known for her work with Damien Rice).

For WNET New York Public Media, Executives in Charge: Josh Nathan and Ranfi Rivera. For the Artists Den: Executive Producer Mark Lieberman.

About the Artists Den

Since its launch on U.S. public television in 2009, "Live from the Artists Den" – created by Mark Lieberman – has become a three-time NY Emmy-nominated series and has expanded with international distribution by Shine International to include A&E in Europe, Turner Broadcasting in Latin America and multiple online outlets such as Hulu, Vevo and Pandora. Past artists include Ringo Starr, Alanis Morissette, The Black Crowes, Tori Amos, Ben Harper, Regina Spektor, Corinne Bailey Rae and David Gray.

Interviews at each show are conducted by noted music critic Alan Light, the Artists Den's Director of Programming. Concert events are invitation-only and free. Artists Den Records offers live concert CDs and DVDs from its shows, such as the latest Limited Edition DVD release, "David Gray: Live from the Artists Den," recorded at New York's Broad Street Ballroom. For more information, visit ArtistsDen.com

From: Robert Plant's Official Website
If you hadn't already noticed, this year is going to be jam-packed with Flaming Lips releases. Already this year, the band let loose their wild iPhone jam, Two Blobs Fucking, with box sets and collaborations with Neon Indian and Ariel Pink on the way. Things have just got 100 percent weirder though, with the band's latest announcement: they're releasing new music via a life-size human skull made out of gummy candy.

In an interview with Pitchfork, Lips leader Wayne Coyne revealed that the band are gearing up for the confectionery collection, which will be released sometime in April.

"It's a life-sized human skull completely made out of edible gummy bear stuff," Coyne said. "It also has a gummy brain inside of it and, inside of that, there's a USB flash drive that has three new songs on it. It's pretty outrageous."

Coyne went on to explain how they even came up with the oddball idea. "We found this guy in Raleigh, North Carolina, who makes all these gummy bear things -- even adult toys. I don't know if he's making giant dicks and pussies out of gummy bears, but we called him and said, 'Hey, would you want to make a life-size human skull with a brain in it?' And he's like, 'Who is this?' We said, 'the Flaming Lips.' He's like, 'I love you guys!' So sometimes you're lucky and you'll run into someone with enthusiasm."

If that weren't enough, Coyne also added that future releases may include "a salt box" and "a little spinning stroboscope thing."

As for upcoming collaborations, on top of the already reported Neon Indian, Ariel Pink and Deerhoof jams, the band have apparently been in talks with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo. They have also tried to court legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. That doesn't mean they will be working in the studio together though. Ah, the wonders of technology.

"I know he likes our music," Coyne said of Page. "It doesn't always mean we get to sit in the same room as someone, and lot of times you're just sending tracks back and forth, but I'm hoping he's open to it. We always have a lot of stuff that someone like Jimmy Page could play over and we have a whole year to try and work this out."

From: Exclaim
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Rick's Cool Collectibles is a memorabilia mail order company serving collectors worldwide! Since 1979 the name Rick Barrett has been associated with quality collectibles including rare concert & event tickets and stubs, Led Zeppelin memorabilia, select music & sports memorabilia, stamps, coins, old postcards, and more!

This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

October xx, 1968 - Led Zeppelin is recorded
October 19, 1968 - Final performance as the New Yardbirds
October 31, 1969 - Led Zeppelin II is released in the US
October 17, 1969 - Bonham is thrilled to play Carnegie Hall where Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa have performed
October 23, 1970 - Led Zeppelin III is released in the US
October xx, 1970 - The press lash out at the band over the Led Zeppelin III acoustic content
October xx, 1971 - Page and Plant venture around Thailand and India after the Japan tour
October 18, 1972 - Zeppelin rehearse at the Rainbow Theater for a UK tour
October xx, 1973 - Each member performs an individual film sequence for their concept film
October 31, 1974 - Swan Song hosts a party for the launch of its UK division
October xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin decide not to tour and concentrate on recording new material
October 20, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same premieres at New York’s Cinema One
October xx, 1977 - Jimmy starts assembling a Led Zeppelin live album from recordings as far back as 1969
October xx, 1978 - Jones and Bonham record with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios
October xx, 1978 - Rehearsals for In Through The Out Door in London
October xx, 1979 - All nine Led Zeppelin albums enter the Billboards Top 200 -- no other band has ever achieved this
October 10, 1980 - A private funeral is held for John Bonham at Rushock church in Worcestershire
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