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METALLICA To Release Entire Discography As A Digital Box Set On iTunes March 31

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 13, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Multi-platinum hard-rock band Metallica will release The Complete Metallica — a digital "box set" containing their entire official discography, exclusively via iTunes beginning March 31st. The package will be available from all other digital service providers beginning April 28th.

The Complete Metallica is a great way for new and long-term fans to purchase the band's entire official catalog—163 tracks—for a great value. The box set includes all of Metallica's studio albums — 1983's Kill ‘Em All, 1984's Ride the Lightning, 1986's Master of Puppets, 1988's ...And Justice for All, and the five consecutive No. 1 albums 1991's Metallica (the "Black Album"), 1996's Load, 1997's ReLoad, 2003's St. Anger, and the current blockbuster and Grammy Award-winning Death Magnetic. It also includes their double album of covers, 1998's Garage Inc., the 1999 live album S&M, the 2004 EP Some Kind of Monster (from the documentary of the same title), the 2007 EP Live From Live Earth, and "I Disappear" from the 2000 Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack. In addition, buyers will receive eight bonus live tracks: "The Four Horseman," "Whiplash," "For Whom The Bell Tolls," "Creeping Death," "Battery," "The Thing That Should Not Be," "One," and "...And Justice For All."

The Complete Metallica will be released during a high-profile period for the hard-rock heroes. On March 29th, Activision will release the highly anticipated video game Guitar Hero Metallica, featuring 28 songs from the band's nearly 30-year career. In addition, Metallica will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in a ceremony to take place in Cleveland on April 4th.

Metallica have just completed their first proper tour of the United States and Canada in four years in support of the platinum-selling Death Magnetic, which debuted at #1 in September 2008 and won two Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance (for the track "My Apocalypse") and Best Recording Package. They are currently on an extensive European tour. For the latest info, visit the band's web site.


Godin Guitars Partners With N-Tune Onboard Tuners

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 12, 2009 at 10:10 AM

Montreal based Godin Guitars was very pleased to have recently unveiled a roomful of new models at this past Winter NAMM in Anaheim, including the Godin Performance Series which are now available with the optional N-Tune Onboard Chromatic Tuner. 

"Every once in a while a product comes along and you just 'get it'", says Godin Sales Manager, Mario Biferali. "N-Tune is clever in design, simple to use, and works. It provides guitar players with a no-hassle solution to tuning. Our guitars, being made in North America, offer tons of value, and the N-Tune tuner adds to that—and customers can easily see that value and appreciate it. Godin has always been open to new ideas and concepts, so it was an easy decision for us to partner with N-Tune."

"When we first started our company, there were a handful of guitar manufacturers we wrote on a white board that we all agreed would be ideal partners to help showcase N-Tune's quality and form factor," explained N-Tune president Sam Sudore. "Godin was one of these companies. We are very proud of our new partnership.  We know with Robert Godin's vision and zeal for excellence, that our partnership will be a very prosperous one."

For more info, visit Godin and N-Tune online.

AVENGED SEVENFOLD Announce Additional Spring Tour Dates

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 12, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Avenged Sevenfold have extended their current tour, adding an additional series of spring North American tour dates to the second leg, which began on January 28th and features co-headliners Buckcherry as well as Papa Roach. The tour is a great opportunity to see the most exciting hard rock for $40 or less. Tickets go on sale through Ticketmaster and other outlets in February.

On a related note: Avenged Sevenfold recently captured their spectacular stage show in an acclaimed DVD/CD package called Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough, which features the band's jubilant hometown show at the Long Beach Arena headlining Taste of Chaos in April 2008, as well as previously unreleased b-sides and other never-before-heard material.

Avenged Sevenfold's upcoming tour dates are as follows:

3/20             Utica, NY, Utica Auditorium
3/23             Columbus, GA, Columbus Civic Center
3/26             Johnson City, TN, Freedom Hall
3/27             Lexington, KY, Rupp Arena
3/30             Nashville, TN, Sommet Center 

MASTODON Offers Pre-orders Of Limited Edition Deluxe Package of CRACK THE SKYE Starting Today!

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 12, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Heavy rock iconoclasts Mastodon will release their new album, Crack the Skye on March 24, 2009. However, hardcore fans will have the opportunity to pre-order a very special Deluxe Limited "Tunnel Book" Edition of Crack the Skye at the band's website starting Thursday, February 12.

This super-deluxe version of Crack the Skye will come housed in a hard box case featuring a third dimension worm hole design that will contain exclusive and additional album art by long-time Mastodon artist, Paul Romano. The special package will also include a DVD containing The Making of Crack the Skye with photo gallery, track-by-track band commentary, and more by director Jimmy Hubbard.

All pre-orders will also receive a 14" x 14" exclusively designed lithograph unavailable anywhere else. Additionally, those who are first to pre-order will receive the lithograph autographed by the band members themselves. These extraordinary packages will be extremely limited and once they are gone, no further editions will be created so don't delay.    Cost of the Deluxe CD + DVD Limited "Tunnel Book" Edition with exclusive litho will be $39.99. This may be the most beautiful and innovative album packaging you'll see for years to come.

Shortly thereafter, Mastodon will unveil a new online destination,, designed to bring fans into direct focus on the upcoming album. The site, which will launch the week of February 16, will be a flash-based, interactive experience threading fans through an extremely visual, user-controlled cyber-journey into the inner sanctum of Crack the Skye. Content will be thematically based on the album's concepts, artwork, images, lyrics, videos, and its unique packaging through engaging visuals and music from Crack the Skye intended to accompany and enhance the experience of listening to the album in its entirety.

As previously announced, Mastodon will tour Europe with Metallica this summer. In addition, they have been invited to perform as part of the Sonisphere Touring Rock Festival this summer in Europe and the UK with Metallica, Linkin Park, Slipknot, Lamb of God, and others. Go to     the tour's official site for details.  

AFM Urges Passing of Performance Rights Act!

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 12, 2009 at 9:25 AM

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is urging Congress to pass the Performance Rights Act, which will provide a full performance right for sound recordings broadcast over traditional AM/FM Radio.

"The overwhelming majority of performers are not rich, but hardworking men and women trying to make a living," said AFM President Tom Lee. "A source of income is being denied to these men and women by over-the-air AM/FM radio, which gets its advertising revenue and listeners from the popularity of their recorded music. The Performance Rights Act would give performers a fair recognition of the value their work brings to radio. A royalty payment of just a fraction of a cent per song would have a big impact on working musicians."

Currently, musicians are not paid when their music is broadcast over traditional AM/FM radio.  The Performance Rights Act seeks to rectify this longstanding inequity in copyright law.

“On behalf of AFM and myself, I'd like to personally thank Senator Patrick Leahy and Rep. John Conyers Jr. for introducing the Performance Rights Act bill and recognizing how important it is to ensure that performers get paid for their hard work," said Lee. "I now urge Congress to pass this measure as quickly as possible."

AFM would also like to thank the following co-sponsors: Representatives Darrell Issa, Howard Berman, Marsha Blackburn, Jane Harman, John Shadegg, and Paul Hodes; and Senators Orrin Hatch, Dianne Feinstein, Bob Corker, and Barbara Boxer.

BRENT MASON Discusses His First Career Grammy Win

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 11, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Brent MasonFor over 20 years, guitarist Brent Mason has made his bones as a first-call Nashville session ace, appearing on top-selling albums by artists like Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Waylon Jennings, Martina McBride, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, and Shania Twain, as well as doing commercial work for Budweiser, Miller Brewing Co., Sears, and Ford, among others. This past Sunday night, Mason finally received the ultimate recognition for his fine pickin' when he won a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance, for his part on Brad Paisley's "Cluster Pluck."

Despite winning fourteen Academy of Country Music Guitarist of the Year Awards and two CMA Musician of the Year Awards, plus countless "Best Country Guitarist" polls in various guitar magazines through the years, this was Mason's first Grammy. "It's nice to now be announced as 'Grammy Award winner,' along with the other accolades" says the guitarist.

"Cluster Pluck" (insert puerile giggles here), which is on Paisley's latest album, Play (Arista), features a veritable extravaganza of chicken pickin' Tele players including James Burton, Albert Lee, Vince Gill, John Jorgenson, Redd Volkaert, and Steve Wariner, in addition to Paisley and Mason.

"I was very honored to be asked by Brad to play with some of the best country pickers on the planet," says Mason. "I actually was the first guy to put my part on, other than Brad's. I went to Castle studio here in Nashville and overdubbed on it. Brad was there and told me his concept of where everyone would play. I thought it was very cleverly put together."

Not leaving much time to celebrate, Mason was back home in Nashville by Monday, ready to go back into the studio. He recently finished working on a project by Thea Tippin, wife of country singer Aaron Tippin. He also reports that he did quite a bit of playing on Reba McEntire's new album. "She wanted to do some cuts that would enable her to show off her road band," Mason says slyly, "so the guitar player will have to study all my licks—I'll apologize to him now!"

For more on Brent, visit his web site and his MySpace page!

Tune Your Guitar While On The Go

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 11, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Riffware Guitar TunerKeep your guitar tuned on the road using Riffware's Guitar Tuner, a cellphone application now available on most of Verizon's media-capable phones. The application can be downloaded at for $3.49 per month or $20.49 for unlimited use.

The application features a live tuner, metronome, and pitch pipe. Guitar Tuner features an adjustable tuning basis; rather than fix the application to only tune at the traditional A4 440Hz tuning, the app allows users to choose different A4 frequencies, so you can tune to different temperaments or other instruments altogether.

The full list of compatible phones can be found here.

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