Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Live @Spotify Landmark Session by @TearsforFears to Celebrate #SongsfromTheBigChair

To help celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Songs From The Big Chair (Super Deluxe Edition) [4CD + 2DVD], Spotify tapped Tears For Fears to record the first-ever LIVE Spotify Landmark Session! The Spotify Landmark series documents music's greatest moments in the words of those who made them. Tears For Fears was invited down to the famed LA studio, The Village to perform some of their biggest hits and tell the stories behind them in front of a very intimate audience.

“Spotify Landmark: Tears For Fears’ ‘Songs From The Big Chair’” is the first Landmark to feature full-song performances in both audio and video, and it’s a great way to rediscover such hits as “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” “Head Over Heels,” “Shout” and many more 30th Anniversary Edition of Songs from the Big Chair– even a surprise cover.

The 30th Anniversary Edition of Songs from the Big Chair, is now available via UMe in five formats, including a six-disc deluxe edition box set featuring previously unreleased material and a 5.1 surround sound mix by Steven Wilson.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Country Superstar @GarthBrooks Issues Statement on #FergusonDecision

Garth Brooks canceled his talk show appearances due to the "civil unrest" across the United States following the Ferguson decision, that vindicated Police Officer Darren Wilson.

"We landed in NY last night to the news of the civil unrest that was going on in our nation," Brooks said in a statement. The singer felt it was wrong to "spend the day promoting [his] stuff like nothing was wrong."

"[It] seemed distasteful to me," the "People Loving People" singer continued.

The 52-year-old said he has plans to reschedule his appearances, networks permitting. "Love one another," he concluded.

Brooks released his latest studio album, Man Against Machine, Nov. 11.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Country superstar @KennyChesney will receive the @TheACCAwards Groundbreaker Award

Country superstar Kenny Chesney will receive the AMERICAN COUNTRY COUNTDOWN AWARDS’ Groundbreaker Award.  The award is given to an artist who has consistently pushed the boundaries of what is possible within the definitions of today’s country music. It recognizes trailblazing in the realm of concerts, musical accomplishment, creative innovation and connecting with fans across the United States. Chesney, the only country artist included in Billboard’s Top 10 Touring Acts of the Last 25 Years, will accept the honor at Nashville’s Music City Center on Monday, Dec. 15 during the live telecast (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.

“The Groundbreaker Award recognizes how Kenny has revolutionized the live music experience for Country fans,” said Executive Producer Mark Bracco. “He is a true groundbreaker, moving country music into new directions with his pioneering, record-breaking tours that have propelled him into one of the very biggest live performing artists in America. Kenny is the perfect recipient for our very first show.”

“Given what the ‘American Country Countdown’ radio show has meant to the music over the past 40 years, it’s humbling to be singled out like this,” Chesney responded. “For me, this music has always been about the fans – how we see them, what we give them and the way country moves them. It often starts with ‘American Country Countdown,’ watching that climb, getting invested. It did for me, so I’m not surprised to see them wanting to award the artists in a way that recognizes innovation and achievement.”

Chesney has sold more than a million tickets to each of his 11 headlining tours since 2002. An eight-time Entertainer of the Year, with four consecutive Academy of Country Music Awards and four Country Music Association Awards, Chesney has also won the American Music Award’s Favorite Artist Award, the ACM’s Top Male Vocalist and Single of the Year (“The Good Stuff”) and the CMA’s Album of the Year (the sextuple-platinum “When The Sun Goes Down”), Video and Vocal Event Awards. With over 30 million albums sold – 7 debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums and 13 topping Billboard’s Country Album chart, his “The Big Revival” has spawned the multiple week No. 1 single, “American Kids,” certified platinum, and the Top 10-and-climbing “Til It’s Gone.”

Friday, November 14, 2014

Details on the Conviction of L. Brian Whitfield, Former Managing Partner of Sommet Group, in $15 Million Fraud Scheme

L. Brian Whitfield, 49, formerly of Franklin, Tennessee, was convicted by a federal jury, after an eight-day trial, of 14 fraud-related counts, announced David Rivera, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. The jury found Whitfield guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud, theft from an employee benefit program, filing a false tax return, and money laundering.

“Having your corporate name in lights will not insulate its principles from federal prosecution if, through fraud, you steal the health insurance, retirement, and tax contributions of companies and citizens of the Middle District,” stated United States Attorney David Rivera. “This type of corporate fraud will not be viewed as the cost of doing business by the United States Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners.”

The evidence during the trial before U.S. District Court Judge Todd J. Campbell established that Whitfield controlled the finances and funds of the Sommet Group LLC, a payroll processing company that operated in Franklin, Tennessee. From 2008 until 2010, Whitfield diverted millions of dollars of client funds that had been earmarked to fund client employee retirement accounts, to pay health claims, and to pay taxes. Instead of using these client funds in the manner in which Sommet had contracted, Whitfield diverted millions of dollars to prop up affiliated companies that he controlled and spent millions of dollars to acquire the naming rights of Nashville’s professional hockey arena, which came to be known as the Sommet Center. Whitfield also diverted client money to pay for personal expenses, including purchasing a $430,000 houseboat, a $99,000 ski boat, luxury clothing and the construction of a $150,000 pool in his backyard.

As a result of Whitfield’s fraud, retirement funds were not fully deposited into the accounts of employees whose paychecks were processed by Sommet, medical and prescription drug claims by employees were not fully paid, and taxes owed by clients to federal, state, and local governments went unpaid.

The evidence at trial also proved that Whitfield vastly underreported wages and taxes on Sommet’s quarterly employer tax returns that he personally prepared and filed. Across six quarters from 2008—2010, Sommet paid more than $83 million in wages to its employees and the employees of its clients, but Whitfield reported less than $4 million in wages to the IRS, resulting in an underpayment of more than $20 million in taxes.

“Having your corporate name in lights will not insulate you from federal prosecution if, through fraud, you steal the health insurance, 401 K retirement, and tax contributions of companies and citizens of the Middle District,” stated United States Attorney David Rivera. “This type of corporate fraud will not be viewed as the cost of doing business by the United States Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners.”

Whitfield will be sentenced by Judge Campbell on January 26, 2015. Whitfield faces up to 20 years in prison on each of three counts of wire fraud, up to 10 years in prison on each of four counts of money laundering, up to five years in prison on a conspiracy count and on each of three counts of theft from an employee benefit plan, and up to three years in prison on each of four counts of filing a false federal tax return. He also faces fines and will be ordered to pay restitution to his victims. In addition, the jury specified that Whitfield should forfeit $1.8M of proceeds from his offenses.

In July 2013, D. Edwin Todd, a part owner of Sommet, and Marsha Whitfield, Sommet’s Vice President of Payroll, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for their roles in the scheme orchestrated by Brian Whitfield. Both Todd and Marsha Whitfield are awaiting sentencing.

This case was investigated by agents with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William F. Abely, Kathryn Ward Booth, Sandra G. Moses, and Stephanie N. Toussaint.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Concert Tour Dates for @TaylorSwift13

Bossier City, LA - May 20
Baton Rouge, LA - May 22
Detroit, MI - May 30
Louisville, KY - June 2
Cleveland, OH - June 3
Pittsburgh, PA - June 6
Charlotte, NC - June 8
Raleigh, NC - June 9
Philadelphia, PA - June 13
Ottawa, ON - July 6
Montreal, QB - July 7
East Rutherford, NJ - July 11
Washington, DC - July 13
Chicago, IL - July 18
Foxborough, MA - July 24-25
Vancouver, BC - Aug 1
Edmonton, AB - Aug 4-5
Seattle, WA - Aug 8
Santa Clara, CA - Aug 15
Glendale, AZ - Aug 17-18
Los Angeles, CA - Aug 25-26
San Diego, CA - Aug 29
Salt Lake City, UT - Sep 4
Denver, CO - Sep 5-6
Fargo, ND - Sep 9
St. Paul, MN - Sep 11-12
Indianapolis, IN - Sep 16
Columbus, OH - Sep 17-18
Kansas City, MO - Sep 21-22
Nashville, TN - Sep 25-26
Toronto, ON - Oct 2-3
Des Moines, IA - Oct 8
Omaha, NE - Oct 9-10
St. Louis, MO - Oct 13-14
Dallas, TX - Oct 17
Lexington, KY - Oct 20
Greensboro, NC - Oct 21
Atlanta, GA - Oct 24
Miami, FL - Oct 27
Tampa, FL - Oct 31

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day Presidential Proclamation #ThankYouVeterans

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Since the birth of our Nation, American patriots have stepped forward to serve our country and defend our way of life.  With honor and distinction, generations of servicemen and women have taken up arms to win our independence, preserve our Union, and secure our freedom.  From the Minutemen to our Post-9/11 Generation, these heroes have put their lives on the line so that we might live in a world that is safer, freer, and more just, and we owe them a profound debt of gratitude.  On Veterans Day, we salute the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who have rendered the highest service any American can offer, and we rededicate ourselves to fulfilling our commitment to all those who serve in our name.

Today, we are reminded of our solemn obligation:  to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.  As we continue our responsible drawdown from the war in Afghanistan and more members of our military return to civilian life, we must support their transition and make sure they have access to the resources and benefits they have earned.  My Administration is working to end the tragedy of homelessness among our veterans, and we are committed to providing them with quality health care, access to education, and the tools they need to find a rewarding career.  As a Nation, we must ensure that every veteran has the chance to share in the opportunity he or she has helped to defend.  Those who have served in our Armed Forces have the experience, skills, and dedication necessary to achieve success as members of our civilian workforce, and it is critical that we harness their talent.

Across our country, veterans who fought to protect our democracy around the globe are strengthening it here at home. Once leaders in the Armed Forces, they are now pioneers of industry and pillars of their communities. Their character reflects our enduring American spirit, and in their example, we find inspiration and strength.

This day, and every day, we pay tribute to America's sons and daughters who have answered our country's call.  We recognize the sacrifice of those who have been part of the finest fighting force the world has ever known and the loved ones who stand beside them.  We will never forget the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice and all those who have not yet returned home.  As a grateful Nation, let us show our appreciation by honoring all our veterans and working to ensure the promise of America is within the reach of all who have protected it.

With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation's veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2014, as Veterans Day.  I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers.  I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.

 BARACK OBAMA

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Schedule for @Vol_Football Home Game vs @UKFootball Released

Tennessee's home game vs. Kentucky on Saturday, Nov. 15, will kickoff at 4 p.m., and air on SEC Network.

Tennessee has 76 wins all-time against the Wildcats, including wins in 28 of the last 29 games in the series.

The last time Tennessee played Kentucky in Knoxville that it was not the final home game of the season was in 1971. Kentucky or Vanderbilt have closed the home slate every year since the Volunteers hosted Penn State on Dec. 4, 1971.

The Vols have 10 all-time wins on Nov. 15, including three straight. The Vols will look to win on the date for the first time since 2003 when Kentucky comes to town.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

"Kurt Cobain: The Last Session" captures the iconic artist at a critical moment in his life and career in new, photographic, cultural time capsule book

From acclaimed photographer Jesse Frohman, Kurt Cobain: The Last Session (Thames & Hudson) is an experiential book that combines over a hundred of Frohman's photographs-many of which helped define Cobain's legacy-with revealing commentary and insights from two of pop culture's finest literary iconoclasts, writers Jon Savage (England's Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock) and Glenn O'Brien (author of books on style and contributor to monographs on Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and other artists).

In July 1993, Nirvana was the biggest band in the country, and Kurt Cobain was subject to an unprecedented, unasked-for level of fame and public scrutiny. In New York City to play the Roseland Ballroom and promote their new album In Utero, Nirvana consented to be photographed by Jesse Frohman - and Cobain gave a candid interview to punk historian Jon Savage-for an article in the London Observer. No one involved could know that less than a year later, Cobain would be dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

It was one of the last photo shoots Nirvana ever did, and among the last interviews Cobain ever gave. Here, twenty years after his death, they're republished in full-including previously unpublished material-and bear witness to a pivotal moment in the history of rock'n'roll. New commentary from Frohman and Savage reveals what was going on behind the scenes that day, and an essay by pop culture maven Glenn O'Brien explores what Cobain and Nirvana meant to us then, and what their legacy will be.

Frohman's insightful portraiture transcends the nature of celebrity photography.  The pictures are as humanizing as they are glorifying. Cobain appears as a goofily provocative rebel, with his vintage air force cap, Jackie O. sunglasses, and leopard jacket, while revealing a more depressing side of the life of a great artist dependent on drugs.

Within the pages of Kurt Cobain: The Last Session, we see Cobain as he was just months before his death, by turns feral and refined, alone and goofing around with his band-mates, engrossed in his music, and always ambivalent about the spotlight. Savage's interview reveals an optimistic side of Cobain seemingly at odds with his public image, and particularly poignant as we look back on his life.

Monday, November 3, 2014

3-Time Grammy Winner @KebMomusic To Release BLUESAmericana On Vinyl

Three-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist and contemporary blues artist, Keb’ Mo’ will release his 12th studio album, Bluesamericana, on vinyl Nov. 11, 2014. The vinyl package will include a poster and an album download card with an exclusive instrumental bonus track that was not included on the CD.

Fans can pre-order BLUESAmericana vinyl special packages now exclusively through Keb’ Mo’s official website, www.KebMo.com.  The BLUESAmericana bundles are offered in three options, including a very limited amount of autographed and numbered LP’s.  All bundles include a complimentary Keb’ Mo’ Spirit of the Holidays EP.  The pre-order packages range from $20-$35.

Since it’s initial release through Kind of Blue Music on April 22, the BLUESAmericana album has remained in the Top 5 on the Soundscan Blues Album chart for 5 months, with 6 weeks in the #1 position. It will be one of the top-selling blues albums of 2014.

Recorded in Nashville, and produced by Keb’ Mo’ and Casey Wasner, the album features ten tracks, nine of which were co-written by Keb’, and has been described as having a mix of personal, raw honesty blended with folksy, upbeat roots rock-type material that is distinctly Keb’ Mo’. "I only make albums when I'm inspired to, and these 10 songs come from a very honest place," says Keb'.

Earlier this year, Rolling Stone reviewed the album and called it, “Tasteful, well-played and sung, and conspicuously respectful of tradition—mostly blues tradition—this new release from the former Kevin Moore is his 12th since abbreviating his name to Keb’ Mo’ 20 years ago and it, like the man himself, is sturdy and reliable. The instrumentation is precise, well arranged and deliberately subtle, and many of the songs echo a description he himself gives one song: ’where the blues meets the church.’ Inevitably this will turn up in this year’s Grammy nominations—Keb’ Mo’ generally does—and that will not be a bad thing. While he has made a living being all over the place—singing, acting, writing, playing—his music has never lost its core, authentic focus. Which is why ‘more of the same’ isn’t always a bad thing.“

BLUESAmericana Vinyl Tracklist:
The Worst Is Yet To Come (Kevin Moore, Pete Sallis, Heather Donavon)
Somebody Hurt You (Kevin Moore, John Lewis Parker)
Do It Right (Kevin Moore, Jim Weatherly)
I’m Gonna Be Your Man (Kevin Moore, John Lewis Parker)
For Better Or Worse (Kevin Moore, Victoria Shaw, Heather Donavon)
Move (Kevin Moore, Tom Hambridge)
That's Alright (Jimmy Rogers)
The Old Me Better (Kevin Moore, John Lewis Parker)
More For Your Money (Kevin Moore, Gary Nicholson)
 So Long Goodbye (Kevin Moore, Rebecca Corriera)

Over the past two decades, Keb’ has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. B.B. King, Buddy Guy, the Dixie Chicks, Joe Cocker, Robert Palmer and Tom Jones have all recorded his songs. His guitar playing has inspired leading instrument makers Gibson Brands to issue the Keb’ Mo’ Signature Bluesmaster acoustic guitar and Martin Guitars to issue the HD-28KM Keb’ Mo’ Limited Edition Signature model. He’s collaborated with a host of artists including Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown, Cassandra Wilson, Buddy Guy, Amy Grant, Solomon Burke, Little Milton and many others. Keb’ also wrote and performs the theme song for the smash sit-com, Mike & Molly and was music composer for TV’s Memphis Beat.

He has also been featured in TV and film, playing Robert Johnson in the 1998 documentary “Can’t You Hear The Wind Howl,” appeared three times on the television series, “Touched By an Angel,” and was the ghostly bluesman Possum in John Sayles’ 2007 movie, “Honeydripper.” Most recently, Keb joined the Playing For Change movement, which was created to inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music. Keb’ is featured on the Playing For Change album: Playing for Change 3: Songs Around the World, which was released June 17, and features over 180 musicians from 31 countries, including Keith Richards, Sara Bareilles, David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, Taj Mahal and many others.

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