Quick Hits: Five Finger Death Punch, The Civil Wars, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Beck, Fantasia, The Voice, Live From The Artists Den, Orion Music + More Festival, O Music Awards
May 1, 2013

Five Finger Death Punch

Five Finger Death Punch has announced the release of its fourth studio record as a double album in two installments, with Vol. 1 hitting stores on July 23 and Vol. 2 scheduled for later this fall. The band will introduce the first single, "Lift Me Up," with a live performance at Revolver Magazine's Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles this Thursday. The studio version of the song will hit radio on May 13 and will be available for purchase online May 14. Guitarist Zoltan Bathory reveals, "We came off the road after a couple of great years of touring and were really amped up to write the 4th record. Everybody was in the right headspace and the band tighter than ever so it was a perfect storm. We jumped in head first and found ourselves 12-13 songs deep fairly quick but were still coming up with better and better material so we looked at each other and said, 'why stop there? Let's keep going.' Once we passed the 24th song we knew we're going to have to do a double album. We had this massive amount of music that's very dear to us, possibly the best material this band has ever created. At that point there was no way to decide which songs to leave off the album. So we made the decision to release them all."

The Civil Wars will release their sophomore, self-titled album via Columbia Records. The Grammy-winning duo recently went on a hiatus and posted notes online from bandmates Joy Williams and John Paul White thanking fans for their patience. The album was recorded prior to their hiatus last fall. Williams writes, "I am fiercely proud of this album. A lot of soul sweat and tears went into its creation. I hope you feel the heart in each song, that it might connect with yours. We are, each one of us, all journeying, learning and growing along this ever-evolving path." White simply said, "Patience is a virtue. Yours has been appreciated. Here's to the hope you consider it rewarded." The Civil Wars is expected out in late summer.

Lil Wayne has released an apology for a lyric on the remix of Future's "Karate Chop," referencing the death of Emmett Till, who was murdered as a teenager in the '50s after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Till's family spoke out against Wayne, and campaigned for Mountain Dew to drop their endorsement of the rapper.
     In a statement online, Wayne wrote, "As a recording artist, I have always been interested in word play. My lyrics often reference people, places and events in my music, as well as the music that I create for or alongside other artists. It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artist’s song has deeply offended your family. As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hurt, as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys. Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner. I fully support Epic Records' decision to take down the unauthorized version of the song and to not include the reference in the version that went to retail. I will not be performing the lyrics that contain that reference live and have removed them from my catalogue. I have tremendous respect for those who paved the way for the liberty and opportunities that African-Americans currently enjoy. As a business owner who employs several African-American employees and gives philanthropically to organizations that help youth to pursue their dreams my ultimate intention is to uplift rather than degrade our community."
     In other Lil Wayne news, TMZ reports the rapper suffered another seizure last night and was hospitalized in Los Angeles. Wayne revealed earlier this year his recent seizures have been due to his epilepsy.

Rihanna will return to Dallas and Houston in November to make up for shows that she had to cancel this month due to illness. The Diamonds World Tour will now see Rihanna in Dallas on November 11 and Houston on November 14.

Yesterday it was reported that Beck would be hitting the road this summer for a short tour, but an official release about the trek has shed new light on his next album. In addition to noting that the gigs would be a mix of acoustic and full band shows, the press release reveals that "these very special performances will feature never before heard material from an upcoming acoustic record. The record can best be described as a self-contained work, one that came in the form of a burst of inspiration following the completion of last year’s groundbreaking Song Reader sheet music album."

Fantasia's new album, Side Effects Of You, debuted at #2 on the sales chart this week just as her new single, "Without Me" featuring Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott, hit radio. While Fantasia is happy about these accomplishments, she is also excited to hear what fans have to say about her Emeli Sandé-penned title track, which was in part inspired by Fantasia's tumultuous 2010, during which she was hospitalized following an overdose. "She actually wrote the song for me and sent the song in," Fantasia told MTV News. "The song is very deep and it's actually a testimony of mine and it's actually something that I went through that isn't a secret. It's very public. And I said 'You know what? I thank her for this song cause the song is able to tell everybody who has questions or who wants to know what happened... you can hear it in that song.'"
Cee-Lo Green will return to The Voice on May 8 to perform his new song, "Only You." Rod Stewart also will appear on the same episode to perform material from his upcoming album, Time. Lady Antebellum will grace the May 14 episode, as will Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I.

This July, the sixth season of the music series Live from the Artists Den will premiere on public television with an episode starring Mumford & Sons. This season also will feature Soundgarden, The Killers and Ed Sheeran.

The full performance schedule for Metallica's Orion Music + More Festival is now available for fan perusal at www.orionmusicandmore.com. In addition, the Orion Music + More after shows have been confirmed: On Friday, June 7, Chevy Metal (featuring Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters), The Bronx and The Orwells will perform at Detroit's Majestic Theatre, and Baroness and Coliseum will take the stage at St. Andrews Hall. On Saturday, June 8, Dillon Francis, Adventure Club and 12th Planet will keep the late night party going at the Fillmore. Headliners at the two-day festival will include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Silversun Pickups, Rise Against and Deftones.

MTV/VH1/CMT announced that the O Music Awards will return on June 19 to honor the artists, innovators and fans that are impacting music and counter culture. Returning categories will include "Digital Genius Award," "Fan Army FTW," "Best Web-Born Artist," and "Must Follow Artist on Twitter." On May 16, the complete list of categories and nominees will be revealed and voting will kick off via www.OMusicAwards.com. The awards will then play out during the course of a 24-hour "Live Music Day," which will feature live performances from around the country. More than 50 bands will be showcased during the 24-hour period, including The Roots drummer ?uestlove kicking off a 24-hour-drum-a-thon that will serve as the heartbeat for Live Music Day.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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