Quick Hits: Seether, Black Stone Cherry, Clay Aiken, James Brown / Mick Jagger
February 5, 2014

Seether will be kicking off a month-long headlining tour on April 18 in Huntington, NY with openers Black Stone Cherry and Skindred. The tour will include stops at major rock festivals including Fort Rock, Carolina Rebellion, and Rock on the Range. The dates also include the second annual Rise Above Fest on May 10 in Bangor, ME with Avenged Sevenfold, Hellyeah and Motorhead that will raise money for SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education). Tickets for Seether's spring tour go on sale Friday, February 7. The band is in the process of working on a new album for release later this year.

Black Stone Cherry will return with a new album, Magic Mountain, on May 6. Produced by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden), Magic Mountain will be heralded by the first single, "Me and Mary Jane," set to impact rock radio in mid-February. The band says of their new effort: "Not since before our first album have we felt the freedom and confidence that we felt while writing and recording this album. After touring the world behind three previous albums that we are extremely proud of, we feel this album best captures the live energy, honesty and vibe that encompasses our true musicianship."

Former American Idol star Clay Aiken has announced a run for Congress. Aiken posted a YouTube video on Wednesday that explains his candidacy and his goals. He will run for the House of Representatives seat in North Carolina's second district as a Democrat. In the video, Aiken makes reference to his difficult childhood and says that is part of why he decided to run for Congress. "For most Americans, there are no golden tickets -- at least not like the kind you see on TV," he says. "More families are struggling today than at any time in our history, and here in North Carolina, we've suffered more than our share of pain." Aiken also notes in the video: "I'm not a politician. I don't ever want to be one. But I do want to help bring back, at least to my corner of Washington, the idea that someone can go to Washington to represent all the people, whether they voted for you or not, and maybe we can play a small part in igniting that change across the rest of our country."

Filming is just about complete for the upcoming James Brown biopic, Get On Up. Brown is played by Chadwick Boseman, who also portrayed Jackie Robinson in 42. The film will follow Brown's story from his rough childhood all the way through his tumultuous later years. Mick Jagger is one of the producers on the film, and he told Rolling Stone that playing the Godfather of Soul is "a really hard role to do. It would've been safer to take someone from Broadway who had a lot of dancing and singing background. Chad would be the first to tell you, he wasn't a dancer. But after he'd worked for six weeks on it, he immeasurably had become the character." Jagger added that when the Rolling Stones were coming up, he spent plenty of time studying Brown's stage demeanor, his dynamic with his band, and his dance moves. "The way he interacted with the audience, the timing, I was taking it all in and trying to understand the whole picture of it," Jagger said.

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Mark Adams
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