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Neil Diamond’s Offer Called ‘Unprecedented’: Neil Diamond who is suffering from acute laryngitis apologized to his fans and offered refunds to 11,000 people who attended his concert. Diamond is a true rock n’ roller because he went on stage and gave it his all yet still offered refunds because of a subpar performance. Some industry veterans said they’d never heard of a performer offering refunds because of the quality of the show.

Recommended Listening: Listen to Proud To Be and Its Just Business by Hand Me Down Buick. The band hails from Atlantic City, NJ and they don’t stray to far away from the multitude of bands on purevolume. Although musically they may be on top of the heap it still won’t propel them to national status. We are hoping that some of the talented bands will let go of ‘Emo’ and renew their spirit of experimentation and musical innovation that will hopefully result into a new exciting scene.

New Video Stream: Glam band Hinder has posted the video for their current rock single ‘Use Me’. Seems to be a big budget video with a cast full of girls, but they definitely pulled it off.

LimeWire Moving Towards A Paid Platform: File sharing site LimeWire is moving towards a paid platform. According to Digital Music News Lime Wire finalized a content agreement with The Orchard, a deal that adds approximately 1.2 million songs to the LimeWire Store. Pricing options would include:

25 monthly downloads for $9.99
50 downloads for $14.99
and 75 songs for $19.99.

Songwriting Competition: ISC (International Songwriting Competition) has announced its line-up of judges. This year’s judges include Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20), Tom Waits, Ray Davies (The Kinks), Ricky Martin, McCoy Tyner, T-Pain, Loretta Lynn, Chaka Khan, Robert Smith (The Cure), and many more. To enter, go to www.songwritingcompetition.com

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It’s A Long Way To The Top If You Want To Rock N’ Roll: Mark Stoermer, The Killers bassist says new bands breaking into the music industry will have a tough time. “It’s a really hard time for new bands,” says Stoermer. “It’s not that there’s a lack of good music, it’s just that labels are struggling financially.” “Some people say that record labels are bad but people forget they are the ones who break the bands and get them on their way.” Although Mark says that people are more excited to see live bands today, “In the Eighties no-one was really going to see live music. Now it’s big business.”

Although we love The Killers we disagree with Mark’s statement that there isn’t a lack of good music. Mark may not realize that he is a member in a band with a killer rock star frontman that happened to write some mega songs. The threat isn’t bankrupt labels, the true threat is the lack of creativity and inspiration.

Yes my friend, there is a lack of good music which is why some labels are primarily bankrupt. It’s called the chicken and the egg scenario. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Now, does the band break themselves or does the label break the band? KOAR is betting on the chicken.

Lastly, nothing can stop or block an artist from writing great songs except for inspiration. When inspiration is non-existent then creativity and originality ceases to exist. This is what we are experiencing today known as the creative drought. An artist will ‘Make It’ If he or she writes great songs and presents an entire exciting package that excites an audience. At that point it will become undeniable and you will make many important friends who will assist in broadening your market.

Send new music along with your myspace to tips@kingsofar.com

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New Stream: Metallica has now posted a uptempo song titled My Apocalypse that will come off Death Magnetic.

Revolver Mag recently interviewed guitarist Kirk Hammmett.

I’m really psyched about that and just curious as to what people are gonna say about how my style changed says Kirk. It’ll probably run the gamut from “Ah, it’s really fucking great,” to “Ah, he fucking sucks.” So, I’m ready for it all. That’s just the way it is. Especially with the Internet now. I mean, everyone’s a critic nowadays whether they’re qualified or not.

My brother-in-law came up to me and was like, “Are there any bands who are in their 20s that you guys are intimidated by?” And I thought about it long and hard and I’m like, “No.” I wish there was because it would give us a nice challenge and motivate us to maybe step up to their plate, whatever their plate might be.

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Music and Politics Makes Cheap Entertainment: Madonna who has evolved into a hybrid of Michael Jackson meets Marilyn Manson was slammed by John McCain after she compared him to Adolph Hitler. In her song ‘Get Stupid’ pictures of McCain was flashed along images of destruction and global warming as well as Hitler and Mugabe. “It clearly shows that when it comes to supporting Barack Obama, his fellow worldwide celebrities refuse to consider any smear or attack off limits,” says McCain. The truth is Madonna just loves the press..

Signings: West Palm Beach band Hey Monday (former Blake) has signed to Columbia/Decaydance. We mentioned Hey Monday in April 2008 discussing how Paramore has spawned a throng of female fronted bands. It seems they posted a new song titled Homecoming which seems to be their best song which falls more towards The Bangles’ Hazy Shade Of Winter than emo-ish Paramore. The Bangles? Yes, you heard us right. Just listen to the opening riff of each song.

Arizona indie atmospheric band Lydia has signed to Universal Motown. Check them out in our February New Music Column. Check out the track Fade.

American Idol Shakes The Cage: Grammy-Nominated songwriter
Kara DioGuardi has joined American Idol as a fourth judge and will sit alongside Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. “She is a smart, sassy lady, and one of America’s most successful songwriters. We know she will bring a new level of energy and excitement to the show,” says Simon Cowell. DioGuardi’s songs have appeared on more than 100 million records. Her songs have been recorded by Grammy award-winning artists including Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Santana and Pink. Scores of major recording artists including Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, etc.

Thriving To Yahoo: KOAR’s favorite Thriving Ivory is in the running for
Yahoo Music’s ‘Who’s Next?’. Cast your vote here and help put them on the map.

BMI Dodges The Bullet: BMI posted $901 million in revenues for the fiscal year, up 7.4% from last year. BMI will disperse $786 million to songwriters, composers and copyright owners, an 8% increase over the prior year.

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Metallica enters the studio with Rick Rubin and apparently the magic reappeared, just listen to the opening riff . It’s haunting, beautiful, and powerful. It seems Metallica dug deep in there catalog and discovered the ingredients that made them great. They went back to the Garage Days. Maybe this is why they are known as the riff masters and have sold more than a 100 million records. If the rest of the record holds up, then we can say ‘They’re Baaaaack’.

Learn from the best. Listen, observe, write, and record.

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