Odds & Ends: U2, Black Sabbath, Boys Noize, Gwar, Slipknot, George Jones

U2 teases tour … Ozzy talks Black Sabbath album and tour… Boys Noize & Baauer nix travel plans, Gwar tweaks lineup … Knotfest lists attractions … Plans for George Jones Museum revealed.

Photo: AP Photo
Apple CEO Tim Cook with members of U2, Cupertino, Calif.

With one album distributed via Apple’s iTunes and another on the way, it sure looks as if U2 is gearing up for a tour.  But how will Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton top that marvel of stage construction known as “The Claw” which was almost as big as some of the stadiums the band played on its last outing?  Perhaps they won’t have to.

Although a recent Rolling Stone article focuses on the band’s new album, Songs Of Innocence, and the next long player, Songs Of Experience, The Edge does give a hint about what the band is thinking, tourwise.

“The tour is still in the planning stage so it’s too early to describe what it will be like,” The Edge told Rolling Stone.  “I think we will start small.  We certainly can’t get any bigger than the last tour.”

U2’s Songs Of Innocence made headlines when it was distributed to approximately 33 million iTunes users on the same day Apple unveiled its new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones.  So why another new album?

“Early on it became obvious that we were working on two separate albums,” The Edge said. “The majority of the unfinished songs are worthy of becoming part of Songs Of Experience and some are already as good or better than anything on Songs Of Innocence.”

Songs Of Innocence won’t arrive in stores until Oct. 13.  As to Songs Of Experience, The Edge said it “will be released when it’s ready.”

Photo: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

Apparently Black Sabbath can’t stop with one reunion album and tour.  United Kingdom-based Metal Hammer magazine has Ozzy Osbourne on record confirming both.

“So we’re going to do one more album, and a final tour,” Osbourne told MH.  “Once the dust settled after the last tour we started discussing the idea, because we were getting asked about it all the time. I said to Sharon, ‘What’s going on?  Because if there’s no more Sabbath I want to get on with my own thing again’ and she came back and said, ‘Let me look into it.’

“Three weeks later I asked her about it again, and she said, ‘Oh, I still have to talk to so and so …’ and I said, ‘Sharon, I ain’t fucking 21 anymore, if we’re going to do it I want to do it before I’m 70!’ time isn’t on our side!  So she made the call and came back and said, ‘Yeah, the record company wants another album.’”

Osbourne also told the magazine that he thinks Rick Rubin, who produced Sabbath’s 13 reunion album, would helm the new disc.  However, the schedule might be dependent on guitarist Tony Iommi’s progress battling cancer.

“It’ll be sooner rather than later,” Osbourne said.  “Obviously a lot of it is coming down to Tony’s health, he’s obviously got his cancer treatment, but we’ll get onto it next year.  I don’t know if we’ll be writing in England or LA, but I’ll fly to the fucking moon for it if I have to!”

You can forget about the Run X Tour Boys Noize and Baauer.  The journey has been scratched so that the electronic musicians can work on other projects.

Photo: Scott Legato / RockStarProPhotography.com
Voodoo Experience, City Park, New Orleans, La.

The tour featuring America’s Baauer (Harry Bauer Rodrigues) and Germany’s Boyz Noise (Alexander Ridha) was to begin Oct. 2 in San Diego and run through early November. But now it’s consigned to the canceled tour bin.

“I’m so sorry to say this but Baauer and I have to cancel the Run X Tour,” Boys Noize said.  Harry and I have to get back to the studio and finish new music.  I am super sad about it and it’s really not easy for both of us but what it means is more music out to you guys sooner.”

Refunds are available at points of purchase.

Months after frontman Dave “Oderus Urungus” Brockie died from an accidental heroin overdose, shock-rock band Gwar has modified its lineup, saying Berserker Blóthar is the band’s new singer.  The band also acknowledged the presence of Vulvatron, described as “a cybernetic female assassin who purports to know the answers that Gwar seeks because she hails from the future.”

Photo: Erin Williams / rockphotographer.blogspot.com
Sonar, Baltimore, Md.

Here’s your new Gwar lineup:

Blóthar – lead singer/bass
Beefcake The Mighty – bass/vocals
Pustulus Maximus – lead guitar / vocals
BalSac The Jaws Of Death – rhythm guitar/vocals
JiZMak da Gusha – drums
Bonesnapper – bodyguard/crappy vocals
Sawborg Destructo – annoying nemesis/annoying vocals
Vulvatron – plot twist/vocals

Gwar returns to the road Oct. 15 at The NorVa in Norfolk, Va.

What can you expect from Slipknot’s , the three-day feast of everything metal at the San Manuel Amphitheatre near San Bernardino in Devore, Calif.?  That is, other than two consecutive nights of Slipknot plus performances by such masters of the genre as Danzig, Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, Of Mice & Men and Anthrax?

While previously announced attractions at the Oct. 24-26 event include the Slipknot Museum, flaming carnival games, the Fitz Army Freestyle Motorcross Show and a zipline stretching across the upper section of the festival area, the band has cooked up a few other diversions worthy of your interest.

Those include mighty feats of strength in the Thunderdome where “two fighters step in and fight until one taps out,” according to the festival’s press package.

Along with a tattoo parlor, a junk car drum circle and flaming carnival games, Knotfest will project its own aroma.  The appropriately titled “Scent Of Knotfest” is described as oil drums “filled with camel shit and oil, set aflame to last the entire festival.”  Yum.

Of course, you can’t have a proper Knotfest without a goat petting zoo. Rest assured you’ll be able to get up-close-and-personal with the horned beasts.

Tickets are still available.  Follow this link for more information.

The future home of the George Jones Museum has been announced.  Jones’ widow Nancy released details today, saying the museum and event center will include a gift shop, restaurant, an event space and a music venue.

The four-story, 44,000 square foot museum will be located at 128 & 130 N. Second Avenue in Nashville, at a space formerly known as Graham Central Station.

“We are overjoyed to share George’s legacy and memory with the Nashville community,” Nancy Jones said.  “We hope that this will draw George’s friends and fans worldwide to our great city.  George and I made this our home, and he would be happy to know that we found a home to continue his legacy in the heart of Music City.”

Photo: Owen Sweeney / OwenSweeneyPhoto.com
American Music Theater, Lancaster, Pa.

Visit GeorgeJones.com for more information.