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Swift: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images; Albarn: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

After Blur and Gorillaz front man Damon Albarn told the Los Angeles Times that Taylor Swift "doesn't write her own songs," Swift immediately responded on Twitter, "I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging."  Now Albarn is apologizing...or trying to, at least.

In response to Taylor's tweet, Albarn wrote, "I totally agree with you. i had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait. I apologize unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand."

Some are asking, however, how Albarn could claim that his comments were reduced to "clickbait" when he specifically said of Taylor, "She doesn't write her own songs."

When the interviewer insisted that Taylor did, and added that she "co-writes some of them," Albarn responded, "That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn’t mean that the outcome can’t be really great."

And then, bizarrely, Albarn then went on to praise Billie Eilish, who co-writes all of her songs with her brother FINNEAS.

Meanwhile, some of Taylor's collaborators, including Jack Antonoff, Aaron Dessner of The National and John Paul White, jumped to her defense. 

Antonoff tweeted, "i’ve never met damon albarn and he’s never been to my studio but apparently he knows more than the rest of us about all those songs taylor writes and brings in. herb." 

Dessner, who worked with Swift and Antonoff on her albums folklore and evermore, noted, "Your statements couldn't be further from the truth...you're obviously completely clueless as to her actual writing and work process."

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Courtesy of Live Nation

Las Vegas' When We Were Young festival is proving to be a hot ticket: It's just added a third date after selling out the first two.

Last week, the festival, which features a star-studded 2000s era lineup, announced that it had added an October 23rd date after the first one, on October 22, sold out. Now a new date has been added: October 29.

A presale starts January 31 at 10 a.m. PT for fans who sign up for early access at whenwewereyoungfestival.com.  Any remaining tickets will go on sale January 31 at 2 p.m. PT.

The lineup is the same for all three dates and, as previously reported, features My Chemical Romance, Paramore and Bring Me the Horizon topping the bill.

Performers also include Avril Lavigne, A Day to Remember, Jimmy Eat World, AFI, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional, Alkaline Trio, Manchester Orchestra, jxdn, Motionless in White, Black Veil Brides, Ice Nine Kills, Atreyu, The Maine, The All-American Rejects, Sleeping with Sirens, Nessa Barrett, Wolf Alice, 3OH!3, The Linda Lindas, Royal & the Serpent, I Prevail and Pierce the Veil.

For the full lineup and all ticket info, visit WhenWeWereYoungFestival.com.

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FilmMagic/FilmMagic for Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival

Last month, Green Day shared an Instagram post which shows the punk trio recording at RAK Studios in London.  That tease featured the year "1972" very prominently.  Now, the band has shared more footage of themselves at the London studio, with "1972" once again cropping up in the imagery.

The footage, posted over the weekend, shows the three band members jamming out, and Mike Dirnt spray-painting "1972" on a wall. That happens to be the birth year of all three members of the group.

Green Day, along with Machine Gun Kelly, Miley Cyrus, Halsey and Gwen Stefani, are set to headline the 2022 Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, a three-day event taking place February 10-12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles ahead of Super Bowl LVI on February 13. Perhaps the group will introduce some new music in that performance.

Green Day released three new singles in 2021: "Here Comes the Shock," "Pollyanna" and "Holy Toledo!" The band's most recent album is 2020's Father of All...

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Swift: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images; Albarn: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Damon Albarn must have a social media death wish: In a new interview, he claimed that Taylor Swift "doesn't write her own songs" -- and Taylor came for him immediately.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, the Blur and Gorillaz front man insinuated that "modern music" is relying solely on "the sound and the attitude." He then challenged the interviewer, "Name me someone who's not."

"Taylor Swift is an excellent songwriter," responded the interviewer. "She doesn’t write her own songs," Albarn shot back. "Of course she does. Co-writes some of them," the interviewer said.

In fact, Swift has written or co-written every one of her songs; she wrote her third album, the Grammy-nominated Speak Now, entirely by herself.

But Albarn then went on to insist, "That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn’t mean that the outcome can’t be really great."

He continued, "I suppose I’m a traditionalist in that sense. A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother. I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It’s just darker — less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she’s exceptional."

But Swift, of course, wasn't going to let Albarn's comments stand. On Twitter, she wrote, "@DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really f**ked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW."

She then snarked, "PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering."

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Rolling Stone has announced that it's increasing its fashion coverage going forward and it's kicking off the new initiative with a list of "The 25 Most Fashionable Musicians Right Now" -- a list that includes Machine Gun Kelly, WILLOW and Måneskin.

The list was voted on by a group of journalists, designers and fashion industry insiders like stylists and image consultants. Out of the 25 artists listed, MGK was the highest-ranked rocker at #16, thanks to what the magazine calls his "goth-glam looks." Examples include the hot-pink suit he wore to the VMAs in 2020, or his unbuttoned black suit and matching dyed-black tongue from the 2021 Billboard Awards. 

WILLOW is in at #20, since she's been what the mag calls "a fashion renegade" since she was nine years old. Since then, she's gone pop-punk, pairing a hot-pink dress with tall black combat boots and shaving her head on camera last year while performing "Whip My Hair."

Måneskin is #22 on the list by virtue of their "vintage Bowie-Queen swagger," which includes "BDSM harnesses, heavy black eyeliner" and "tailored suits." Grimes is #25 on the list thanks to her futuristic looks.

Speaking of Måneskin, the band has postponed their European tour dates because the ongoing pandemic has restricted venue capacity. 

"We are extremely sorry," they write on Instagram.  "We worked a lot for this tour and everything was set and ready to go but unfortunately in the last few days we had some bad news about the capacity of the venues."

The band adds that they'll announce rescheduled dates no later than March 1, and all their outdoor shows are still confirmed.

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Eddie Vedder's new solo album Earthling was produced by Andrew Watt, and now the Pearl Jam frontman says Watt may also be behind the board for his band's next studio album, the follow-up to 2020's Gigaton.

Vedder is featured in the new issue of U.K. magazine MOJO and, according to Bang! Showbiz, in the interview, he says, "We'll make a record with Andrew, I believe. We've already talked about it."

Vedder also noted that Pearl Jam will "be recording, because now we've got a healthy ambition to do so," adding, "I think we'll move quick for a year or two, then I can see us slowing down for a little bit."

Reflecting on Pearl Jam's future plans, Eddie noted, "We have the ability to play better than ever, but also know what we want to maintain the health of the group and want to keep coming back."

Watt also produced "E-Ticket," Vedder's collaboration with Elton John on Elton's 2021 album The Lockdown Sessions, and Ozzy Osbourne's album Ordinary Man. When Vedder launches a U.S. solo tour in February, Watt also will be part of his backing band, The Earthlings, along with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, ex-RHCP guitarist and Pearl Jam touring member Josh Klinghoffer, Jane's Addiction bassist Chris Chaney, and singer-songwriter Glen Hansard

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FINNEAS may appear calm, cool and collected -- but he's just as awkward as the rest of us.  Over the weekend, the singer took to Instagram to share a cringeworthy moment he had with Taylor Swift -- at her own birthday party.

While conducting a question and answer session on Stories, a fan asked FINNEAS to recount his most embarrassing moment.  He revealed that it was that time he walked up to greet Taylor at her own party, and got a little flustered.

"I said 'thanks for coming' to Taylor Swift," he shared, according to screenshots taken by Buzzfeed. "Meant to say 'thanks for inviting me' or whatever obviously."

Sadly, FINNEAS did not reveal how Taylor reacted to the faux pas or whether or not his sister, Billie Eilish, has teased him about it -- as siblings should.

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In 2019, The Melvins performed Soundgarden's classic "Spoonman" at the Chris Cornell tribute concert I Am the Highway. Now, the grunge pioneers have shared a recorded version of the track, with Matt Cameron of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam on drums.

The Melvins have also shared a video for the track, which appears on the EP Lord of the Flies.

As a member of Soundgarden, Cameron drummed on the original version of "Spoonman," which appears on their best-selling album Superunknown. On the cover version, he and Melvins drummer Dale Crover play together.

The Melvins were just one of the numerous artists who performed at the January 2019 tribute concert I Am the Highway.  The bill also included Foo Fighters, Metallica, Miley Cyrus, Jerry Cantrell and William DuVall of Alice in Chains, Perry Farrell, Jack Black, Fiona Apple, Josh Homme and Peter Frampton, just to name a few.

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Cecily Brown/Billie Eilish - dont smile at me/Courtesy of Interscope.

Earlier this month, an art exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art inspired by acts like Billie Eilish, Machine Gun Kelly, Nine Inch Nails and No Doubt was announced. Now you'll be able to buy your own version of those artworks -- for a hefty price.

The exhibit, Artists Inspired by Music: Interscope Reimagined, marks the 30th anniversary of Interscope Records and features over 50 original works by visual artists relating to a particular album or song from the Interscope catalog. Other musicians featured include U2 and Gwen Stefani.

Starting January 27, you'll be able to buy limited-edition vinyl albums featuring the artwork from the exhibit. There will be 100 copies of each album available, and each will come with a numbered archival quality print of the artwork on the cover. On top of that, each album will be delivered in a custom Gucci box. The price? $2500 each.

The albums will be released in groups, with the first group being available to purchase from January 27 through January 31st, exclusively via the app for the livestream shopping platform NTWRK. All profits will go to a charity foundation which is building a school in L.A.

The first group includes Billie Eilish's debut EP don't smile at me, plus iconic albums by rappers Eminem, Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar. The release dates for the other albums haven't yet been announced.

Meanwhile, the actual art exhibit will be on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from January 30 to February 13. For more info, visit LACMA.org.

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The two-part HBO documentary Phoenix Rising -- Part One: Don't Fall premiered virtually at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival over the weekend, and in it, actress Evan Rachel Wood speaks in detail of the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her former fiancé Marilyn Manson, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

When she first testified about her abuse to Congress in 2018 to support a bill benefiting sexual assault survivors, Wood didn't directly name Manson, born Brian Warner, as her abuser. In the film, she explains that was because she was afraid that Warner or one of his fans might harm her, her child or her family if she did so. 

She later publicly named Warner in a February 2021 social media post. At the time, he responded with a statement saying "recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality."

Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, in Phoenix Rising, Wood describes Warner's physical, sexual and psychological abuse, including how he allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her while filming the video for "Heart-Shaped Glasses."

However, The Hollywood Reporter notes that the movie is less about excoriating Warner and more about "helping others recognize warning signs in their own troubled relationships" and "influencing lawmakers."  Indeed, the movie is named after the Phoenix Act, which increases the time that survivors have to bring charges against their abusers. The law passed in the California State Senate in 2020, following the testimony of Wood and other victims.

Since Wood spoke out, more women have come forward with accusations of sexual, physical and mental abuse against Warner, including actor Esmé Bianco, model Ashley Morgan Smithline, and Warner's former assistant, Ashley Walters, all of whom filed lawsuits against him. Through lawyers, Warner has denied the allegations.

For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or if you're unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

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AWOLNATION's cover of the Scorpions hit "Wind of Change" is true to the era of the original -- in more ways than one.

From its period-appropriate drum tone and backing vocals, to its ripping, lighters-in-the-sky guitar solo, Aaron Bruno and company's version of the 1991 hit is certainly a faithful rendition. As Bruno tells ABC Audio, that was by design.

"I thought that it would be a fun thing to do, and quite hilarious to even attempt," Bruno says.

Bruno has long had a soft spot for "Wind of Change," dating back to when its video was "pumped on MTV all day long" when he was a kid.

"I always loved the song," he says. "Then as time went on, throughout life, every time it came on, it would take me to that nostalgic feeling of the impressionable age of whatever my teens were at the time."

In addition to recreating the power ballad sound of a pre-Nevermind 1991, AWOLNATION's "Wind of Change" inadvertently honored the classic sitcom mishaps of the era. Originally, Bruno asked Portugal. the Man to guest on the recording, but when their schedule didn't work out, he asked Incubus' Brandon Boyd. But after Boyd recorded his vocals, the "Feel It Still" outfit's schedule opened up.

"I'm, like, 'Oh my god, I have Brandon on it. What the f*** do I do?'" Bruno recalls, channeling real-life asked-two-girls-to-the-same-dance energy. Unlike a sitcom character, though, he quickly came clean.

"I just told both artists separately, like, 'Hey, we're just all on this now, what do you think?'" Bruno says. "Everybody was...down, and it made it even more ridiculous." 

"Wind of Change" appears on AWOLNATION's upcoming covers album My Echo, My Shadow, My Covers and Me, arriving May 6.

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Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, a reboot of the original show created by the late Jim Henson, is now streaming on Apple TV+, and a soundtrack has also been released, with the hardest-rocking song coming courtesy of Foo Fighters.

The band, which had previously been announced as making a "special appearance" in the new series, has recorded a song called "Fraggle Rock Rock" for the soundtrack. The album also features guest stars like Patti LaBelle, Saturday Night Live's Kenan Thompson and The Office's  Ed Helms.  All the songs are featured in the new 13-episode series.

You can watch a clip of Dave Grohl and the guys rocking out with the Fraggles on Instagram.

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The Wombats can finally brag that they've topped the chart in their home country.

The British band's new album has debuted at number one on the U.K.'s Official Albums chart, marking their first-ever number one album in the U.K.

In a statement to OfficialCharts.com, the band said, "Number 1 in the U.K.! Thank you so much. This is a proper career milestone. Thank you to everyone who helped us make the album; to everyone who bought the album [and] streamed it. This is pretty surreal. Here's to making 'indie landfill' great again!"

On Instagram, the band added, "It’s been an amazing journey since we started back in 2003...it really does take a lot of wonderful hard working people to make and put an album out...thanks to all our family, friends and fans for your support over the years, we could never have done this without you all. Number f***ing 1. We did it!"

The Liverpool rockers previously scored three top five U.K. albums with their 2011, 2015 and 2018 releases.

Fix Yourself, Not the World includes the single "If You Ever Leave, I'm Coming With You."

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AWOLNATION has given us the first taste of their forthcoming covers album My Echo, My Shadow, My Covers and Me, which is due out May 6.

Aaron Bruno and company's version of The Scorpions' 1991 classic "Wind of Change," featuring contributions from Portugal .The Man and Brandon Boyd of Incubus, is out now. On Instagram, Bruno writes, "I’ll never claim this to be as good as the original by @scorpions, but with the help of @portugaltheman and @brandonboyd i hope it brings you a similar optimistic feeling that the song gave me as a kid when it was always on MTV."

He adds, "Can’t wait to share more of these covers and special guests with you!"

"Wind of Change," Scorpions' biggest U.S. hit, became synonymous with the end of the Cold War and the Soviet Union. The song resurfaced in 2020 thanks to a podcast that explored the rumor that "Wind of Change" had been written by the CIA.

Fun fact: AWOLNATION's version of the song arrives exactly 31 years and one day after the original was released, on January 20, 1991.

 

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Courtesy of Live Nation

It seems like a lot of people are eager to relive their youth: Las Vegas' When We Were Young festival has just sold out its initially scheduled date, October 22, and has added a second one on October 23.

The festival, which features a star-studded 2000s-era lineup, will take place at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. Tickets for the new date are on sale now, and start at $225.

The lineup is the same for both days and, as previously reported, features My Chemical Romance, Paramore and Bring Me the Horizon topping the bill.

Performers also include Avril Lavigne, A Day to Remember, Jimmy Eat World, AFI, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional, Alkaline Trio, Manchester Orchestra, jxdn, Motionless in White, Black Veil Brides, Ice Nine Kills, Atreyu, The Maine, The All-American Rejects, Sleeping with Sirens, Nessa Barrett, Wolf Alice, 3OH!3, The Linda Lindas, Royal & the Serpent, I Prevail and Pierce the Veil.

For the full lineup and all ticket info, visit WhenWeWereYoungFestival.com.

The festival dates are Paramore's first announced shows since 2018, while My Chemical Romance is making them part of its reunion tour, which is finally set to kick off this year after being postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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