Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Best Songs of John Frusciante, Guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Best Songs of John Frusciante, Guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have a ton of personality. It’s apparent on their records, but most prominent when they’re on stage. Anthony Kiedis is a frenetic and active frontman, his melodic gargle of a croon and swaying personality serving as the perfect fit to the Chili Peppers’ infectious mixture of alternative, funk, and punk. Then there’s Flea, one of the most famous bassists in the world, renowned for his technical virtuosity as well as his tirelessly energetic stage presence. This is a band that is far from understated; they are born performers, wowing audiences with their ability as well as their unstinting work ethic. So it’s easy to see why some can forget about John Frusciante, the band’s guitarist until he left in 2009. He is easily the band’s most stylistically diverse songwriter, as evidenced by his stunning solo career, but alongside names like Kiedis and Flea, he’s simply another member of what can now be deemed a super-group. He’s hugely responsible for some of the Chili Peppers’ greatest successes, but listeners should not forget some of his achievements as a solo artist, either. Here are seven John Frusciante tracks that no one should miss, each from a different album – meant to showcase his wonderful stylistic depth:

“Ascension” – The acoustic tones of 2004′s Curtains present Frusciante’s songwriting with some of the greatest clarity listeners will find throughout his discography. As his stylistic experimentation can sometimes obscure his ingenious melodic shifts and performance value, this is a release that goes back to the basics, at least as much as someone with Frusciante’s ability could. The sonorous “Ascension” mixes heavy acoustic strums with an airy synth pad and Frusciante’s emotive and nasally croon. Curtains is one of his best solo releases for this reason, in that it presents his songs without any frills. There are enough of his releases that value virtuosity, but consider the graceful beauty of this track or trickling ballad “Time Tonight”, and the beauty of his art becomes heavily apparent.

“A Firm Kick” – Some artists wait a career to carve out quality albums like Frusciante did in the year 2004 alone, when he released six full-lengths. The aforementioned Curtains was one of them, and that album’s acoustic-driven tone is contrasted by Inside of Emptiness, a hard-rocking burst of energy headlined by efforts like the powerful “A Firm Kick”. Mix blasts of thunderous guitar with quivering backing vocals and a strong lead, and it represents the album’s supreme quality well. Some say this resembles the work of the Chili Peppers the most out of all his solo albums, and with a track like “A Firm Kick” it’s easy to see why that argument is made. Regardless, it’s an exceptional track off one of his best albums. Also recommended off the release is “Look On”, which ponders the usefulness of luck over hazy guitar solos and a crunchy rhythmic backbone.

“Loss” – We stay in Frusciante’s busiest year (2004) for this one, off another album (The Will to Death) known for its likeness to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. “Loss” works well with an electric guitar attack, along with halted bass loops that correspond brilliantly with the fragmented percussion. The subtle keyboard backing toward the end adds an extra touch of elegance, as Frusciante’s melodic “la-la-la”ing toward the end is all that’s necessary to render the track as a piece of melodic bliss. Also on the album is “A Loop”, which uses backward instrumentation brilliantly; it’s an excellent showcase of Frusciante’s oft-underrated production chops, which balance creativity with accessibility.

“In My Light” – Finally, a John Frusciante song not from 2004! “In My Light” is actually from very recently: 2012. Frusciante’s recent EP, Letur-Lefr, made some longtime fans scratch their heads due to its electro-heavy composure. His fascination with electronica has been touched on before, like on 2004’s A Sphere in the Heart of Silence, but never before has he embraced it with such passion and daring commitment. Something like “In My Light” may take some getting used to, but underneath its oddities there lies a gorgeous pop track. Reminding of various glistening electro-pop variants, “In My Light” hops around with a bubbly bass, fleeting synth solos, and Frusciante’s trademark nasal, which assumes a tone akin to ‘80s funk-electro hybrids. The various structural transitions could have easily sounded awkward, but Frusciante pieces it together in such a cohesive way that you want to hear more, and keep playing it over and over. Few tracks define Frusciante’s boundless stylistic endeavors. Listeners have no clue what to expect next. You can’t say that for many artists these days.

Chili Peppers, NIN, Arcade Fire Board Lollapalooza Chile, Argentina

Chili Peppers, NIN, Arcade Fire Board Lollapalooza Chile, Argentina

Lollapalooza’s 2014 South American trek has already got off to a good start, with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Arcade Fire, Nine Inch Nails, Pixies and Phoenix being among the first confirmed acts for the festival.

Next year’s South American Lollapalooza run also includes the first ever Lollapalooza Argentina, which is due to take place on April 1st and 2nd at the Hipódromo San Isidro racetrack in Buenos Aires.

The Lollapalooza Argentina details were announced on the festival website Monday via a video featuring Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Ferrell dancing tango and dribbling a soccer ball in Buenos Aires to the Chili Peppers’ “Give it Away”, obviously.

And in case we had no idea what was going on, Ferrell finishes the clip with “Argentina, nos vemos en Lollapalooza.”

The new leg of the festival is a partnership between Ferrell, who founded Lollapalooza in 1991, festival co-owner William Morris, Endeavor Entertainment, Austin-based promoter/producer C3 Presents, and Latin American promoter Fenix Entertainment Group. Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas, El Mato a un Policia Motorizado Juana Molina are among the Argentine artists make up some of the festival’s line-up.

“Our perennial trip through South America has become one of the most anticipated times of the year for my family and our extended family (of musicians),” states Farrell. “I have also been inviting every delightful new acquaintance to join us. They will find it to be an epic journey as well.”

The fourth annual Lollapalooza Chile will take place between March 29th and 30th at O’Higgins Park in Santiago, and will feature performances from Axwell, The Bloody Beetroots, Wolfgang Gartner, Flux Pavilion, and Flume, Francisca Valenzuela, Joe Vasconcellos, Ana Tijoux, Nicole, Lucybell and Upa!, among others.

Lollapalooza Brazil is scheduled to happen across April 5th and 6th at the Interlagos Race Track in São Paulo. The line-up is expected to materialize on November 11th, so check back in for updates.

Phoenix, Jane’s Addiction Set for Music Midtown 2013, RHCP Next?

Phoenix, Jane’s Addiction Set for Music Midtown 2013, RHCP Next?

Figuring out festival line-ups has turned into something of a national pastime for music writers. Festivals seem to come up with ever more clever ways of doing their big revel of the bands they have on tap. Atlanta’s Music Midtown is no different as they started their social tease on Friday. In a coordinated effort between the festival’s Facebook and Instagram page, the festival organizers posted album covers to denote which bands would be playing this year’s two-day event in the meadow at Piedmont Park. So far we have big dogs like Jane’s Addiction, Phoenix, Weezer and Kendrick Lamar signed on. Other acts officially in the fold include Imagine Dragons, Capital Cities, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arctic Monkeys, Cake, 2 Chainz and hometown favorites The Black Lips. The official line-up is due to be released on Tuesday, but you can track all of the band up-to-the-minute additions on our Music Midtown page.

Needless to say lots of excitement has been kicked up on the festival’s Facebook page. Fans have been doing a little spelunking of their own. The Cake addition was uncovered by a fan digging around on the band’s website that also uncovered the festival dates (September 20-21) before it was official. The most curious rumored band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. A fan allegedly saw the date temporarily posted on the RHCP’s website over the weekend before it got yanked down. Did the band’s webmaster get a little trigger happy perhaps? We will have to wait and see.

Regardless, Atlanta’s premiere music festival is mounting the excitement and preparing for another sold out weekend this fall. What a great way to build up their social following while having a little fun with their highly anticipated news.

Paul McCartney, Chili Peppers, NIN Book a Trip to San Francisco for Outside Lands

Paul McCartney, Chili Peppers, NIN Book a Trip to San Francisco for Outside Lands

Paul McCartney continues to add dates to his North American tour this summer, and the latest is an appearance at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nine Inch Nails also will headline.

This year’s event will take place August 9-11 at the city’s Golden Gate Park.

But the headliners are not the only artists of note that will be appearing at the event, and the list is one of the most impressive of the festival season. Other notable artists include Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend, The National, Phoenix, D’Angelo, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Band of Horses, Matt & Kim, Willie Nelson, Gary Clark Jr., Camper Van Beethoven, Wavves and many more.

One of those included in the “many more” label is James McCartney, son of the legendary Beatle, making the festival something of a family affair. Turns out, the junior McCartney released a couple of EPs last year and will release his debut album, Me, in May. Who knew there was another McCartney musician? Perhaps one day he and Jakob Dylan will form a supergroup. I guess even a Beatles’ kids group would be possible with Dhani Harrison, Sean and Julian Lennon and whatever kids Ringo’s had.

Anyway, the Outside Lands festival has been held since 2008, and past incarnations have featured Radiohead, Dave Matthews Band, My Morning Jacket, Al Green, Arcade Fire and many more.

Golden Gate Park hosts 13 million visitors every year, making it the third most visited park in America. Though the festival has only been held for a few years now, the space is no stranger to concerts. The park was a gathering place for the counterculture in the 1960s, and they often congregated on what became known as “hippie hill” to watch concerts and other events held at the location.

Firefly Music Festival Highlighted by Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vampire Weekend

Firefly Music Festival Highlighted by Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vampire Weekend

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Vampire Weekend and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are set to headline the impressive lineup at this year’s Firefly Music Festival.

The second annual incarnation of the three-day festival will be held June 21-23 this year at the Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Delaware. Other notable artists this year include the Lumineers, Grizzly Bear, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy, Avett Brothers, Matt and Kim, Alabama Shakes, the Walkmen, Japandroids, Azealia Banks, Ellie Goulding and Amanda Palmer.

The official website for the event bills the festival as “the east coast’s premier music experience,” and promises a “bigger, better Firefly in 2013. We’re talking more music, more beer, more food, more hammocks, more coffee, and the list goes on and on with additional features you’ll learn about soon enough.”

As it did last year, the festivals presenter, Red Frog Events, will partner with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to raise money for their Music Gives to St. Jude Kids program, which has a mission to “Enlist artists large and small, emerging and established, to join St. Jude in the fight against childhood cancer.” More than $4.6 million was raised for the program by last year’s Firefly event.

Tickets go on sale this Thursday, February 21, and the regular price for a three day pass is $218, though that amount will increase closer to the dates of the festival. Single day tickets may be sold closer to the date of the event depending on availability.

Acts at the festival will be spread across the weekend and in addition to music, festivalgoers can enjoy a variety of food options and an on-site craft beer bar presented by Dogfish Head beer. The company will once again produce the Firefly Ale, a Pale Ale brewed specifically for the festival.

Stone Roses, Blur, Phoenix, Red Hot Chili Peppers Headline Coachella 2013

Stone Roses, Blur, Phoenix, Red Hot Chili Peppers Headline Coachella 2013

We’ve heard the rumors for months, and now at long last we finally have the Coachella 2013 lineup, and Stone Roses, Blur, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers are the headliners.

Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the lineup of the Indio festival that will be held April 12-14 and April 19-21. Like last year, both weekends will have identical lineups.

So here’s a short list of other notable artists appearing this year in addition to the headliners: Lou Reed, the Postal Service, Sigur Ros, New Order, Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jurassic 5, Japandroids, Johnny Marr, Grizzly Bear, Moby, Spiritualized, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Vampire Weekend, Wu-Tang Clan, Gaslight Anthem and Social Distortion.

Tickets go on sale January 29 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT – last year’s event sold out in about two hours. Tickets are $349 per person for general admission (to one weekend), and $799 for a VIP package. The latter package allows access to two VIP areas, which include extra restrooms, bars, seating, food vendors and tents. Camping is extra and starts at $85 in addition to the ticket price for the festival.

The Coachella Music and Arts Festival has been held at the Indio Polo Grounds in Indio, California every year since it began in 1999. In addition to the huge names that perform at the show every year, the festival also serves as something of a buzz generator for new artists. Laura Ballance, co-founder of Merge Records, awesomely explained why to the Los Angeles Times.

“They pay you lots of money, and there’s a large captive audience,” she said.

Last year was the first year the festival took on a two-weekend format, and doubled its audience to 650,000 music fans in the transition. The 2012 version of the festival grossed $47 million.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Welcome New Year in Las Vegas

Red Hot Chili Peppers Welcome New Year in Las Vegas

The Red Hot Chili Peppers will ring in the new year (relatively) quietly this year in Las Vegas.

MTV reports that the band will play a club show for around 4,000 fans at the Chelsea. The show will be quite the change from the huge arena and festival crowds the band has been courting for most of this year while supporting their most recent album.

The venue has previously played host to New Year’s Eve shows by Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder and Coldplay, among others. The Chili Peppers are expected to hit the stage around 11 p.m. and will rock into the night, of course taking a brief break a midnight.

With the small amount of tickets available for the show (and with the fairly high ticket price of $150), it is sure that some fans of the group may be left on the outside looking in. But if these fans are in Vegas anyway to celebrate the beginning of 2013, they may be in luck. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort will broadcast the concert live on its 65-foot outdoor digital marquee.

After the New Year’s eve gig, the band will continue their current world tour and head to Australia and then South Africa. The latter concerts will be the group’s first-ever shows in the country.

The current and future world tour is supporting the group’s I’m With You album, which was released almost exactly a year ago. The album debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart, though it topped the charts in many countries including Brazil, Italy and the U.K.

In other Red Hot Chili Peppers news, the group is releasing a series of 18 previously unreleased songs from the I’m With You sessions. The songs will be available digitally and as seven-inch vinyl singles.

The Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers Headline Australia’s Big Day Out Festival

The Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers Headline Australia’s Big Day Out Festival

Much of the news about Australia’s perennially popular Big Day Out Festival released over the last year was concerned with behind the scenes business dealings. So it’s refreshing to see the festival announcing new show rather than canceling them.

Organizers of BDO, as it is often known, announced recently that Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Killers will headline the shows as part of the festival’s five-city national tour in January 2013. Each city will host an all-day concert featuring a slew of popular bands from around the world. The location dates for the 2013 BDO festival are as follows: Sydney, January 18; Gold Coast, January 20; Adelaide, January 25; Melbourne, January 26 and Perth, January 28.

In total, there were 37 acts announced for the tour, and city-specific artists will be added later. Among the notable acts on the tour are Vampire Weekend, Band of Horses, B.o.B, Animal Collective, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Foals, Sleigh Bells, Alabama Shakes and Gary Clark, Jr. Of those groups, more than 20 are scheduled to release albums between now and festival time.

This year’s festival – the 21st installment – will be presented for the first time by Austin, Texas-based festival company C3 Presents. Previously, all BDO festivals had been organized by founders Ken West and Vivian Lees, but Lees left the event after arguments with West early this year. West bought Lees shares of the event, and then sold them to C3 Presents. That company is also responsible for Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits festival.

“The line that’s been drawn very clearly here is to play our own game,” West told Fairfax recently (via TheAge.com.au). “I’ll never go ahead with a show that doesn’t feel right, never again. This is right. This… really feels like a Big Day Out.”

It was previously announced that the Auckland, New Zealand date for the festival – which had been held since 1994 – would not be returning this year.

Kiedis Foot Surgery Pushes Red Hot Chili Peppers Tour Back to March

Kiedis Foot Surgery Pushes Red Hot Chili Peppers Tour Back to March

The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “I’m With You Tour,” originally set to start January 20, has been postponed due injuries to lead singer Anthony Kiedis’ right foot. All 23 dates of the first leg of the United States tour have been rescheduled, though the dates that were originally spread over three months are now scattered over eight months to account for previously announced dates. The earliest show will now be March 29 in Tampa Bay, Fla., while the final rescheduled show will be October 25 in Little Rock, Ark. All of the rescheduled dates can be found on the band’s official website.

Kiedis “recently underwent surgery to remove a crushed sesamoid bone and correct a detached flexor tendon in his foot and is expected to make a full recover,” according to the website. Though no cause for the injury has been released, Billboard magazine reports that the singer was seen with a cast on his right foot at a Los Angeles Lakers game last week, and that he told the Los Angeles Times last year that he has, “stayed out on tour with broken bones in my feet from jumping off the bass drum, which is kind of agonizing.”

The “I’m With You Tour” will support the Chili Pepper’s most recent album, I’m With You, which was released in August of last year. In addition to the rescheduled shows, the band also will undertake a European tour later this year. A first for the band, every show played (dating back to November of last year) will be professionally mixed and made available for purchase a few days after the gig on the website livechilipeppers.com.

I’m With You is the band’s tenth studio album, and the first since 2006’s Stadium Arcadium. It is also the first since 1999’s Californication not to feature guitarist John Frusciante, who has been replaced by former touring guitarist Josh Klinghogger.

Guns N Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys Headed to Rock and Roll

Guns N Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys Headed to Rock and Roll

Topping the list of this year’s inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (at least in name recognition) are Guns N’ Roses, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys as the 1980s get most of the love from the Hall. Additional recognizable names include the Small Faces/the Faces, songwriter Laura Nyro, British folkie Donovan and blues musician Freddie King. On the production side, Glyn Johns, known for his work with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and many more, got the nod, as did Tom Dowd, Don Kirshner and Cosimo Matassa. The induction ceremony will be held next April at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland.

Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, both of whom played with the Faces, will join a small number of musicians who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame twice. Rod Stewart was inducted as a solo artist in 1994, and Ron Wood was inducted in 1989 for his membership in the Rolling Stones. Eric Clapton is the only artist that has ever been inducted three times, for his work with the Yardbirds in 1992, his work with Cream in 1993 and in 2000 for his solo career.

While both Stewart and Wood played with the Faces, the band was originally formed as the Small Faces in 1965. That band disbanded in 1969, and the remaining members recruited Stewart and Wood from the Jeff Beck Group to form a new group, which they named the Faces. Because of the distinctive personnel and sound of each band, there has been some controversy as to whether the two should have been inducted as one group.

Nominees that were not inducted this year include notable names such as Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, the Cure, Heart and Rufus and Chaka Khan.

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