As 2012 draws to a close, here's a look back at the top 10 rock stories of 2012:
The Return of Soundgarden
2012 marked the return of rock heavyweights Soundgarden. Riding high from a successful reunion tour, in November the band released their first studio album in more than 15 years, King Animal. Debuting at #5 on the Billboard 200, the album sold 83,000 copies its first week, according to Nielsen Soundscan. While King Animal’s first-week sales performance is impressive, it doesn’t come close to the initial success of the band's previous release, 1996's Down on the Upside, which racked up 176,000 copies in its first week and claimed the #2 spot on the list.
Soundgarden has mapped out an extensive tour to promote King Animal in 2013. That outing kicks off on January 18 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., and includes two-night residencies in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland and their hometown of Seattle, as well as single shows in Boston, Detroit and Portland, among other cities.
Beastie Boys' Adam "MCA" Yauch and The Band's Levon Helm Die
Pioneering rap group the Beastie Boys suffered a tragic blow in 2012 when the group’s co-founder, Adam "MCA" Yauch, died on May 4 at the age of 47. Yauch had been fighting cancer since 2009, when a tumor was discovered in his salivary gland. Release of the band's most recent album, last year’s Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, was delayed by Yauch's continuing cancer treatment. Yauch directed many of the Beasties' iconic videos and in 2008 founded the film company Oscilloscope Laboratories, which has distributed a number of independent films, including Yauch's own feature-length directorial effort, a documentary about basketball called Gunnin' for That #1 Spot.
In addition to his role in the Beasties, Yauch was also a founder of the Milarepa Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and activism regarding of Chinese occupation of Tibet. Beginning in 1996 the fund produced a series of Tibet benefit shows for nearly a decade. Following the attacks of September 11 the fund also produced a benefit for victims of the attacks.
Levon Helm, the drummer and most recognizable vocalist of the influential roots-rock act The Band, died April 19 of throat cancer at age 71. Helm's soulful, weathered voice was a highlight of some of the group's best-known songs, including "The Weight," "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "Up on Cripple Creek."
The Band broke up in 1976, but later in his career Helm went on to release the Grammy Award-winning solo albums Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Also during his later years, Helm hosted a regular series of jam sessions, dubbed "The Midnight Ramble," at his barn and studio in Woodstock, New York. A star-studded tribute concert dubbed Love for Levon was held on October 3 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to raise money to help Helm's family maintain ownership of the barn.
Here are some of the other famous music artists and luminaries who died in 2012:
Bob Weston -- January 3 -- played guitar with Fleetwood Mac from 1972 to 1974. He died of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Weston was 64.
Etta James -- January 20 -- "At Last" singer. She had been suffering from terminal leukemia, dementia and kidney failure. James was 73.
Michael Davis -- February 17 -- MC5 bassist. He died of liver failure. Davis was 68.
Davy Jones -- February 29 -- member of The Monkees. He passed away from a heart attack in Indian Town, Florida. He was 66.
Ronnie Montrose -- March 3 -- solo artist and founder and lead guitarist of the band Montrose. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot. Montrose was 64.
Mike Hossack -- March 12 -- Doobie Brothers drummer. He passed away after a long battle with cancer. Hossack was 65.
Ritchie Teeter -- April 10 -- former drummer of The Dictators and Twisted Sister. He died of esophageal cancer at age 61.
Dick Clark -- April 18 -- American Bandstand/New Year's Rockin' Eve/game show host, American Music Awards creator, TV producer and more. He died of a heart attack at the age of 82.
Greg Ham -- found dead April 18 -- former member of the Australian band Men at Work, who can be heard playing flute on the group's biggest hit, "Down Under." He was 58.
Chris Ethridge -- April 23 -- founding Flying Burrito Brothers bassist. He died of pancreatic cancer. Ethridge was 65.
Donald "Duck" Dunn -- May 13 -- session musician and Booker T. and the MG's bassist. He died in his sleep in Tokyo. Dunn was 70.
Robin Gibb -- May 20 -- Bee Gees member. He died following a long battle with cancer and an intestinal ailment. He was 62.
Bob Welch -- found dead June 7 -- former member of Fleetwood Mac and founder of the rock group Paris. He also had a solo career, scoring hits with "Sentimental Lady" and "Ebony Eyes." Welch died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 66.
Jon Lord -- July 16 -- founding Deep Purple keyboardist. He died of pancreatic cancer. Lord was 71.
Scott McKenzie -- August 18 -- singer best-known for his 1967 hit "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)." He died after a battle with Guillain–Barré syndrome. McKenzie was 73.
Ed Cassidy -- December 6 -- drummer for the band Spirit. He died of cancer at the age of 89.
Ravi Shankar -- December 11 -- Indian sitar master who taught George Harrison how to play the instrument. He died following complications from heart valve surgery. Shankar was 92.
Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong Checks into Rehab Following Las Vegas Rant
2012 turned out to be an interesting year for Green Day. While the band pleasantly surprised fans by releasing a trilogy of albums, ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré!, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong shocked the world with an angry outburst during a September’s music festival in Las Vegas. Armstrong stopped a song in mid-performance and delivered a profane protest against the band's performance time allegedly being cut short, repeatedly referring to a countdown clock that read "one minute." Armstrong declared, "Let me show you what one f**kin' minute f**kin' means," then smashed his guitar into the stage floor until it broke, after which he left the stage.
Shortly after the incident, Armstrong apologized for his behavior and announced that he would to be heading to rehab to seek treatment for “substance abuse.” The singer’s stay in rehab forced the band to cancel their headlining slot at the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience in New Orleans, along with a number of tour dates in 2012. In addition, Green Day postponed a series of shows that the guys had mapped out for January and February in 2013. To make up for the cancellations, the band pushed up the release date of their third album in the trilogy, ¡Tré!, from January 15, 2013 to December 11.
Green Day is expected to return to the road in 2013. The band’s next scheduled performance is at Emirates Stadium in London, England on June 1.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2012 Filled with No-Shows & Controversy
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2012 is one that will likely be remembered for the drama that surrounded them. Arguably, the biggest controversy was the ongoing feud between the original lineup of Guns N’ Roses. Upon learning of the band’s induction, GNR frontman Axl Rose wrote a lengthy and detailed open letter sent out by his publicist, declaring that not only would he not be attending the April 14 event, but that he also was declining his "induction as a member of Guns N' Roses." In the months leading up to their induction, members of the band’s original lineup speculated on whether or not the group would perform at all. They did, with with Alter Bridge lead singer Myles Kennedy singing lead in Rose's place.
Another Rock Hall inductee whose frontman was a no-show were The Faces, who were honored jointly with their predecessor band The Small Faces. Rod Stewart hadn't performed as a group his fellow surviving Faces members -- Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones -- since 1993, and initially said he planned to attend the induction and sing with his ex-band mates. However, Rod announced on the day before the big event that he was suffering from strep throat and he couldn't make it to the ceremony. Simply Red's Mick Hucknall, who'd been serving as The Faces' frontman at the group's reunion shows over the last couple of years, ended up performing with Wood, McLagan and Jones.
In addition, founding member of the Beastie Boys Adam “MCA” Yauch was forced to skip the ceremony due to health issues. While Yauch's no-show meant the Beasties couldn’t perform, Kid Rock, Black Thought, Travie McCoy and The Roots did an admirable job performing a medley of the band’s most memorable tracks. Yauch passed away just 20 days later.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers had a touch of drama surrounding them as well. Former guitarist John Frusciante decided to skip the induction ceremony, while former drummers Jack Irons and Cliff Martinez performed with the band at the event.
Rounding out the artists entering the Rock Hall in the Performer category were folk legend Donovan and late singer/songwriter Laura Nyro.
Also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2012 were bluesman Freddie King, in the Early Influence category; backing bands The Crickets, The Miracles, The Famous Flames, The Midnighters, The Comets and The Blue Caps; and promoter Don Kirshner, producer Glyn Johns, and engineers Cosimo Matassa and Tom Dowd, in the sidemen category.
Looking ahead to the 2013 Rock Hall induction, Heart and Rush top the list of artists that will be welcomed into the Rock Hall. The other honorees in the performer category are singer/songwriter Randy Newman, blues great Albert King, influential rap act Public Enemy and disco queen Donna Summer. The ceremony will take place on April 18 in Los Angeles.
Rocking the Charts in 2012
While 2012 was a big year for rock artists in general, no one came close to the success of Mumford & Sons’ sophomore album, Babel. The release dominated the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 album chart for three straight weeks after it dropped and has since moved well over one million copies, of 2012's few million-sellers. Babel also racked up the most singles by a band to appear at the same time on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since The Beatles did it in 1964. In October, Mumford & Sons had a total of six singles from Babel on the tally: “I Will Wait” at #57, “Babel” at #60, "Lover's Eyes" at #85, "Whispers in the Dark" at #86, "Holland Road" at #92, and "Ghosts That We Knew" at #94. Mumford & Sons ended 2012 year by securing six Grammy nominations, including nods for Album of the Year and Best Americana Album for Babel, as well as Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for their hit, “I Will Wait.”
Dave Matthews Band made history in 2012 as well, becoming the first band to have six consecutive albums debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The group’s latest album, Away from the World, debuted at the top of the chart with 266,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The band’s previous five albums -- 2009’s Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King, 2005’s Stand Up, 2002’s Busted Stuff, 2001’s Everyday, and 1998’s Before These Crowded Streets -- also debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart their first week out. DMB’s first two albums, 1994’s Under the Table and Dreaming and 1996’s Crash, were the only releases that never hit #1 during their first week of release, and debuted on the chart at #11 and #2, respectively.
Coldplay extended its winning streak in 2012. The British band's latest album, Mylo Xyloto, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, their third CD in a row to do so. According to Nielsen Soundscan, the disc sold 447,000 copies in its first week. That's the biggest sales week for any rock album since U2's No Line on the Horizon debuted at #1 back in 2009 with sales of 484,000. In addition, Mylo Xyloto also set the record for the highest first-week album sales ever on iTunes worldwide. Coldplay previously set that same record in 2008 with their album Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends. Coldplay finished off the year scoring two Grammy nominations: "Charlie Brown" is up for Best Rock Performance, while Mylo Xyloto scored a nod for Best Rock Album.
Bruce Springsteen was the only bona fide classic-rock act with a #1 album on the Billboard 200 in 2012. Released on March 6, Wrecking Ball debuted in the top spot of the chart after selling 196,000 copies during its first week. It was the Boss' 10th #1 on the tally, which tied him with Elvis Presley for third place on the list of artists with the most chart-topping Billboard albums, behind only The Beatles with 19 and Jay-Z with 12. Wrecking Ball was the first album Springsteen has put out since the 2011 death of beloved E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons. "The Big Man" was featured on a couple of tracks on the release. In December, it was announced that Wrecking Ball had scored a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album, while a track from the album, "We Take Care of Our Own," received nods in the Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance categories.
Gotye, the stage name of Australian singer-songwriter Wally De Backer, had been making records for years and was already a big star Down Under, but in 2012, the world suddenly became aware of his song "Somebody That I Used to Know." The song's striking video, which features a naked Gotye and his duet partner, New Zealand singer Kimbra, being covered in body paint, was first posted to YouTube in the summer of 2011. After inspiring countless covers and parody videos, radio picked up on the track and it topped the chart for eight weeks. Gotye ended the year with three Grammy nominations, but he has yet to score a follow-up hit.
The New York-based indie rock band fun. had been around since 2008, but at the end of 2011, a wider audience became aware of the group when Glee covered its song "We Are Young." Then, in February, the song was used to soundtrack a commercial for the Chevrolet Sonic, which aired during the Super Bowl. The song's popularity exploded, and it ended up topping the charts for six weeks. Headlining tours, festival appearances and a Saturday Night Live slot for the trio, and they released another big hit, "Some Nights." fun. capped off the year with a whopping six Grammy nods, becoming the only rock group ever to receive nominations in the four major categories in the same year: Record, Song and Album of the Year, and Best New Artist.
Paul McCartney: Maybe He's Amazing
Paul McCartney may have turned 70 this year, but the legendary rock artist was as prolific as ever in 2012. Kicking things off in early February, the former Beatles star released a new studio album titled Kisses on the Bottom that featured mostly covers of standards. On February 9, Sir Paul also was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and, that same day, gave an intimate live performance at Capitol Studios that was taped for the TV special and DVD, Live Kisses. The next day, Macca was honored with a star-studded tribute concert as the Recordings Academy's MusiCares Person of the Year. On February 12, he performed twice during the Grammy Awards, including a show-closing guitar jam that also featured Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl and Joe Walsh.
Later in the year, McCartney headlined several other major events, including the June 4 concert in London celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, and the Summer Olympics' opening ceremony on June 27, also in the U.K. capital. Sandwiched between those two appearances, on June 18, the iconic musician celebrated his 70th birthday. On September 8, Sir Paul was in Paris to be presented with the French Legion of Honor medal by President Francois Hollande, a prize that's rarely bestowed on non-citizens of the country.
On December 12, McCartney served as the headliner of the 12.12.12 concert to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. During his set, he was joined by the surviving members of Nirvana for the live debut of "Cut Me Some Slack," a collaboration that will be featured in the upcoming documentary Sound City -- Real to Reel. McCartney and the grunge rockers played the song again three days later when Macca was featured as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live.
McCartney fans can look ahead to 2013 for even more new music from the singer. He's reportedly working with several producers on one or more new album projects expected to arrive during the coming year.
Words and Music: A Big Year for Rock Autobiographies
In 2012, a bevy of famous rock musicians came forward with candid, engaging and often shockingly confessional books about their lives.
In a year that saw The Allman Brothers Band mark the 40th anniversary of its classic album Eat a Peach, frontman Gregg Allman also published his long-in-the-works memoir, My Cross to Bear. The book, which hit stores on May 1, chronicles the highs and lows of the Southern rocker's life, including the early deaths of his brother, Allmans guitarist Duane, and the group's bass player, Berry Oakley. Gregg also discusses his turbulent love life -- including his brief marriage to Cher -- as well as his battle with substance abuse and his eventual sobriety.
Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson gathered their collective experiences together in an autobiography titled Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock 'n' Roll. The book, which came out on September 18, captures the struggles the sibling band mates had to overcome in the male-dominated world of rock music. The ladies have had a particularly eventful 2012: In addition to the memoir, Heart released a career-spanning box set titled Strange Euphoria and new studio album called Fanatic; received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; toured extensively; and, to cap things off, were announced as one the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2013 inductees.
Neil Young's Waging Heavy Peace, which came out on September 25, features the folk-rock legend's quirky musings on such subjects as Pono, the high-fidelity portable audio system he's developing; LincVolt, the hybrid automobile project with which he's been involved; and the health issues that he and his children have had to overcome.
The Who's Pete Townshend finally published his long-awaited autobiography, Who I Am, on October 8. Among the eye openers included in the tome: Townshend wanted to sleep with Mick Jagger, he got the idea for his famous windmill guitar strum from watching The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, and he believes he was abused by his maternal grandmother when he was a boy. Pete also gives his side of the story with regard to the child pornography scandal in which he became embroiled in 2003.
Rod Stewart's aptly titled Rod: The Autobiography was published on October 23. The book has plenty of candid confessions, including details about his sexual conquests and the admission that he and his ex-Faces band mate Ronnie Wood used to take cocaine via suppositories. He also debunks an infamous rumor that allegedly involved him, some sailors and a stomach pump.
Peter Criss's Makeup to Breakup also arrived on shelves on October 23. In the book, the founding KISS drummer takes an uncensored look at his life and exploits before, during and after his years with the famed costumed rock band. Criss opens up about the in-fighting and bad blood between him and his former band mates, his struggle with cocaine abuse, and his recent battle with male breast cancer.
The Rolling Stones and Beach Boys Shine as They Celebrate Golden Anniversaries
A pair of legendary bands, The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys, celebrated their 50th anniversaries this year in exciting and multifaceted fashion.
Time may not be on The Rolling Stones' side anymore, but you'd never know it by the way the British rock legends spent 2012. Early in the year much speculation circulated in the media about if and how the band would celebrate reaching the half-century mark. Then, in March, news emerged that a major documentary about the band was being put together that included the participation of the entire group, as well as former Stones bassist Bill Wyman and guitarist Mick Taylor. The movie, Crossfire Hurricane, would premiere in London on October 18, and would make its U.S. debut on November 14 in New York City.
In July, the band members all came out for the opening of a London photography exhibit that coincided with the 50th anniversary of the group's first show. In September, The Stones announced that November would see them release a career-spanning, multi-disc compilation titled GRRR!, which also would include two brand-new songs, "Doom and Gloom" and "One More Shot."
Finally, on October 15, The Stones revealed that they would be playing four shows in November and December, dubbed 50 & Counting: The Rolling Stones Live. The first pair of concerts were scheduled in London on November 25 and 29, followed by a second pair in Newark, New Jersey, on December 13 and 15. The band later added a fifth 50 & Counting concert, on December 8 in Brooklyn, New York.
All of the shows featured at least a couple of special guests, with Wyman and Taylor appearing at both London concerts. Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck also were among the luminaries who hit the stage with The Stones in the U.K. However, the band perhaps saved the best for last. The December 15 concert in Newark aired as a pay-per-view special titled One More Shot, and featured guest spots from Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, The Black Keys, John Mayer and up-and-coming guitar whiz Gary Clark Jr. The Stones also were among the many stars who performed at 12.12.12 -- The Concert for Sandy Relief at New York City's Madison Square Garden on December 12.
With The Stones' 2012 plans behind them, fans are wondering whether the rockers will tour more extensively in 2013. The band has yet to confirm any dates, although judging by at least some of the members' comments in the press, it may be just a matter of time before they get the crowds rocking again.
As for The Beach Boys, the often-contentious surviving original members not only were able to put aside their differences to come together for a full-fledged 50th anniversary tour, they also recorded a brand-new studio album, That's Why God Made the Radio. The record, which was released on June 5, was the first by the band to include the full participation of main songwriter Brian Wilson since 1985's self-titled collection. The album received very strong reviews and ended up bowing at #3 on the Billboard 200, marking the band's highest-ever debut on the chart.
As for the tour, it truly was a celebration of The Beach Boys' music, featuring a set list that spanned the group's entire career and including a number of obscure gems in addition to many of the band's beloved hits. The trek got under way on April 24 in Tucson, Arizona, and ran all summer long and beyond, to a September 28 show at London's Royal Albert Hall. Unfortunately, after the summer ended so did the reunion tour, to the chagrin of Wilson and fellow founding member Al Jardine. They both wanted to continue with the anniversary festivities, but Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, who've been leading the touring version of The Beach Boys for many years, announced that the band would begin playing shows with the pre-reunion lineup in October. Despite the conflict, Wilson continues to express interest in touring and recording with Love and the rest of the old band members in the future. Love, meanwhile, has said he will consider working with the band's reunion lineup after the new year.
Back in the Saddle: Van Halen, Aerosmith Release New Studio Albums
Van Halen not only got back on the road in 2012, they also delivered a long-in-the-works and long-awaited new studio album. Released on February 7, A Different Kind of Truth was the band's first full-length effort featuring original frontman David Lee Roth since 1984's 1984. Many of the songs on the collection harkened back to the sound of the group's heyday -- perhaps not surprising, since many of the tunes reportedly were based on recordings that dated back to the Van Halen's early days.
The tour, meanwhile, went smoothly -- at least at first. VH announced an initial North American leg that was scheduled from a February 18 show in Louisville, Kentucky, through a June 26 concert in New Orleans. Then, in April, the band revealed that the trek was to be extended until an August 12 gig in Cincinnati. However, in May, the added concerts were removed from the rockers' itinerary and the outing's end date reverted back to June 26.
Rumors began swirling that old animosities had reemerged between Roth and guitarist Eddie Van Halen, but the singer insisted that was not the case. In a video message to fans, Roth declared, "The band is getting along famously, [but] we bit off way more than we can chew when it came to scheduling."
Van Halen had intended to get back on the road in November with a tour of Japan, but Eddie suffered a serious health setback in August that delayed those plans. The guitar whiz underwent an operation for a severe bout of diverticulitis -- an inflammation of the colon. He's on the mend now, and the group is eyeing a return to touring in 2013.
Another major veteran rock act that unleashed its first new studio album in many a year was Aerosmith. Music from Another Dimension!, which was released November 6, is the band's first collection of all-new original songs since 2001's Just Push Play. The Boston bad boys kept plenty busy in the months leading up to the arrival of the album, which initially had been slated to hit stores in late August.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers kicked off their Global Warming World Tour with a North American leg that ran from a June 16 concert in Minneapolis through an August 8 show in Tacoma, Washington. About a month into the trek, singer Steven Tyler announced that he wouldn't be returning to his gig as a judge on American Idol, preferring instead to focus more on Aerosmith. As the release date Music from Another Dimension! approached, the band released several singles and promotional videos, as well as debuting a Web series about the making of the album.
To celebrate the release, the band members headed to their hometown of Boston, where they played a special free concert on November 5 outside of the old apartment building where they lived during the early days of the group. Aerosmith then launched a second Global Warming tour leg that ran from a November 8 show in Oklahoma City through a December 15 performance in Nashville.
Music from Another Dimension! was recorded with Aerosmith's old producer Jack Douglas at the helm. The record finds the band revisiting some of the different stylistic phases it's delved into over the years, from raw blues-rock numbers to catchy pop-rock tunes to soaring power ballads. Several guest stars make appearances on the album, including country superstar Carrie Underwood, John Lennon's son Julian. and even Johnny Depp.
Led Zeppelin's Celebration Day: What Was and What Might Never Again Be
The surviving members of Led Zeppelin spent a whole lotta quality time together in 2012, although they still left fans wanting more. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones didn't get together to perform or record, but rather to celebrate the last time they did play together -- at London's O2 Arena in December 2007. In the fall of this year, the hard-rock icons finally got around to releasing the reunion show as a concert film, DVD and album under the title Celebration Day.
The old band mates walked the red carpet at premiere screenings of the flick in New York City on October 9 and London on October 12. They also shared a podium at press events in both cities, but bristled when questioned about whether they'd consider reuniting again as a musical entity. Plant even labeled one reporter a "schmuck" when he pressed the singer for an answer. In an interview conducted around the same time as the Celebration Day premiere, Page revealed that he, Jones and Jason Bonham -- who filled in on drums for his late father, John Bonham -- all were prepared to continue with the reunion following the O2 show, but Plant was more interested in continuing with his then-current Americana project with Alison Krauss.
On December 3, Plant, Page and Jones gathered together again, this time in Washington, D.C., where President Obama and a host of celebrities toasted them for their musical achievements at the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors. The event featured a star-studded Led Zeppelin tribute that included performances by Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson, The Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz, Kid Rock, Jason Bonham and more.
Looking to 2013, all of the Zeppelin members appear to have a busy year ahead of them. Page is planning to begin performing again with some as-yet-unnamed musicians, and he's also preparing expanded versions of Led Zeppelin's studio albums for release. Plant has spring tour dates lined up in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand with his latest project, The Sensational Space Shifters. He also continues to work with his recent Band of Joy collaborator and significant other, Patty Griffin. Jones, meanwhile, has ongoing collaborations with Norwegian avant-garde group Supersilent and veteran British psych-folk artist Robyn Hitchcock.
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