Janet Jackson says she's working on new music

JANET JACKSON:  New music on the way?  

Janet Jackson says she's working on new music -- but wouldn't offer anything concrete.

Speaking with Billboard, this year's recipient of the music industry bible's Icon Award, says she wishes she could be specific about the project. "I’m not trying to avoid the question and be secretive, but the truth is that I don’t try to analyze the creative process while it’s still ongoing. I’m very intuitive about writing. Anything can inspire me."

As an example, she recalled "an especially painful chapter in my early life... that might be a song." Or that she "woke up this morning and heard a bird chirping in a rhythm that captivated my heart. Maybe that will turn into a new groove."

Jackson also declined to mentioned any potential collaborators or producers.

MORE BIG 95 KBGO MUSIC NEWS:  Friday, May 18th

PAUL SIMON:  Kicked off his 'Homeward Bound:  The Farewell Tour" this week

Paul Simon's "journey home" has finally begun.

He kicked off his Homeward Bound: The Farewell Tour Wednesday night in Vancouver. His 25-song set both began and ended with a Simon and Garfunkel classic. He kicked things off with "America" and, appropriately, ended with "The Sound of Silence."All told, he played six numbers from the duo's catalog, at least one song from seven of his 12 post-Simon and Garfunkel solo albums, and a cover of the Little Junior Parker early rock and roll classic "Mystery Train."

There's plenty of video of the show posted on YouTube. Here's the complete opening night set list:

  1. America (Simon & Garfunkel)
  2. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
  3. The Boy in the Bubble
  4. Dazzling Blue
  5. That Was Your Mother
  6. Rewrite
  7. Mother and Child Reunion
  8. Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
  9. Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War
  10. Can't Run But
  11. Spirit Voices
  12. The Obvious Child
  13. El Condor Pasa (If I Could) (Simon & Garfunkel -- Instrumental)
  14. The Cool, Cool River
  15. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
  16. You Can Call Me Al

Encore   17. Homeward Bound (Simon & Garfunkel)   18. Mystery Train (Little Junior's Blue Flames cover)   19. Mrs. Robinson (Simon & Garfunkel)   20. Still Crazy After All These YearsEncore 2:   21. Graceland   22. The Boxer (Simon & Garfunkel)   23. Late in the Evening Encore 3:   24. Questions for the Angels   25. The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)

SAMMY HAGAR:  Rocked the house at his benefit this week

Sammy Hagar held his fifth annual Acoustic-4-a-Cure benefit concert Tuesday night at the Fillmore in San Francisco.

This year's show once again benefited the pediatric cancer program at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, but it was also a 76th birthday party for the legendary bluesman Taj Mahal, who's a friend of Hagar's.

The night's finale was an all-star jam with Hagar, Taj, Bob Weir, Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon, Michael Anthony, Chad Smith, Joe Satriani and Don Was. But right before Hagar brought out his friend, celebrity chef Guy Fieri, who'd baked a birthday cake to mark the occasion. 

Hagar says it was "an enlightening experience for me on so many levels... Every year I have been winging it, flying by the seat of my pants, fingers crossed and wiping the sweat from my brow at the end of each show. The fifth time was the charm for me. I discovered the magic is finding the right group of people and just letting it happen... Everyone brought something to the show, everyone participated in the complete event, wholeheartedly, and it was a friggin' blast for all of us."

Other highlights included:

  • A reunion of Hagar's Chickenfoot
  • Bob Weir doing the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil" with Kevin Cronin, along with "Only a River" and "Easy Answers"
  • Eddie Money performing a short set with his daughter Jesse
  • Taj turning in a short set that included "Corrina" and "Fishin' Blues"

Robert Lamm says Chicago's current tour, where they perform Chicago 2 in its entirety, is going very well. He tells the Tallahassee (Florida) Democrat, "It’s the Chicago that most grew up with, most people fell in love with. I am surprised by how fearless we were. But we made it work.”

Billy Idol has announced U.S. dates for September and October.

Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain will release the album The Songs You Leave Behind on June 8th. Journey and Def Leppard start their tour Monday in Hartford, Connecticut.

Mike and the Mechanics have announced a 34-date U.K. tour for next March and April.

Allman Brothers Band percussionist Marc Quiñones has joined The Doobie Brothers for their spring and summer tour with Steely Dan.

The trailer to the Freddie Mercury and Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody has been viewed more than 20 million times on YouTube since its release on Tuesday.

Colin Blunstone is working on a new solo album. The Zombies vocalist posted a pair of pictures on Facebook of his producer Jon Sweet behind a studio mixing board. Zombies drummer Steve Rodford is also involved. Colin says, "We’re really hoping to make some progress over the summer months… I can’t wait to hear some of these tracks finished!"

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