July 2011 Archives

Blues Radio #1: Tedeshi Trucks Band

Top 15 Albums at Blues Radio, Week of July 29, 2011
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I made good on last week's pledge and did, in fact, check out the latest from Booker T. Jones and in a stunning upset managed to get it reviewed before this week's edition of the Blues Radio Report and The Road From Memphis is once again a Top 5 album. Tedeschi Trucks Band seems like they'll be in the #1 slot for awhile longer, although there are some major releases due out this week (check our NewMusicTuesday feature this week to find out about them) and more on the way in the coming weeks. Tedeschi Trucks and Jones are joined

Booker T Jones feat. Yim Yames - "Progress"

It's like eating your favorite food and being surprised by it...
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There are days I don't hate YouTube and this is one of them. "Progress" is my favorite track on Booker T. Jones' latest record The Road From Memphis and because I have a Charlie Brown-esque existence filtered through an Eeyore-like outlook, I was pretty sure that meant there wouldn't be a video for the song. What can I say? The sun shines on a dog's ass somedays. I always lumped My Morning Jacket in with that awful group of bands like My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte, and a host of other reasonably vapid acts with daft names and I dismissed
I get most of music from Amazon these days and when I looked up The Road From Memphis, I saw there were several bonus tracks available on the digital version. Can I please say right now this practice pisses me off to no end? The labels bitch and moan about how they can't make any money from downloads. What do they do? Give digital versions of records with slimmer profit margins exclusive content. The only people surprised those assholes are losing money are, well, them. I looked at the bonus tracks and something immediately jumped out at me: Biz Markie

Review: Teddybears - Devil's Music

A boring pile of dance music.
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Teddybears have been fiddling around with various genres of music since the early 90s. The Swedish band trafficked in death metal, reggae, pop, and almost everything in between before settling on the sort of dance magic found on their newest album. Devil’s Music is the sixth studio recording for Patrik Arve and brothers Joakim and Klas Åhlund. What we have on Devil’s Music is a hodgepodge of inoffensive, easy, boring dance pop-rock. There are loads of guest stars and nothing interesting happens, but perhaps these Teddybears aren’t supposed to be stimulating on a deeper level. The formulaic record essentially drills

Review: Deep Purple - Deep Purple

The final album by Deep Purple's original lineup
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Deep Purple's third and final release from their original lineup was a self-titled affair. Unlike their first two albums, Deep Purple primarily features originals with only one cover song, showing the band's artistic growth. The album has been rereleased on CD with a number of bonus tracks. Deep Purple leads off with "Chasing Shadows," an infectious rocker with tribal drumming from Ian Paice. Indeed, the song serves as a showcase for the legendary drummer with a lengthy drum outro as well. The sole cover is "Lalena," a reworking of an old Donovan track. It is far mellower than the band's

Review: Deep Purple - The Book Of Taliesyn

Deep Purple takes a slightly heavier turn on their sophomore release.
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After Deep Purple's success with Shades Of Deep Purple, the band did not stray far from its formula for their second album The Book Of Taliesyn. Like its predecessor, The Book Of Taliesyn is roughly half cover songs and half originals and it is being rereleased on CD along with all of the other Mk. I albums with a number of bonus tracks. Book sees the band adding a harder edge to their sound, one they would expand upon with later lineups of the group. The album opens with "Listen, Learn, Read On," a driving song with killer drumming by

Review: Deep Purple - Shades of Deep Purple

The legendary band's debut LP
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Before the bombast of such classics as "Smoke On The Water" or "Highway Star," there was Deep Purple Mk. I. The original band released three albums between 1968 and 1969 and featured Rod Evans on vocals and Nick Simper on bass. This incarnation was more psychedelic and pop-oriented than the hard rock sound the band would come to be known for. Now, all three of these albums are being rereleased with bonus tracks. Deep Purple's first album, Shades Of Deep Purple, had a fair amount of success — particularly in the U.S. — including a top-5 hit with their cover

Tesla - "Love Song"

Because a hit is still a hit...
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Everyone likes to think their music is timeless and the best, that their parents' music was shit and whatever comes next will pale in comparison to the here and now. I wasn't quite that bad as a kid. I didn't think all the old stuff was shit but was convinced MY music would last. I grew up on '80s hair metal; I was an idiot. I look back now and realize hair metal was pretty silly. I'm not sure which embarrasses me more: the look or the songs. But… I know the genre and era will forever be derided and

Switchfoot - "The Shadow Proves The Sunshine" (Live)

What do you do when every nerve in your body tells you to do something but you don't know what to do, or if there's anything you can do?
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The shadows surrounded me today. The clouds rolled in over my head but I remained dry while storms of stress, sorrow, and worry rained down upon many around me. Empathy is a unique, confusing blessing in the human experience. It is our capacity to not only love one another but to bear and share one another's burdens through our shared experiences with love, laughter, suffering, and loss that binds us together in a world with so many weapons of divisiveness. I look around at the people I'm blessed to have in my life and the joy they bring and I

Delmark Records Expands Junior Wells' 'Hoodoo Man Blues,' Due Aug. 16

A Hall of Fame Record gets some Hall of Fame treatment...
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Oh, glorious days! Delmark Records is re-issuing not only one of the most important records in its vital catalog but one of the most important records in Chicago blues history when Junior Wells' Hoodoo Man Blues is re-issued in a deluxe edition August 16. Hoodoo Man Blues is a Grammy Hall of Fame record, a Blues Hall of Fame record, and one of the textbook examples of Chicago's classic West Side blues style. As distinguished blues historian and the fount of all knowledge Bill Dahl notes, Hoodoo captured the essence of the live Junior Wells experience but in a studio

George Harrison - "Any Road" (Acoustic)

The Quiet One speaks...
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I suppose at some point it became "cool" to say George Harrison was your favorite Beatle because the John vs Paul thing became too obvious. I'm not going to do any sort of revisionist history; I don't have a favorite Beatle. I love all four of our beloved Fab 4 but it's not revisionist history when I tell you I always had more time for Harrison's compositions -- Beatles and otherwise -- than some of even the most hardcore fans. Harrison's sweet, gentle, understated way always connected with me. I loved his voice, even though it was thin and sometimes

Nick Moss Announces West Coast Tour

Moss & The Flip Tops kick off West Coast swing in Phoenix, AZ...
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Award-winning bluesman Nick Moss and his band The Flip Tops have announced a West Coast tour in advance of the release of a brand new album Here I Am due in October. The tour kicks off in Phoenix on August 4 and will take the band north through California, Oregon, and Washington and will also include stops in Utah, Colorado, and wind up with a date in Canada. He and Ronnie Baker Brooks will team up for the show in Littleon, CO. Moss has been busy putting the finishing touches on Here I Am, finishing the mixes at his own

Review: Mike Zito - Greyhound

A solidly crafted album with some good tunes and wicked licks.
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Mike Zito's Greyhound is the followup to his 2009 Pearl River, the title track of which took home the Blues Music Award for Song Of The Year. He teamed Anders Osborne, a terrific singer/songwriter in his own rite (love his American Patchwork CD) but someone who is increasingly embracing the role of producer. In addition to Zito's Greyhound, Osborne also produced Louisiana bluesman Tab Benoit's Medicine, released earlier this year. Artists and their publicists routinely claim a new work is the most personal from the artist to date, whether it's actually true or not. The liner notes don't explicitly

Amy Winehouse Re-Enters iTunes Top 10

Adele holds off one of her mentors, the late Amy Winehouse, to remain at #1
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Forgive the internal geekiness of this but I'm very excited about this week's iTunes Chart Watch, mostly because we've finally produced our own, in-house review of Adele's blockbuster 21 and we can refer you to that if you're one of the other five people who haven't bought it yet. Adele isn't the only album in iTunes' albums charts to have been reviewed at BBS. We reviewed the new 311 record and it touched off a firestorm of comments from touchy 311 fans who weren't prepared to confront the idea that Universal Pulse is not the greatest album of all time

DeepSoul: Deniece Williams - "Free"

"Free," a jazz-kissed ballad that perfectly showcases her wispy vocals, represents some of the elegant vocalist's best work.
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Just call her Niecy. Deniece Williams' debut solo album, This Is Niecy, heralded the arrival of a sultry R&B vocalist. Reminiscent of Minnie Riperton's astounding range and soft vocal style, Williams' elegant singing had graced numerous albums. After putting in time as background vocalist for such stellar artists as Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack and, yes, Riperton, she joined forces with Earth, Wind, and Fire's Maurice White, who taught her the music business. Gathering a group of songs originally intended for EWF, White brought much of the group into the studio (including Verdine White on bass, Freddie White on drums, and

Review: Dadavistic Orchestra - Dokument .02

Dokument .02 is a trip, both literally and figuratively.
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Dadavistic Orchestra consists of former members of the Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia paired up with The Black Dog. Both groups became known for their work as electronic/ambient/drone pioneers. As the Dokument .02 title suggests, this is the Orchestra’s second release. Listening to it is akin to taking a trip through the ambient gutter. Music For Airports this is not, although there are some similarities to The Black Dog’s 2010 update of the Brian Eno classic, Music For Real Airports. When Eno released his landmark ambient 1978 classic, the idea was to create a soothing background soundscape for the (then) weirdly

Duke Robillard 'Low Down And Tore Up' Due Sept. 20

Robillard has released a video for "What's Wrong"
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We once again use our BBS Music Television series not to look back in time at songs we once adored but instead to wet our appetite for music waiting to accept our love. Yesterday we started a stampede of excitement for the new Noel Gallagher record; today, it's Duke Robillard's turn.  Low Down And Tore Up will be released September 20 through Stony Plain Records and features 14 songs. We have a full tracklisting (courtesy of Billboard) and the artwork for the album courtesy of Stony Plain. We also have a promo video! Low Down follows up Passport To The
It's time once again for our weekly look at the latest CDs to hit store shelves...   Prior to the tragic passing of Amy Winehouse, the most shocking story in the music world was the lurid, chilling plot to kidnap and murder British vocalist Joss Stone. Stone is back in the news this week but for much happier reasons. She's been freed from her label and is releasing a brand new album called LP1. She's also part of Mick Jagger's supergroup Super Heavy (that album is due later this year). Jimmie Vaughan follows his Plays Blues, Ballads, & Favorites with

'Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' Available For Pre-Order

The album gets its release Oct. 17
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The time has come, my children. We've basked in the glow of the glorious first video from Noel Gallagher's upcoming record and now we can all pre-order Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, street date October 17. As has become the norm, it's being offered in multiple packages. There aren't an overwhelming number of details about the specific packages being offered through Gallagher's web site but we'll cover what we know. The album is being offered for preorder as a single disc set in the standard jewel case. It's also being offered as a digital download of the same. The digital

Noel Gallagher - "The Death Of You And Me" (Official Video)

Another big moment in a decade-plus long wait...
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Well it wasn't even a question what today's BlindedBySound Music Television was going to be then, was it? You people don't understand- I have been waiting for a Noel Gallagher solo record for more than a decade. Before iPods, I was making mix tapes of Oasis b-sides to create the Noel Gallagher solo album. I was doing it with CD burners back when they spun at 2x. I've made dozens of Noel-only playlists since that glorious day God smiled upon us and sent Moses down the mountain carrying not a stone tablet but an iPod. Today we have the official

Eden Brent - "Leave Me Alone" (Live)

Feeling everything and nothing in front of everyone...
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One of the highlights of my 2011 Blues Music Award experience in Memphis was seeing Eden Brent and The Bo-Keys perform at BB King's Blues Club in Memphis. I saw Brent perform two songs at the BMAs the year prior but this was my first time really seeing her live, doing something a full set with a backing band (including producer, songwriter, guitarist Colin Linden). I sat quietly in the darkened club and watched her work the room before her set, greeting fans and friends, laughing and hugging. I expected her to open with something uptempo like "Ain't Got No

Tedeschi Trucks Hold #1 Blues Chart Position; Hot Tuna, Tracy Nelson Close Behind

Another week at #1 for Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi...
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This week's blues chart is giving me the blues; I finally finish my long-delayed review of Marcia Ball's Roadside Attractions and she falls out of the Top 5 for the first time in ages. I feel like I owe her an apology. If it makes her feel any better, I like Roadside. Tedeschi Trucks Band's Revelator is once again our #1 this week, followed by Hot Tuna, Tracy Nelson, Booker T. Jones, and Gregg Allman. I haven't heard any of the middle three records yet but they've all been fixtures near the top of the chart so I'll be looking

"Tears Dry On Their Own" - Amy Winehouse Dead at 27

A tragic end to a life filled with promise and struggles...
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I don’t normally try to write tributes or death notices or articles about someone’s passing (you're about to find out why with this drivel), but I woke to the news of Amy Winehouse’s passing and found myself in the odd position of wanting to say...something. Winehouse, 27, was found dead at her London home. To say she was troubled would be an understatement. She was born in north of London to a Jewish family and cultivated an early interest in jazz music. When Amy was ten, she had a rap group called Sweet ‘n Sour. A few years later,

Review: 311 - Universal Pulse

You've heard this record before...
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311 seem to be a band you either love or loathe, with not a lot of middle ground. I have always been in the “love” category... that is until I got my hands on their latest effort Universal Pulse. I was excited for this album (whose cover art looks like something Journey rejected in the '70s) and was actually taken aback by how underwhelmed I was by it in its entirety. A bonus is that it’s only eight tracks long and the songs are usually brief, in the three minute range, so it zips along and ends quite quickly.

Review: Mike Batt - The Hunting Of The Snark

An all-star production recorded in 1985 is finally released.
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Although Mike Batt is relatively unknown in the United States, he is a huge person of influence in British music. As Deputy Chairman of the British Phonographic Industry, people tend to listen to him. Before that he was responsible for one of the most popular children’s shows in England, The Wombles. Between these achievements came Batt’s most ambitious project ever, The Hunting Of The Snark. The various tribulations Batt encountered in bringing his musical version of the Lewis Carroll poem to life are almost as intriguing as the work itself. Having secured the talents of (among others), George Harrison, Roger

Review: Marcia Ball - Roadside Attractions

A fine, classy, classic blues record from one of the genre's enduring talents.
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Pianist Marcia Ball has been a fixture in the blues scene for 40 years. Veteran artists sometimes surprise and take interesting detours but by this point in their career, most settle in comfortably to the terrain they've carved for themselves and play to their strengths and that's exactly what Ball does on Roadside Attractions. All 12 songs are outfitted with Ball's brand of Texas/Louisiana-styled blues and while that may sound static or limiting, there's more than enough room for Ball to breathe, stretch, and keep things interesting without getting lost. Ball wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs and noted producer

Review: Adele - 21

See what the fuss is all about
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At first glance, Adele’s 19 and 21 are a lot the same: heartache, anger, and love gone wrong with being alone the predictable ending in both scenarios. However, 19 introduced us to a young, vulnerable and broken Adele who was grasping at someone -- anyone -- to love her, for love’s sake. 21 shows us a  more mature Adele who hasn’t just lost any love, she’s lost the love- the one where falling in love with them is as quick, unexpected, and painful as falling out of love with them will inevitably be. Where 19 ended on a melancholy, introspective

Avett Brothers, Raconteurs, Buddy Guy, Bob Seger Headline Orlando Calling Music Fest

After months of speculation the lineup for the first Orlando Calling Music fest is announced
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We have TheMouse, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios but we don't get a lot of great music coming through Orland. It seems most artists stop their Southern trek around Atlanta and when someone great does come to town, they don't often come back. So you can imagine my surprise when I learned in January that there were plans to hold a music festival here in November. Put on by Festival Republic (the group that also puts on the festivals in Leeds and Reading among other places), the company says they chose Orlando because most airlines fly here and because of

Review: Zoos of Berlin - Pallister Chant EP

Zoos of Berlin's free EP just made a fan out of me...
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Zoos of Berlin are giving away their new four-song EP Pallister Chant through Bandcamp, making it available to stream or download. Fellow BlindedBySound writer Heather first turned me on to these guys when she told me her sister was obsessed with them. I instantly conjured David Bowie in my mind before I'd heard a single note from them because I, like many, adore the so-called "Berlin Trilogy" of Low, "Heroes", and Lodger. It was a mental reflex, an involuntary psychic reaction to the name. I listened to a few soundclips, which wasn't enough to give me much of a read

Review: Paul McCartney - McCartney II

A wild and hazy ride with Sir Paul.
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Paul and Linda McCartney famously claimed that the only time they ever spent apart was when Paul was incarcerated in a Japanese jail on a marijuana bust. This happened in 1980, the same year his second solo album was released, McCartney II. After listening to the remastered, two-disc Paul McCartney Archive Collection edition of McCartney II, I have to wonder if it really was a drug bust. From the audio evidence presented here, my guess is that the event was really a well-disguised intervention. How else does one explain such songs as “Bogey Music” and “Frozen Jap,” except as the result

Noel Gallagher Announces First Single For Solo Debut

"The Death Of You And Me" will be the first single from ex-Oasis' songwriter/guitarist Noel Gallagher's debut solo record and will be available August 21.
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"The Death Of You And Me" will be the first single from ex-Oasis' songwriter/guitarist Noel Gallagher's debut solo record and will be available August 21.  Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds will be released Oct. 17, the first of two solo LPs Gallagher has in the pipeline. The second, a collaboration with Amorphous Androgynous, will be released next year. According to Gallagher, High Flying Birds are not his new band. "My manager asked me who the High Flying Birds are," he said last week at a press conference. "They aren't anyone in particular. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds is me and

Review – The Jeff Golub Band – The Three Kings

Golub is good, but he's not royalty
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The guitar is ubiquitous in modern music, and the level of technical proficiency that some players have achieved is utterly breathtaking. Yet music isn’t just about the notes. It’s about the message. It’s a form of communication, a method of storytelling. Which is why guitarists with the ability to play almost anything continue to return to the simplicity and honesty of the blues. It may not be the most technically demanding of genres, but within the blues, each note matters. Jeff Golub has played a lot of music in his time. A Berkley graduate, he’s probably best known for his

Colbie Caillat, LMFAO #1 At iTunes This Week

Top 10 selling singles and albums at the iTunes Music Store for the week ending July 18, 2011...
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Guess whose album is OUT of the Top 10 at iTunes this week? Lady GaGa. Tick, tick, tick, tick... Singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat is our surprise #1 this week, topping the iTunes Albums Chart with her latest record All Of You. Country star Blake Shelton's Red River Blue comes in at #2 followed by the latest from Incubus, the blockbuster 21 from Adele, and Yours Truly, a collaboration between Sublime and Rome. Rockers Theory Of a Deadman also hit the Top 10 albums chart this week with their new album The Truth Is.... I got my Spotify account this week and

Review: Adele - 19

A look back at a debut that launched a star...
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She doesn’t have the best voice we've ever heard but Adele has that “thing."She's such a powerful song interpreter she makes you feel her joy, pain, and anger even if you don't completely understand the lyrics. You still know what she means and she makes you feel it, too. I discovered Adele and 19 about a year after everyone else did. I didn’t take her seriously because the radio people (what I call people who let the radio dictate who their favorite artists are) took to her so quickly and earnestly. That meant, to me, she was too glossy, a

Beastie Boys f. Santigold "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win" Video

The Beastie Boys and Spike Jonze have teamed up for another video classic collaboration...
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The opportunity arose for me to watch and review the video for “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” by Beastie Boys and Santigold which seemed perfect since I just reviewed Hot Sauce Committee Part Two and this was the sleeper hit that ended up being my favorite track on the album. OK, now fast forward to me sitting in my back yard actually watching this video for the first time and I wishing I’d been filming a reaction video for YouTube; I’m sure the look on my face was priceless. As with many (all?) Beastie Boys videos, the

Review: Paul McCartney - McCartney (Deluxe Edition)

Paul's solo debut has been remastered, and features a second disc of bonus tracks.
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Paul McCartney very famously turned the release of his first solo album into a major event. For one thing, he convinced EMI to push back the release of The Beatles' Let It Be to release his first. But that was nothing compared to the “interview” included in the package. In it, Macca announced the break-up of The Beatles. Predictably, the bombshell made headlines around the world. It’s too bad all this furor was created over such a mediocre record. Actually, mediocre may not be the right word to describe McCartney. Unfinished is what it really is. For a craftsman as

Beady Eye Announce North American Tour

Ex-Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher brings his band stateside in November...
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Beady Eye has announced a brief North American tour scheduled for the fall, kicking off in Vancouver in November. Beady Eye is Liam Gallagher's post-Oasis band, featuring fellow former Oasis members Andy Bell, Gem Archer, and Chris Sharrock. The quartet released their debut album Different Gear, Still Speeding earlier this year and have been playing shows across the UK and throughout Europe in support of the new recod. Oasis tumultuous run came to an end near the end of their Dig Out Your Soul tour when Liam and his older brother Noel had one final dustup. Beady Eye quickly
I experience souldeath every time 311 releases a new record. Of all the great bands of the '90s I wish were still together, how is it these clowns are the one that survived? Nirvana. Screaming Trees. Oasis. They aren't making new records. Soundgarden might. Alice in Chains does but it won't ever be the same without Layne. There are so many others we've heard the last from. Who do we get stuck with? That's right. 311, because God has a sense of humor and I don't at the moment. We've got new music from They Might Be Giants, the

DeepSoul: Sly and the Family Stone - "Sing A Simple Song"

The legendary funk band's 1969 single proclaims the joy of music.
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They've taken us higher, taught us to dance to the music, and were so funky that they could make up their own spelling ("Thank You [Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin]"). Sly and the Family Stone set the standard for a gritty soul sound with a thumping rhythm, and the then-unusual interracial band lineup broadened their appeal to previously segregated audiences. Their magnetic performance during Woodstock solidified their reputation as a seriously funky group spreading a 60s message of unity. Few songs exemplify Sly Stone's vision more than "Sing A Simple Song." The "B" side to the number one 1969 single

Review: Taking Back Sunday - S/T

Their eponymous record, complete with a return from a classic line-up, rocks like it should.
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With their eponymous record, Taking Back Sunday brings the heat with the Tell All Your Friends line-up and manages a full-sounding blast of a rock record. It may seem that the fifth record is designed to banish the mediocrity of New Again, an album the band didn’t like all that much. Overall, though, beyond new beginnings or a recapturing of the emo spirit, Taking Back Sunday is all about the Rock. The return of guitarist/vocalist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper to the outfit is certainly a welcome thing, as the band sounds immensely whole and satisfied. Now in their

The Cure - The Same Dead "End"

Is it worth the aggravation...?
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I never achieved the same level of Cure obsession as some of my friends. My parents didn't let us watch MTV or even listen much to the radio when I was a kid in the '80s. By the time the restrictions lifted, I chose sides with the hair/glam metal scene and listening to The Cure would have required my jackass friends to administer a painful assbeating. I grew out of (most) the hair metal and started discovering the brilliance of Robert Smith in the late '80s and early '90s, meaning I heard songs from Disintegration and Wish long before

Review: Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

Make some noise if you're with me!
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The Beastie Boys have long been the godfathers of inappropriate, frat-boy lyrics peppered (sometimes blackened) with political messages. It took them until near middle-age to get the recipe perfect, and by perfect I’m talking 5 stars in the Zagat guide-perfect. The Beastie’s eighth studio album is here and it’s delicious. They’re still mischievous and politically aware but this time they’re not too heavy on either side, and the result is a smooth, satisfying 44 minutes that leaves you happy and licking your chops at the end. Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 (don’t worry, you didn’t miss part one), is the first album in

Review: Bob Dylan, Pacific Amphitheater, Costa Mesa, CA - 7/15/11

Good music played well never goes out of style.
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Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour played the second date of its 2011 U.S. Summer Tour by opening the Orange County Fair on a cool summer night to the delight of a packed house, filled with a cross section of fans young and old.  Some at their first, others who've lost track of the number of times they've seen him.  Dylan started at the organ for show-opener "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking" from Slow Train Coming.  The lyric "Gonna put my good foot forward/ And stop being influenced by fools" perfectly encapsulates the approach he has taken for most

Rhett Miller - "I Need to Know Where I Stand" (Live) | Orlando, FL

Video of Rhett Miller from the Old 97's March tour in support of the Grande Theater Volume One
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This little gem was captured by my iPhone at the Old 97s show in Orlando, FL last March. The theater they were playing is also a playhouse - and apparently there are props back stage. Rhett came out for encore in a scarf and hat, opting to remove the hat but keep the scarf for his acoustic version of my favorite of all the Rhett Miller solo songs "I Need to Know Where I Stand." Lyrically Miller is a genius. It's like he's a walking rhyming thesaurus. I bet he dominates at Words With Friends.  Quiet in the kitchen of

Review: Bon Iver - Bon Iver

Is the new release from Wisconsin's Justin Vernon too crowded?
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This is another review that we are running a bit behind on, as the record was officially released in the US June 21st (though thanks to solid support from NPR the record was streaming weeks in advance of it's release). And then there was that snafu where iTunes made the full album available by accident on May 23rd, allowing a handful of lucky listeners grab the record before Apple "fixed the glitch." So why are we late on this review? Well, I'm not sure this isn't the kind of record that's digested quickly or easily. I'm probably 30 plus

Tedeschi Trucks Band #1 At Blues Radio

Marcia Ball, Hot Tuna, Ben Waters, and Gregg Allman round out the Top 5 at blues radio...
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It always makes me happy to see a lot of albums I've reviewed when I scan the weekly blues radio report not because I require the validation but because it makes me feel like I'm plugged in to what's happening on the circuit. Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi's Revelator is back #1 this week. I'm glad they've reclaimed the top spot the same week I rediscover the album. I know I've been promising this for awhile but I really am close to finishing my Marcia Ball review. Roadside Attractions has been a #1 album and remains a lock in

Tedeschi Trucks Band - "Until You Remember (Live)

We all need a memory jog from time to time...
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One of the unfortunate side effects of this little thing of mine here, this Blinded By Sound thing, is I tend to lose track of records after I review them. Keeping this outpost for music obsessives running means I spend more time listening to music in "work" mode than I do for my own enjoyment. I love the "work" but it warps your perception and alters the way music attaches itself to your memory.My process, if you can call it that, is to listen to an album intensely, immerse myself in it to analyze and consider it,  sketch some

Review: Dolly Parton - Better Day

Dolly's genius is in her unassuming, unadorned delivery.
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As huge a star as Dolly Parton is, there’s something about the way she communicates that makes it seem like she’s sitting at our respective kitchen tables and offering us a helping hand or a listening ear. With Better Day, Dolly’s in full consoler mode. She offers up prayers and visions for better times, spreading comfort through her exquisite storytelling and incredible vocals. There’s a soft and warm side to every note of every song. At the same time, there are cracks and some very human threads to be heard. The balminess never really leaves when she tosses out a

Davina & The Vagabonds - Bee Sting | The Road Less Traveled

The road less traveled...
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Black Cloud is the first Davina & The Vagabonds to feature all original material but listening to the record you get the sense anything they play is going to have an air of originality to it because vocalist Davina Sowers has one of those voices that not only doesn't sound like everybody else, it really doesn't sound like anybody else. "Bee Sting" is a lazy, stripped down little number compared to some of the other cuts on the record. The theme of the song is taking the road less traveled, which is appropriate for a band so wonderfully out of

LMFAO, Adele #1 Single, Album at iTunes Music Store

Here are iTunes' top 10 selling singles and albums of the week ending July 11, 2011...
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It hit me, this weekend, part of the reason I report the iTunes charts each week is because my nieces think it's fun to make fun of me for listening to music they've never heard of and try and stump their uncle, asking him about artists they're sure he's never heard of. They're impressed that I can name these people. They're embarrassed I don't like, well, any of them. They're pretty sure everything I listen to is old and weird. I tell them the word they're looking for is "awesome." They're not buying it. I wouldn't have at their

Chickenfoot To Release 'Chickenfoot III' Sept. 27

The first single will be "Big Foot"...
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Chickenfoot will release their second album September 27 and they've followed the pattern of another famed supergroup with the naming of their record. Chickenfoot's new disc has been dubbed Chickenfoot III, reminiscent of The Traveling Wilburys who followed their debut Vol. 1 with Vol. 3. What is the deal with these guys? Can they just not count? Not according to frontman Sammy Hagar, who said of the new record: "it's so good, the songs are so tight, it's like we jumped right past having to make a second record." Supergroups, super... confidence. The band -- Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael

Music Review: James Farm - James Farm

Redman, Parks, Harland, and Penman hope this debut is only the beginning and so do I...
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  I don't speak "jazz" and for years I let that stand between me and it. Jazz was music for smart people who went beyond generic community college music appreciation courses where you learned what year Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong were born. Every music has its own language but some idioms rely more heavily on their native vocabulary, structures, and concepts than others. Jazz appealed to me but it felt impenetrable. Where do you start? At the beginning? When are you ready for Miles Davis? Do you have to pass a test to buy John Coltrane? I tried

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Releases 'How I Go' Aug. 2

First single "Never Lookin' Back" on iTunes now...
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Kenny Wayne Shepherd will release a new studio album How I Go on August 2 via Roadrunner Records. How I Go is the follow-up to Shepherd's Live! In Chicago, an album nominated for a Grammy and won the 2011 Blues Music Award for Best Blues-Rock Album. This is his first studio effort in several years and it's being released in multiple formats: CD, Deluxe Edition, and double vinyl LP. The Deluxe edition will be issued in digipack, featuring four songs not on the standard CD. Shepherd and his band – vocalist Noah Hunt, Chris Layton (formerly of Stevie Ray Vaughan's

Jimmie Vaughan Releases 'More Blues, Ballads & Favorites' July 26

Sequel to Grammy-nominated 2010 release...
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Jimmie Vaughan is releasing a sequel to his acclaimed, Grammy-nominated 2010 release Plays Blues, Ballads, & Favorites with Plays More Blues, Ballads, & Favorites on July 26 through Shout Factory. Vaughan, founder of the iconic Fabulous Thunderbirds and a successful solo artist, has put together a collection of 14 songs written or performed by luminaries like Ray Charles, Hank Williams Sr., Jimmy Reed, Lloyd Price, and more. He recorded the set in Austin, TX and is joined again by vocalist Lou Ann Barton on three tracks. Barton provided vocal on several tracks of the first volume. The first installment was
I am a lifelong wannabe guitarist, which has led me to admire and obsessively listen to nearly every guitarist of note at one point or another. If he or she has been proclaimed a GuitarGod or Greatest Guitarist Ever, I likely own at least one of their albums. I've conferred those titles on many through my decades of listeing. Some of my recipients -- Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Otis Rush, Duane Allman -- are still worthy of being included in any discussion of the all-time greats. Some of my answers are best forgotten. After years of

Review: Barn Owl - Shadowland EP

An intelligent, challenging drone and ambient recording.
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Barn Owl, comprised of Jon Porras and Evan Caminiti, soared into existence in 2006 with two guitars and a whole whack of gear. Their drone/ambient/Americana/black metal vibe is hard to quantify in words, but their influences and imaginations wisely coalesce into something remarkable each time these cats put sound to tape. Their first release for Thrill Jockey was 2010’s Ancestral Star, a challenging but rewarding recording that drew comparisons to the likes of drone masters Sunn O))) and composer Ennio Morricone. Such a broad base had me convinced that their new EP, Shadowland, would be something to tune in and

Review: Theory of a Deadman - The Truth Is...

Theory of a Deadman returns to the music stores with their fourth studio effort The Truth Is..
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Theory of a Deadman returns to the music stores with their fourth studio effort The Truth Is.... After hitting it big with Scars and Souvenirs, Tyler Connolly, Dave Brenner, Dean Back, and Joey Dandeneau return with a hard hitting album focused on classic Connolly themes: breakups, love, and anger. As Tyler put it recently, "When I write, I either want to kiss someone on the lips or punch them in the face. Anything in between is boring." The opening track is "Lowlife" and starts with a nice bass and drum intro to set the mood. The song embraces your inner

Review: Tony Bennett - Tony Bennett: The Best Of The Improv Recordings

Classic Tony Bennett recordings from his own Improv Records label.
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Tony Bennett has one of the all-time great voices in music but there was a period of time where his style had fallen out of favor, and he grew restless. Similar changes in popular taste affected artists such as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, but they for the most part waited things out. Tony was different. He decided to take a proactive approach. In the mid seventies, Tony Bennett and his partners formed Improv Records. Although the label was unsuccessful due to the usual music business chicanery with independents, Bennett managed to record an extraordinary amount of music there. So

Guster Announcement: the "On the Ocean" EP

New six song EP of live, acoustic, and remixes coming from Guster in August
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And the great music news just keeps coming – this time from a favorite around here at Blinded By Sound – Guster!  The band just announced a six song EP On the Ocean, which will be released August 2nd on the band’s own label – Ocho Mule.  The EP seems to be a mix of live, acoustic, and remixed Guster favorites.  Here’s the track list: On the band's web site, they give some details about the tracks being prepped for this mini release and remind us all that while B-sides for some bands mean B-grade material, Guster B-sides are often

Sneak Peek: Avett Bros. Unplugged Premiers on CMT July 13

Videos and info about the North Carolina band's CMT Unplugged performance.
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Avett Brother fans – we just got some great news about a live Avett performance. The fine folks over at CMT are giving us Unplugged: The Avett Brothers this Wednesday (7/13) at 9pm ET. It’s hard to tell if the unplugged performance will be on both the CMT channel and CMT.com (Rolling Stone says tv, the CMT site seems to imply it’s a webcast).  Either way – members of the Avett Nation won’t want to miss this acoustic performance. Here are a few sneak peaks: The Avetts will also debut a new song, “The Once and Future Carpenter.” 

Review: Pia Toscano - "This Time"

American Idol Season 10 Contestant kicks off her solo career with a debut single cheaper than Ambien and perhaps just as effective...
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Pia Toscano’s long-awaited debut single “This Time” is finally here and if this is any indication of the material on her upcoming album (due later this year through Interscope Records), I'll pass, thank you. Ester Dean has written hits for Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, co-wrote “I Love You This Big” for the winner of last season’s American Idol- Scotty McCreery and penned “This Time” for Pia. It's radio friendly, very vanilla and forgettable. It never seems to take off and her voice doesn’t even sound as big and broad as it did on Idol. I listen to it on repeat about

DeepSoul: Raul Midon - "Pick Somebody Up"

The singer/guitarist convincingly describes why he loves playing music in this upbeat yet catchy track.
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Once in a while, a song grabs me by the ears when I'm driving the car, listening to the radio. Recently this happened to me; as soon as I heard this tune, I grabbed my cell phone and quickly typed in what I guessed was the title. Later, I logged onto iTunes and succeeded in my music hunt: I had heard "Pick Somebody Up" by Raul Midón. If you're a fan of "organic soul," or R&B crossed with a folksy sound (think India.Arie), Midón's smooth voice and acoustic guitar skills are worth seeking out. Born in Embudo, New Mexico in

Review: Gillian Welch - The Harrow & The Harvest

One of the great living singers returns with her first record in eight years...
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I love records that evoke time and place; something Gillian Welch's best records do with ease. The Harrow & The Harvest is the first record under her name since 2003 and it's clear nothing has changed within the first few bars of "Scarlet Town," and we should all thank the stars above for that. There's been a mini folk revival in the past couple years and some nice records have emerged as a result but most of them can't hold a candle to the many high-water moments of Welch's career. She's been doing this longer and knows a few tricks

New Music Tuesday: R.E.M., Bryan McKnight, Theory of a Deadman, Blake Shelton, George Thorogood

New Music Tuesday | New CD Releases July 12, 2011
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All right, boys and girls, it's New Music Tuesday and the pickings aren't overly great this week but we should a few of these highlights so let's get to it…As a matter of record, I love R.E.M. Love them. Love, love, love them. They are in the midst of a re-issue campaign of their classic IRS albums. The first two, Murmur and Reckoning, were both issued with vintage live performances from the respective tours for those records. Neither of the shows had been previously released. One show was complete, the other excerpted. I was happy. They offered up a

Review: Claire Dickson - Scattin' Doll

Jazz from the mouths of babes isn't always sweet and innocent.
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When Claire Dickson was just 11, a key revelation took place: her dad loaded Ella Fitzgerald into the MP3 player. The rest, for the now-14-year-old jazz singer, is history. How much history can be absorbed by a mere three years? That’s hard for anyone to say, but Dickson sings and scats through 10 swinging and scorching numbers with a world-weariness and a funk that singers three times her age can’t muster on their best day. Think I’m kidding? Check out Scattin’ Doll and be wowed. Dickson’s first CD was recorded in two sessions when she was 12 and 13. She

BlindedBySound Music Television: "You Can Call Me Al" - Paul Simon

With great simplicity Paul Simon created one of the great music videos.
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My wife was born in Sierre Leone - that's in Africa for you people with poor geography skills or those of you raised in the American public educational system. Her parents were missionaries, but they moved back to the states not long after she was born so she doesn't actually have any memories from the continent, but its still pretty cool to say she's from Africa. When they moved home to America they didn't own a television, nor did they buy one for many years. Her mother likes to brag that her kindergarten teacher gave her a hug when

Sebastian Bach Releases 'Kicking & Screaming' Sept. 27

First single goes to radio in August...
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Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach has finished his latest solo album Kicking & Screaming and has slated the multi-format package for a September 27 release date in the U.S. through Frontiers Records. The new set was produced by Bob Marlette whose previous credits include the legendary Black Sabbath as well as '90s alt-rockers Filter, Shinedown, and Atreyu. The album was recorded with hot shot guitarist Nick Sterling and drummer Bobby Jarzombek (Halford, Riot, Iced Earth). Former Marilyn Manson/Rob Zombie cohort John5 contributes guitar on the song "TunnelVision." The album will be available in three separate configurations: a single

Review: Quintus McCormick Blues Band – Put It On Me!

Soul-Blues done right!
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Anyone who’s spent any time listening to the blues knows it comes in many shades. In addition to regional variations – Delta, Piedmont, Texas, and West-Coast Swing are all instantly identifiable styles - the blues can be as simple as a solo guitar and voice, or as big and brassy as a full orchestra. Technical definitions aside, it all comes down to feel... Quintus McCormick, raised in Detroit and now based in Chicago, refuses to confine himself to twelve-bar convention, and his music is blue by feel as much as anything else. That’s not to say there aren’t several tunes

'Boogie 4 Stu' Edges Tedeschi Trucks Band, Hot Tuna, Marcia Ball At Blues Radio

Top 15 Albums At Blues Radio For Week of July 08, 2011
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We've been putting the same albums in a blender and jumbling the order but it's been largely the same names and records of late. Ben Waters' tribute to the late Ian Stewart moves back to #1, nudging aside Tedeschi Trucks Band's Revelator. Marcia Ball, Hot Tuna, and the latest from Booker T. Jones round out the Top 5. Gregg Allman's Low Country Blues was #1 for several consecutive weeks but finally seems to be losing steam. It's been a hell of a run for the legendary vocalist considering it's still in the Top 10 and the record was released in

Review: Tommy Castro - Presents The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue-Live!

Fun for the faithful but not quite essential...
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Tommy Castro swept the 2010 Blues Music Awards in support of his Alligator Records debut Hard Believer. Among the awards he took home were the BB King Entertainer Of The Year and he and his band took home the award for Band of The Year, accomplishments that reflect a lot of time spent on touring. It's no surprise, then, he followed up Hard Believer with a live release, Tommy Castro Presents The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue. The 12-track release features a slew of guest artists playing with Castro and/or his band, four of which were recorded on the 2010

BlindedBySound Music Television: Gillian Welch - "Dear Someone" (Live)

seven times 70 to the power of infinity...
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I'm chasing the memories of a hectic Saturday with a lazy Sunday, only now feeling ready to go to work and the first thing on my agenda is my review of the new record for Gillian Welch- well it would be except I can't so much as think about Gillian Welch without listening to "Dear Someone." I was introduced to Ms. Welch by Brewster, Duke, and Saleski and despite the endorsement of those rogues, it turns out they were exactly right. Gillian Welch has a voice of pure magic. The first record of hers I bought was Time (The

BlindedBySound Music Television: U2|The Wanderer|Nashville

Only the second time this has been played at a U2 show, and I got to hear it...
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I hadn't intended to go back to the U2 well again this quickly in our daily devotion to music video but I'm pretty excited about what happened in Nashville and really excited that, like with The National and "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" at the Ryman, someone had a phonecam handy and captured the moment. Even if you don't love U2 or "The Wanderer" as much as I do, it's pretty amazing to hear a band of their stature play a song they've only played one other time. It's the type of thing obsessive geeks like me… obsess over. I know

Review: Matt Schofield - Anything But Time

A record worthy of the talents of its creator...
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I was introduced to Matt Schofield via his 2007 Ear To The Ground  CD and quickly fell in love with the title track. I listened to that record a lot and was convinced this was a talented kid on the way up, someone I should keep an eye on. I intended to just that but somehow lost track of him for a while. I'd listen to Ear again and intend to check out what he was up to but never held the thought long enough to do anything about it. One of the advantages to doing the weekly New

Review: Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More

Yes, we are late to review one of the most downloaded records ever.
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We’re not sure how it happened, but with all of the great new music being reviewed around here we somehow missed talking about one of the biggest albums of the year – well, technically of last year. Sign No More, the debut studio album from England’s Mumford and Sons, was originally released in the US on February 16, 2010. Despite a release date that was roughly 17 months ago, Sign No More currently holds the #3 album spot on the iTunes charts and is the 10th most downloaded record of all time. So how is it possible that we missed

BlindedBySound Music Television: Counting Crows - Round Here

I wasn't the first on board the Counting Crows bandwagon, but I never left once I arrived...
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I was really excited when I saw Counting Crows are releasing a live CD/DVD/Blu-ray containing a complete performance of their landmark debut August And Everything After, an album that dates back to an important time for me and one that continues to be an important part of my musical universe. No revisionist history here, though. When Counting Crows hit the scene in 1993, I didn't get it. Not quite. I was transitioning out of the fun, silly hair metal into the aggressive, primal grunge scene. Counting Crows didn't fit that landscape for me and I wasn't sure what to

Grammy-Winner Tom Hambridge To Release 'Boom!' Aug. 30

Grammy-winner releases first solo record in seven years...
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Tom Hambridge will release his first studio album in seven years when Boom! hits stores August 30. The long gap between records isn't indicative of a reclusive artist or one who has been on holiday. In the years between albums, Hambridge has produced and written songs for a slew of artists and those songs have become radio hits and the albums have brought home Blues Music Awards and Grammys. He's also worked with George Thorogood & The Destroyers on a record that will be released this summer and Hambridge will be on tour with the venerable blues-rockers. The 11-track

Review: Rory Gallagher - 'Tattoo,' 'Against The Grain,' 'Calling Card' Re-Issues

Three of the Irish bluesman's great mid-seventies efforts.
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Rory Gallagher was one busy Irishman in the early seventies. Between 1971-1973 he had already issued four LPs. Rory Gallagher, Deuce, and Blueprint were studio efforts, and there was also the self-explanatory Live In Europe. These four were recently re-mastered and re-released by Eagle Rock, with bonus tracks added. The hard-working musician also recorded Tattoo in 1973, which kicks off Eagle’s latest reissue series. In addition to his live work, Tattoo has taken its place as a favorite of Rory’s fans. The record features his anthemic concert staples, “Tattoo’d Lady” and “Cradle Rock." There is also the great acoustic guitar-led, harmonica-driven

Counting Crows Release 'August And Everything After – Live At Town Hall' Aug. 30

Complete performance of their debut on CD/DVD/Blu-Ray...
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Counting Crows are releasing a complete performance of their debut, August And Everything After on CD, DVD, and Blu-ray on August 30. August And Everything After – Live At Town Hall was recorded on September 18, 2007 at Town Hall in New York City and while the band has released live CDs before, this is the first live DVD of the band's career. August And Everything After was released in 1993 and has sold more than seven million copies and stands as one of the standout records of the decade as well as one of the great debut albums of

American Idol's Pia Toscano Releases Debut Single "This Time" July 12

Debut album to be released later this year via Interscope...
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American Idol Season 10 contestant Pia Toscano has signed a record deal with Jimmy Iovine's Interscope Records and her debut single will release July 12, with her full-length debut slated for later this year. Hit doctor Esther Dean wrote Toscano's upcoming single "This Time." She has penned/co-produced a run of recent of hits for Rihanna, ("S&M," "Rude Boy" and "What’s My Name") and is featured on Nicki Minaj’s hit "Superbass." Rodney Jerkins, himself no stranger to the Billboard charts as a producer, has worked with Toscano on three tracks and said fans should expect a "big, diva-sounding record." It's no

BlindedBySound Music Television: Noel Gallagher Speaks!

Christmas comes early... Noel speaks!
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I know this series is supposed to be about music but this is Noel Gallagher and there really isn't much in this world that's better than Noel Gallagher, whether he's speaking or singing. This is his press conference announcing plans for two solo records to be released in the next year, including one due in October. Pop your popcorn. NFL wide receivers have nothing on the master! October cannot get here soon enough. Let's get plugged in!

Beyonce, LMFAO Top iTunes Music Store Singles And Albums Chart

Mixed reviews didn't keep Beyonce's latest from the top spot...
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A musician friend of mine commented after making a long drive along the West Coast that American radio is completely dead. We've all heard such proclamations before and while I've tried to ignore it, the truth is I don't listen to music via radio anymore and I can't remember the last time I did. My radio presets are NPR and a couple local news/talk/sports stations. I'm sure some of that's because I'm a geezer at this point but it's not because I've stopped listening to music. I buy more music than I ever have. I know, I know, I

Noel Gallagher To Release Solo Album Oct. 17

Gallagher has two records planned for the next 12 months...
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The inevitable has finally come to pass: Noel Gallagher will release his debut solo album in October. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds will be released October 17 and Gallagher will be backed by the High Flying Birds when he tours to promote the record being released on his own label, Sour Mash Records. While Gallagher was coy about his desire to do a solo record throughout his tenure as Oasis' chief songwriter, lead guitarist, and occasional vocalist, many fans of the band have been waiting for this day for a very long time, and I am one of them.

BlindedBySound Music Television: Moreland & Arbuckle - "Purgatory"

The first single from the band's upcoming CD 'Just A Dream'
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We told you yesterday about Just A Dream, the upcoming record from roots-rockers Moreland & Arbuckle. Today we're going to do more than talk about it, we're going to watch and listen to the first single from the record, "Purgatory." One of the coolest things about this video is getting to see Aaron Moreland's custom guitar. You really have to check this thing out; it's a handcrafted four-string instrument, with the strings stretched across a cigar box. One bass string feeds into a bass amp, the other three guitar strings feed into a guitar amp. It's one of those

DeepSoul: Arthur Conley Sings of "Sweet Soul Music"

The 1967 classic perfectly summarizes what soul music is all about: emotion.
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Do you like good music?That sweet soul music! Arthur Conley posed that question back in 1967 in "Sweet Soul Music," co-written with Otis Redding. A shoutout to R&B as well as artists Lou Rawls, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, Redding, and of course the great James Brown, it encapsulates what soul is all about. Ranging from joy, sorrow, lust, and anger, soul music is about the gamut of human emotion. It can call someone to dance: "Out here on the floor now/We're going to a go go/Ah dancin' to the music," Conley growls. It is about looks, as Conley describes

Moreland & Arbuckle Release 'Just A Dream' Aug. 23

Blues-roots duo followup 'Flood' with 12-track effort...
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Aaron Moreland and Dustin Arbuckle will release Just A Dream, the followup to their 2010 release Flood on Telarc records. Moreland & Arbuckle toured extensively for 15 months following the release of Flood and had a new approach in mind when they returned to the studio. "Everything we've done in the past was set up in one big room and recorded in a couple days," said guitarist Moreland. "On this record, we spent far more time and our quality control was far more stringent than it's ever been." Moreland assures fans the grit and rawness of previous records is still part

Switchfoot Release 'Vice Verses' Sept. 27

"Dark Horses" will be the first single from SD quintet's eighth record...
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Switchfoot will release Vice Verses on September 27, the follow-up to their acclaimed, Grammy-winning Hello Hurricane. The San Diego quintet – Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman, Chad Butler, Jerome Fontamillas, Drew Shirley – recorded the majority of the set in their home studio with sessions overseen by producer Neal Avron (Weezer,Linkin Park) and executive producer Mike Elizondo, who helped the band finish Hello Hurricane. Vice Verses is being touted as a more eclectic effort than its successful predecessor. Songs from Hello Hurricane were used throughout the college football season last year on ESPN and ABC, in particular "The Sound (John

BlindedBySound Music Television: Soundgarden - Pretty Noose

I do not think it means what you think it means...
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I don't have a clue what a lot of my favorite songs are about. I know the melody and memorized the words and have a sense of the mood or spirit but the literal meaning? No idea- or at least not a very good one. "Pretty Noose" is a tune I dug from the first time I heard it because, A) I love Soundgarden and B) there's one line in the song that Cornell may have intended one way, but I've taken the liberty of making that line work for me. "I Don't Like What You've Got Me Hanging From"
It's Independence Day in the United States of America and I thought hard and searched high and low for the right song and video to commemorate the day. There were obvious choices like Chicago's "Saturday In The Park" or a pair from Bruce Springsteen, "Independence Day" and "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)." I'm not a big Chicago fan and I haven't been able to listen to Bruce since Clarence Clemons passed away last month. Besides, "Independence Day" isn't really about the 4th of July and "Sandy" will forever be tied to another late E Street Band member, Dan

BlindedBySound Music Television: Michael Penn - "No Myth"

Music and memories don't have to make sense...
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Talking Heads have a concert film called Stop Making Sense. I'm not a big TH fan but I've always loved that phrase. Welcome to a snapshot into my world. I don’t know if it was fate or coincidence but the time came when that was the right song for me, but of course the story makes no sense. Most of us who obsess over music inevitably tie songs, bands, and albums to specific memories and sometimes to specific people. In most instances, there's a specific reason for it. There are the love songs and breakup songs, the records we spent

Review: Florence + The Machine|Nashville|July 2, 2011|

U2's opening act was a tough act to follow in Nashville...
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Florence + The Machine showed no signs of being intimidated opening for megastars U2 in front of a stadium filled with people who'd never heard of them in Nashville last night. The celebrated British band made themselves a hard act to follow, performing seven songs from their acclaimed debut and one slated for the followup. The highlight of the show came early as they launched into a spirited "Drumming Song." It's my favorite track on Lungs and despite the heavy use of electronic elements, it came off well onstage. That's perhaps the biggest, most pleasant surprise about Florence +

Review: U2|Nashville|July 2, 2011|360 Tour

100th show of 360 tour brings band to Nashville for the first time in 30 years...
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U2 made their first appearance in Music City since December 1981 and for two hours they made up for lost time, delivering a transcendent, magical performance for the ages that left me exhausted, exhilarated, and transformed. It's hard to imagine 30 years passing without a trip through Nashville by a band that has embraced America the country, and as Bono said repeatedly last night, the idea. Also amazing is last night wasn't supposed to happen at all! The current leg of the tour was supposed to happen last year but emergency back surgery for Bono forced a postponement. That

The Summer of '93: Beck, Boguss, NIN, Cure, Metallica... and Color Me Badd?

High school was over and life was about to begin anew. This was my soundtrack...
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Well hello, everyone! Remember me? I took a bit of a writing hiatus after the Idol season because let’s face it, it takes some time to erase the versions of songs they assaulted us with on a weekly basis from the memory banks. Or maybe that’s just me. I immersed myself in good music, new and old and also kept my head down and focus sharp to get my son through those last couple weeks of school before our glorious summer started. Now don’t worry, I’m not thrusting anything Idol related on you (yet). I’m just sharing with you

BlindedBySound Music Television: U2 - "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me"

The wait comes to an end; I can't wait to see Florence + The Machine and U2 in Nashville!
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And then the moment arrives… Is there anything better than the day of a show? Does anything beat the anticipation and excitement of the moments before the band hits the stage? The awe and wonder of it all? In a few short hours, we will hit the road for Nashville to see U2 on the final leg of their recordbreaking 360 tour. I've seen the show once, as has fellow BBS writer Stephanie. She wasn't plussed by her experience. I expect my reaction will be different. I liked the show in Atlanta, even if I did get played out when

Tedeschi Trucks Band #1 At Blues Radio; Marcia Ball, Allman Follow

Top Albums At Blues Radio, Week of July 1, 2011.
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I expected Tedeschi Trucks Band's Revelator would top the blues radio chart when I saw it doing so well in the weeks leading up to its release. It's out now and it continues gaining momentum, culminating in the #1 slot this week. Marcia Ball slips a spot to number two, followed by Hot Tuna, former number one Gregg Allman, and the latest from Booker T. Jones. Steve Miller Band's Let Your Hair Down hadn't been a factor on the charts of late but it makes a comeback this week, joining recent releases from Tommy Castro, Tab Benoit, and Rory Black.

Review: Jill Scott - The Light of the Sun

A stunningly emotional, raw journey.
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A playful, spiritual, sexual record, Jill Scott’s The Light of the Sun is a revelation for the Philadelphia singer/songwriter/poet/actress. Her fourth studio album, her first release for Warner Bros. Records, follows a four-year hiatus from recording music and puts her back on solid ground. A lot happened has for Scott since 2007’s The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3. Not only did she take a break from the music business, she took on some pretty big acting roles, including a starring role in HBO’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. During her hiatus, Scott divorced her husband of six

Waterfront Blues Festival - Day 1: Fiona Boyes, Pat Pepin, Curtis Salgado

Taking a look at the day's scheduled events at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festivals
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I've been on the ground here in Portland for two days, pre-festival, spending time with friends and getting a sneak peek at some of the great music that will be on stage this week here at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival. Night one: A jam at a local bar called Gators. Kevin Selfe (of Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes) led the jam with his impeccable guitar and beautiful voice. Many other fantastic locals joined in the fun, as did visiting recording artists Fiona Boyes and Pat Pepin. Fiona tore up the place with blazin' tunes, and Pat wowed the crowd

Listening Room: Old 97s - "If My Heart Was a Car"

In a mix of country backbeat, rocking guitar lines, and vocal harmonies, the Old 97s sing about heartache the only way they know how - like a train running off the tracks.
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I "discovered" the Old 97s in 1999 through the brilliant album Fight Songs. It wasn't until the next year I started working through the back catalouge and it was another year before a friend and bandmate put their first studio album in front of me, 1994's Hitchhike to Rhome. And buried on that record at spot 13 is today's song in question. What begins as a plodding two chord saunter quickly devolves into an upbeat, sweat drenched ramble about the end guy on the wrong end of being used in a relationship. In a mix of country backbeat, rocking guitar

BlindedBySound Music Television: Florence + The Machine - "Drumming Song"

Looking forward to a Saturday double feature of Florence + The Machine and U2 in Nashville...
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I'll be taking in my third U2 show and second on the 360 tour tomorrow. There was no chance I was going to miss them when they were coming closer than they'd ever been (previous shows were in Lexington, KY and Atlanta) regardless of who was opening for them but I was intrigued when I learned said opening act would be Florece + The Machine. I'd heard of them but knew very little about them other than they were causing a bit of a stir in the UK as all new UK bands do (see: Arctic Monkeys, etc) but had