I've always loved the way Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road" operates as a song and opening track to Born To Run, the way it sets the stage for a cinematic musical journey. "Bad Man's Blood" sets the scene for an unflinching story told with stark, minimalism. When the final notes of the album have faded, we realize the title track does for this album what "Thunder Road" did for Born To Run. This is a storyteller record floating on a current of folk and blues accoutrements that doesn't shy away from electric instruments that might turn off folk purists nor
September 2011 Archives
A record with nothing to prove but a lot to say...
Auditions are over and the competition is ready to begin...
Tonight’s episode of The X Factor opens in Newark, NJ which LA Reid says encompasses New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut – he’s sure we’ll find a star. Simon’s just excited because he’s a Jersey Shore fan and loves the people, their sense of humor and personalities, he’s sure it’s going to be a blast. Brian Bradley is 14 and tells Simon he hasn’t had a record deal yet because of politics, which makes Simon smile. He’s a charming and well-spoken kid. Suddenly Brian goes into an ill-advised rant of “Yo, Simon what you lookin’ at?” to segue into his
The talent improves over last week's season premiere...
It's the second and final week of The X Factor auditions Cheryl Cole gets more face time, we get a little more talent than we did last week (especially compared to Night 2), and we realize that host Steve Smith is utterly worthless. Pretty, but worthless. While this episode had considerably more talent than Night 1 or Night 2 from last week, there were the inevitable clunkers and shriekers and annoying contestants that I’m not even going to feature today. I’m focusing on the positive and interesting. Don’t worry" this stance won’t last. The first hour of the audition
Clark continues to promote his phenomenal 'Bright Lights' EP
We're very excited to announce and share with you the official video for the title track from Gary Clark Jr's Bright Lights EP. We've been in love with this EP for about six weeks now since reading Jordan's stellar review and we haven't shut up about it or Gary since. The EP is four (awesome) songs long and while we await a full-length record (I don't know how far along in the process he is and don't have even a hint of when it might surface but work is ongoing), we celebrate anything new we can get our hands,
Krivda's homage to Pekar is a swinging success.
Harvey Pekar once called Ernie Krivda “one of the greatest jazz tenor saxophonists in the world,” adding that nobody would know it because “he chooses to live in Cleveland.” Location, and soaking up the soul of said location, is very important to Krivda. His Blues for Pekar, a tribute to the music critic and underground comic book writer, has Cleveland written all over it, but there are also doses of Detroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and other Midwest cities in the United States. For Krivda, this Midwest circuit is the musical atmosphere he longs for. Interestingly, it was a tobacco tax that
Cornell has also written "The Keeper" for 'Machine Gun Preacher' soundtrack...
Chris Cornell is releasing a live, solo acoustic album Songbook on November 21 before embarking on a second leg of solo acoustic touring. It's been awhile since I could bring myself to buy a Chris Cornell CD despite my enduring love for Soundgarden. His post-Soundgarden work has ranged from disappointing to godawful with only few, minor exceptions ("Can't Change Me" from Euphoria Morning" and maybe three songs from the first Audioslave record). The best thing he's done since Soundgarden was release a "posthumous" Soundgarden live album. Songbook features songs from throughout Cornell's career -- Soundgarden, Audioslave, and solo albums --
American Idol 4th place finisher records song Nickelback (probably) wouldn't...
James Durbin famously (and unforgivably) finished fourth on Season 10 of American Idol and while we've gotten plenty of news from winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina, Durbin fans have been waiting with baited breath for any kind of information. Where will he sign: major or indie label? When will we hear something from him? When will we get some kind of leak about his debut album? Well kids, I’m about to give you answers to all three of those questions. Who loves ya, baby? Let's begin with James' new label home. The day the American Idol Summer Tour
Jason Derulo's second album is a pedestrian step back.
When an album starts with the vocalist singing his own name with cumbersome Auto-Tune, it’s hard to feel enthusiastic about what’s to come. Still, Jason Derulo’s Future History isn’t all bad - it's just mostly bad. The multi-platinum singer’s sophomore record has the bones of some fairly good songs on it, but it is so overproduced and busy it’s hard to track the message. Derulo, now 22, is trying to persuade listeners he’s come a long way since his self-titled debut. He has, in fact, opened for Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas (in Canada). And he does have
This could have worked but it didn't
Glam rockers and Sunset Strip veterans LA Guns have a new record out of all acoustic material called, cleverly enough, Acoustic Gypsy and recorded fittingly at Hotel Café in Hollywood, California. After nearly 30 years and a history as sordid as its door is revolving, the Tracii Guns version (we’ll get more into this later) has recorded its first and hopefully last acoustic record. To have a successful acoustic or unplugged album -- I’m judging success by overall and finished product, not album sales -- you need a few components. Paramount to all of these is a pleasant singing voice.
Maria Muldaur drew inspiration for Steady Love, her follow up to the acclaimed Garden Of Joy, from New Orleans and worked with several musicians from that area. That might help explain the song selection on the record, as Muldaur creates some strange contrasts in an attempt to give voice to a diverse, unique American city. There are Christian hymns and odes of faith ("I Done Made It Up In My Mind," Walk By Faith"), gritty blues with carnal connotations ("Get You Next To Me"), traditional blues tales of hard times ("Why Are People Like That," "Blues Go Walking") and songs
It's not perfect but Bach is the best he's been since going solo...
Happy 'Sebastian Bach Has A New Solo Album Day,' kids! That’s right! Kicking And Screaming is finally available to the masses (if you live outside North America you undoubtedly picked yours up a few days ago. If not- do it now!). Anyone who has ever had a conversation with me knows Skid Row/Sebastian Bach is in my top 10 of favorite bands/artists, ever. While the songs and many of the artists on the list rotate in and out on any given day, the fact that Sebastian Bach is firmly in the top 10 never wavers. The title track kicks off
Bach returns to the metal scene with a scorching album of metal madness.
When Skid Row was on top of the world, Sebastian Bach was the epitomy of a hair metal singer. His voice was the envy of the metal world. With that came an ego that eventually caused the band to split. Bach went off into obscurity for years it seemed, showing up on broadway, and every now and then making guest appearances at shows or on albums. In 2007, Bach unleashed his first full-length, studio solo album Angel Down. Four years later, Bach returns with his follow-up album Kicking & Screaming. Regardless of what you may have heard, Bach rocks out
The modern super group returns with it's sophomore release.
Chickenfoot blasted their way on to the music scene with their first album in 2009. The super group contained one half of Van Hagar in Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony teaming up with guitar god Joe Satriani and Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. Nobody knew what to expect, and the band seemed like a fun side project for all involved. So here we are two years later and we have a second album from them in the form of Chickenfoot III. Following the lead of another super group, The Traveling Willburys, Chickenfoot skipped over the "II" in the album sequence.
More music than you shake a 'foot at...
This might be the most expensive New Music Tuesday in the history of my life (thank you, Rocky Balboa). We've got deluxe editoins from Pink Floyd and Nirvana as well as new releases from Sebastian Bach, Chickenfoot, Swtichfoot (that's a lot of 'foot, kids), the mighty Wilco, Maria Muldaur, Mastodon, and so many more. Take a deep breath, pour a drink, and get ready to dive in as we look at just a handful of the biggest releases for Sept. 27, 2011. Pink Floyd Re-Issues If you think you've heard this before, you have- sort of. Floyd's catalog has seen
What's old is new again...
"Honey Bunny" mixes early '60s bubblegum pop with a mid-'90s post punk aesthetic filetered through psychedelic surfer beats. Its like taking that Beatlesesque band from that cutesy Tom Hanks movie and throwing them in a blender with the Beach Boys, the Pixies, Primus and the first 20 seconds of the Cranberries "Dreams." The results are a delicious pop shake with enough of a hard edge to make the ironic hipsters dig. Its a two and a half minute blast of nostalgic bop with a modern twist. Its poking fun at your father's old-timey music, while simultaneously lavishing yourself in the
Take some '70s soul, add a touch of rock, and mix in just a dash of Latin rhythms, and you get one classic track.
Stax act The Dramatics scored numerous hits in their 1970s prime, including "In the Rain" and "Get Up and Get Down," but they are also responsible for a still-unique single—1971's "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get." It can be considered a predecessor of the O'Jays' 1972 hit "Backstabbers" and a companion to The Undisputed Truth's 1971 single "Smiling Faces Sometimes" in that they all address issues of phoniness, suspicion, and the importance of honesty. "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" remains a unique track in that it combines soul and Latin rhythms, using a "cha cha" tempo right before the refrain. Right
"The things you want that will never be right..."
I'm not the one who should be writing about Patty Griffin's "Rain," that distinction belonging to friend and fellow BBS writer Heather, as she's the one who introduced me to this amazing song via Turntable.FM. I don't want to linger too much on this point but that's part of the magic of music; it's why we do what we do here and why services like Turntable are so great. Music can transform us in solitude but there's an added dimension when there's a social experience to it, be it at a concert where you connect directly with the artist or
No matter how well it's played, you've heard this before...
There's no question Sean Chambers is a gifted, capable player. He's been a popular draw since going solo after spending 1998-2003 touring with Hubert Sumlin as guitarist and band leader and his many fans are sure to be excited about his first ever live album Live From The Long Island Blues Warehouse. It's easy to hear why he was listed among the Top 50 Blues Guitarists in Guitar Magazine from the opening notes of the tasty instrumental first track, "Dixie 45." What becomes more difficult as the set wears on is distinguishing him from some of his influences and a
One of the worst albums of the year is...
When Never Shout Never first cranked open the doors to wailing teen/tween girls back in the sooty prehistoric wilds of 2005, Christofer Drew Ingle was calling it NeverShoutNever. He achieved substantial MySpace success thanks to an EP that featured a ukulele and a sugary, "aw shucks" vibe that drove girls bananas. In 2008, Ingle went through a colossal personal transformation and converted the name of NeverShoutNever to NeverShoutNever! Things would never be the same again…until a few years later when the spacebar was finally discovered and Ingle’s alias legitimately became Never Shout Never. His debut major label LP, What Is
Soundtrack to the acclaimed ECM Records documentary
The recent DVD issue of Sounds And Silence: Travels With Manfred Eicher has become a celebrated event among fans of Eicher and his label ECM Records. In the film we find the normally reclusive Eicher interacting with label artists such Arvo Part, Marilyn Mazur, and Dino Saluzzi, among many others. In each segment we see Mr. Eicher consulting with the mucians in an attempt to find the perfect sound. Whether they are preparing for a perfomance, or are in the studio recording, Eicher’s input is always regarded as a necessary adjunct to the proceedings.Like the film, the soundtrack begins with
Predictable, safe, bland rock music.
Needtobreathe seems to have pulled nearly every page out of The Boss’s book to create The Reckoning, an album that, even in title, tries to operate every bit like a Springsteen record with a distinctly dutiful authority. Throw in a little Kings of Leon, complete with the brother act but sans the devil’s tonic, and you’ve got it down. The band from Seneca, South Carolina, has factored heavily on Christian music charts and is now opening for Taylor Swift on the North American leg of her Speak Now tour. The band features Bear Rinehart (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Bo Rinehart
Fashionable, sophisticated, cool.
The sophomore effort from John Brown, Dancing with Duke: An Homage to Duke Ellington, is a fashionable and sophisticated piece of work that makes the best of his splendid trio. Featuring Brown on bass, Cyrus Chestnut on piano and New Orleans’ Adonis Rose on drums, the trio slickly glides across numerous standards. Before I even listened to the first bar of the record, the album entranced me. In the liner notes, Brown says “His (Ellington’s) music makes it easy for people to find their own voices.” Isn’t that the greatest? No snootiness, no self-importance. Ellington’s gift is in helping people
We hope that train comes in soon...
It has been far too long since we celebrated the awesomeness that is Gary Clark Jr., our new BlindedBySound hero, and that drought ends today with video footage of Gary in concert I only recently stumbled across. We haven't stopped listening to him since last we wrote about him. The challenge is finding video footage that's better quality than some schmuck in a bar with an iPhone. It's not that we don't appreciate their effort but some music and performances demand to be seen and heard properly. That's how we feel about our beloved Gary and I'm happy to report
Say hello to future RnB.
Chicago duo Supreme Cuts unleash their self-described "future RnB" on the world with their debut EP Trouble. This collection of five tracks is as mesmerizing as it is pure fun. It doesn't quite sound like anything else out there. If you're looking for something fresh and unique, you can't do too much better. What Supreme Cuts does to R&B is similar to what electronic artists have done to hip-hop and house for years...they destroy it and rebuild it in new ways. The vocals in their songs are sampled and used in such a way that they are both familar and
A long overdue live CD/DVD...
After five studio albums, JJ Grey & Mofro released their first live CD/DVD package Brighter Days earlier in September of 2011. It's surprising a band that has lived on the road and built such a strong following would wait this long to capture that part of their identity but the patience pays off, providing Grey a deep catalog of material from which to choose for the January 22, 2011 performance they filmed at Atlanta's Variety Playouse. Brighter Days is a CD and a DVD and the programs are different so we'll deal with them separately but before we do I
The depth of R.E.M.'s albums tell us where these past three decades have gone...
Don’t you hate that guy who buys a 12-song record you love and talks about it like the three songs he heard on the radio are the only things there worth his time? That guy misses so much. One of the most impressive things about R.E.M. is the fantastic depth of their back catalog. Compare them to U2. U2 are my favorite band, but honestly, how many truly great songs are on Boy? Three? Four? Now, how many are on R.E.M.’s Murmur? Could you limit yourself to four songs from that record? Me either. Two legendary bands with two great
A dropoff from the premiere but I'm not abandoning ship yet...
Night two of X Factor auditions take us to Miami this time, which should prove to be full of equal parts talent and flava. Ashley Sansone says she already looks like a pop star, so much so all her friends assume she is one, which means her audition will be horrible. She even called herself a poptart. She’s a frenetic weird chatterbox and the judges were begging her to stop talking and just sing. She took off her ugly boot heels and started strutting around the stage and wailing, and the actual singing (“Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart”)
R.E.M. covers the Troggs with Michael Mills on lead vocals
So we’ve already established that I'm an R.E.M. fan. We have also confirmed that I’m a sucker for a cover. So you didn’t honestly think I was going to sit idly by after yesterday’s R.E.M.'s news now did you? My love affair with R.E.M. has been vast and consuming for much of my life. My brother jokes I’m still listening to all the same bands today that I loved 20+ years ago and that’s true – but not because I’m not out discovering new stuff -- but because I am, above else, a tREMendously loyal fan. And for Stipe, Buck, Mills,
Tonight’s premiere of The X Factor on FOX reunites Simon Cowell with Paula Abdul and starts things off with 20,000 hopefuls in Los Angeles. Right out of the gate this looks and feels different—bigger—than American Idol to whom Cowell certainly has a lot to prove. As he has said, he walked away from the biggest show in America to see this venture through. We’re introduced to X Factor’s host; Steve Jones, and judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, LA Reid, and Cheryl Cole (but, don’t get used to her pretty face, just yet). Auditions are not only in front of the
R.E.M. calls it a day, as friends, as we always knew they would...
R.E.M. have retired. I like that word: retired. Not broken up. Retired. No attorneys have been called. No one has used the phrase ‘musical differences.’ No ‘f- yous’ have been shouted before limos screech away into the night. After 32 years, they have -- as the band’s statement read in the most R.E.M.-way possible -- ‘called it a day.’ I want to pause a second and commend BlindedBySound. As a guest here, I am not tooting my own horn as I compliment this site for staying away from the following ready-made, corny one-liners, because Lord knows no one else on
Nirvana's Nevermind turns 20.
Nirvana’s Nevermind turns 20 this week. The record, the band’s second, was released on September 24, 1991. In January of 1992, Nevermind knocked Michael Jackson out of the top spot on the Billboard charts. That wasn’t supposed to happen. This was grunge rock, whatever the hell that was, and Nirvana was at the forefront of something counter-cultural, something rare, something that didn’t belong to those conventional motherfuckers. Nirvana started to plan what would become Nevermind in the spring of 1990. It was to be their second release for Sub Pop and the tentative title was Sheep. Butch Vig, a producer
The X Factor opens with a bang...
Tonight’s premiere of The X Factor on FOX reunites Simon Cowell with Paula Abdul and starts things off with 20,000 hopefuls in Los Angeles. Right out of the gate this looks and feels different—bigger—than American Idol to whom Cowell certainly has a lot to prove. As he has said, he walked away from the biggest show in America to see this venture through. We’re introduced to X Factor’s host; Steve Jones, and judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, LA Reid, and Cheryl Cole (but, don’t get used to her pretty face, just yet). Auditions are not only in front of the
Gillian shows what a great line can do to a non-lyrics guy.
I'm not a lyrics guy. I don't pay much attention to the words of a song. There are songs I've heard a million times, that I love with ever ounce of my soul, yet I haven't the slightest idea as to what the words are. There are old church songs that I sang a hundred times growing up that I cold no more quote to you right now than fly to the moon. My wife knows this is true as I'm constantly screwing up the lyrics when I'm singing along to whatever is playing on the stereo. My child knows
The Athens quartet/trio calls it a day after 31 years...
Legendary American rock band R.E.M. announced today they have officially disbanded, bringing to a close an unlikely 31-year run that saw them rise to the unlikely height of being one of the biggest bands of their era. "To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band," they said in a statement released on their web site. "We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our
Seattle's Fleet Foxes show us that acoustic folk music can rock
Have you ever gone to see an artist or band that you like only to have the show be so vehemently good that you instantly shift from from casual enthusiast to full blown fanatic? Well friends my name is Stephanie, and I’m a Fleet Foxes addict. Now I’ve never kept my affection for the Seattle band a secret. At the same time, I didn’t expect an acoustic Americana folk band to rock quite so much live. I love the Fleet Foxes entire collection, but rarely find myself putting their records on and turning it up to eleven. But turn it
Ed Reed proves that there's no substitute for a lifetime of experience.
There probably couldn’t be a better title for Ed Reed’s third album than Born to Be Blue. Reed has, after all, lived a life of the blues. He’s taken the long road to get to where he finds himself, that’s for sure, and the fissures and characters in his rich voice illustrate the history. Four years ago, Reed released his debut album Ed Reed Sings Love Stories. The catch? He was 78. The Song is You was released a year later and Reed, already an elder statesman by default, trotted through an expanded touring slate and guested on Marian McPartland’s
Award-winning bluesman readies 9th album...
Nick Moss is streaming "It'll Turn Around," the first single from his upcoming album Here I Am, now due in stores November 22. It's been brutal containing my excitement about this record, having heard it in its entirety already. As hard as I try to take you, dear readers, inside the music there are some things you have to hear to believe and this is one of them. It also gets a little wearying for us all for me to prattle on about a record you won't have access to for months on end. The wait is coming to an
New video game soundtrack has at least one song that can easily be described as filler...
Chris Daughtry -- the original “shocking elimination” on American Idol -- has contributed a song to the new Batman video game and you can stream it here. Daughtry is one of 11 artists contributing songs (full tracklisting below) to the accompanying soundtrack Batman: Arkham City—The Album. The album is available for download October 4, while Batman: Arkham City (the game) is available two weeks later on October 18. Daughtry's contribution to the soundtrack is "Drown In You," which starts well enough with generic, soft rock riffs and raspy vocals which I guess is Daughtry’s “thing.” I listened through three
Robillard makes this more than just another back-to-basics collection of standards...
The back-to-basics album is usually something that happens after an artist is convinced they've lost the plot or has suffered some sort of commercial flop. These often turn into self-conscious self-parodies (or worse) but there are exceptions. It doesn't really matter but in a way Low Down And Tore Up should have come before last year's Passport To The Blues (and if you haven't heard that record, there's a good chance nobody will ever love you). Passport featured mainly Robillard originals and chronology be damned it's the kind of album you might have expected after Duke reached back to his
Pearl Jam, Amos, Superheavy, Robillard, Lovato, Degraw, Sean Chambers Releases New CDs Sept. 20, 2011
New Music Tuesday CD Releases for Sept. 20, 2011
Listen, my children, and you shall hear of a long list of new releases you will need to own and some you'll need to avoid. Let's roll with the cool: Pearl Jam Twenty Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe's film about the iconic Seattle band, filled with live rarities, demos, and other odds and sods. Some of this has been bootlegged by the band themselves and otherwise but hardcore PJ fans will need this. Duke Robillard has a new record out today called Low Down And Tore Up and it's a fantastic collection of gritty blues
The great soul diva shines in this underrated 1981 gem.
The great vocalist Chaka Khan has cut so many incredible tracks, it's difficult to choose just one to feature. From her days with Rufus to her successful solo career, Khan has established herself as a one-of-a-kind soul diva with still-impressive pipes. While generally best known for her massive 1984 hit "I Feel for You," she has recorded several high-charting R&B singles and albums. One of her best songs comes from the 1981 album What 'Cha Gonna Do for Me; while the title track is a funk classic, "I Know You, I Live You" remains an underrated Khan performance. Born Yvette
Top 15 records at Blues Radio according to Roots Music Report for the week ending Sept. 16, 2011...
A 10-spot surge by Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne couldn't unseat Tedeschi Trucks Band as the #1 album at blues radio, but it was enough to send him soaring to #2. The rest of the Top 5 is Hot Tuna, Tab Benoit's Medicine, and Terry Hanck's Look Out!. Kenny Wayne Shepherd's How I Go hasn't been this high in a little while and is probably the only other major difference this week compared to last as he edges in at #14. From there, we have mostly albums that have been part of our Top 15 for quite some time. I predicted a shakeup
Deep Purple's legendary bassist returns after 9 years with his side project
Nine years after their first release, Roger Glover and the Guilty Party are back with If Life Was Easy, an eclectic collection of songs from the legendary Deep Purple bassist. Fans expecting the bombastic hard rock of Glover's main group may be disappointed, but fans with an open mind will find a fine collection of songs. Album opener, "Don't Look Now (Everything Has Changed)" is a reggae-influenced tune with Middle Eastern overtones. Randall Bramblett takes lead vocals on the track while Glover plays the baglama — a seven-stringed instrument similar to a lute and a sitar that he first found
Funk's elder statesman returns with a classic LP
As the 1960s wore on, the Stax label focused on current artists such as Otis Redding and Booker T and the M.G.'s while Rufus Thomas, an early hit maker for the label was being left behind. Now in his early 50s, Thomas had been left off the label's tour of Europe — a move he found insulting — and his 1968 cover of Eddie Floyd's "Funky Mississippi" was recorded for an album that was never released. Undeterred, Thomas returned to the studio in 1969, backed by his son Marvell and members of the Bar-Kays to record his own "Do The
The debut album from the soul legends
Toward the end of the 1960s, Stax vice president Al Bell diversified his talent pool by looking outside of Memphis, Tennessee for his artists. They went to Detroit, home of their competitor, the legendary Motown Records, to bring producer Don Davis down to Memphis. Initially, Davis worked with Carla Thomas and then Johnnie Taylor, but by the end of 1969, Davis had produced the first Stax single by another Detroit import, The Dramatics on the label's Volt imprint. When that single failed to chart, Davis released the group from their contract and they went back to Detroit to work with
Austin's hard working Bob Schneider proves he's here to entertain us.
Austin, Texas's Bob Schneider just might be the hardest working man in rock and roll. At least that's my short and sweet assessment after seeing him deliver a blistering set last night at Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa. Known for not making set lists but rather calling the songs he wants to play next to the band, every Bob show is a unique experience. And Bob has clearly shown up to entertain. He's not only juBob mping from instrument to instrument (guitar, keyboard, trumpet) he's also jumping from genre to genre. From a jazz-funk infused version of "Bullets," to the growling
Eric Clapton And Wynton Marsalis 'Play The Blues' And Muddy The Waters Of Roots, Jazz, Gospel, And Swing
It's all connected and on this charming collection, sometimes a little too connected...
Eric Clapton & Wynton Marsalis' collaboration Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center got me to thinking about all the time I've been spending on Turntable.FM, particularly in the Folk/Americana/Blues/Soul: It's All Connected room, because if this album achieves nothing else, it furthers the truth so much of the music we love can be connected if we trace the roots. This project taken from three performances offers fantastic performances in addition to its academic and intellectual values. Clapton and Marsalis master musicians of their respective instruments are joined onstage by Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass), Ali Jackson (drums), Marcus Printup (trumpet), Victor Goines
Can Etude 2.0 For iPad Replace Old Ladies And Metronomes?
Steinway & Sons, the venerable, famed makers of pianos, has gone where few companies of their generational stature dared to go, embracing technology and shrinking the size of a piano to the size of an iPad for their free Etude 2.0 app. Popular video games like RockBand and Guitar Hero allowed kids with the love of music and the dream of instrumental prowess "play" their favorite songs without actually learning a thing and it's just one reason digital has been the death of music in the ears of many audiophiles and traditionalists. Steinway & Sons hope Etude can be a tool merging traditional methods of teaching and learning
Jazz tradition meets the natural world.
What we have with the Rich Halley Quartet’s Requiem for a Pit Viper is an organic, mighty jazz album that packs a bite with every dense groove and high-level blast. Halley was educated as a field biologist, interestingly enough, and he transfers his love for the natural world to every note of saxophone he plays. His compositions also encompass a larger space, reaching out to the environment outside with one arm and pulling in to a tight, traditional understanding of jazz with the other. This provides a compelling juxtaposition of freedom and form. Halley’s quartet includes trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, bassist
Shirley Brown's first single is Stax's last big hit.
After being discovered by blues legend Albert King at age 14, Shirley Brown served as his opening act on an off for the next 13 years. After a failed single in the early 1970s, King managed to get Brown a tryout with the Stax label where he had some success himself. Recognizing the similarities between Brown's voice and Aretha Franklin's, the label had her record a demo featuring some of Franklin's biggest hits, including "Respect" and "Rock Steady." It was the single, "Woman To Woman," that became Brown's first hit, however, and the title track of her first LP for
Frank Sinatra claimed he had waited 20 years to work with the legendary Count Basie and his orchestra and, in 1962, he finally got his chance with Sinatra-Basie: An Historic Musical First.
Frank Sinatra claimed he had waited 20 years to work with the legendary Count Basie and his orchestra and, in 1962, he finally got his chance with Sinatra-Basie: An Historic Musical First. The pairing of these two New Jersey natives was so successful that they worked together again on 1964's It Might As Well Be Swing. Now both of these legendary recordings are available on the newly remixed and remastered Frank Sinatra & Count Basie — The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings. The songs are presented in their original running order and the collection leads off with a swinging "Pennies From
Drummer/harp player worked as bandleader and sideman throughout legendary career...
Grammy-winning blues legend Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, 75, passed away this morning in Chicago after suffering a stroke according to a statement on his official web site. Smith may be best known for the time he spent as the drummer for Muddy Waters' band. Prior to drums, he taught himself to play harp and in later years spent more time with that then he did behind the drum kit. He co-founded the Legendary Blues Band after parting with Waters in the early 1980s and released his first solo record in 1995. Both Smith and pianist Pinetop Perkins, who passed away
A slow, sultry burn that makes me want to get my sinning on.
With hints and reminices of Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You" Emily O'Halloran's "Kindness" is a slow, sultry burn that make me want to lay back in bed with a cigarette, a bottle of bourbon and my lover for a long night of sin. Her voice is low and dirty and full of sex and bitter tears. Its got me thinking of a hundred bad breakups and all the fun we had before they ended. She's got a voice like Joni Mitchell after 100 years of non-stop smoking or Tom Waits minus the romance and the testicles. The rest
Something to tempt you and tide you over until my review is finished...
JJ Grey & Mofro have released a trailer for their first ever live CD/DVD Brighter Days, recorded and filmed earlier this year. I'm currently listening to it and you'll soon -- I'm entitled to be optimistic every once in awhile, people -- read my review of this set which is currently available from Alligator Records at all your online and digital retailers. The CD is 12 songs and 78 minutes of the band's January 22, 2011 set from Atlanta, GA. The DVD is a concert film of the same set with three additional songs not on the CD as
A dreamlike, complex trip down the rabbit hole.
From the outset of Watershed, one can tell that what’s to come isn’t going to be the most lovely of experiences. Challenging screeches and screams of trumpet, provided gamely by the genius Natsuki Tamura, chill the spine in "The Thaw." Indeed, any ensemble led by Satoko Fujii isn’t particularly renowned for its pleasantness or ease. Such is also the case with her Min-Yoh Ensemble, a group featuring Fujii on piano, Curtis Hasselbring on trombone, Andrea Parkins on accordion, and of course Mr. Tamura creating his ungodly, unearthly sounds on trumpet. Inspired by Japanese folk music (Min-Yoh), Fujii’s quartet takes to
Just like fellow Idol finalist Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina's record features some of Nashville's hottest songwriters...
Lauren Alaina’s debut album Wildflower is set to be released October 11, she recently revealed the cover art, and today she released the track listing to further pique our interest. Lauren has assembled (or had assembled for her, rather) some of the heaviest hitters in Nashville, snagged one co-writing credit, and had a song penned for her by her own idol, (and former American Idol winner) Carrie Underwood. As the runner up to Scotty McCreery on American Idol’s tenth season, Lauren has been used to doing everything second to Scotty and going head to head with him with coronation singles
The much anticipated Kings of Leon documentary is here - with more footage to be released November 1st.
The timing couldn't have been more or less perfect for a Kings of Leon documentary. The band canceled a series of US concert dates amid reports of internal fighting and alcoholism and just as things seemed to be falling apart, KoL release a documentary bringing the world inside the sea of turmoil and triumph. As we’ve previously reported, Talihina Sky premiered on Showtime August 21st. Now that I’ve had the chance to watch the movie a few times, let’s talk about it. First, I’ll confess to not really being a KoL fan. I’m really just around for the drama (I’m
Go ahead and bookmark this page; you're going to want to hear this song a lot before you can download it...
You can stream the lead single from Florence + The Machine's Ceremonials "Shake It Out" via YouTube while you wait for the commercial/digital single to be available in early October. We've now heard two songs from the upcoming sophomore release Ceremonials (three if you were lucky enough to hear "Strangeness & Charm performed like I was, although that song is only going to be available on the deluxe edition) and I'm so excited for this record I can hardly stand it. If somebody doesn't hurry up and announce a US release date -- the single is out Oct. 2, album Oct.
Sure to be one of the hottest albums of 2011...
Rumors have been heating up for weeks about the fate of Florence And The Machine's much-anticipated follow-up to their smash debut Lungs and the band have now confirmed the tracklisting, artwork, and a release date of Oct. 31 in the UK (US release date still TBD). The rumors really kicked into high gear when "What The Water Gave Me" was released on iTunes as a taste of what was to come and a teaser to tide fans over. "Water" made the final cut for the record and "Shake It Out" has been tabbed as the lead single for the record. Producer Paul
The singer/songwriter's first hit album receives the gold-standard remastering treatment.
After recording an underrated album for the Beatles' record label, Apple, in 1968, James Taylor returned to the States to kick his drug habit and restart his career. A year later he moved to California, signed with Warner Brothers, and imported his producer from London, Peter Asher. Consequently Taylor reintroduced himself to listeners with Sweet Baby James, a landmark album that established the singer/songwriter as a major artist. The country-tinged record has received the remastering treatment from Audio Fidelity, an outfit that reissues classic albums on 24KT gold compact discs. According to their website, "Our 24K+ compact discs reproduce the
S/T third album due Sept. 22
Seattle-based Elba is prepping the release of their self-titled third album on September 22 and have released a video of a track from the new set "From A Sinking Ship." Elba is Nick Cappelletti (Vocals, Keyboard), Brian Graham (Bass), Matt Hartgraves (Guitar), Kellen Costello (Guitar, Background Vocals), and Chris Reisinger (Drums) and they recorded the new record with Graig Markel at Seatte's Recovery Room. They've been heralded as "Seattle's band to watch" and have gotten considerable local airplay on stations that were once upon a time the launching pad for a slew of vital bands from the Pacific Northwest. Tour dates
The now defunct trip Nickel Creek covers Wilco
I love it when the iPod Gods shuffle the perfect song into an otherwise gloomy day. Today I rediscovered this little gem and thought I’d share it the hopes that it might make someone else’s heart happy. Today's ray of sunshine is a cover- something we love discussing at BlindedBySound- the good, the bad, the unforgivable. Today's cover the now-defunct bluegrass trio Nickel Creek taking a run at Wilco's strangely wonderful "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" from their landmark, breakthrough album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Anytime a band I love covers another band I love, I’m interested- throw in
Not again! Staind is back with their eponymous seventh album.
Staind's brand of Alice In Chains-lite angst has been stimulating the tormented histrionics of spoiled suburban white kids for quite some time now, but no album broke as big for the Springfield band as 2001’s mega-hit Break the Cycle. Featuring the cigarette-chomping melodrama of “It’s Been Awhile,” that record drew the band’s pouting spearhead Aaron Lewis into the light. Fast-forward 10 years and Lewis enters Staind’s eponymous seventh record with something to prove. His solo EP, Town Line, was a dip into the country music end of the pond and it seems that the vocalist is going a long
Indie folkies make me happy, and are streaming their new album online.
All too frequently of late I've had trouble sleeping. I lay there in bed completely exhausted, but unable to slip off into dream land. It was the same last night, my mind was thinking hard on so many things that don't matter at all, but it wouldn't let me rest. After I did fall asleep I woke up again and again only to struggle to find sleep again. Eventually morning came and I found it a struggle to get out of bed for my back was aching. Badly. It felt as if I had wrestled a bear in my sleep
iTunes' top 10 selling singles and albums of the week ending Sept. 12, 2011:
Lil Wayne remains atop the iTunes albums chart this week with his The Carter IV followed by The Beatles 1 compilation, which now features the amazing remasters from two years ago. The Top 5 is rounded out by Adele, Maroon 5, and the latest from Red Hot Chili Peppers. While Lil Wayne and Adele have been superstars on the chart of late, I guess we have to deal with the fact Maroon 5 is making their presence felt. Their collaboration with Christina Aguilera "Moves Like Jagger" is the #1 single and their album is Top 5. They're hot right now
I was already in but this eight-minute teaser has completely hooked me on 'The X Factor'
What goes better with Sunday Football on FOX than Simon Cowell and The X Factor? Lots of things probably but last night FOX used the rapt football audience to their advantage and showed us an eight-minute sneak preview of the newest incarnation of The X Factor, set to debut September 21. I’ll give you a brief synopsis to catch you up if you're not familiar with this destined-to-be-behemoth of reality TV singing competitions. The X Factor is like a hybrid of American Idol and The Voice: it has no age limits, is a singing competition, and has celebrity judges in
problem with link
Hi, Nice review of "Lines" by Daniel Rosenthal - but now there seems to be a problem getting to it. When I go to the page, it takes me to the main page instead. Problem with the link to the review? Sincerely, Phil Rosenthal
A fine collection that’s both timeless and true...
Mark T. Small’s Blacks, Whites & The Blues is one of those collections that raises a lot of questions. Why, for instance, do so many singer-guitarists decide to go it alone, and assume they have something to offer that others will want to listen to? And why, oh why, do modern interpreters insist on covering tunes that are dated to a point where they’re, lyrically at least, remnants of a long-vanished past? And then there’s the third question – should any of this matter, when the music’s good? Mark T. Small’s story is familiar. Front man for a modestly successful
Let the Christmas onslaught begin...
It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive and this is a good time of years, boys and girls! Football is back, the Crimson Tide are undefeated, and the encroachment of Christmas means a slew of new music releases. Most of them will suck like a Turbo-Charged Hoover but there will be some treasures among the trash and we are going go through a few of each today. Let's begin with the trash: It's a good thing I don't have a yearbook for Aaron Lewis' high school because we have another Staind record to endure all because not
Let the music do the talking...
I promised I'd stop backing into jazz reviews with long expositions about my appalling lack of understanding of jazz fundamentals but within the first 10 seconds of trumpeter Daniel Rosenthal's fine album Lines, I found myself reaching for terms not in my musical vocabulary. I'd explain or at least discuss the rhythm or rhythms of "Subo" if I could. I don't know if they're Latin or Cuban in nature (my meager understanding tells me these can be similar yet different or two completely different things) or if they're Afro-Cuban rhythms. I simply don't know, but there's something going on beneath
After overcoming tragedy, the Bar-Kays reinvented themselves as a first-rate funk band. "Holy Ghost" and its hard grooves perfectly demonstrate this transformation.
Sometimes you want to hear smooth, silky soul, and other times you're just in the mood for something funky, down, and dirty. Few tracks fit the bill better than the Bar-Kays' 1978 single "Holy Ghost." This incredible jam shows how the group could just play for the sheer love of it, which was true for most of their catalog. This joy still amazes, particularly since the Bar-Kays suffered a major tragedy which almost ended the band. The Bar-Kays, formed in Memphis in 1966, became one of Stax's house bands in 1967. That year the band scored their first major hit
Our three year break is over; back on your heads, everyone.
I regret to inform you that Nickelback is threatening us with a brand new album called Here And Now November 21 and they're coming at us double-barrel, simultaneously inflicting upon us two singles from the set. I know what you're thinking, and you're wrong. The album won't release until November but time is not on our side! Both of these singles are being rushed to radio and digital outlets this month. "When We Stand Together" and "Bottoms Up" get sent to radio Sept. 26 and are available digitally September 27. If I had to venture a guess, the first
The wait for American Idol Season 10 winner's debut is almost over!
Scotty McCreery's solo debut Clear As Day now has a release date and complete tracklisting, featuring 12 songs written by some of the hottest songwriters in Nashville's country music scene. It's hard to believe it's only been four months since young Scotty won the Season 10 American Idol crown but he has been busy in that brief time touring, recording, and giving his large fan base just enough to keep their appetites whetted. We've heard two of the album's 12 songs so far: “I Love You This Big”was his so-called coronation single after winning on AI and he followed
If you knew nothing about John Alex Mason upon first hearing his new release Jook Joint Thunderclap you’d swear it was a long lost Lomax recording from the Delta that has been unearthed and given a remix treatment. But in reality this project is the result of a highly inspired collaboration of Colorado native Mason and musicians from Chicago, Memphis, and West Africa creating what he calls “World Boogie.” Mason has been gaining attention as a one man band, accompanying his lonesome moaning vocals with slide and cigar box guitar and foot percussion, playing hill stomp blues, country,
Band works with Rihanna on one track for Oct. 25th record...
Coldplay's Mylo Zyloto is one of 2011's most anticipated records and the band confirmed the full tracklisting for the 14-song album due in stores Oct. 25 while also releasing a second single from the upcoming set via digital retailers. In addition to the new tracklisting, Coldplay announced the release of a second single from the album, "Paradise" and also revealed that Rihanna provided vocal assistance to the track "Princess of China." It's not the first time Coldplay has worked with high-profile artists who might be considered outside the scope of the band's sound. Rapper Jay-Z contributed rhymes to a (terrible)
Renewing hope 10 years and a day later...
Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. It was a day filled with remembrances. Some were poignant while others were trite and corny. I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to write about the topic and even though I'm a blogger decided the world would be just fine if I didn't add to the noise. Welcome to September 12, 2011, 10 years plus one day... The world is still a strange, confusing, wondrous, frightening, chaotic place to be and we're all still scurrying to make some kind of sense of it. As
Blues Radio Report for Week of 9/9/11...
Stop me when you've heard this before: Tedeschi Trucks Band is the #1 album at blues radio. It's funny though; the long runs at #1 by Tedeschi Trucks and earlier Gregg Allman started to make me yawn a bit to the point I forgot why these records have been so successful. I didn't listen to Revelator in its entirety this week but did hear a few of my favorite songs from it and I remember what I like about it so much. They're joined in the Top 5 by Hot Tuna (a record I still need to hear), Tab Benoit's Medicine, Rod Piazza's Almighty Dollar and Terry
It's everything you'd expect from Piazza and his flyers...
Artists with the kind of determination and longevity of someone like Rod Piazza face the challenge of keeping things fresh for themselves and their audiences. Some succeed, some fail. Some artists routinely try reinventing themselves while others put down roots and mine a certain piece of musical acreage. The risk to the former is alienating audiences or losing track of their respective gifts and strengths in the pursuit of something "new" and the risk to the latter is repetition. Piazza tells us in the liner notes to Almighty Dollar this album represents some of the finest blues he and his band have
TurntableFM Connects Gary Clark Jr, Mark Lanegan, Karen Lovely, Anders Osborne, and more
So we (meaning Josh) have covered Turntable.fm a bit in the last few days, and I thought I’d add my two cents but, in a different way. Anyone who reads the stuff I write knows, I’m a bit all over the place, musically. I like it all…it’s more on the sound and feeling I get over the genre or artist. Although I’m fiercely loyal to and protective of the bands I love. I’ve fiddled around on Turntable a bit; been in ‘80s, ‘90s, Indie, folk, new wave, hair metal rooms and even created my own room (to be unveiled at
One of the finest solo achievements in Roedelius' long career.
The career of Hans-Joachim Roedelius has been nothing if not prolific over the years. He formed the influential Kluster (later Cluster) with Dieter Moebius in 1969, and the two later teamed up with Brian Eno for Harmonia in 1976. After Harmonia, Roedelius embarked on his solo career. By 1982 he was already up to his tenth recording, Wasser Im Wind. At this point his solo material had been very much in the vein of Harmonia. Never completely ambient or New Age, much of his solo work had fallen somewhere in between the two styles. In many ways, Wasser Im Wind
Technical guitar magic can't save this one from some seriously boring territory.
With Echoes of the Fallen, Welsh metal band Anterior explores the art of the riff with a foundation of chugging rhythm guitar and pounding drums to go along with it. The band’s second album picks up where their debut, 2007’s This Age of Silence, left off. But the new record also builds on the experiences of the then-teenagers as they captured local interest and landed bigger support gigs for the likes of 3 Inches of Blood and Skindred. After some changes to the line-up and more touring, including a 2009 UK tour with All That Remains and The Haunted, Anterior’s
Mastodon has a new album with a full tracklisting, cover art, and new video and you can get it all here!
Mastodon have revealed the tracklisting and artwork for their upcoming album The Hunter, due in stores Sept. 27 and have also released a track from the album via YouTube called "Spectrelight." Before we get to "Spectrelight" and the rest of the tracklisting, let's take a moment to say we're going to miss days like this when digital inevitably dustbins the world of physical media in music, because there's no way a 300x300 pixel version of album art like this is going to be as cool as it would have been on a CD or, of course, fucking vinyl. This will
Jingly jangly indie pop guaranteed to make your day a little better; a perfect dose of quirky for your Thursday...
Quirky is something hard to pull off and even harder to maintain. Do it right and you'll be endeared my many, do it wrong and you'll get nothing but mocking scorn. You have to be genuinely quirky too, not designed to be quirky by some PR dude, or made in a quirky lab by quirky scientists. No, it has to come natural. Even if you have the right amount of natural quirkiness you can quickly overstay your welcome. As a species we can only take quirkiness in small doses. Quirkiness is like cumin in that way. A little goes a
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foster The People, and Pistol Annies also make chart impacts...
It's been awhile since our iTunes Chart Watch series was published and Adele is still dominating the scene! There are a few names, albums, and songs that have entered since our last time through the list, so let's take a look. Let's start with the albums where Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV has vaulted to the top spot. I can't recall having ever heard a song by Weezy -- and yet I'm knowledgeable enough to know his alias -- so I don't know what it is that has made him arguably the biggest star in hip hop, but his sales
Nappy Roots Go All Out To Promote New Record...
Nappy Roots are going all out in efforts to promote their upcoming album Nappy Dot Org -- due Sept. 27 -- producing an eight-part online video feature about the making of the record and making their first single available to download free. Nappy Dot Org is the follow-up to Pursuit Of Nappiness (still a Top 10 favorite album title of all-time for me) and was produced by Organized Noize, who have crafted hits for Outkast, Goodie Mob, TLC, Envogue, Ludacris, Trey Songz, and Curtis Mayfield.The first single "Hey Love" is still available as a free download (see below) where you'll
Underrated guitar heroes strut their stuff.
Guitar heroes. We love them. We praise them. We make lists about them. We want to be them. We even create games based upon them. Rock and Roll is often all about the guitar. Often the ones we idolize, that garner the most praise are those who play the loudest or the fastest, the ones who make the biggest flash. Unfortunately, those guys aren't always the best. I like players who aren't as flashy. Those who know how to play, and play it well, but that don't have to be on the front of the magazine cover, who don't always
Album due out in November
We're still trying to make sense of the pairing of Metallica and Lou Reed but it seems clear this is no hoax: they did make a record together, it will be out in November, and we now have a tracklisting and artwork for it. There are still a few details yet to be revealed but it seems Reed handled most or all the lyrics while James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett composed the majority of the music. It's not clear (to me) how the vocals may have been divvied up between Reed and Hetfield. As previously reported, the collaboration
Gallagher gives fans chance to hear more from his upcoming solo debut...
Noel Gallagher has revealed "AKA...What A Life!" will be the second single from his solo debut High Flying Birds, following on the heels of "The Death Of You And Me." The album won't be released until in October in the UK and November in the US but we've already gotten to hear three album tracks and one B-side! "The Death Of You And Me" was released with the B-side "The Good Rebel" as a commercial single. Gallagher released a video for "Death" and allowed fans to stream the B-side as well as another album track, "If I Had A Gun,"
It ain't heavy, but it might be liked by your brother.
Yesterday, being Labor Day, we went to a friend's house, grilled out hamburgers and watched football (because what better way to celebrate the power of the American workforce than to eat fatty foods and veg-out in front of the TV?) Its the football part that got me. I haven't watched a game (or any sport for that matter) in something close to a decade. I used to watch all kinds of sports all the time, but somewhere in college that part of my brain got lost and I haven't had the desire to care about any kind of team since
A strong album with a few missteps...
I don't know if it's fair to call Candye Kane a polarizing figure in the blues world but she has a larger-than-life presence that makes it difficult to remain neutral where she's concerned. I'm not sure how much her persona influences her fan base or detractors but it's hard to ignore. I came to Sister Vagabond knowing more about her than her music, my lone exposure to her music being her appearance at the 2010 Blues Music Awards. Her previous album Superhero was at least partially inspired by her battle with cancer and helped her to several Blues Music Award nominations. Sister Vagabond is her Delta
This 1973 track's message of perseverance resounds as we mark the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001.
During the tragic days after September 11, 2001, many people turned to music for comfort. These songs, both old and new, helped us work through our grief, fear, and anger; some even gave us hope for the future. One such track that resurfaced during this time was Donny Hathaway's classic "Someday We'll All be Free." While artists such as George Benson and Dianne Reeves have covered the song, it was Alicia Keys' live performance during the America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon that propelled the song back into public consciousness. Keys' emotional, bare-bones approach expressed feelings of despair, but offered
This week's releases are a little longer on intrigue than "must buy" for me but it's my job to walk you through them, so away we go… I'm am unapologetic, unabashed fan of the TV show House. I'm not a huge fan of actors dabbling in song nor songsters dabbling in acting but this week Hugh Laurie unveils his blues album Let Them Talk. Those familiar with Laurie's career and bio know he's been playing piano for ages and is quite accomplished. He's participated in a project called The Band From TV with fellow actors who do a series of shows each
I've found my home away from home...
Turntable.fm has claimed hours of my life since I was introduced to it. It brings the audio component to what BlindedBySound is all about: listening to and talking about music. It was only natural I'd fall in love with a site like that and I have, but it goes deeper. I considered founding BlindedBySound as a site devoted wholly to the blues and roots music but opted instead for a big umbrella apprach and I'm proud of the range of music we've reviewed and discussed on BlindedBySound since our January 1, 2011 launch and look forward to a day when
Social music site fast becoming one of the best ways to waste time on the internet...
"The Internet is the best thing that has ever happened to music in the history of music," said Adam Duritz, lead singer of Counting Crows. "It's just not necessarily the best thing that's happened to record companies because they won't look at it the right way." There are so many ways to find new music! The problem is sifting through the different services and their limitations as well as the insurmountable amount of music waiting to be discovered. Traditional, terrestrial radio has largely become a vast, homogenized wasteland of rubbish and the video channels that flourished in the '80s and
Blues Radio Top 15: Week of Aug. 26, 2011
It's time once again to take a look at the Top 15 albums at blues radio according to the Roots Music Report. We don't have a lot of turnover in the charts this week but I've really loved some of these records and am eager to check out a few I've not yet heard. Tedeschi Trucks Band's outstanding Revelator continues to top our charts, followed by the Anders Osborne-produced Medicine by Tab Benoit. Benoit moves up a couple slots this week and Tracy Nelson slips just outside the Top 5. TTB and Benoit are joined by Terry Hanck, Hot Tuna, and Rod Piazza in
An '80s throwback with a modern tint, all free for your listening pleasure.
Why do we like music? I don't mean music in general, but specific pieces, bands, and songs. Why do the Beatles remain insanely popular and yet similar sounding acts live entirely in obscurity? Why does wonky jazz only get listened to by a small subculture? Or death metal? Etc. Etc. Etc. Why do I (or you) specifically like a particular song? Can you break down music into parts and explain exactly why you like it? Does it even matter?This is the kind of stuff that plagues my brain when I write these articles. Why is it that some songs are
A great show for jazz snobs and noobs alike.
I used to think I was a jazz-man. A great lover of the genre. Then I met the snobs. One time I went over to a friend's house and hung out. We ate some grub, listened to some tunes and talked about a wide range of subjects. Eventually we talked about music and a friend of the friend asked me if I liked jazz and then when I answered yes, he asked me to name some artists. I rattled off a list of names including Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, and Ella Fitzgerald. With typical jazz snob disdain he said
Too hot, too cold, and just right...
The bonds of Holy Matrimony demand this be the final time I post the cover art of Ana Popovic's Unconditional on this web site, so take a good long look, dear readers. You're on your own from here on out. I'm sure Ms. Popovic meant no harm to my happy, rewarding, loving, 11-year marriage and would appreciate it if I'd stop talking about the cover of her record but I'm cracking myself up and anyone who knows me will vouch that I can't let go of anything I think is a good joke. You're going to have to buy a
Something new from Florence + The Machine to tide us over until Album #2...
I admitted I was late to the Florence + The Machine party, and for this I blame the British- in particular the NME. I'm not a hipster on the prowl for the next big thing that no one else has heard of; I'm in search of the good, the great, and the transcendent. Our friends at NME apparently hear the world in only two ways: Brilliant and Rubbish. The report card on influential British music publications is a bit uneven. They introduced me to Doves, a great band that borderes on transcendent.They've also pushed me towards Razorlight, Kaiser Chiefs, and