November 2011 Archives

'X Factor' Parting Shots: LeRoy Bell A Class Act, Lakoda Rayne Needs Some Schooling

Eliminated contestants discuss future after 'X Factor'
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I got the chance to sit in on another X Factor conference call this week, this time with most recent castoffs Lakoda Rayne and LeRoy Bell. The exit of Lakoda Rayne marks the third and final of Paula Abdul’s groups and LeRoy is Nicole Scherzinger’s second act to be eliminated. I’ve been a part of these weekly calls ever since the first elimination but, quite honestly, with the exception of the LA Reid conference call, there hasn’t been a lot of substance or interesting information to pass on to you guys. Here’s a quick rundown: InTENsity says “like” and “oh

Five Stars For Kilborn Alley Blues Band's 'Four'

Blues with a groove...
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Kilborn Alley Blues Band was nominated as Band Of The Year last year at the Blues Music Awards and they’ve won awards for their contemporary approach to traditional roots music. I’ve seen them nominated in both Traditional and Contemporary categories and it’s one of the things I love most about them; those in charge of the “labeling” aren’t quite sure what to do with them. It may make it difficult to win an award — although they have — when no one is sure where to put you but that’s a surefire sign you deserve them. You can hear their

Noel Gallagher Revives Magic Of Britpop on 'High Flying Birds'

Noel’s first solo offering is a smooth, mellow effort that is both accessible and easy on the ears.
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So, let me tell you how I feel about Noel Gallagher. Way back in 1995, before the Internet was readily accessible and/or worth a damn, I saw the video for Oasis’ "Wonderwall" on MTV, back when that channel was worth a damn. I fell in love instantly. I went out immediately and bought (What’s the Story) Morning Glory. I liked it so much that I bought its predecessor, Definitely Maybe, a week later and I agree with Noel that it is among the greatest debut albums ever. Like much of the civilized world in 1995, I was hooked on Oasis.

McCrary Sisters' 'Our Journey' Gospel Music At Its Finest

As gospel music goes, this one’s as good as it gets!
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All the elements are certainly in place for greatness on Our Journey, the debut of The McCrary Sisters. The sisters  themselves bring a formidable backstory to the project; born into a musical household, their late father, the Rev. Samuel McCrary, was a founding member of legendary gospel quartet The Fairfield Four.  Individual credits vary widely, but Ann has two solo recordings under her belt, while sister Regina toured and recorded with Bob Dylan and  has performed with both Elvis and Johnny Cash. Our Journey is the first recording by all four sisters – Ann, Regina, Alfreda, and Deborah. Apart from

Gary Clark Jr Performs "When My Train Pulls In" Live at Rolling Stone (Video)

Clark performed 3-song solo set...
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What are we thankful for at BlindedBySound? How about some brand new live performances by our hero Gary Clark Jr? Clark stopped by the offices of Rolling Stone to play a three-song set and also did a brief video interview. A blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut so good on you, RS. It's about time you got on board with something worthwhile. He is wrapping up touring in support of his Bright Lights EP, and hopes his next full-length album is ready in the spring (so do we!). "When My Train Pulls In" is on that EP as are

DeepSoul Holiday Edition: The Drifters - "White Christmas"

Kick off the holiday season with The Drifters' doo-wop remake of the most popular Christmas tune of all time.
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The holiday season brings the usual suspects: Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, and even Crosby's bizarre duet with David Bowie on "The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth." While these artists and their classic Christmas carols certainly evoke warm emotions, sometimes you just have to have a little soul with your holiday tunes. For the next few weeks, DeepSoul will focus on some of the best R&B-flavored carols, twists on traditional songs, and original tunes that perfectly compliment this festive season. There are few better songs to kick off the series than The Drifters' doo-wop take on "White Christmas." The
Now that the turkey coma has sufficiently subsided and moving is a little more comfortable, it’s time to catch up with those wacky American Idol kids. It may be X Factor season, but our AI friends James Durbin, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina were all busy this Thanksgiving Day. For some, Thanksgiving means eating more quantities of turkey than is absolutely necessary, ever, and football. For others, it's parades and American Idol. I multitasked, just for you. Here are the highlights of my sacrifices from this past weekend! Thank God Nickelback didn't come up through the American Idol ranks or

Review: Justice - 'Audio, Video, Disco'

The duo adopt a prog rock influenced style on their latest release.
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Four years after their acclaimed debut Cross, French electro house duo Justice return with Audio, Video, Disco. Instead of trying to replicate the success of hits "D.A.N.C.E." and "DVNO," the duo adopt a sound influenced by prog rock. What could have been a spectacular failure ends up being quite enjoyable. When they don't try to take themselves too seriously, Justice succeeds in making some really fun music. The song "Horsepower" not just serves as a great opening track but also as a transition between the duo's albums. It's a big track, full of all the bombast you expect. However, there
Posthumous releases are a difficult thing to wade through for music fans as so often they represent subpar work being foisted off on fans still hungry for more music from the fallen by greedy record labels and/or families looking to cash in. Fortunately, that's not true of Sean Costello's At His Best - Live- well, not entirely true. Costello died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 28 in his hotel room in Atlanta in 2008. Proceeds from this album are being donated to the foundation established in Costello's name by his family, The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for

Noel Gallagher Makes Classic Pop Record on 'High Flying Birds'

It was worth the wait...
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I waited 17 years for this moment and the waiting was indeed the hardest part. Serious Oasis fans know not only did Noel Gallagher write the overwhelming majority of the band's biggest hits and most important songs, he also contributed piles of major works that were packed away as B-sides to Oasis singles during their run from 1994-2009. I made mixtapes, mix CDs in the era of CD burners, and iPod playlists collecting the Noel-sung songs and marveled at what an amazing songwriter he is, how underrated he is as a singer, and hoped with all my heart he'd one
Since leaving The Rolling Stones in 1992, Bill Wyman has quietly stayed busy with his Rhythm Kings. Formed in 1997, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings have featured a rotating all-star cast in both the studio and live performance. The newly released five-disc Collector’s Edition Box Set contains the first four albums that the group recorded. These are Struttin’ Our Stuff (1997), Anyway The Wind Blows (1999), Groovin' (2000), and the two-CD live package Double Bill (2001). Wyman’s status as a founding member of the Stones, plus his consummate playing ability led to a wide variety of guest stars on these albums.

Review: Rhett Miller - The Interpreter

Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller Interprets some favorites - live at Largo
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Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller has had a busy year. Just months after the 97's released The Grand Theatre Volume Two (the fantastic second half of 2010's The Grand Theatre), Stewart Ransom Miller II has given us another solo endeavor - The Interpreter. Recorded live at LA's esteemed music venue Largo, The Interpreter is just as the name would imply: a record filled with cover songs all performed in classic Miller fashion. It's hard to top a record that starts with a version of Simon and Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound" - which might be one of the most perfect songs ever

Treasa Levasseur – Broad

Brassy and bold and highly opinionated – Treasa Levasseur is a broad in all the good ways …!
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Toronto’s Treasa Levasseur is no shrinking violet; brazenly calling her latest recording Broad, she exhibits a fiercely independent and ferocious intelligence that refuses to back down from controversial subject material.   Whether examining personal relationships or the sharp divides that tear families and society apart, she’s unflinchingly honest and emotionally indomitable.  And yet she does it all with a voice that, while capable of gritty resolve, can best be described by the overworked cliché “smooth as velvet.” Levasseur wrote nine of Broad’s twelve tracks, with covers including Neil Young’s “Walk On” and Randy Newman’s acerbic “God’s Song” (provocative even by Newman’s

Review: Martyr - Circle of 8

Be thankful for this hefty slice of retro thrash awesomeness.
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With little more than two renowned, solid albums in the 80s to harken back to, Martyr emerges full of guts and glory with Circle of 8. Their first full length record since 1986 (!!!), this is pure retro thrash metal awesomeness. Martyr, not to be confused with the Quebec death metal band of the same name, came out of Holland in 1982 and made their debut on the compilation album Dutch Steel in 1984. A year later, their debut record For the Universe was released on Megaton. After another album, 1986’s Darkness at Time’s Edge (sounds like a potential title
Last night The X Factor contestants gave thanks and dedicated their performances to loved ones; tonight two will get to go home and spend Thanksgiving with them. Kelly Clarkson kicks off the show with her latest single, “Stronger” off her latest album of the same name. As much as I didn’t love this single, I do like listening to her live, her voice is pretty impressive. After the obligatory group number, Worthless Host Steve Jones asks Drew and Lakoda Rayne to join him and reveals one of them is going straight home tonight for receiving the lowest overall votes. Paula

The X Factor Lucky 7: Lakoda Rayne, LeRoy Bell Eliminated; Kelly Clarkson and Bruno Mars Perform

Home for the holidays for Lakonda Rayne and LeRoy Bell
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Last night The X Factor contestants gave thanks and dedicated their performances to loved ones; tonight two will get to go home and spend Thanksgiving with them. Kelly Clarkson kicks off the show with her latest single, “Stronger” off her latest album of the same name. As much as I didn’t love this single, I do like listening to her live, her voice is pretty impressive. After the obligatory group number, Worthless Host Steve Jones asks Drew and Lakoda Rayne to join him and reveals one of them is going straight home tonight for receiving the lowest overall votes. Paula

Slash Revisits Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver, Snakepit Past On New Live Album 'Made In Stoke 24/7/11'

Slash's first-ever live solo album delivers the goods.
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Who says you can’t go home again? Legendary guitarist Slash returned to Stoke on Trent, England, where he was raised as a young boy to record his first-ever live solo album, Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy Live – Made In Stoke 24/7/11. The album offers a good mix of solo, Velvet Revolver, Slash’s Snakepit and, of course, Guns ‘N Roses tracks and features Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy on lead vocals. The set opens with “Been There Lately,” a groove-laden Snakepit track with a killer riff that the band brought out specifically for the hometown show. It was one of two such

The Rolling Stones - Some Girls Live In Texas '78 (Blu-ray)

The Stones lean and mean on their '78 tour.
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The late 1970s offered a stark contrast in terms of popular music styles. There was the bloated excess of disco – arguably at the height of its powers – dominating the charts and the club scene, especially in places such as Studio 54 in New York. Tipping the scales in the other direction was the punk scene, which stripped rock ‘n’ roll back to its most pure elements – high energy, guitar, drums, bass, snarling vocals. Punk helped put the danger back into rock music. The Rolling Stones managed to embrace both on their seminal release, Some Girls, with a
Kilborn Alley Blues Band released their fantastic Four yesterday and we will discuss it in greater detail in the coming days but I thought it would be cool to again let you get a taste of the record before I tell you how awesome it is. Ooops. A little late on that. Let me try it again. I thought it would be cool to give you a taste of the record and let you see the band live before I tell you what I love about the record and why I think you will too. I posted a performance

Josh Krajcik, Melanie Amaro, Chris Rene, and Rachel Crow Shine Brightest As X Factor Top 9 Give Thanks

Giving thanks was last night's theme but two contestants will be a little less grateful when they go home tonight...
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This week’s theme on The X Factor is "giving thanks," allowing the remaining nine contestants dedicate their performances to the special people in their lives. This has a lot of potential to be syrupy and predictable butactually finally gave us a few standout performances while proving contestants should always choose their own material. As a whole everyone was far more connected and engaging than in previous weeks. Simon Cowell finally got Rachel Crow off her pedestal and she was swingin’ it on the stage in a cute leggings/half dress combo. Rachel dedicated “I Believe” by Yolanda Adams to her adoptive

Nick Moss, KABB, James Durbin, Daughtry, Chris Cornell Beat Black Friday Deadline With New CDs

Labels rush one more pile of music onto store shelves before the Christmas shopping season officially begins...
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It's the Tuesday before Black Friday and we've got some big names and great albums with new music out this week. We'll begin with the great albums before discussing the big names. I've been looking forward to this day for months because two of this year's best are finally getting their full-scale release to the world. I've been listening to Nick Moss' Here I Am and Kilborn Alley Blues Band's Four for weeks now. Both Moss and Kilborn have been damn good for a damn long time so it's difficult to say they've reached new heights and done their best
It's the Tuesday before Black Friday and we've got some big names and great albums with new music out this week. We'll begin with the great albums before discussing the big names. I've been looking forward to this day for months because two of this year's best are finally getting their full-scale release to the world. I've been listening to Nick Moss' Here I Am and Kilborn Alley Blues Band's Four for weeks now. Both Moss and Kilborn have been damn good for a damn long time so it's difficult to say they've reached new heights and done their best
It's the Tuesday before Black Friday and we've got some big names and great albums with new music out this week. We'll begin with the great albums before discussing the big names. I've been looking forward to this day for months because two of this year's best are finally getting their full-scale release to the world. I've been listening to Nick Moss' Here I Am and Kilborn Alley Blues Band's Four for weeks now. Both Moss and Kilborn have been damn good for a damn long time so it's difficult to say they've reached new heights and done their best

Watch Haley Reinhart, Casey Abrams Duet On "Baby It's Cold Outside"

It's a 'Very Idol Christmas,' Love Haley & Casey
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Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams are often linked together after appearing on last season’s American Idol. They had a couple amazing duets on the show (“Moanin’” and  “I Feel The Earth Move”) and rumors of a romance ran rampant over the internet, during which the makings of a true friendship blossomed between this quirky, bluesy, jazzy, twosome. While fellow contestants (winner and runner up, respectively) Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, have tried hard to forge separate, solo country careers, Haley and Casey seemed to have embraced the fact that while they’re remembered by many separately, they’re perhaps remembered more for

James Durbin's Post-'Idol' Debut More Disappointing 'Disaster' Than 'Beautiful'

A promising talent (largely) fails and is failed on his post-'Idol' debut
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James Durbin famously finished fourth on last season’s American Idol; garnering him instant comparisons to Chris Daughtry, and on his highly anticipated debut album Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster the comparisons seem to go much deeper than just their finishes. MOABD hit stores and download venues today. All the excitement I’d had over this album was unceremoniously sucked from my lungs when I heard the first two singles -- "Love Me Bad" and "Stand Up" -- but I’m soldiering on and reviewing it for you good people, anyway. James had a slew of help on this album, which judging by

DeepSoul: Teddy Pendergrass - "You Can't Hide from Yourself"

You can't hide from one of the soul singer's best performances on this Philly soul classic.
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When talking about Philadelphia soul, one name immediately leaps to mind: Teddy Pendergrass. His gospel-meets-disco-meets-raw soul sound played a crucial role in numerous Philadelphia International hits, many penned by the legendary Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, songwriting/producing team and co-founders of the Philadelphia International label. As a member of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and as a solo artist, Pendergrass scored an impressive number of hits and established himself as a bona fide 1970s sex symbol. It presents quite a challenge to choose just one Pendergrass classic, but an underrated dance and R&B classic fully demonstrates his powerful, sensual

Kilborn

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The week is finally here, boys and girls! I've been talking about Nick Moss' Here I Am and Kilborn Alley Blues Band's Four for months now and we've finally made to the magical moment when these records will be released and you can all hear what I've been so excited about for so long. Kilborn Alley has been touring the US, UK, and Europe to promote the upcoming record and we have performance footage of one of my favorite songs from Four from one of the recent UK shows. "A Couple Of Days (Change My Ways)" is a great introduction

Kilborn Alley Blues Band Previews "A Couple Of Days (Change My Ways)" In UK, 'Four' Due Nov. 22

Band's latest disc hits stores tomorrow!
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The week is finally here, boys and girls! I've been talking about Nick Moss' Here I Am (and the singles "It'll Turn Around" and "Candy Nation") and Kilborn Alley Blues Band's Four for months now and we've finally made to the magical moment when these records will be released and you can all hear what I've been so excited about for so long. Kilborn Alley has been touring the US, UK, and Europe to promote the upcoming record and we have performance footage of one of my favorite songs from Four from one of the recent UK shows. "A Couple Of

Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

there is some damn good music here – even if it does provide the ambiance for one of the flattest and most disconcerting tales of love ever spun on screen...
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Featuring artists like Muse, Florence + The Machine, Band of Horses, Thom Yorke, Editors, Grizzly Bear, and Iron & Wine, the soundtracks for the Twilight films have clearly eclipsed the movies themselves in terms of quality. So it was with great curiosity and slight trepidation that I took to my review copy of the soundtrack for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. Like with the other films in the series, the soundtrack for Breaking Dawn Part 1 is a compendium of alternative rock and indie musicians (for the most part). The songs are well-selected and generally befitting of the

Florence And The Machine Release New Video For "No Lights, No Lights"

Not what I'd have chosen but it all makes sense...
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"No Light, No Light" is the latest video from Florence + The Machine's Ceremonials, following "Shake It Off." I don't know what I was expecting her to choose as the next single, but this wasn't it. I obsessively listened to the new album and it's brilliant; there's not a weak moment on it. I don't know what I would have chosen but this wasn't it. I like to think I have an "ear" for a single, for a hit and I've guessed right plenty but I may have misjudged "No Light." I like the song but it didn't stand out

Review: Action Bronson and Statik Selektah - Well Done

A hip hop full meal deal.
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Queens rapper Action Bronson knows his culinary delights, that’s for damn sure. As a chef-turned-emcee, he’s not above dropping names like Morimoto between references to duck prosciutto and smoked brisket. His Well Done, an apt title if there ever was one, isn’t all food references and lip-smacking notions. Proud of his Albanian descent, Action Bronson rolls easily over production by Static Selektah and edges it with a Ghostface Killah tone. Make no mistake, though, Action Bronson is his own man. Well Done is a proclamation of intent. As the follow-up to his digitally-released debut (and Pitchfork-adored), Dr. Lecter, this is

Review: Coldplay - 'Mylo Xyloto': What You Want And More

Bouncing melodies, the thumping upbeat rhythms, and even the lyrics lead this stop-and-smell-the-roses parade.
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Mylo Xyloto's strong start and finish provide enough of what casual listenerss expect from a Coldplay album. I should say from the outset of this review I am a casual listener. I locked into them with the single "Yellow" but I havent' acquired any of the the other albums until this one. I have listened to several other singles and generally like most of what Coldplay does. I have expectations with Coldplay: heavy piano/keyboard riffs, Chris Martin's vulnerable yet earnest vocals, soaring guitar melodies that fall somewhere between George Harrison and U2's The Edge, and lots of cymbals in the percussion.

Review: Ray Charles - Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Singles

The Genius switches labels and delivers more than a decade of classic tracks.
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By the end of the 1950s, Ray Charles, already a star in black America, began to make inroads into the white teen record buying market with hits such as "I Got A Woman" and "What'd I Say." Charles' contract with Atlantic Records was about to expire and the label fully expected to keep their rising star. However, a new label, ABC-Paramount, was looking to stake their claim in the white teen market and came to court Charles. Their offer was too good to refuse. Charles was able to produce his own records, he received a healthy royalty rate and, most

Review: Meaghan Smith - It Snowed

Christmas music doesn't have to suck.
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Years of working retail in shopping centres has pretty much soured me on Christmas music, so the standard carols and 80s pop singles from high-powered collectives singing to raise awareness of famine have, quite frankly, repulsed me like images of Ann Coulter with nothing but a Santa hat on. Maybe it’s post-traumatic stress. Yet Meaghan Smith’s It Snowed, the first Christmas record I’ve subjected myself to in a very long time without copious amounts of scotch in my system, manages to rock and roll its way through a series of Christmas standards and some pretty damn sparkly originals. Smith is
Tonight’s X Factor sees this eclectic group of contestants whittled down from ten to nine. In last night’s recap and review I predicted Lakoda Rayne and Stacy Francis would be in the bottom two with Stacy Francis going home. Let’s get started and see how it plays out, shall we? Worthless Host Steve Jones -- yes you must say the whole thing, yes every time -- asks Paula if she’s nervous for tonight because Lakoda Rayne is the only act left in her category, and when she says she’s not nervous but is grateful and feeling blessed, he says “well,

Rihanna Tops iTunes Weekly Singles Chart; Coldplay, Florence And The Machine Among Top 10 Albums

iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending Nov. 14, 2011
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The iTunes Music Store is the #1 music retailer in the US, so let's take a look at what the world's biggest music store is selling the most of these days. Two of the Top 10 Albums have been recently reviewed at Blinded By Sound, and both were praised mightily. I love Ceremonials from Florence + The Machine. Speaking of Florence, she's debuting a new video for "No Light, No Light" tomorrow and we'll hope to bring that to you. In the meantime, you can check out her video for "Shake It Off." 11 likes Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto quite a

Nick Moss Previews New Material in Daytona, FL; 'Here I Am' Out Nov. 22 (Video)

Moss road tests "Why You So Mean?" from upcoming record...
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I've tried to do my part to alert you all to the coming of Nick Moss' new album Here I Am, talking about the album artwork, tracklisting, the origins of the first single "It'll Turn Around," and streaming that and the follow-on single "Candy Nation." With all that talk, there are still SO MANY THINGS you need to know about this record and it comes out next week! We've got a lot of catching up to do, and we'll begin the process by introducing you to another song from the record, live! The first track from the album is the

The X Factor Top 10 "Rock" Out... Sort Of... Almost

Rock was redefined on The X Factor last night, but not in the way you'd hope...
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It's Rock Night on 'The X Factor,' a theme so broad and vague I couldn't get a "What Should They Sing" prediction column written despite four separate attempts. As it turned out, I wasn't the only one who had trouble pitting artists with rock songs. Let's take a look at what the mentors came up with for their proteges. LeRoy Bell kicks off the show with Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight” which is an excellent choice. We learn his tattoo sleeve is symbolic for his never intending to work a “regular” job again, and that LA Reid finds LeRoy

Wilco Stops Time At Ryman With "Art Of Almost" Video

Great song, great venue, great band, great video...
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What happens when you take one of my favorite bands and put them in God's favorite room? Can you think of anything better? How about a killer stop-motion video of one of my favorite songs from one of their favorite records? Wilco, you think of everything! This video condenses Wilco's two-night stand at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville from setup to teardown into seven cool minutes with "The Art Of Almost" from The Whole Love as the soundtrack to it all. The video filming and editing is spectacular and you get a glimpse of all the things that go into making

DeepSoul: Rufus Thomas - "Rufus Rastus Johnson Brown"

Take a spirited vocalist and a truly funky band, and you get a slice of pure Southern soul.
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Few soul artists could jump start a party better than Stax Records' Rufus Thomas. Even at 51, the "World's Oldest Teenager," as he was known to audiences, was teaching people dance steps like "Do the Funky Chicken." Today, Thomas may be most famous for the 1963 R&B classic "Walking the Dog," which the Rolling Stones later covered. Even more significantly, he and his daughter Carla first brought the Stax label to prominence with their 1959 duet "Cause I Love You," which became the Memphis soul label's first big hit. While he had been recording since the 1940s, he reached his peak
The final chapter in the R.E.M. saga is written this week as the band issues their first career-spanning retrospective, a collection which includes the final three R.E.M. songs of their remarkable career. They've issued compilations before but never one including songs from the I.R.S., indie years and music from their Warner Bros. years. Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage 1982-2011 does just that. I've heard all three new songs (and you can see the video for "We All Go Back To Where We Belong" here on Blinded By Sound) and own everything else on the record but I'm

Radiohead Release 'The King Of Limbs - Live From The Basement' on DVD, Blu-ray, iTunes

The digital will be available before Christmas with the physical release aimed for early January...
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Radiohead have announced details for an upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release The King Of Limbs - Live From The Basement, with the digital available through iTunes December 19 and the physical release in stores by early January. The band did a digital only release of a "Basement" performance of In Rainbows, which is still available via iTunes. The "Basement" series was at least partly inspired by longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. The 11-track live, in-studio performance covers The King Of Limbs in its entirety but it's not performed sequentially. There are also a couple bonus tracks mixed in, including the digital single

Review: Autumn - Cold Comfort

With a mountain to climb, Autumn happily takes to the adventure with its fifth record.
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Much has been made about the female-fronted hard rock band. It’s challenging to flip past reviews and YouTube clips without discovering an accumulation of “she’s hot” or “I’d bang her” commentary from the residue of society. It seems the idea of a woman daring to sing in front of rough-edged guitars is still a novelty, I suppose, and so it is the case with Autumn. The Dutch rock band traffics in hard rock with gobs of beautiful harmony. Led by vocalist Marjan Welman, Autumn ventures into its fifth studio album by broadening its borders and deepening its sound. As the

Mylo Xyloto Achieves Goal As a Comma for Coldplay

A strong start and finish provide enough of what casual listens expect from a Coldplay album.
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Mylo Xyloto's strong start and finish provide enough of what casual listens expect from a Coldplay album. I should say from the outset that I'm a casual listen to Coldplay. I locked into them with the single "Yellow" but I havent' acquired any of the the other albums until this one. I have listened to several other singles and generally like most of what Coldplay does. I have expectations with Coldplay: heavy piano/keyboard riffs, Chris Martin's vulnerable yet earnest vocals, soaring guitar melodies that fall somewhere between George Harrison and U2's The Edge, and lots of cymbals in the percussion.

Florence And The Machine's 'Ceremonials' Triumphantly Goes A Step Beyond

A textured record with contradictions and complexities...
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Ceremonials is the eagerly anticipated new album from Florence + The Machine, the follow-up to her acclaimed debut Lungs. We'll not spend a lot of time discussing the dreaded sophomore slump because this review isn't going to be a cliffhanger. This is a layered album filled with contradictions and complexities in sound and lyric, separately, as well as the way music and lyrics complement and counteract one another and it is gorgeous. It is filled with words and sounds that are dark and romantic, inviting and forbidden, accessible and hidden. The songs can be soaring, anthemic, and dramatic and Welch's voice can

Heavy Hittin': As I Lay Dying - Decas

The metalcore pioneers celebrate a decade with this compilation record.
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Celebrating ten years as a band, San Diego’s As I Lay Dying presents Decas. This is a compilation offering, one with three new songs, four covers, four remixes, and a re-recording for good measure. It is the metalcore band’s way of saying “thanks” to fans after a decade of laying kids to righteous waste in mosh pits. The band was founded in California in 2000 by vocalist Tim Lambesis. Having gone through a number of line-up changes throughout the decade, As I Lay Dying now humbly features drummer Jordan Mancino as the only other original member. Guitarists Nick Hipa and

X Factor Elimination Night: Another of Paula Abdul's Groups Goes Home; Top 10 Set

Another of Paula's groups makes early exit
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Tonight’s X Factor begins with the eleven contestants performing a useless, lip synched number with Matrix-like green numbers scrolling behind them. Next we get the perfunctory rundown of everything we saw last night. Ah the monotony of Results Night! Willow “I whip my hair back and forth” Smith gives a squeakily annoying performance of her single, “Fireball.” She’s no Astro, that’s for sure. I can’t even watch this Rhianna-lite performance; it makes me embarrassed for the entire Smith family. Well, more than I already was. Jessie J is our next performer of the night and she is resplendent in a

The Low Anthem's "This God Damn House" Will Break Your Heart

The saddest, most beautiful song you'll hear today.
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The Low Anthem don't just write songs they carve them out of granite found deep in the earth. Its like their music has always existed, buried deep in the mountain like some treasure left by some old traveller so long ago.  Their songs carry with them a great, dark beauty from the stars and yet embed such lonesome sadness its as if God Himself is weeping. "This God Damn House" manages in just a few lyrics and three and a half minutes to tell a story of broken love and hopeless longing that its as if there was never a

Josh Krajcik, Rachel Crow, Astro Shine Bright As 'X Factor' Goes To The Movies

Still waiting for a "wow" moment, but there were some bright spots in last night's performances...
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The X Factor’s Top 11 perform songs from movies in hopes of making it to the Top 10. The entire first segment is basically a commercial for Adam Sandler’s ridiculous looking new movie Jack and Jill. Stacy Francis is up first and before she even starts they show a clip of LA Reid saying “I co-wrote it; it’s a bad song choice.” And from the very beginning I see he’s right. Stacy is way out-matched on Whitney Houston’s “Queen Of The Night” (Bodyguard) because she’s forcing it and trying too hard, resulting in less powerful, hard to listen to vocals.

'X Factor' Goes Hollywood - What Should Top 11 Sing On 'Movie' Theme Night?

'X Factor' decides to show its individuality by being just like 'American Idol' but we'll play along: what song from the movies should the Top 11 sing?
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Tonight on The X Factor, the show further distances itself from comparisons to American Idol by doing lame themes, just like American Idol! Tonight’s remaining 11 acts will tackle the songs of the movies. I’m assuming this is like the way Idol does it and it’s not just songs that made the soundtrack but also songs that were actually played in the movie, as well. So, since X Factor is copying Idol, I’ll copy myself and do what I did last season for Idol and pick songs I think the contestants should sing and/or stay away from. Melanie Amaro –

Switchfoot "Restless" Video: Not The 1%, Not the 99

Get busy living or get busy dying...
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Pink Floyd famously bemoaned "ticking away the moments that make up the dull day" in their classic "Money" from Dark Side Of The Moon, and it's a feeling we all identify with to varying degrees of frequency. Some of that is a byproduct of the well-intentioned lie we tell children, that they can be anything they want and achieve their dreams if they work hard enough. We mean well but we're setting the kids up for the same disappointment many of us live, until we figure out what we really meant to say: the world is big and filled with

Review: Noctem - Oblivion

Hide your Bibles, it's Noctem!
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Called Spain’s answer to Behemoth, death metal band Noctem lands with unholy force on their latest record. The band, which came into existence in 2001, defines its ideals as “based in the antithesis of the whole absurd human religions, misanthropy and cult to former civilizations, violence, destruction and death.” Okey doke. Oblivion, for its part, is a dynamic, unrelenting hunk of melodic extreme metal. It challenges with technical guitar riffs and castigates with throat-shredding vocals, taunting us all the while by never letting up on the gas pedal of this caustic atrocity. In my line of “work,” I listen to a

Norah Jones' "Not Too Late" Pays Tribute to an Old Friend

We always think there will be one more time...
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My freshman year of college I tried out for a play - some sad thing or another that I had never heard of. I had taken drama in the ninth grade but was not anything like what you would call an actor. As with everything I've ever done in my life I was trying out for this one because of a girl. I had met her recently and we were getting chummy and she wanted to be in the production and so I wanted to be in it. I didn't get the part, but she did so I spent my

Nick Moss Releases "Candy Nation," 2nd Single From Nov. 22 CD 'Here I Am'

Designer drugs are the new designer jeans...
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Nick Moss has released "Candy Nation" as the second single from his upcoming record Here I Am, due Nov. 22 and you can stream it here on Blinded By Sound via ReverbNation. Both singles from Here I Am find Moss observing life in 21st century America but where the hit first single "It'll Turn Around" was an anthemic message of hope in troubled times, "Candy Nation" has a different flavor altogether. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards observed America's culture of consumerism in 1965 on the iconic "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," with Jagger noting people were paying attention to the
R.E.M. is bringing their incredible 31-year run to a close with a career-spanning retrospective featuring the final three recordings they'll ever produce, and of those three songs they selected "We All Go Back To Where We Belong" as their farewell single. It's a great title with which to say goodbye but the song itself explains why the commercial fortunes of the band have fallen so far from their glory years. They think this is a single? It's so R.E.M. to choose a song like this as their final salvo to the world, a song with no commercial prospects. They didn't
The Christmas dump begins with a glut of new titles being foisted on us. I'd have to take a week to make my way through all this so I won't pretend I studied this list of new releases carefully- there are hundreds. There are a few that caught my eye (and stung my wallet) and a few others are worth taking a few moments to discuss. We begin with one of the highlights of the history of my life: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. I might have mentioned this but I've been waiting for Noel to make a solo record

DeepSoul: Jackie Wilson - "Baby Workout"

The singer, also known as "Mr. Excitement," remains one of the most influential yet underrated artists in soul music.
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Before Michael Jackson, there was Jackie Wilson. The dynamic performer, nicknamed "Mr. Excitement," dazzled predominantly African-American audiences with his incredible showmanship and booming voice. Unfortunately, he failed to achieve due recognition for his contributions to soul music until after his untimely death in 1984. But Wilson's impressive songs have withstood the test of time, and have attracted new generations of fans. One of his best tunes, "Baby Workout," exemplifies his energy, smooth voice, and ability to fuse pop and R&B. Wilson first emerged on the R&B music scene in 1953, when he replaced Clyde McPhatter ("Lover Please") in the then-popular

Radiohead Announce 10 US Tour Dates For 2012 World Tour

Band plans to be on road for 'The King Of Limbs' between Feb. and Nov. of next year...
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Radiohead have announced the first dates on their planned 2012 The King Of Limbs world tour with 10 US dates beginning in Miami in February. Guitarist Ed O'Brien says the band will be on the road from approximately February through November and more dates are expected to be announced for the UK and Europe. The first 10 US dates exclude New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles so it's a good bet there will be more US dates for the upcoming tour as well. As for what we can expect, O'Brien also said to expect a heavy dose of the eight-song

Beady Eye Dances With "Instant Karma" on "The Roller" (Video)

Let's talk a little Liam before we turn this site back over to Noel tomorrow with his solo relief...
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Let's get this out of the way straight away: yes, "The Roller" was better when it was "Instant Karma," but damn you, Liam Gallagher, for recycling that riff and melody and making a song that's still catchy as hell! Now that we've handled that bit of housekeeping, let's talk about this single from the Beady Eye record Different Gear, Still Speeding. Liam is a tricky cat to handle because he's often as unsympathetic a figure as you're likely to encounter in the music world. There are 10,000 bad things to say about the guy and just about the time you're

Coldplay Hasn't Outdone Themselves With 'Mylo Xyloto,' But They've Done More Than Enough

Second place doesn't have to be the first loser when it comes to music...
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I am not a musician – much less a popular one – but I am thinking one of the most frustrating, maddening parts of being a big megarock band must be the expectations that come with each release. Bands could probably ease some of the pressure by not waiting three or four years between releases, but not everyone can be James Brown, The Beatles or Prince, who seemingly released classic records every other month at the height of their careers. Coldplay shot to global stardom after having previously been critical darlings with the release of A Rush of Blood To

Review: Immortal Technique - The Martyr

One of the best hip hop records of the year just so happens to be free.
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Rapper Immortal Technique opens The Martyr, his free mixtape, with a commandment to burn the music onto a CD for the purposes of sharing it with as many people as humanly possible. The album from the Peruvian-born, New York-based emcee is an astounding piece of dedication and intelligence, a sea of information and political science set to hard beats and near-perfect production. The fact that Tech is giving it all away for free asserts his position that the message trumps the money, that true culture and morality trumps pseudo-intellectual navel-gazing and hollow braggadocio. With 15 tracks of pure hip hop,

Mandy Barnett – Winter Wonderland

A classic country Christmas
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Patsy Cline had one of the most distinctive voices in American music – a seemingly perfect combination of purity and power. Unfortunately, her career was cut short before she got around to recording a Christmas album. Enter Mandy Barnett, a singer with a voice so startlingly similar to the late Cline’s, it’s as though the latter never left this world. That’s not to say that Barnett is an artistic clone without a musical vision of her own. But the vocal resemblance is uncanny, and Barnett’s milieu of choice is the classic country of the 1950’s, when the likes of Cline

Review: Dub Trio - Dub Trio IV

Dub meets metal. The results will grind your face off.
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King Tubby was a Jamaican sound engineer who influenced dub in the 60s and 70s. For many, King Tubby’s work on the dials and switches would be influential in how albums were handled in post-production and how the wires and circuits could be used to augment and at times completely alter the constructs of the song, instruments and tempo. Dub Trio takes the dub style of King Tubby to another level, recreating the dub style in the context of experimental metal. Dub Trio IV is my first experience with the band. It won’t be my last. Comprised of Dave Holmes
It's Elmination Night on The X Factor, the first results show the season where we say goodbye to one of the Top 12 acts. This is uncharted territory so I’ll admit I’m curious to see how it plays out; I don’t know if it will be a similar process to the way Idol does it or something wacky and different altogether. They immediately waste about 20 minutes on a lame group number, reviewing nearly everything we covered last night, and senseless interviews with contestants regarding what they would do on their Pepsi Commercial if they were to win. Who cares? Like

InTENsity Leaves 'X Factor' With 11

The X Factor eliminates another contestant...
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It's Elmination Night on The X Factor, the first results show the season where we say goodbye to one of the Top 12 acts. This is uncharted territory so I’ll admit I’m curious to see how it plays out; I don’t know if it will be a similar process to the way Idol does it or something wacky and different altogether. They immediately waste about 20 minutes on a lame group number, reviewing nearly everything we covered last night, and senseless interviews with contestants regarding what they would do on their Pepsi Commercial if they were to win. Who cares? Like

Michelle Branch's "Loud Music" Helps Kick Off Season 7 Of 'Bones'

Relive Booth & Brennan's greatest hits put to the music of Michelle Branch...
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And now for something almost completely different... My wife and I are huge fans of the TV show Bones. We didn't get in on the ground floor but we've faithfully watched every episode -- most of them more than twice -- and own every season on DVD/Blu-ray. There's something about we love, made a little more special because it's something we love together. Other people go rock climbing or ballroom dancing. Not us. We hole up in the living room with one of the cats (usually our deaf, developmentally disabled boy Rowdy) and relax to a TV show that entertains

Review: Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings - Collector's Edition Box Set

The first four albums from the Rolling Stones' original bassist's new band.
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The World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll band had just completed their incredibly successful comeback tour for Steel Wheels. It was the first Rolling Stones tour since the 1981-82 tour for Tattoo You and, in 1991, the band was primed to sign a megabucks deal with Virgin Records. Well, most of the band that is. Weary of touring and the rigors that come with being in a major band, original bassist Bill Wyman decided he had had enough and did the unthinkable – he quit the Rolling Stones. The band kept the door open until it was time to hit the

Matt Schofield Knows A Slow Blues Is All About "Laying It Down"

Great performance from Schofield and his band...
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I've made no secret of my admiration for British guitarist/singer Matt Schofield but it's been awhile since we talked about him here on the site. His Anything But Time CD has been one of my favorite blues records of the year and I finally went and tracked down a few of the albums from his discography still in print that I didn't already own. One of those is Heads, Tails And Aces and we have a great live version of one of the songs from that album, "Laying It Down." I love a good slow blues number but it's not

'X Factor' Top 12: Astro And Amaro Shine, Rene Falters Slightly On Night Of Strong Performances

The voting has begun... how will they decide who gets voted off? Who do you want to see go?
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The X Factor’s final 12 contestants are singing for our votes and most importantly to see who gets the $5 million recording contract with Sony and an “Iconic Pepsi Commercial.” Things must be going well for Fox and the show because we found out today that The X Factor has been picked up for a second season…good job, Simon! Thursday we get the results and one act will be going home. I’m wondering how they’re going to do it. Do we end up with one from each group at the end? Does the lowest vote-getter go home no matter

'X Factor' Voting Begins Tonight: Phone, Text, Tweet, Or "Like"

'The X Factor' using social media for fan votes...
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Starting tonight, The X Factor continues to distance itself from comparisons to Simon Cowell’s old job, American Idol. For the first time in television fans can vote for their favorite contestant(s) via Twitter. For the non-Twitter loving folk (are their even such people alive?!), voting can also be completed on Facebook, via text for Verizon customers, toll-free phone calls, or their official website: TheXFactorUSA.com. After signing up for your Twitter account you must be sure to follow: @TheXFactorUSA and the votes will be tallied through Direct Messaging, not tweets, Direct Messaging is a private way to communicate on Twitter. Votes will

Roger Waters Continues To Build 'The Wall,' Announces 36-Date N. American Tour

Groundbreaking tour gets a final run through N. America this summer, kicking off in Texas...
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Roger Waters will build The Wall 36 more times in 2012, bringing his cutting edge, multimedia extravaganza across N. America for perhaps the final time. This leg of the tour -- likely the final run for the critically and commercially successful show -- will include outdoor venues for the first time, presenting unique challenges for the projections that have been a huge part of the visual experience. "We're going to be projecting over 140 yards," Waters told Rolling Stone. "So now it's going to be 1,500 pixels wide. We've done light tests and Fenway Park and Wrigley Field and Yankee

Gary Clark Jr Makes Albert Collins' "If You Love Me Like You Say" His Own in Boulder, CO

More video from our resident favorite Gary Clark Jr.
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We have proudly proclaimed ourselves members of TeamGary and done our best to make BlindedBySound GaryCentral, so I can't tell you how excited I was to find good video of Clark performing a song we haven't already posted on the site in one form or another. For reasons I am aware of but don't completely understand, a lot of Clark's music is out of print and that leaves us with his phenomenal Bright Lights EP. We've talked at length about those four songs but I'm hungry to tell you about more of his music (if I can ever get access

Review: Lou Reed and Metallica - Lulu

A bizarre meeting of the minds that digs deep and takes chances.
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Art is a tricky, even belligerent thing. Some cite that there are strict borders, like those who suggest a certain song is “not music” despite its possession of tempo, sound, pitch, whatever. Some suggest that a certain poem is “not poetry” despite its use of language for aesthetic qualities, while others say that a painting isn’t a painting because it’s “just a bunch of crap on a piece of paper.” The debate over what art is and what art isn’t rages on in light of Lulu, the joint venture of the peculiar from Lou Reed and Metallica. Upon the exposure
San Francisco’s Hammers of Misfortune take to their 17th Street with a sense for the theatrical. Indeed, many of the arrangements on this underground metal release carry a decided Lloyd Webber feel, with patches of Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar woven in. That sense for the theatrical will either thrill or distract, depending on what draws you to the party. Hammers of Misfortune have created something special out of their rejuvenated line-up. The band lost two members (bassist/vocalist Jamie Meyers and vocalist/guitarist Mike Scalzi) after 2005’s The Locust Years was released. Guitarist and producer John Cobbett drafted new

Visqueen Goes On Indefinite Hiatus, Farewell Show in Seattle Nov. 26

Seattle's Visqueen says "so long" after 3 albums and 10 years...
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Rachel Flotard and Ben Hooker have announced Seattle-based Visqueen is going on indefinite hiatus after 10 years and three albums, and they'll play a Farewell Show at Seattle's Neptune Theatre on November 26. Well that's a kick in the gut! I was late to the Visqueen party, hearing about them through my professional association with multi-instrumentalist Barrett Martin, who filled in on drums for the band on a recent US tour. I got to see them perform in Nashville and fell in love with their harmony-laded power pop. I was looking forward to a fourth album to succeed the fantastic

Florence And The Machine 'Ceremonials,' U2's 'Achtung Baby' at 20, Lou Reed/Metallica 'Lulu' Top Nov. 1 New CDs

The highlight that isn't versus the highlight that is... oh, and that Metallica/Lou Reed thing...
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Let's accentuate the positive on this first day of November, the first New Release Tuesday of the month: Florence + The Machine. Ceremonials. Seriously. The Deluxe Edition is on its way to my house and really I don't know why I should have to be at work on such a day. We've given you all the details about the record and unveiled the video to "Shake It Off," the amazing first official single from the record. I've heard three songs from the album and love them all. This is going to be epic and easily the best thing that will

Shelby Lynne - "I'll Hold Your Head" (Solo Acoustic)

A live performance of my favorite track from one of the year's finest albums...
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I fell in love with Shelby Lynne all over again this past week with her stunningly beautiful new album Revelation Road, in particular the heartbreaking, beautiful "I'll Hold Your Head." It's a gentle, bittersweet portrait of a family life her family life contrasting the loving memory of singing favorite songs in the car with her mom and sister on the way to school with the struggle to survive poverty in south Alabama and turbulent marriage of her parents. Love and heartache abound but there is beauty to be found in the strength and bonds of sisterhood and family. Lynne is

Phil Collins' 'Hello, I Must Be Going!' Gets 24KT Gold Limited Edition Remaster

Audio Fidelity's remastering clarifies and enhances the sound of one of Phil Collins' darkest albums.
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Normally people think of Phil Collins as humorous and cheerful, singing either uptempo, bouncy tracks ("Sussudio") or heartfelt ballads ("Against All Odds [Take A Look at Me Now]").  However, many forget that his first two solo albums, Face Value and Hello, I Must Be Going! revealed other sides of the musician, namely the R&B lover and the paranoid, jaded figure.  Audio Fidelity's  24 carat gold, remastered edition of 1982's Hello, I Must Be Going! allows listeners to experience these hidden aspects of Collins' work in crystal-clear sound. Opening with the pounding "I Don't Care Anymore," Collins continues where he left