May 2013 Archives

I can thank Lianne La Havas for introducing me to the music of Everything Everything and, as with most things I write about here, I want you all to give them your time and attention but I know this isn't going to be up everyone's alley. Jonathan Higgs' mannered falsetto can be grating. It's not accurate to describe what he does during most verses as hip hop there is a rhythmic cadence in his mad, maverick delivery. The songs are often structured and that term is used loosely as free-form chaos pop where verses skitter and shift to syncopated, stuttering
There was a small window of time in the late '80s that I remember as a vinyl junkie's paradise. The entire industry had embraced the "unbreakable" compact disc, and big bucks were being made with reissues of classic rock titles. To make room for CDs, record stores were getting rid of their LPs as quickly as possible. The $1.00 bin was ubiquitous, and for those of us who did not toss out our turntables, it was fantastic. I bought a lot of records by artists that I had always been curious about, and Townes Van Zandt was one of them.

Daft Punk #1, The National #3 iTunes Albums Chart, Macklemore & Lewis Hold #1 Song

iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending May 27, 2013...
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We have that rare moment when I look at the iTunes Music Store weekly chart and find something to smile about, something that pleases me. Let us all take a moment to recongize this rare occasion. The source of my joy? The instant classic Trouble Will Find Me from The National is went to #3 in its first week of release. It deserved the top spot because everyone in America should own this record but I take comfort in this lofty debut. Daft Punk's long-awaited album Random Access Memory gets the top slot and while it's not a record I'm

DeepSoul: Gladys Knight & the Pips - "Save the Overtime (for Me)"

To celebrate the classic R&B singer's birthday, DeepSoul looks at a lesser-known 1980s hit.
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The great R&B vocalist Gladys Knight celebrates her 69th birthday this week, and is still performing after over 50 years in the music business. Her impeccable voice, supported by her famous backup singing group the Pips, graced a string of classic 1970s hits. While Knight may be best known for tracks such as "Midnight Train to Georgia" or "Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye)," her 1980s-era work should not be overlooked. One of her last successful singles with the Pips, "Save the Overtime (for Me)," perfectly blends Knight's soulful style with 1983's modern beats.

CD Review: Dio - Finding The Sacred Heart: Live in Philly 1986

This legendary concert is remastered and complete for the first time.
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When the late Ronnie James Dio was on tour for his Sacred Heart album, he had a show on the second leg of the tour filmed for VHS release. The concert was significant as it was the first tour with new guitarist, Craig Goldy, who replaced original Dio guitarist, Vivian Campbell, after the first leg was completed. The original concert was incomplete, however. Now the full show is available for the first time, digitally remastered, as Dio - Finding The Sacred Heart: Live in Philly 1986. For the tour, Goldy joined a crack band that included Dio's ex-Black Sabbath band

Blu-ray Review: Dio - Finding The Sacred Heart: Live in Philly 1986

Legendary performance released in its entirety for the first time.
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The late Ronnie James Dio took his love for the mystical to a new level in 1986. While on tour for his then current album, Sacred Heart, he and his crack band played on a stage that resembled a giant castle, complete with an animatronic dragon. It was the perfect backdrop for Dio's powerful music. Fortunately for fans, a show in Philadelphia was filmed and released, first as a VHS and later as a DVD. Unfortunately, however, the show was edited in those releases. For the Blu-ray release, entitled Dio - Finding The Sacred Heart: Live in Philly 1986, the

Review: Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood - Black Pudding

The voice of terminal weariness, the sound of ticking clock just before the alarm bells ring...
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Mark Lanegan may be the best vocalist in the world being possessed of a distinct, mighty, gravelly voice. He's spent the past 20 years learning how to use it in the studio and the hard life he's lived enters the vocal booth with him. You don't just hear him, you feel it when it sings as there is a resonance and authority in his voice telling tales many of us fear to hear. He's our embedded correspondent on the front lines and the dark alleys. He's more than the voice of doom but can sing the songs of the damned

DVD/CD Review: The Moody Blues - Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970

A glimpse of a classic band in their prime.
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By 1970, the Moody Blues were arguably at the peak of their commercial and creative powers. Their newest album, and third in two years, A Question of Balance, hit number 1 on the UK charts and their previous two hit 1 and 2 respectively. Perhaps most telling is their position in the lineup at the legendary Isle of Wight Festival. In 1969, the band played on the opening day while in 1970, they were one of the headliners. That 1970 performance was filmed and makes up part of the DVD/CD set, The Moody Blues - Live At The Isle Of
"Don't Try" is the latest single and video from British quartet Everything Everything off their sophomore effort Arc and it falls well within the messy confines this band calls its sound. Jonathan Higgs' mannered falsetto can be grating whether he's talk-singing in the verses or yelping in the chorus but just as you're about to turn away, exhausted and irritated, he layers his voice in lovely harmonious textures accompanied by a blast of sound from the band and you've been ensnared by the charming, daft madness of it all. This is another example of placing the song on the unstable
I pledge to not spend this entire review bemoaning my bad timing, missing out on the opportunity to purchase the limited edition CD of The Spring Standards' Live From Delaware and "settling" instead for the digital-only option. I was introduced to this wonderful trio of James Cleare, Heather Robb, and James Smith on the social music site turntable.fm when someone played "Drowning in Sobriety," the bonus track from their sophomore effort Would Things Be Different. The perpetual wandering Fanboy in me is always looking for new music that excites and moves me and that song immediately grabbed hold of me
The Lone Bellow got some national spotlight when they played The Tonight Show this past Wednesday, playing "Bleeding Out" from their spectacular self-titled debut. I love when good things happen to good bands, particularly those who need and merit wider exposure. The Lone Bellow are, as we near the midway point of 2013, one of my favorite musical discoveries this year. Their album is, for the moment, the one I've spent the most time listening to this year (although The National's Trouble Will Find Me is quickly catching up). If you missed their performance, we've got it embedded here. If

Tan Mom Fries Your Eyes

Could this be the worst song ever? Is it even really a song?
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If you've noticed an increase in occurrences of hysterical blindness amongst your friends and family this week, it could be down to the release of the worst visual thing ever in the history of the universe - a music video from Patricia Krentcil, a.k.a Tan Mom. In the event you've wisely suppressed your Tan Mom memories, she's the woman who hit the news last year for sneaking her five-year-old daughter into a tanning booth. You may recall her photos, in which she closely resembled mummified bacon, and her interviews which left no doubt she was probably baffled by pop-top soda
Blues Hall Of Famer James Cotton has the #1 album at blues radio this week with his latest Alligator Records album Cotton Mouth Man. The famed harp master has played as a sideman with Muddy Waters and innerable other blues titans as well as a brilliant career as a bandleader. Gregg Allman, Delbert McClinton, and Keb' Mo' are just a few of the guests who join Cotton on his latest record and fans are snapping it up. Also on the chart this week are the recent releases from Duke Robillard, Ronnie Earl, Tinsley Ellis, and Big Bill Morganfield, the latter
The star-studded soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann's adatptioan of The Great Gatsby is the #1 album at iTunes for the past week with songs from artists like Beyonce, Florence + The Machine, Jack White, will.i.am, and Lana Del Rey. It's an ecclectic group of artists and that's what we've come to expect from Luhrmann's film soundtracks. I'm not at all surprised to see this doing well with listeners, for that reason. Vampire Weekend doing well with the iTunes crowd is also something I'd expect and their latest album has drawn strong reviews from all across the web including here at BlindedBySound,
Mark Lanegan has one of the most distinctive voices I have ever heard, and it only gets better with age. His new collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood is titled Black Pudding, and has just been released on the Ipecac label. I must say that darkness has never sounded as inviting as this. Black Pudding is a record that will take you anywhere you choose to go, but be careful. Listen closely enough you may just find yourself at the crossroads Robert Johnson once sang about. Listen again and you will find yourself saying yes to the inevitable question, for this
Weird Al Yankovic is an interesting figure in the world of pop culture. This is a good thing, as otherwise writing a series of essays cataloging his entire discography might have been viewed as a somewhat less than necessary quest. Perhaps more than any other musician, he personifies his medium. On the other hand, that medium is comedy songs, many of which are parodies of existing pop songs. He sings of food and TV shows and movies and, occasionally, Santa Claus going on a murderous rampage. Weird Al has always existed on the fringes of the music business, or at
Trouble Will Find Me is filled with stories of people in turmoil. There is more to these songs than ruminations of the clinically depressed man plumbing the depths of disappointment, dread, and disillusionment. The souls in these songs are often overcome with sorrow, self-pity, and self-loathing resulting in feelings of isolation and disassociation, both chosen and involuntary. Lead vocalist/lyricist Matt Berninger tells us "There's a science to walking through windows" and I'm ready to be that scientist. It feels like an admission of guilt, talking about songs and ideas that evoke powerful emotion and connect this deeply but that is
I've nearly completed my epic review of Trouble Will Find Me, the sixth album from The National. While I'm finishing this opus, the band has been hard at work promoting thier latest effort with an appearance on David Letterman as well as a surprise show in New York. They played two songs on Jimmy Fallon recently and then on Monday hit Letterman and played "Don't Swallow The Cap." It's a fantastic performance of one of the best songs on this record and the sound quality is surprisingly good for a TV performance. These late night performances and the Grammys, etc.
You may not think you know The Healers but this ad hoc blues sextet boasts some big name soloists and sidemen whose accomplishments are familiar to millions. The most famous name of the bunch is Reese Winans, keyboard man for Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble. He is joined by Jimmy Hall, a sideman and bandleader whose innumerable credits have kept him in the studio and on the road for decades, Kate Moss, wife of award-winning blues master Nick Moss and one hell of a guitarist in her own right as she has proved in jam sessions with Buddy Guy,
Captain Beyond were one of those "only in the '70s" bands, who sound something like the bastard child of The Stooges and The Grateful Dead. Although the sound quality is not the best, the newly released Live in Texas October 6, 1973 captures them in their prime on a wild night. The four-piece band could be considered something of an early-seventies "supergroup," depending on one's definition of the term. Throughout their history, the lineup of Captain Beyond was fairly volatile. For this tour, the band featured two former members of Iron Butterfly: Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt (guitar), and Lee Dorman (bass);

Blu-ray Review: The Rolling Stones - Crossfire Hurricane

A new documentary on this legendary band.
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Few performers have had the longevity of The Rolling Stones. In 50 years, they've gone from being the dangerous, anti-Beatles to being the elder statesmen of rock. In the band's own words, they went from being the group everyone hated to being the group everyone loves. In honor of their 50th anniversary, director Brett Morgen sat down with the individual members of the band, past and present, to hear them tell their remarkable story. That story is preserved on the new Blu-ray, The Rolling Stones -- Crossfire Hurricane. For the documentary, no film cameras were allowed for the band interviews.

DeepSoul: Quincy Jones - "Betcha' Wouldn't Hurt Me"

Music greats Jones, Patti Austin, and Stevie Wonder combine talents to create an unforgettable track.
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Few would dispute Quincy Jones' towering influence on the music world--he stands as a producer and arranger par excellence, his pristine and multilayered recordings sounding as fresh today as they did when first released. In addition to producing blockbusters for others--most notably Michael Jackson's Thriller and Off the Wall albums--he sporadically released discs under his own moniker. Thanks to his reputation, Jones could recruit the best musicians, songwriters, and singers for his projects. One of his best, 1981's The Dude, made a star of James Ingram and spawned numerous hits ("Just Once" and "One Hundred Ways," for example). An underrated

Gary Clark Jr 'iTunes Sessions' An Essential Purchase

Get your all-access pass to a late night jam by Gary Clark Jr. and his band...
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Gary Clark Jr. recently recorded a live-in-studio jam with his band for iTunes as part of the digital retailer's ongoing iTunes Sessions series. Clark's set presents seven songs from his major label debut Blak & Blu and a couple blues covers to round out the set. I dislike digital-only releases but they're an inevitable part of the new music frontier and given the choice of hearing more Gary or less- well, that's not a decision at all! What's best about iTunes Session is the elimination of the slick, shiny production that marred Blak & Blu and robbed the songs of

Lisa Biales - Singing In My Soul

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There are no better words than Lisa Biales' own to capture just how wonderfully jubilant is Singing In My Soul , the eighth independent release from the Ohio-based singer and guitarist ... "I love working with musicians who give themselves over completely to a song, and who play with joy. Here's to you, my Jolly Goodfellows," says Biales in the liner notes. They're the words of a warm and generous spirit, qualities that emanate from every note of the Singing In My Soul. The Goodfellows that Biales refers to include Cincinnati's Ricky Nye on keys, along with the Paris Blues

Dawes - Bing Lounge Live (KINK Radio)

An intimate, four-song set from Dawes promoting songs from their delightful 'Stories Don't End' LP
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I'm hoping to catch Dawes' show at the Ryman in Nashville in a couple weeks, having recently discovered them and their sensational new album Stories Don't End. They've been playing shows for awhile now and making other promotional appearances, including a set they did for KINK Radio / Live in the Bing Lounge. This is a 4-song set (which also includes an interview) has me even more excited at the prospect at taking in a full show on my own. The songs they performed are all from Stories and while they didn't play a couple of my favorites, they did
"And Alexander wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer." - Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock This is it. This is the end. Today is the final part of The Weird Al Chronicles. At least for now, I suppose. In 2011, five years after releasing Straight Outta Lynwood, Weird Al Yankovic released his most recent album, Alpocalypse. It won't be his last. Not just because he still wants to work, but because he is under contract for one more after this. Will he release one of those albums that artists sometimes do when they want to stick it to their

The National Kick Off 'Trouble Will Find Me' Tour In Ithaca, NY (Setlist)

The National kicked off their Trouble Will Find Me tour, giving a glimpse of what to expect as the new album and tour get underway...
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The National kicked off their Trouble Will Find Me world tour in at State Theater in Ithaca, NY five days before the album gets its worldwide release and the setlist was pleasantly predictable with a couple surprises thrown in for good measure. We have a taste of what this tour may look like going forward so let's take a closer look. Many bands try to push their new material when they get out on the road but The National have taken a particularly aggressive stance on that going back to their High Violet tour and now at the dawn of
It's been exciting to see how many Cure fans remain among us as this series, since its start, has become one of the most popular features at BlindedBySound. When I named our series Friday We're In Love (With The Cure), I thought of it in terms of the love for this band their music shared by Heather and I. Now I realize it has a broader significance: there are many of us who loved them when we first head them years ago and continue to listen and cherish the songs they've brought to us. Once again, we are doing something

'Unstoppable Momentum' A Misnomer But A Solid Record From Joe Satriani

It's not bad but we've come to expect so much more...
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Joe Satriani has been making records since 1986 and over 27 years he has created his own musical language and landscape and, expanding the definition of the rock instrumental genre and by producing commercially successful, timeless albums opened the door for many imitators and lesser talents as well as a few near equals. He has experimented and expanded his language, refining it to the point where his audience knows what to expect from one of his records. He's past the point of tailoring his sound to win new converts and can now comfortably play to the faithful. Even an innovator

Swamp Dogg: Gag A Maggot CD Review

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Swamp Dogg was once described by Dave Marsh as "Soul music's chief eccentric." It is a title he more than lives up to on his third full-length release Gag A Maggot (1973), which has just been reissued by the Alive Records label. With Swamp Dogg, the entire LP package was important, and he seems to have had a particular interest in creating the worst album covers ever. In the reissue's liner notes, he even laments the fact that the artwork for Gag A Maggot (with him in a trashcan) did not get as many votes for "worst album cover ever"
"You snooze, you lose."-- Anoymous Smug Asshole The Spring Standards are releasing a limited edition live album via a Kickstarter campaign and I found out about it too late to get in on the action. To quell this savage disappointment and shake me from my despondent stupor, I'm posting a video from their most recent album -- actually a double EP -- yellow//gold. "Nightmare" is one of my favorite songs from that set. The Spring Standards are primarily an Americana, roots-oriented band with sparkling three-part harmonies and those elements are all part of "Nightmare" but there's also a really
Welcome to the second edition of Blinded By Sounds best of 2013 songs. My goal is to do one of these every month. The first edition, released last month was so behind that I had to write about three months worth of songs. This one will just talk about songs released in April. I'm still two weeks behind, but that's better than three months. Maybe for May I'll get it out within the first few days of June. I won't be holding my breath. Neither should you. As usual, I'm not saying these are the best songs that came out

Review: Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

While Vampire Weekend's latest release is said to be the final installment in a trilogy, the record finds the band opening far more doors than they close.
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While Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig has said the band's latest release, Modern Vampires of The City, is the final installment in a trilogy, the record finds the band opening far more doors than they close. Sure, there are plenty of classic Vampire Weekend moments, where Ezra Koenig's falsetto warbles inscrutable lyrics over one of Rostam Batmanglij's dub-inspired soundscapes. But there is also a sense of something lurking on the horizon. Modern Vampires of The City feels like the kind of transitional album bands sometimes have to make. Thankfully, they have managed to turn their artistic wrangling into a thoroughly

DeepSoul: Prince - "Mountains"

While a minor hit, this 1986 track shows Prince as a skilled vocalist and songwriter.
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"This isn't music...this is a trip!" chants a voice throughout a remix of Prince's "Alphabet Street." That phrase may best describe Prince's mid-80s output, when he explored psychedelia through albums such as Around the World in a Day and Parade. Taking cues from George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Prince sought to fuse the Summer of Love with funk and just a touch of rock. He may have largely moved on from that era, but these experiments have withstood the test of time. One such example is 1986's "Mountains," a track off the Under the Cherry Moon soundtrack (released as Parade)

David Bowie Still Shocking? New Video For 'The Next Day' Causes YouTube Stir

David Bowie has made a career of getting under people's skin and making them uncomfortable...
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David Bowie remains a grand provacateur and bless him for it. His latest video, the title track from his fantastic new album The Next Day, has received an "Adults-Only" rating from YouTube and was at one point banned from the site altogether. We know Bowie is not afraid to offend. I don't know if it pleases him at this point but, considering he's not going to tour this album (BOO!), I can't help but think he's at least amused by the reaction. So what has everyone in a dither? Oh, just our hero as a prophet, a little stigmata, priests

The Killers: Battle-Tested in Nashville

The Killers blended hits, rarities, and covers for a majestic show in Music City, USA
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Alright, so eight years after seeing the video for "Somebody Told Me" back when MTV could still be bothered to show, you know, music, I finally got to see The Killers, and I was not disappointed. The Las Vegas, Nevada-based quartet played a show in support of their fourth studio album, Battle Born on Sunday night at the Grand Old Opry House in Nashville - Music City, USA as it is rightly known - and if you will forgive me a mild pun, the New Wave/dance-pop rockers lived up to their name. The 4,400-seat venue was packed to the rafters

Review: Styx - The Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight Live

Styx performs two of its classic albums in one night on this live CD.
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On November 9, 2010, Styx followed the lead of many notable classic rockers, including Aerosmith, Peter Gabriel and Cheap Trick, by bringing not one (unlike those artists), but two of their biggest albums to the stage in their entirety during the same show. The albums in question were 1977's The Grand Illusion and 1978's Pieces Of Eight. The show, entitled Styx -- The Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight Live, was recorded and previously released in a number of formats, including DVD/CD, but this release marks its first appearance as a standalone two-CD set. The show was recorded at the historic Orpheum
"The Soul Queen of New Orleans" is what they call Irma Thomas, and after listening to her newly reissued In Between Tears, I can certainly see why. The album was initially released in 1973 on the homegrown Fungus Records label, so it has remained well under the radar for the past 40 years. As part of what is turning out to be a remarkable reissue program, Alive Records have just re-released In Between Tears. The record has been fully remastered, and two bonus tracks have been added. It is one of the finest examples of early '70s soul I have

Gary Clark Jr Unveils Video For "Numb"

New video for one of the standout tracks from 'Blak & Blu'
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When last we checked in with our hero, Gary Clark Jr. had just released his iTunes Sessions EP and was about to play David Letterman. I'm still going to get a review of the iTunes Session written soon but in the meantime he has released a video for what might be my favorite track on his full length, major label debut Blak & Blu. I first heard "Numb" when he played Nashville last year after his acclaimed matinee set at Bonnaroo. I didn't realize it was actually an old song, one he'd written for his independent (and seriously out of
Weird Al's Poodle Hat sort of got lost in the shuffle of life, even though it is a solid album. However, a few years later Yankovic found himself back in the zeitgeist with 2006's Straight Outta Lynwood. This is, perhaps, mildly surprising when you dig into the logistics of recording the album. Apparently Weird Al wanted to include a parody of James Blunt's atrocious "You're Beautiful" (there's a half-formed Songs We Wish We Could Forget on that number collecting cyber dust on my computer) entitled "You're Pitiful," but then it got nixed. The album was delayed. In the end, Straight

Macklemore & Lewis #1 iTunes Song, Fleetwood Mac EP Top 10 iTunes Album

iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending May 6, 2013
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I'm actually stunned Fleetwood Mac finds themselves in the Top 10 in album sales this week at iTunes and not just because it's a rare display of respectable taste among digital music consumers. The real surprise to me is Lindsey Buckinghame settled for an EP rather than a double LP. Buckingham is ambitious, prolific, and relentless as a musician and songwriter. Four songs in stead 40... count me surprised. That's the only surprise in this week's iTunes chart. The rest is predictable and uninteresting to me but I'll tell you about it anyway. You're welcome. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are
Well, this is surprising. I did not see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis having any staying power. I presumed "Thrift Shop" was a novelty single, and not just because I thought it was awful. I mean, it's a dude rapping about buying stuff at the thrift store, and, let's face it, the fact he was a white guy rapping made it feel even more like a novelty song. However, it would appear I was incorrect in this prediction, because here we are living in world where Macklemore is fronting another number one single in these United State of America. This newest

The National Release Video For "Sea Of Love"

Controlled chaos and a song destined to be a highlight on the upcoming 'Trouble Will Find Me' world tour...
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The National continue the ramp up to the May 21 release of their sixth album Trouble Will Find Me with the release of a new video for "Sea Of Love." This is one of the two songs the band recently played on Jimmy Fallon and follows the video for "Demons" and the announcement of more tour dates for this summer and fall. I wish I'd been able to see and hear "Sea Of Love" in its studio form before they premiered it on Fallon so I could tell you how great this was going to be live but we already

When A Song Ruins Your Life (In A Good Way): Dawes - "A Little Bit Of Everything"

Exactly what the title promises...
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Welcome to another edition of "When A Song Ruins Your Life..." Today's edition comes courtesy of one of my new music obsessions, Dawes. Their new album, Stories Don't End, is completely wonderful and highly recommended but is not the source of the song that has ruined me and changed my life. There is no succinct way to express all the emotions "A Little Bit Of Everything" stirs in me, which is fine because I've never concerned myself with brevity (unless you ask my ex-girlfriends but that's just mean). Taylor Goldsmith sketches three unrelated scenes that are alternately poignant, heartbreaking, hilarious,

CD Review: Paul McCartney And Wings - Wings Over America (CD/DVD)

Wings' live document of their 1976 U.S. tour gets remastered.
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By the time 1976 rolled around, Paul McCartney and Wings were at the height of their popularity, having amassed numerous hits and successful tours abroad. There was one thing left to do however, something McCartney had not done since 1966 while still a member of The Beatles -- tour America. After a tour of Europe and Australia, Wings traveled to North America for their first (and only) tour of the continent. The tour was a major success, with many cities hosting multiple sold-out nights. The live document of the tour, Wings Over America, also did well, reaching number one in

DeepSoul, Acid Jazz Edition: D'Influence - "Running Away"

DeepSoul's last look at Acid Jazz examines a group who took the genre to new levels of sophistication.
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Some Acid Jazz groups formed many years ago, frequently changing lineups but still containing at least one founding member. D'Influence differs from this model in that they are a collective, a production team as well as a band. While they have helmed projects by Mark Morrison and Ultra Naté, their own albums take Acid Jazz to a sophisticated level. Debuting in 1992, D'Influence consists of vocalist Sarah Anne Webb, guitarist and keyboardist Ed Baden-Powell, keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Kwame Kwaten and drummer Steve Marston. Thanks to jazz-heavy chords and Webb's silky smooth voice, they gained a following for a small but

New Releases: Patty Griffin, Joshua Redman, Satriani, Pistol Annies, Lady Antebellum, Little Walter Tribute

This is going to be an expensive week for all of us with a loaded roster of new records.
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Oh my God are there are a lot of great albums out this week! We have been music bombed on May 7, 2013. It's about to get real... expensive. So many interesting titles to discuss so let's get right to it. We begin with new music from Patty Griffin. Her new album is American Kid. I've heard the record but I'll say nothing on the subject because Heather is our resident Patty expert and she has reviewed it for us. You'll know all you need to All I'm here to do is tell you the album is out this today,

Review: Joshua Redman - Walking Shadows

'Walking Shadows' is lovely, delicate, and dignified...
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Walking Shadows finds jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman taking on a new challenge, incorporating an orchestra and string arrangements into his music with the help of pianist/producer Brad Mehldau. Strings are no stranger to jazz but the results have been uneven as the presence of an orchestra often mellows the music to uninspired, bland schmaltz. The approach often pushes the music towards superficial beauty rather rich and compelling. There's nothing wrong with pretty, but shallow music is rarely rewarding. It is fortunate Redman and Mehldau, joined by bassist Larry Grenadier and Brian Blade, avoid these pitfalls for the majority of Shadows.

Patty Griffin Announces US Tour, Appearance On 'Tonight Show' To Promote 'American Kid'

Griffin announces US tour, appearance on 'Tonight Show' to promote new album 'American Kid'
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Patty Griffin has announced summer tour dates to promote her latest studio album American Kid. American Kid is out today and the tour begins at the end of the month in Asheville, NC. Griffin will work her way west with the tour proper ending with shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles at the end of June. She is slated to perform at Rocky Mt. Folks Festival in Colorado in August. In addition to the tour, Griffin will be performing on The Tonight Show tonight performing a song from the new album. I know which one it is. I'm not

The National Announce Additional US Tour Dates

The National extend their tour through the fall...
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The National have announced a slew of additional tour dates for the US and Canada that will keep them on the road for the next five months in support of their upcoming album Trouble Will Find Me. They play a few dates this month before starting their US tour in earnest in June. They will sandwich a European tour in between Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN in June and Lollapalooza in Chicago in August. They'll continue playing the US and Canada through September. Trouble Will Find Me is out May 21 and the band have already released one single from it

Tinsley Ellis, Sena Ehrhardt, JJ Grey Top Blues Radio Chart; Ronnie Earl, Robillard Also Top 10

Instrumental effort for guitarist Tinsley Ellis takes #1 this week...
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Tinsley Ellis vaulted all the way to #1 this week at blues radio with his latest album Get It, an instrumental effort from the respected veteran guitarist. We like Tinsley quite a lot and we're especially pleased to see this effort at #1 as BlindedBySound contributor Joanie has photos that appear in the liner notes of this fine record. Ellis is followed by Blind Pig artist Sena Erhardt's All In and Alligator Records' JJ Grey & Mofro with their latest album This River. Big Bill Morganfield, one of two sons of Muddy Waters who have chosen the impossible task of

Watch Thom Yorke Perform "Karma Police," "Ingenue" Solo Piano on Jonathan Ross

Radiohead/Atoms For Peace frontman Yorke goes solo piano to promote, prep for full Atoms For Peace tour...
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Radiohead are briefly on break and a proper tour for Atoms For Peace, the band Yorke formed with Joey Waronker, Nigel Godrich, and Flea, has yet to begin but that hasn't kept Yorke from making some live appearances on his own. Appearing on Jonathan Ross' program, Yorke performed a solo piano version of Radiohead's classic "Karma Police" followed by "Ingenue" from Atoms For Peace album Amok. It wasn't difficult to imagine "Karma" being performed solo piano and Yorke sang brilliantly. While "Ingenue" is one of the slower moments on Amok, I'm always curious when electronic music goes organic. In this

Half Smiths Reunion: Johnny Marr Teams Up With Former Bandmate on "How Soon Is Now?"

It's not the pairing some would hope for but for one night, two members of The Smiths team up to play a classic.
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It's not the pairing some would hope for but Johnny Marr reunited with one of his former Smiths bandmates for a performance of the band's classic "How Soon Is Now?" as Marr brought to a close his tour in support of his solo album The Messenger. No, kids, it wasn't Morrissey, whose US tour was abrupltly ended when the singer experienced a host of health problems but was instead bassist Andy Rourke, a man Marr lauded as one of the best musicians he knows and one of his best friends. A full Smiths reunion is never going to happen and

DVD Review: Rainbow - Live In Munich 1977

The only complete filmed performance from this legendary lineup of Rainbow.
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In 1977, Rainbow was on tour in Vienna, Austria, when trouble struck. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore didn't take too kindly to a bouncer getting physical with fans and expressed his displeasure by drenching him in beer. Blackmore's actions got him a night in jail, which posed a problem as the band was set to be filmed the following night in Munich. Luckily for fans, the next night was available and the band was filmed as scheduled for the German TV show Rockpalast. That show makes up the DVD, Rainbow -- Live in Munich 1977, and is the only complete concert on

CD Review: Rainbow - Live In Munich 1977

A fantastic performance from the Dio era of Rainbow.
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In 1977, Rainbow was filmed live in Munich, Germany, for an appearance on the Rockpalast television show. The show, recorded not long before Ronnie James Dio's final album with the band, Long Live Rock 'N' Roll, was released was, by many accounts, a stunning performance. The audio of this show has been newly remastered for the CD, Rainbow -- Live In Munich 1977. The show opens with a blistering "Kill The King," one of two songs the band would play from the then yet-to-be-released Long Live Rock 'N' Roll. As concert openers go, few are more intense than this. From

Daft Punk "Get Lucky" #1 At Spotify Ahead Of Upcoming Album In US, Dethrones Bastille in UK

Daft Punk has the world's attention prior to the release of their upcoming record...
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Daft Punk has the world's attention at Spotify with their single "Get Lucky" the most streamed track with the popular streaming service for last week in both the United States and United Kingdom. Their new album Random Access Memory will drop later this month (May 21). I mentioned last week not being sure what the hype was about regarding this release so I went and listened to the song and I'm still a bit mystified but nonetheless it's #1 on both sides of the Atlantic. The remainder of the chart in both the US and UK remains (un)remarkably unchanged with

Macklemore/Lewis, Pink, Rucker Top iTunes Singles Chart, Michael Bublé #1 Album

The final check-in at iTunes for April is as dismal as its predecessors...
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The final report for April from the iTunes Music Store is as dismal as any we've seen. Let us hope May brings better days with so many promising new albums coming our way (keep an eye on our weekly preview of new releases, New Music Tuesday, to stay up to date on these). Those dunderheads Ryan Lewis & Macklemore continue their hot-selling ways and while it's true they can't be called one-hit wonders, I still don't see much of a shelf life for these blokes. Again, likely wishful thinking on my part because I would have said the same thing
OK folks, we are entering new territory in The Weird Al Chronicles. Not because Poodle Hat, Weird Al's 2003 album, is his first of the new millennium. That's an arbitrary dividing line. It is because after 1999's strong Running with Scissors, I have essentially no knowledge of Weird Al's output. Before listening to it for this project, I had heard exactly one song off of Poodle Hat. However, this album is also sort of lost in the shuffle of Yankovic's career. It came four years after his last album, which was quite popular. Maybe Al had some troubles adjusting to