September 2014 Archives

Vaudeville Etiquette Takes "Rose & Ivy" To That Big Wheel In The Sky

Vaudeville Etiquette gets... high... for this unplugged performance
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Vaudeville Etiquette played for that Big Wheel In The Sky recently when they filmed an acoustic performance of their beautiful song "Rose & Ivy" in Seattle's Great Wheel. It seems splendidly vaudevillian to play music in a setting like this! It's so... carney! They're now Mile High Club Members (not that one, freakazoids! Well, maybe that one but I don't know; I haven't asked... and I'm not going to) so here's hoping they can stretch the next leg of their tour to include Nashville, Birmingham, and other great cities in the Southeast. Oh, and your hometown, too, because I shouldn't
We've got another week of plenty to choose from but hardly a need for choice. There's hardly anything that could come out this week that would beat Lucinda Williams for my choosing. I, along with half the world (at least the cool kids anyways) with 1998's Car Wheel on a Gravel Road. It was (and is, and forever shall be) a brilliant album - full of blood and grit, soul and ache, dirt, grime and rare beauty. For my money its on a short list of greatest albums ever made.I've since grabbed every album she's made, and she's not made

Rolling Stones Issue Archival Live Sets From 1975, 1981 on Nov 4

The Stones are reaching in to the archive and releasing vintage live shows on CD, DVD, Blu-ray, digital, and vinyl...
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The Rolling Stones are reaching into their archives and officially releasing a pair of vintage live recordings in multiple configurations on November 4. L.A. Forum is one night from their five-show run at the Forum in Los Angeles from their 1975 tour, the first to feature Ronnie Wood on lead guitar in support of their It's Only Rock & Roll tour. They were at the height of their legendary excesses at this stage of their career and their catalog was well stocked with timeless classics. Hampton Coliseum is taken from a 1981 show from the Tattoo You tour and would

DeepSoul Salutes Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis: Cherrelle and Alexander O'Neal - "Saturday Love"

The Jam and Lewis-penned duet lives on as an unforgettable 1980s R&B classic.
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Continuing our DeepSoul tribute to the production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis is "Saturday Love," a classic 1985 duet featuring Cherrelle and Alexander O'Neal. While not a huge US pop hit, "Saturday Love" peaked at number two on the R&B charts and fared even better in the UK. Just a year before their legendary collaboration with Janet Jackson, Jam and Lewis proved how they could effectively showcase voices through solid songwriting and thoroughly modern arrangements. Indeed, just before Jackson, Cherrelle and O'Neal served as their two biggest muses. The story begins with the Los Angeles-born Cherrelle, an R&B

CD Review: DEC3

Jon Haber proves it's never too late to rock.
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While rock and roll was once purely thought of as young people's music, Jon Haber has proven, at age 49, that one is never too old to rock. The New York-based music store entrepreneur has released his first full-length album, DEC3. While he had played in bands when he was younger, Haber never had an opportunity to release an album until now. The music reflects that of the era in which he grew up in -- 1970s and 1980s classic rock. Haber played most of the instruments himself, but is joined by Chris Saulpaugh on lead vocals and Mike Kalajian

CD Review: Big Star - Radio City

Big Star's second album gets the remastered treatment.
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When the commercial impact did not match the artistic triumph that was #1 Record, Big Star's Chris Bell (who was already battling depression) left the band during the sessions for the group's second record, Radio City. While Bell reportedly worked on "O My Soul" and "Back Of A Car," he is uncredited on the album. The band was reduced to a trio and was now, for all intents and purposes, Alex Chilton's baby. While losing a talent such as Bell was a blow, Chilton was still an incredibly talented writer and Radio City is nearly as good as its predecessor.

CD Review: Big Star - #1 Record

This legendary album gets the remastered treatment.
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In spite of their ironic name and title of their first album, Big Star never achieved much commercial success during their initial run as a band. While some of this can be attributed to distribution problems with Stax Records at the time, it still did not stop them from being a huge influence on the likes of REM, The Replacements and countless others. The band's debut, #1 Record, which was available for years (and in several versions) as a twofer disc coupled with the band's second album, Radio City, has been remastered and rereleased in a stand-alone configuration with liner

Review: Gary Clark Jr - Live

Gary Clark Jr's live album is a good listen and a missed opportunity
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I love live music and live albums but those are only two of the reasons I was thrilled when Gary Clark Jr. announced plans to release Live. I was frustrated that some songs on Blak & Blu sound glossy and overproduced. I've seen Clark in concert knew that sheen evaporates in the fire of Clark's mastery and intensity. A live album seemed the ideal way to hear Clark and these songs at their best. That's true here but only to a point. Live albums should be complete, single shows but very few major label live sets adhere to this. I've
After what feels like a summer full of not much, we are finally getting a big week of great releases. Normally that would mean some heated debate inside my mind over who to honor with my pick of the week, but this time its a no brainer.I first heard Jeff Tweedy back in his Uncle Tupelo days. Spin magazine sent my teenaged self a sampler CD for subscribing. It contained all sorts of cool stuff including Tupelo's "Give Back the Key to My Heart." I loved that song and made a note to get into the band. To the detriment

SDBlu-ray Review: Queen - Live At The Rainbow '74

Queen opens the vaults to release their legendary Rainbow gig for its 40th anniversary.
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1974 was a pivotal year for Queen. They had just finished a tour supporting Mott the Hoople and released two of their most ambitious albums in Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack, respectively. 1974 also saw the band receive a fair amount of airplay for the songs "Seven Seas Of Rhye" and "Killer Queen." In March and November, the band played a series of legendary gigs at The Rainbow in London. The shows were recorded and filmed but, aside from an edited VHS release in the early 1990s as part of Box Of Tricks in England, they have sat on

CD Review: New Model Army - Between Wine and Blood

Veteran band uses time off to record six great new songs.
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While New Model Army was on tour for their critically acclaimed album, Between Dog And Wolf, drummer Michael Dean was diagnosed with blood clots in his leg, forcing the postponement of the spring leg of the tour. The band, riding high on the momentum of some of the best reviews of their three-decade-plus career, decided to take this newfound time off and head back to the studio. The resulting mini album, Between Wine And Blood, mixes six new songs with a disc of live material from the Between Dog And Wolf Tour. The album opens with the gritty rocker "According

U2 Plays It Safe On 'Songs Of Innocence'

The members of U2 remembered why they wanted to be in a band on this record but forgot why we ever cared...
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I, like most, was shocked at the way Songs Of Innocence arrived and, unlike some, eagerly downloaded it and began listening. I got sucked in by the excitement of new music from one of my favorite bands and tried to ignore years of misdirects, false hopes, and pained statements from U2 about when the next record what arrive and what it would be. None of that mattered. The music was here, now, ready to be heard. I still experience that same surge of giddiness when my favorite bands call out to me and that excitement was enough to get me

Hit Parade: Meghan Trainor - "All About That Bass"

There are a million songs about how women should not be obsessed about their looks and to have self-esteem and they are all probably better than this one.
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Taylor Swift's time back atop the Billboard Hot 100 was a bit short-lived. I think. Maybe it was atop the charts for years. Time seems to lose all meaning when it comes to the pop charts, and Swift's omnipresence doesn't help that. Now, the number one song in this great nation of ours is some thing called "All About That Bass" by somebody named Meghan Trainor. I do not know who this is. I did go to high school with, like, seven people with different variations on the name "Megan." That doesn't seem relevant, but it's all I've got. Jesus

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Songs About God By 'Secular' Artists

Five great songs from rockers who stopped playing God and instead sang about Him...
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Like it or not, love it or hate it, God is everywhere. Even if you don't think there is a God, enough people do, or were at least raised to, that we often find religion at the center of art. This has been true since the Middle Ages, and it is no less true today in the great medium of rock and roll. Early American rockers like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins all came from charismatic Christian traditions, making their inclination to gyrate a bit while telling it like it is all the more natural. Johnny Cash

Review: U2 Give The World A Gift On 'Songs Of Innocence'

U2 is still making great music that matters on 'Songs Of Innocence'
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You know, in this day and age, we aren't surprised very often. The blessing and curse of the Internet age is that we know EVERYTHING, whether we want to or not. Keep a secret? Forget about it. Ask Jennifer Lawrence about any private information remaining private. Try making a movie without the whole script being available months before the first ticket is sold. With all that in mind, I could not have been more shocked at U2's announcement that not only was a new album finally coming six years after the last time we heard from the Hall of Fame

DeepSoul Salutes Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis: Force MD's - "Tender Love"

One of the 1980s' best ballads is also one of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis' most underrated productions.
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After the success of the S.O.S. Band's "Just Be Good to Me," songwriters/producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were suddenly in demand. The song may have cost them their gig with Prince protege band The Time, but a new phase of their careers had just begun. Their next opportunity to heighten their profile came in 1985, when they wrote and produced the ballad "Tender Love" for the Force MD's. Appearing in the landmark hip hop film Krush Groove, the track earned the group as well as Jam and Lewis a crossover hit, with "Tender Love" peaking at number two on

Ryan Adams by Ryan Adams is the Pick of the Week

The return of Ryan Adams and new music from Robert Plant top #NewMusicTuesday
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Ryan Adams is nothing if not prolific. Since 2000 he has released 14 albums. In 2005 alone he released three separate albums (so one forgives him if afterwards his schedule slowed down a bit.) In 2009 he got married to Mandy Moore and was diagnosed with Ménière's disease, an inner ear disorder and retired from music.Pretty much no one thought that would last. It didn't. In the five years since he's released four solo albums (one of which was a double album) plus an EP with Fall Out Boy and one with punk band Pornography. That's what retirement looks like

See Shovels & Rope Perform "The Devil Is All Around" on Conan

Shovels & Rope make magic on light night television! #TeamCoco
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I am so behind on my review of the magical goodness that is Swimmin' Time from our friends, Shovels & Rope. That review exists in pieces, in my head. I am going to commit words to page and get that written and published. Soon. In the meantime, please let me share with you a marvelous performance of one of my favorite tracks from the record, "The Devil Is All Around," from their recent appearance on Conan O'Brien. I've seen them live twice and this is a good representation of what you get when you see them and it's reminding me

Somewhere Under Wonderland by The Counting Crows is the Pick of the Week

New music releases for Sept. 2, 2014 #newmusictuesday
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On many occasions a band has come to town that I really wamted to see and yet I've made various excuses not to catch them live. The usual excuse is money - specifically my lack of - but sometimes its about timing, or distance, or I'll convince myself that I don't like them enough to bother. Thing is I get weirdly nervous before a concert. I absolutely love going to live shows. It is one of my favorite all time activities and I've never had a bad time. Yet before I buy tickets I make all sorts of excuses not