February 2015 Archives

DVD/CD Review: The J. Geils Band - House Party - Live In Germany

A killer performance from the famed German music program Rockpalast.
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The J. Geils Band made great studio albums, but any fan will tell you that the real magic was seeing them live. The band released three live albums with songs from two of them remaining staples on classic rock radio to this day. As fantastic as those albums are though, they lack the visual component of what made them such a dynamic live band. Hearing manic front man Peter Wolf's performances is one thing, but watching him, not unlike Mick Jagger, is a workout itself. The release of House Party: Live in Germany finally rectifies this with a killer DVD

Listful Thinking: Stone Temple Pilots 5 Best Songs

In which our hero denounces Chester Bennington, Linkin Park, and lists STP's five best songs...
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I got on a Stone Temple Pilots kick recently because I got excited when I saw they were playing in nearby Birmingham. Then I remembered Scott Weiland has been replaced by Linkin Park's Chester Bennington. I can't tell you how much I don't want to hear someone else sing Weiland's vocal lines other than to say I didn't buy tickets. He already channels and mimics so many other singers. Having someone imitate his imitations seems pointless. Besides, I don't really like Bennington's voice or Linkin Park's music. All the talk of STP did get me to go back to the

Bettye LaVette, Neil Young, George Harrison, And The Road To Nowhere

Nowhere wasn't the preferred desperation but at least there's a fabulous soundtrack for it...
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There's not one Neil Young record in my voluminous collection and it's because his voice absolutely bugs the shit out of me and I can't get around that. It's a shame because the man is obviously one of the finest songwriters of any era and yet I'm on the outside because his voice makes me stabby. I know plenty of people who feel that way about Dylan. I know someone who feels that way about Springsteen. For me, it's Neil and that's why I'm always glad when an artist I do like covers him and gives me an access

Listful Thinking: Top 5 Tears For Fears Songs

My Top 5 Tears For Fears songs... today.
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So picking up with my '80s dalliance from earlier in the week... Amigos, this is a difficult task, naming my Top 5 Tears For Fears songs because there are too many songs missing from this list! I furiously crossed titles off and added new ones only to cross those out and replace them with a previously struck item or another song entirely. The only way I could make myself settle on these five is if I put in the following disclaimer... these are my Top 5 for today. Ask me tomorrow and some of these stay while others are likely

Blur Announce New Album 'The Magic Whip' Due April 28, Issue First Single "Go Out"

Blur's first new album in a dozen years will be released in April....
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Check this out! Blur is back with their first album in 12 years, an album that features the original lineup -- yes, kids, Graham Coxon is back in the fold as the band's guitarist -- called The Magic Whip. The new set will be released April 28. The set was produced by frequent collaborator/producer Stephen Street. The songs were principally recorded in Hong Kong, which might explain just a bit the album art. Blur reunited for a massive show when London hosted the Summer Olympics and have played a few other dates but new music wasn't a certainty. Damon Albarn

See Hiss Golden Messenger Perform "Blue Country Mystic" (Video)

Hiss Golden Messenger reaches into the back catalog for this performance on WAMU
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Listener Supported Public Radio turned me on to two artists -- Lake Street Dive and Hiss Golden Messenger -- last year. I managed to complete my review of HGM's Lateness of Dancers, which I dusted off and listened to again yesterday (and I swear my LSD review is forthcoming! Here's something to tide you over in the meantime). I haven't yet dug deep into the back catalog of HGM but member station WAMU helped me out with that by posting a recent live perofrmance of a song from the back catalog, "Blue Country Mystic" from Poor Man. Two listens

Listful Thinking: 5 Favorites From The '80s New Wave Era

Listful Thinking: The '80s didn't entirely suck and here are 5 songs to prove it!
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The '80s are a bit of a lost decade for me, musically speaking. I didn't get to experience much of it as it was happening due to parental restrictions. Looking back after the fact revealed, frankly, a lot of rubbish. No decade is bereft of music with merit and today for reasons unknown to me, I'm in the mood to sift through it and share a few of my favorites with you. I tried to stay away from bands like Duran Duran, who I love, who had a series of big hits. These aren't one-hit wonders and the songs aren't

Patrick Sweany - "Them Shoes"

Songs continue to teach and surprise no matter how many times we've heard them or how well we think we know them...
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One of the miracles of music is that you can listen to a song 1,000 times and hear something new on that 1,0001st play. That's what happened with Patrick Sweany's "Them Shoes" over the weekend. There are two reasons for the new discovery. The first and most obvious is that I changed, life changed. We'll come back to that. The other reason for the new discovery is because of what drew me into the song in the first place. I fell in love with "Them Shoes" the first time I heard it because of the way Sweany built and that's

Lake Street Dive - Clear A Space (Live) (Video)

Consider this an apology for and down payment on a delinquent review...
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There exists on my hard drive a half-finished review of Lake Street Dive's Bad Self Portraits, an album that would have landed on my Best of 2014 had I actually gotten around to writing it. It's clear, dear readers, I've been M.I.A. from Blinded By Sound for a little while. There are good reasons for that. Laziness, for example. One of our writers sent me on assignment to see Lake Street Dive back in October of last year and that's where I first heard this song from their Fun Machine EP. That EP is five covers and this orignal.

Jason Isbell Predicts My Future (How Can This Possibly End Well?)

...in which our hero announces his retirement and the world wonders if he's Michael Jordan or Sandy Koufax...
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Picture it: laying in bed, one dog beside you where she doesn't belong, her paws covering the hand not petting her, the other dog loudly licking himself, curled up on his bed in the corner of the room. Music fills the air, nearly at the pain threshold as it has to be loud enough to be heard in the bathroom and over the cascade of running water. The faint smell of Dove soap is wafting on the steam from the shower as is muted singing. It's slightly off-key and yet your smile is keeping you warmer than the blanket

Review: The Ballad Of Shovels & Rope

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The Ballad of Shovels & Rope is a familiar tale with no great plots twists or stunning revelations, at least not for anyone who has paid even passing attention to stories of aspiring artists. So why did I love it so much? The characters. It may seem harsh or jaded to reduce Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, the husband-wife duo that comprises this band, to characters but as they said in an interview promoting their latest album Swimmin Time, they aren't selling or sharing their marriage at the merch table after shows. What they reveal in this little film

Florence + The Machine To Release New Album June 6, Release New Single "What Kind Of Man"

Florence + The Machine readies release of third album...
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My neglect of you, dear readers, has reached crisis proportions but my return draweth nigh and is inspired, in no small part, but news of new music from Florence + The Machine. How Big How Blue How Beautiful is their third album and will be released worldwide on June 6 and we can get our first taste of the record via the first single "What Kind Of Man" (video below). Welch described to NME a very different perspective in the writing process for How Big as opposed to its predecessor Ceremonials. "I guess although I've always dealt in fantasy and

The Black Watch - Sugarplum Fairy, Sugarplum Fairy CD Review

The sparkling hooks and unforgettable lyrics of John Andrew Fredrick make Sugarplum Fairy, Sugarplum Fairy more than the sum of its parts.
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Sugarplum Fairy, Sugarplum Fairy by The Black Watch takes me back to a moment in high school that I will never forget. I read a poem in creative writing class, and afterwards a girl who I never thought I had a chance with asked me out. From that point on, being called a "sensitive young man" would never bother me again. I believe that The Black Watch's John Andrew Fredrick once made a similar discovery. There is a great deal of poetry in his lyrics, and his music strikes an artful balance between acoustic and electric. There is a sense