Recently by Mat Brewster

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
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

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

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

Solo Concerts by Bruce Hornsby is the Pick of the Week

New releases for Aug. 26 #NewMusicTuesday
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At a glance Bruce Hornsby looks like just another 80s pop star who had a few major hits back in the day but has since slipped into nostalgic obscurity. Look closer and you'll find a master musician who used that early success to carve out a fascinating, varied career. In the 28 years since his huge smash The Way It Is Hornsby became a defacto member of the Grateful Dead, recorded a bluegrass album with Ricky Skaggs, a jazz album with Christian McBride and Jack DeJohnette, written soundtracks for Spike Lee, won three grammys and appeared on an enormous list
With all too often a frequency I miss putting out a Pick of the Week. There are always excuses and the last couple of weeks have their own. I think I've mentioned here before that we recently moved to Oklahoma but have been in a sort-of hellish limbo (aka living with my parents) while we find new digs. Last week we finally made the move. We were all very excited about it. Even my daughter, which surprised me as she had a really hard time with the last move. But she was talking about it for days and wound up

The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale by Eric Clapton & Friends is the Pick of the Week

#NewMusicTuesday for July 29, 2014
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Having grown up very near Tulsa, Oklahoma I've certainly heard of JJ Cale (who was raised in the city) though I don't recall ever hearing him perform one of his songs. Tulsa has a small but influential musical history (and many passionate fans) and growing up I heard about it a lot, but actually heard it very little. I was way too into hair metal and then grunge to care about those old guys making laid back boogie music.There's no doubt JJ Cale was hugely influential though and while he never became a household name he's been name check and

CSNY 1974 by Crosby Stills Nash & Young is the Pick of the Week

A bevy of live albums in this week's new releases #NewMusicTuesday
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We have talked many, many times in these pages about my love for live music and my obsession with recordings of concerts. I'll allow you to go back to those pages if you like and catch up instead of treading the same water again here. What I will say is that its a darn fine week to be a fan of officially released live recordings.In 1974 Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young lit out for 30 gigs in American arenas and stadiums then jumped over to London for one show at Wembley Stadium. Each night they played up to 30 songs

New Jersey (Super Deluxe Edition) by Bon Jovi is the Pick of the Week

Bon Jovi, Old Crow Medicine Show, Floyd, and more release new albums today #NewMusicTuesday
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In discussing my formative years as a music obsessive I tend to concentrate on the early 90s alternative scenes and more specifically the grunge movement. It is mostly true that those bands coming out of Seattle - Peal Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana etc, - were some of the earliest bands that I really loved. That sound helped create the music nerd I am today. Yet, if I am to lay out the entire history of my musical history we have to start a little earlier. I was (and sheepishly must admit still am) and great lover of hair metal. Poison, Mötley

Fuego by Phish is the Pick of the Week

#NewMusicTuesday releases, June 24
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When Jerry Garcia died in 1995 there was a big, giant hole left in the lives of thousands upon thousands of people. The Grateful Dead had legions of fans, many who followed the band around the country from tour to tour, show to show. It was only natural then that those people began looking for another band to fill that void. For many Phish was a perfect fit. The Vermont based jam band is made up of a bunch of Deadheads who love playing live as much as the Dead ever did. They know how to play and to jam

Band of Brothers by Willie Nelson is the Pick of the Week

Lana Del Rey, Ronnie Earl, Alastair Greene, and Felice Bros join Willie Nelson in this edition of #NewMusicTuesday
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For far too long now I've not paid enough attention to new music. Or old music. Or any music for that matter. My internet has sucked keeping me from using any of the streaming sites. My newish car doesn't have an iPod plug-in and those old radio tuner devices that let you make a mini-station for your iPod are kind of terrible (at least where I live causing me to have to switch stations every five minutes to get a decent signal.) And frankly with my schedule and life of raising a toddler I've spent very little time sitting down
Oh, hello there. You may have noticed that I've been absent from this column for a week, or two, or three (but whose counting?) It seems I have moved once again which makes me very busy and without Internet and thus unable to keep up with (or write about) new music. Every year or two my wife and I pack up all our stuff and move. Sometimes its just across town, other times it half-way across the world and still others (including this last one) we move a few states over. Its rather tiring, but never boring. We're not yet

I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson is the Pick of the Week

Wes Anderson tribute, new Black Keys records top New Music Tuesday...
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Wes Anderson is a quirky, smart, hilarious and sometimes oddly moving film director. Or rather I should say his films are all of those things (I've never met him so he might be a total jerk.) His films have a very distinctive style - from the color palette to his perfect, symmetrical framing to his themes of troubled families. And then there's the music. Anderson fills his films with classic (and obscure) pop songs from the 60s and early 70s. But its not just him filling up the soundtrack with his favorite songs or trying to be the cool hipster

Natalie Merchant by Natalie Merchant is the Pick of the Week

New Music Tuesday - May 6, 2014
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From the department of making you feel old comes this little factoid: Natalie Merchant has been making music for 33 years, and has been a solo artist for the last 20. That blows me away. I didn't become a fan until Our Time in Eden and I have very fond memories of listening to Tigerlily in college which seems like yesterday but was in fact two decades ago. Pardon me while I go put on some old man pants.Truth be told I kind of stopped paying that much attention to her sometimes in the early 00s, but found her again

Supernova by Ray LaMontagne is the Pick of the Week

The latest from singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne is the Pick Of The Week for New Music Tuesday
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Years ago when Gmail was first coming into its own I started an account with them for the sole purpose of sharing music (actually I created two accounts for that purpose with different people invited to each one, including our own Josh Hathaway.) Each account had half a dozen people or so with access to it and we'd send that address various songs that we loved. The song would be downloaded by everyone else, discussed, pondered and then those who liked it would go out and buy the album. It was a nice way to broaden our musical horizons without

Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett by The Eels is the Pick of the Week

New Music Tuesday: eels, Keb Mo, Sebastian Bach, and more!
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When I sit down to write about each week's pick I like to pretend that some benevolent being allows me to choose one album every week to receive as a gift. I try to make it not about money or cost so that I'm not just choosing some expensive boxed set or collector's edition. I always try to choose the album that looks most interesting to me and that I really would like to take home with me. Sometimes the choice is easy - there's one stand-out album that blows everything else away. Sometimes the pick is hard. There will

Petty's Peculiar Picks: The Best of Tom Petty's Buried Treasure is the Pick of the Week

Tom Petty's Buried Treasure Soundtrack, Vaudeville Etiquette, Aimee Mann & Ted Leo lead this week's best new releases...
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In one of the more bizarre turns in music history it seems the thing for aging rock stars to do is host their own radio show. Steven Van Zandt has one, as does Alice Cooper. You can find Bob Dylan on XM radio, Tom Petty too. Roger McGuinn runs his own MP3 blog talking about old folk music, amongst other things. I suppose in some ways it makes sense, these guys live and breathe music. They've made their own, of course, but they are steeped in the history of rock and roll (well I don't know how steeped Mr. Cooper

Emmylou Harris' Wrecking Ball (Deluxe Edition) is the Pick of the Week

A masterful collaboration between Emmylou Harris and Daniel Lanois gets remastered, expanded...
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If God has a singing voice it probably sounds like Emmylou Harris. That it has great beauty there is no doubt, but there is sadness too. Emmylou sings with all the weariness of a creator looking at the great madness, destruction and horror of the very world we live in. She is truly one of the great singers the world over. She's got the awards to prove it, too, having won over a dozen Grammys, a handful of Country Music Awards and tons of others. It is little wonder then that she has been asked to sing along with hundreds

Pick Of The Week, April Fool's Day Edition: Jackson Browne Tribute 'Looking Into You'

Bruce Hornsby, Bruce Springsteen, Lyle Lovett, Ben Harper and others come together to pay tribute to the iconic '70s singer/songwriter...
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I like compilation albums. I love cover songs. I'm pretty indifferent to Jackson Browne. Great compilations bring in all sorts of different songs from amazing arrays of artists. They can be perfect mix-tapes letting you explore terrific songs by folks you already know and love while introducing you to new artists and sounds. A good cover song takes an already wonderful tune and turns it on its head. The best allow you to hear the song in a completely different way while still maintaining the stuff that made you like it in the first place. I don't have anything against

New Music Tuesday Pick Of The Week: Bob Dylan In The '80s Vol. 1

New Music Tuesday March 25, 2014: Dylan, Elton John, Mikey Junior, Springsteen Tribute, Miles Davis, Rod Stewart and more!
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It is just about universally accepted that Bob Dylan's output in the 1980s was the worst of his long, storied career. He was years away from his spokesman of a generation icon status in the '60s and had moved away from his genre busting, career redefining, Rolling Thunder touring in the '70s. The '80s found Dylan lost. Seemingly unsure of who he was and what his place in the culture could be anymore. The bulk of his album output during that decade was pretty universally panned and is to this date looked upon with scorn. Bob Dylan in the 80's:
I currently live in west Tennessee which is deep in the heart of Elvis country. The radio stations all play him, there are various festivals and annual events, and everybody talks about him. Lots and lots of talking on the radio and TV and the corner store. We love Elvis around these parts. Well, they do. I have to admit I'm more of a Beatles man myself. But I get the love, I really do. Elvis was a pioneer, helping to create rock-n-roll. Bringing it forth from the blues, country and rockabilly. He was a hell of a performer and
The middle aged, country living, white guy in me must admit that I may be out of my depth this week. There are lots of new releases coming out, but very few of them interesting to me. The artists have names like Elbow, Sara Evans, kxm, and Aloe Blacc. I know nothing about these artists from what genre they are in to how long they've been recording to how popular they are and certainly have no idea if they are any good. So if you are young, or hip and came here looking to see what new music is out

30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (Deluxe Edition) is the Pick of the Week

New releases include Dylan tribute concert, Beck's first record in 6 years, Muscle Shoals documentary and soundtrack, and much more!
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This week sees new albums from a lot of artists I've heard of, but not really listened to and a Blu-ray upgrade to an old celebration of one of my very favorites.In October of 1992 a virtual who's who of musicians gathered at Madison Square Garden to pay tribute to Bob Dylan releasing his very first Columbia Records album. It was a sold-out show and live-cast to millions around the world. It seems crazy that the event took place more than twenty years ago, making the celebration more of a mid-career retrospective than a real looking-back bash. Dylan has recorded
Outside of Deadhead circles most people don't know that the earliest versions of the Grateful Dead were actually a bluegrass band. Jerry Garcia got his start playing old folk tunes and he formed Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions with Pigpen and Bob Weir sometimes before they decided to plug in, get high and create the psychedelic juggernaut the Dead became. Throughout the rest of his life Garcia remained connected to folk and bluegrass music and in the 1970s he became a part of a supergroup called Old and in the Way. Other members included David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements
The Ryman auditorium was built in 1892 as a tabernacle for evangelist Samuel Porter Jones. It remained a church until 1943 when the Grand Ole Opry took it over making it into a world famous venue for country music. When the Opry built a new venue in 1974 the Ryman fell into disrepair until 1992 when Emmylou Harris performed a series of concerts there renewing interest in the building as a venue. It has since been repaired and remains one of the premier concert houses in the world.While the Opry was primarily an old country and bluegrass venue, it now
I've talked on numerous pages on this website about how I adore live music, and that I collect recordings of concerts to a ridiculous degree. It borders on insanity actually. I have thousands of hours of recordings from bands as diverse as the Grateful Dead to Miles Davis and Bob Dylan to Bill Monroe. If I sat down right now and started listening to them and didn't stop until they were done I wouldn't be able to stand for months on end. Yet I am always on the look out for more. My desire is insatiable.The thing that I love
I was kind of a metal head in high school. Not hardcore mind you - I preferred Dinosaur Jr to Opeth and Soundgarden over Slayer. But I did like my loud guitars and booming bass. But I also had a secret, something I would have never told my guitar hero friends, I also really like acoustic music. I loved it when my big rock bands would sneak in a little acoustic ballad. I was an enormous fan of the whole Unplugged movement. But in those days I didn't really know where to find acoustic style bands. One time I purchased

The US Albums by The Beatles is the Pick of the Week

New Music Tuesday: One more way to re-package The Fab 4... and it's still the most interesting release for the week
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Contrary to the opinion of quite a few, and more than enough old farts like me, there really is an enormous amount of great music being made today. Sure, turn on the radio or watch a bit of American Idol or X-Factor or whatever new show springs up tomorrow with the exact same premise and you're likely to hear generic crap (but when hasn't that been true?) But if you know where to look, or rather listen, there are all sorts of interesting sounds being made, played and recorded. I just wish the record industry new how to keep up.

Bruce Springsteen's High Hopes is the Pick of the Week

2014 gets in gear this week with a huge week of great new releases!
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We are definitely back in business this week with a slew of great looking releases. I'm contractually obligated to make any new Bruce Springsteen my pick of the week (and by obligated I mean our notorious editor Josh Hathaway has threatened to kill me if I don't) and so I am proud to announce that High Hopes is this weeks pick.It probably would have been anyways. I've never been the world's biggest Springsteen fan, but after seeing him live a few years back I jumped on the bandwagon with both feet. Dude knows how to bring it in front of
Apologies all around for missing the last two weeks. I was out of town for the holidays and the wife's entire family and I passed arounds all sorts of sickness back and forth and back again. Truth be told though the last two weeks kind of sucked for new music anyways. Nobody releases much of anything right after Christmas. Things are picking up a little bit now, but we're still a long ways away from a truly terrific week.I grew up musically in the early '90s alternative heyday. I lapped most of it up including Pavement to some degree. I
I discover whats coming out each week through Amazon. They list pretty much everything but the smallest, most obscure records coming out and they sort it by biggest sellers which helps me see the choicest selections in an easy manner. Of course it also allows me to be all the crap the masses are buying, but that's my burden to bear.This week I'm noticing that the vast majority of things making the first dozen pages or so are imports. Now I'm not entirely sure how Amazons determines what to list as imports. I mean obviously these things were released overseas
I think I can finally stop complaining about the lack of interesting releases this close to Christmas. This week we've got a very nice collection to talk about. I've mentioned on multiple occasions my love for live concert recordings and this week continues that trend. It is really quite astonishing now how many bands are digging through their old material and coming up with live treasures that should make any music lover happy.Towards the top of the list of folks doing this are Neil Young. He's been regularly releasing pristine recordings from some of his best performances. My only complaint
After last weeks poor assembly of new releases I thought this week would be better. I was wrong. Dead wrong. I suppose this week they figure we're still all out of cash after laying down big bucks on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Looking at the coming weeks until Christmas things do pick up quite a bit and we'll have more to talk about then. But for now we've got slim pickings indeed.I'm really not a Roy Orbison fan. Though obviously he had a lot of fans and his voice is acclaimed far and wide, most of
It is a weird week for new music. Thanksgiving is Thursday which not only carries with it all the turkeys and annoying family things, but shopping too. Lots and lots of shopping. There's Black Friday and Cyber Monday and now lots of places are opening up on Thursday too. That's cool with me, I make no judgment. If you want to stay up all night in some random parking lot freeezing your arse off in order to get a new television, who am I to say differently? Times are tight all over and saving a few hundred bucks may very
Music is likely the most universal of all arts. People play it in every city, village, berg, back-assed hole in the jungle hovel the world over. Albums are cut everyday in nearly every country in the universe. Usually those albums are simply released in their country of origin. For example if you sign to an American label you'll likely only see your album released in the US. Folks living elsewhere will have to have someone send it to them or just be out of luck.If you are a rather popular artist, or are signed to a bigger label your record
I cannot remember when I first heard the Beatles nor fell in love with them. They were just always there. My mother was a big fan and so no doubt their music filled the are before I was even born, while I was a baby, and everyday since. As a teenager I flirted with not liking them - thinking they were too old and unhip for someone as cool as me. I'd often go back and forth between which period I liked the best. I'd scoff at their later drug infused, psychedelic faze as being too dated and and would
I consider myself a Bob Dylan fan, but am by no means a true Dylanphile. I know some of those people, and my fandom doesn't even come close. Yet Dylan's music has been a very large part of my life and is exceedingly important to me. There is a long list of songs and performances of his that create the soundtrack to my life and have connected to me in different ways and moments throughout my 37 years.That being said I don't actually own the vast majority of his studio albums or his officially released live recordings. True he has
There is a bargain store very near where I live that I just love going to. It is one of those places that scours the universe for store closings and buy-out deals and they buy huge quantities of the randomness stuff and then resale it to the public at a mark-up. They sell a little bit of everything - from clothes to furniture to toys and electronics. But you never know what they are going to have on any given day. Everything is marked down and the longer the items stay on the shelves the cheaper they get.They also typically
Up until now my picks have been fairly easy to make. There is almost always a stand-out that I want more than all the rest. This week, however, has taken me a long time to decide. That's kind of dumb, I know. It isn't like when I make my pick someone sends it to me for free, or that I get my picture along with my pick gets hung up in Times Square or some such thing. I mean it does get plastered onto this site and I am open to ridicule but we're not yet big enough for that
In 2000 singer/songwriter was set to release her third studio album, Silver Bell, but then the her record label shelved it. It was one of those big corporate buy outs that did it. Universal bought Griffin's label A&M and didn't quite know what to do with her, or the album. She tells the story of sitting at a meeting with Jimmy Iovine, the executive who had taken over where he told her she had yet to make a good album. So the album sat, never to be released. Or so it seemed for 13 years. Since that time the album

Waylon Jennings and Old 97s is the New Music Pick of the Week

It's New Music Tuesday: what are you looking for?
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When I tell people that I like country music it always comes with a disclaimer. I like real country music, the old stuff, the real stufff. Music by folks like Willie Nelson and Hank Williams, not this new fangled Nashville crap thats more pop than country. I'm probably a little more defensive about it than I ought to be, but there is a distinct difference between what is considered country now and the type of country I like.That country, the music that does speak to me, isn't just pop music with a steel guitar added as an after thought, its
I don't know what it is about ones high school years that suddenly makes music more meaningful to everyone, but it does. It seems universal that whenever we reach a certain age, right around 15 or so that music stops being something thats just played in the background, something that is sang along to and enjoyed but utterly disposable to something more real, more personal, more substantial. For most, it seems, the music that we poured ourselves into during those years are the only songs that really matter the rest of our lives. Oldies and classic rock stations are built
Though there are audio recordings of just about every note the Grateful Dead ever played there is very limited video coverage of them playing live. This is especially true of their early, seminal years from the late sixties to the early seventies. As a collector I'd heard about the Sunshine Daydream video bootleg for ages and ages and how incredible it was. It would be years before I managed to get a copy of it, but man was it worth the wait.Recorded just after their fabled tour of Europe in 1972 Sunshine Daydream captures the dead at the height of
Its musical confession time. Outside of London Calling I don't know The Clash at all. I hadn't even listened to London Calling until a few years ago. The thing is I love that album, it has become one of my all-time favorite rock records of all time. Yet for some reason I've never bothered with the rest of their catalog. There is no reasoning for that. Its similar to why I never listened to London Calling until relatively recently - I just hadn't. I expect the other albums to be good, I expect I'll enjoy them very much, yet I
Does it date me to say I took Typing 1 & 2 in high school? What if I say the first class used actual typewriters? The second year we actually used computers and learned how to do basic data processing and create various office type documents. I've lost most of those skills (and some of them have disappeared from offices too) but I remember the classes fondly. For about a month in one of the classes me and a mystery person began scrawling the lyrics to Nine Inch Nails "Head Like a Hole" on the big wooden desks we worked
The other day I met this guy, Garrett. He's the boyfriend of another friend of mine. We stand around chatting a bit and naturally the topic turns to music. He says he's a big fan of the blues and we start going through the old classic players - BB King, Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf, etc. It was a pretty casual conversation, a few minutes of getting to know you BS. Then, for no reason in particular I blurt out, "I've got a bunch of old blues bootlegs, let me make you some copies." It isn't as if we had made
When the musical gods give, sometimes they just keep on giving. This week they gave plenty for we've got lots of new albums to talk about. There are brand new albums from current artists, old albums remastered and deluxe sized and new ones from old bands. There isn't anything that just blows me away or that is gonna make me run out bright and early on Tuesday to lay my money down, but there are lots of really interesting stuff that I'm gonna be keeping my eye out for reviews of and will certainly be hoping they come to Spotify

New Releases: Glen Campbell, Harry Nilsson, Johnny Cash, Bela Fleck, Sam Phillips, Mickey Hart

New Music Tuesday releases from Glen Campbell, Harry Nilsson, Johnny Cash, Bela Fleck, Sam Phillips, and Mickey Hart...
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For this week in the middle of August we've got several old sounds, a couple of new ones and a few really weird ones. We'll start with the old and move our way through. See You There - Glen Campbell: Better known for his slick "Rhinestone Cowboy" songs in the 70s Glen Campbell has continued making albums right on up until today. In fact this is his 62nd studio album. Recorded during the making of his last one, Ghosts on the Canvas, See You there features less slickly produced versions of many of his old hits including "Wichita Lineman" and
In college a buddy of mine bought tickets to see the Grateful Dead in Birmingham. He asked me if I wanted to go, but I was short on cash and there were tests to study for so I said no. I'll catch them next time I figured and let him have his fun. The year was 1994. Jerry Garcia died a few months later. The Grateful Dead never came 'round again. To know me is to know I am a Deadhead. I've been kicking myself ever since that day I said no. You'd think I would learn a lesson from
I'm fascinated by how they decide when to release an album. Back in the day artists were often pressured to release one or two albums every single year. These days if you get more than an album every few years an artist is considered prolific. There seems to be no pressure at all for an artist to release anything new, at least not in their own time. Release dates mostly seem to come from whenever the artist decides to actually create the album. Still, there is no doubt some science to it. Everyone wants to release the big summer jam
Three of these in and I think I'm finally getting the hang of what I want to do with these new release articles. I'm still finding it difficult to figure out which albums - other than the easy ones - to talk about. For now I just browse Amazon's new releases, open up anything with an interesting name or cover art and then look at the descriptions to see if it actually sounds interesting. The feature where they tell you what albums other people bought alongside the one you are looking at is also very helpful. I figure if folks
I was beginning to wonder if the summer wasn't some kind of dead zone for musical releases. The last two weeks haven't seen anything that has made me run to the nearest record store to throw my money at it. Yes, ok, a new one from Jay-Z probably made a whole bunch of people lay down their money, but it doesn't punch any of my buttons. This week however, is full of some really interesting looking music that I can't wait to tear into. Oh and there's new ones by Marc Anthony and Selena Gomez, but we're talking about me
I write a very similar to this column over at Cinema Sentries in which I discuss the new weekly DVD/Blu-ray releases. Two weeks into talking about new CD releases has made me realize how drastically different DVD releases are from music. With movies I can pretty quickly get an idea of whether or not I'll like the release. DVDs are usually released after a film has been in the theatres, and many times older films will get some kind of new release as well. I can glean information about whether or not I'll like a movie based on the director,
When I wrote the April edition of this column I mentioned having hope that I might get May's article out at the beginning of June. Here we are in the middle of July and I'm just now getting to it. All I can say is that I'm sorry and offer some tepid explanation.My wife teaches at university and as the spring semester starts winding down I always have these dreams of how wonderful it will be when she's off for the summer. I fantasize about all the free time I'll have. I smile thinking about all the movies I'll watch,

New Releases: Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dana Fuchs, Jay-Z

A few highlights from this week's slew of new releases...
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Hi. I'm Mat. You might know me from my random writings in these pages about bootlegs, songs that evoke memories and some the best songs of 2013. Our dear leader, Josh, here at Blinded By Sound has kindly asked me to take over the duties of highlighting what new albums are hitting the streets every week. It is a big duty, and I'm proud to have it. I will no doubt speak about different artists than Josh would highlight, but that's the fun of writing about music. Every week an enormous amount of new music gets released. I try to
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

Van Morrison - Caravan: Overcoming Hate With Joy, Silencing Ugly Noise With Beautiful Music

Yesterday's tragedy and Boston and those that came before and sadly come after don't have to bring out the worst in us...
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I love to debate politics and current events. On other people's pages. When I first signed up for social media I made a decision not to sully my own wall/home page with politics, but I have absolutely no problem debating and arguing the topic of the moment on other peoples pages. The way it would usually work is somebody would post a link to something political or whatever hot button issues was the flavor of the moment then I would prepare my response. I'd digest the article, ponder it, then research it as much as I could. I'd google it,

The Best Songs of 2013 January - March Edition: Lone Bellow, Son Volt, Harris/Crowell, Sexsmith

Just a few favorites from the first three months of 2013...
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My wife and I recently moved out to the country, or the sticks as we like to call it. We were previously living in a tiny town in West Tennessee, but apparently that was too big for us. At least it had a little grocery store and some fast food joints. We're now fifteen miles from the nearest...well anything. I'm not really a country boy at all. I didn't like living where we were and now we're even farther out in the middle of nowhere. I won't say I'm a city boy either, but I do like to live somewhere
It is a scientific fact that there have been more love songs written than any other type of tune.  Since time immemorial we humans have penned our feelings in verse and crooned our tenderest of emotions to those our for whom our hearts beat.  Second only to the love song is the the song of loss, heartache and the break-up.  For it seems as often as we give out our love it is returned to us unopened, broken, or destroyed.  I'm the type of person who tends to toss the syrupy love songs into the bin, but I collect sad
The Hallowed Halls of Music are littered with flash in the pans, burn-outs and one-hit wonders.  While we all love artist who are able to consistently make great music year after year, decade after decade and who can wall-paper their house with gold records, there is something sort-of special about those who only manage to capture the attention of the masses just once.  Many get sucked into the fame machine only to be spit out just as fast, while others stay in the business creating good music that satisfies a small, but loyal fanbase but never manages to reach into

BlindedBySound Loves The '80s: The Smiths, Skid Row, Tears For Fears, Poison, And Michael Jackson

Like we've totally got the raddest songs from the hottest decade.
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Ah the 1980s: the decade of Me, Reagan, parachute pants, jellies, Michael Jackson, hair metal, rap as a popular musical medium and so much more.  The 80s birthed MTV and the rise of the video star who had to look as good as they sang.  There were huge superstars such as Madonna and Michael Jackson plus plenty of one-hit wonders like Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy" or "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.  For many the 1980s is a decade is awash in over indulgence, terribly dated synth noises, and a white-washed rap movement to sooth the masses.  But

Our Favorite Cover Songs: Aretha Franklin, Obadiah Parker, KISS, Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell, Beck

The Covers Gospel according to BlindedBySound!
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Most music fans have read Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity wherein the protagonist is prone to rearranging his music collection and frequently making Top 5 lists of favorite songs, albums, artists, etc. in different genres. If you're a music obsessive like we are, you've probably spent time considering these things whether you read the novel or not. You might have compiled mixtapes along these lines in decades past and now in the digital age those mixtapes are now playlists. Whatever your medium or format, we all spend time considering our "Best" lists. That's certainly true of all of us at
Like Jack Black in High Fidelity I'm obsessed with making Top Five lists so I roped in a few friends to regularly discuss our favorite musical things.  This week we're talking about our favorite duets.  "Under Pressure" as sung by David Bowie and Queen Selected by Stephanie: It's with a certain amount of shame that I confess to being born as a part of the Vanilla Ice era. What does that mean exactly?  Well, there's a distinct set of us who discovered really good music only as the result of first hearing botched cover songs and samples done by horrible

Between the Covers: Gillian Welch Covers Lefty Frisell, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan and the Band

I'm gonna go see Gillian Welch soon so I thought I'd play you a few covers.
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In about a week I'm going to see Gillian Welch live and in concert. She's been on my list of folks to see before I die for a long times so I'm super stoked about finally getting there. I actually almost saw her a few years back, but due to some random and strange occurrence I missed them. The way it went down was this: Gillian was opening for Bright Eyes at the Ryman auditorium and so as soon as they went on sale I bought tickets. Then a couple of weeks later I saw that a whole bunch of

The Listening Room: "War" by Edwin Starr

War and peace with the neighbors.
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I am not, by nature, a violent man. I avoid confrontation - even petty ones - pretty much anytime I can. I've lived in a variety of places - houses, apartments, tiny hovels - over the years and have had my fair share of obnoxious neighbors. Whenever they get too loud I simply suck it up, and curse quietly to myself. I never say anything. I never call the cops. I just hope they'll move out, or maybe die quietly in their sleep (if they ever go to sleep.) Until now. A few months back we had some new neighbors
My wife teaches French and literature at a university. This past semester she taught a metric butt-load of classes including one night class that lasted until 8:30 in the PM. Her normal day included being at the office from about 8 in the morning to 5 or 6 in the evening. She'd come home, have supper, play with our daughter for an hour or so and then get back to work grading papers, writing tests, or preparing for the next day. She worked her little arse off every day which also meant I was crazy busy cooking, cleaning and taking

Between the Covers: Totally Different Versions by Bill Frisell, Tori Amos, Richard Cheese and The Watson Twins

Sometimes a great cover means completely changing the sound of the original
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While there are some very excellent covers that stick with the basic formula of the original, my heart will always lie with those that get adventurous. Covers that break the original down to the bare bones and then layer it back up with something totally different.  There is something amazing in listening to a song for a few seconds or even minutes before you realize that you know that song.  To be surprised by a song you've known for years is one of the greatest things about an interesting cover."I Heard it Through the Grapevine" - Bill FrisellFrom the album

Why Miley Cyrus Covering Dylan Is A Good Thing

The starlet covering the master might make your head explode, but I'm still smiling.
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Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International is a 4 disk, 75 track set featuring dozens of interesting artists covering Dylan. I just got it a few days ago and I haven't had the time to fully digest it yet so I won't say much about the album as a whole but I did want to spend some time on one song: Miley "Hannah Montana" Cyrus' performance of "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," a classic from Dylan's timeless Blood On The Tracks. When the tracklist came out the internet went nuts

Between the Covers: Bruce Hornsby covers Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, the Coasters, Van Morrison and More

Bruce Hornsby covers just about everybody in concert.
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Since I write a series dedicated to cover songs its obvious I'm a fan, but most of my favorite artists are ones who perform a lot of covers as well. Sometimes those covers come in the studio but more often than not they come in a live setting. I truly love to hear a great cover done in a concert. It is refreshing. It is surprising. When done right it can knock your breath right out of your lungs. It also allow us to understand an artists influences, when someone covers a song we can assume they like that song
In my very first article in this series (in which I talked about a Bob Dylan cover) Josh Hathaway commented "It kind of had to be Dylan or The Beatles to start this, didn't it?" and he was absolutely right. I don't have the stats or anything but I'd be willing to say that the two pop artists that have been covered the most in the universe are Bob Dylan and the Beatles. This makes perfect sense to me since who wouldn't want to model the poetry of Dylan or the genius song craft of the Beatles?I love that the

Between the Covers: Lyle Lovett, Bob Dylan, Counting Crows Meet Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil"

Lyle Lovett, Bob Dylan, Counting Crows and others cover the Grateful Dead classic...
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One of the ways you can measure a great song is by how many times its been covered. That's not a perfect measurement of course because some songs are simply to complicated or long or to perfect to cover while lots of perfectly terrible songs get covered a lot. I don't know if Richard Thompson is being ironic or clever or serious when he covers Britney Spear's "Ooops I Did It Again" but I doubt you'll find too many people who will seriously argue that its a great song. Yet I can't help but think that when a song continually

Between the Covers, Travel Edition: Counting Crows, Grateful Dead, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Frankie Goes to Hollywood, the Counting Crows, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and the Grateful Dead cover songs by Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, Judy Garland, Louis Armstrong and Dylan
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In the just under ten years that my wife and I have been married, we have lived in nine different abodes within six different cities. There are some distinct advantages to moving on a regular basis. We never get bored with one place as there are always new things to explore. We've met lots of interesting people and experience some fascinating cultures. We've now got a great big box of stories to tell and those I shall treasure until the end of my days. Of course there are also various disadvantages, too. Our lives are continually torn up at the

Between the Covers: Madeline Peyroux Covers Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go"

A new feature about cover songs starts with (what else?) a Bob Dylan cover.
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I've mentioned before that I love a great cover song. There is something incredibly fun, wonderful and delirious about hearing a song redone fantastically well. A great cover song can completely transform the original. Think of Jimi Hendrix's version of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower." Jimi took a relatively obscure Dylan track and made it huge - an electric monster of a song - and he made it his. Dylan himself now plays it like the Hendrix version and it is now one of Dylan's most popular tracks. But a great cover songs doesn't have to be revolutionary it can

Best Songs of 2011: Tom Waits, Wilco, Gillian Welch, Tapes 'N Tapes, Fleet Foxes, Cure, PJ Harvey

I'm not saying these are the best songs of 2011 I'm just saying they (mostly) came out this year and that I like them (for now.)
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It is tradition in my house for me to make my wife a mix-tape (or mix-CD or mix-playlist) for Christmas. Initially the songs I added were love songs or songs that expressed some sort of fealty towards her, but after a few years of this I ran out of good love songs and started mixing songs that I had discovered that year. I am much more of a music obsessive than my wife so she enjoys getting to hear interesting new music without having to do all the work of seeking out new tunes nor listening to all the crap

Nanci Griffith "Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound" Helps Me Not Judge a Book By Its Cover

Sometimes we need reminding that people are not always what they seem.
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My wife teaches French at university. Before we started a family she was also the Director of the Belgium Program - the universities study abroad program. This meant that for three months in the fall we would take about 30 students to Europe. It was as fun and exciting as that sounds but also exhausting and infuriating. We saw some amazing things and visited truly wondrous countries and cultures, yet we also lived with 30 students who were loud, argumentative, and who often emanated smells that would curl the nose on the Pope. For the most part our students were

John Denver & The Muppets Find the True Meaning of Christmas

Two beautiful girls, John Denver, and some puppets help me enjoy the holiday.
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With the exception of my mother my entire family are completely absent of the Christmas spirit. We're grinches. We're hum-bugs. As a teenager I hated everything about the Christmas season (except of course getting out of school and receiving presents.) I hated that stores tried to pressure you into buying a lot of useless gadgets. I disliked all the tacky knick-knacks you were supposed to hang on your walls and yard. I thought all Christmas trees were gawdy and useless. I despised the rampant consumerism and loathed the need to buy everyone junk they really didn't need nor want. I

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

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

Bob Dylan's "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You"|A Wish That Came True

Bob Dylan brings back memories of traveling far to see a girl.
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Nearly a decade ago I lived in Tennessee but the girl I was dating lived in Indiana. Every three weeks or so I'd make the 250 mile drive and see her for a couple of days. I'd leave Friday after work and speed my way up through the mountains of Kentucky through the plains of Indiana desperately looking forward to seeing her again. I'd get there around 10:30 or so and usually find her in the kitchen fixing a late supper or popcorn or maybe some muffins - keeping herself busy is what she was doing, waiting on me. We'd

The Girl's Stream "Honey Bunny" From 'Father, Son, Holy Ghost'

What's old is new again...
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"Honey Bunny" mixes early '60s bubblegum pop with a mid-'90s post punk aesthetic filetered through psychedelic surfer beats. Its like taking that Beatlesesque band from that cutesy Tom Hanks movie and throwing them in a blender with the Beach Boys, the Pixies, Primus and the first 20 seconds of the Cranberries "Dreams." The results are a delicious pop shake with enough of a hard edge to make the ironic hipsters dig. Its a two and a half minute blast of nostalgic bop with a modern twist. Its poking fun at your father's old-timey music, while simultaneously lavishing yourself in the

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings Lay Down Great Lyrics and Killer Licks in "Miss Ohio"

Gillian shows what a great line can do to a non-lyrics guy.
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I'm not a lyrics guy. I don't pay much attention to the words of a song. There are songs I've heard a million times, that I love with ever ounce of my soul, yet I haven't the slightest idea as to what the words are. There are old church songs that I sang a hundred times growing up that I cold no more quote to you right now than fly to the moon.  My wife knows this is true as I'm constantly screwing up the lyrics when I'm singing along to whatever is playing on the stereo.  My child knows

Stream Emily O'Halloran's Sinfully Sultry "Kindness," Check Out Video For "Morphine and Cupcakes"

A slow, sultry burn that makes me want to get my sinning on.
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With hints and reminices of Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You" Emily O'Halloran's "Kindness" is a slow, sultry burn that make me want to lay back in bed with a cigarette, a bottle of bourbon and my lover for a long night of sin.  Her voice is low and dirty and full of sex and bitter tears.  Its got me thinking of a hundred bad breakups and all the fun we had before they ended.   She's got a voice like Joni Mitchell after 100 years of non-stop smoking or Tom Waits minus the romance and the testicles.   The rest

Mahoney & The Moment's "If You Only Asked Me To" Almost As Wonderful As A Baby's Smile

Indie folkies make me happy, and are streaming their new album online.
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All too frequently of late I've had trouble sleeping. I lay there in bed completely exhausted, but unable to slip off into dream land. It was the same last night, my mind was thinking hard on so many things that don't matter at all, but it wouldn't let me rest. After I did fall asleep I woke up again and again only to struggle to find sleep again. Eventually morning came and I found it a struggle to get out of bed for my back was aching. Badly. It felt as if I had wrestled a bear in my sleep

Pree Announce Fall Tour, Stream "Lemon Tree" For Free

Jingly jangly indie pop guaranteed to make your day a little better; a perfect dose of quirky for your Thursday...
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Quirky is something hard to pull off and even harder to maintain.  Do it right and you'll be endeared my many, do it wrong and you'll get nothing but mocking scorn. You have to be genuinely quirky too, not designed to be quirky by some PR dude, or made in a quirky lab by quirky scientists.  No, it has to come natural.  Even if you have the right amount of natural quirkiness you can quickly overstay your welcome. As a species we can only take quirkiness in small doses. Quirkiness is like cumin in that way.  A little goes a

Mark Knopfler & Chet Atkins - "I'll See You In My Dreams" & "Imagine"

Underrated guitar heroes strut their stuff.
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Guitar heroes. We love them. We praise them. We make lists about them. We want to be them. We even create games based upon them. Rock and Roll is often all about the guitar. Often the ones we idolize, that garner the most praise are those who play the loudest or the fastest, the ones who make the biggest flash. Unfortunately, those guys aren't always the best. I like players who aren't as flashy. Those who know how to play, and play it well, but that don't have to be on the front of the magazine cover, who don't always

Download Virgin Forest's "South Beach" And Catch Them On Tour

It ain't heavy, but it might be liked by your brother.
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Yesterday, being Labor Day, we went to a friend's house, grilled out hamburgers and watched football (because what better way to celebrate the power of the American workforce than to eat fatty foods and veg-out in front of the TV?) Its the football part that got me. I haven't watched a game (or any sport for that matter) in something close to a decade. I used to watch all kinds of sports all the time, but somewhere in college that part of my brain got lost and I haven't had the desire to care about any kind of team since

Download "1989" From Fan-Tan For Your Friday '80s Flashback

An '80s throwback with a modern tint, all free for your listening pleasure.
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Why do we like music? I don't mean music in general, but specific pieces, bands, and songs. Why do the Beatles remain insanely popular and yet similar sounding acts live entirely in obscurity? Why does wonky jazz only get listened to by a small subculture? Or death metal? Etc. Etc. Etc. Why do I (or you) specifically like a particular song? Can you break down music into parts and explain exactly why you like it? Does it even matter?This is the kind of stuff that plagues my brain when I write these articles. Why is it that some songs are

Louis Armstrong - Chapel Hill, NC (05/04/54)|Bootleg Nation

A great show for jazz snobs and noobs alike.
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I used to think I was a jazz-man. A great lover of the genre. Then I met the snobs. One time I went over to a friend's house and hung out. We ate some grub, listened to some tunes and talked about a wide range of subjects. Eventually we talked about music and a friend of the friend asked me if I liked jazz and then when I answered yes, he asked me to name some artists. I rattled off a list of names including Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, and Ella Fitzgerald. With typical jazz snob disdain he said

The Listening Room: "It's Too Darn Hot" by Ella Fitzgerald

These dog days of summer make me reminisce about a hot summer I spent in Alabama.
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I spent the summer after I graduated college working for a law firm in Montgomery, AL. I was a courier, which basically meant I spent my time driving around the city delivering various documents. It was a great job. I'm one of those people who loves to drive. There is something amazing about the road, open or not. Traffic is insanely frustrating when I'm headed out to a show or going home from a long day, but when I'm on somebody else's dime, getting paid by the hour, I don't mind traffic jams one bit. It was actually rather thrilling

Stream "What Makes You" by Fugazi's Joe Lally, Fall Tour Dates Announced

Post-hardcore Fugazi founder makes some post-Fugazi noise.
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Fugazi is one of those bands I know by name, but not by sound. They had a reputation for not only being one of the great post-hardcore bands but also the most ethical. They sought to keep their concert prices exceedingly low, and discouraged slam-dancing and fighting at their concerts (going so far as to keep envelopes of $5 bills in their tour van as a refund when they had to kick out unrepentant dancers.) As such I knew who they were by reputation but never really got into their music. I think I had Repeater for awhile in college

"Five" By Young Man Is Our New Lullaby

A song to put my child to sleep.
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I'm not sure its a good thing to say that a song put my 4 month old daughter to sleep, but that's exactly what "Five" did. She was cranky and restless and I was just about to put on an episode of "Sesame Street" to entertain her. I had just started playing Boy when I noticed her head folding into her Hungry Caterpillar plush toy , her eyes closing, and her sweet self drifting off to the land of dreams. Its not that "Five" is boring, but it is quiet, lush, and yes - rather dream like. Young Man consists of

Tom Waits Releases 'Bad As Me' October 25

A new album is announced in typical Tom Waits style.
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Never to do anything in a conventional way. Never to be seen as average. Tom Waits, with typical flair announced yesterday that his new album, Bad as Me, will be relased on October 25. The anouncement was made on his website and Facebook page via a video that mocks the Internet's insatiable need to spread news, rumors and entire albums before they are released at lightning speed across the globe.  The video is entitled "Private Listening Party" and it shows Waits listening to parts of the new album before talking to the camera irritated that his private party has gone

Bootleg Nation: Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band - New York City First Dream Night (11/07/09)

Bruce and the boys play The Wild, the Innocent, and the E-Street Shuffle live and completely rock the house.
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Bruce SpringsteenNew York City First Dream Night New York, NY November 7th, 2009 Download the MP3@320kps: Part I, Part II, Part III Disc 0101 Intro02 Thundercrack03 Seeds04 Prove It All Night05 Hungry Heart06 Working On A Dream07 Introduction to THE WILD, THE INNOCENT AND THE E STREET SHUFFLE08 The E Street Shuffle09 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)10 Kitty's Back11 Wild Billy's Circus Story12 Incident On 57th StreetDisc 0201 Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)02 New York City Serenade03 Waitin' On A Sunny Day04 Raise Your Hand05 Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street06 Glory Days07 Human Touch08 Lonesome Day09 The

Single File: "True Loves Eyes" by Daniel Goodman

I don't know what it is about beautiful instrumentation mixed with a gruff voice that creates great songs but Daniel Goodman's done just that.
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"True Loves Eyes"By Daniel GoodmanFrom the album Cold WindI don't know what it is, but there is something appealing to my ears about beautiful music paired with gruff vocals. From Tom Waits to Neil Young to Mark Knopfler and of course Bob Dylan the ability to write gorgeous songs mixed with gritty, rough-shod vocals seems innate in so many of my musical heroes. I may soon be adding Daniel Goodman to that list. His new album Cool Wind is full of these pretty, acoustic based songs underlain with vocals that might come from the guy digging the ditch next

Single File: "Disarm" by the Civil Wars

The Civil Wars turn the Smashing Pumpkins into silk.
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"Disarm"The Civil WarsListen and download the MP3 at the Daytrotter website. There are a lot of great reasons to love cover songs. There's the nostalgia of hearing a song you love again, but from a place you weren't expecting. Its cool to hear someone you dig (or don't dig actually) sing a song from someone else you dig (or maybe one you don't.) There's also the irony of covering a cheesy pop song in a serious way. A great cover song can take the original and create something totally new out of it. Of course a bad cover song is

BlindedBySound Music Television: "You Can Call Me Al" - Paul Simon

With great simplicity Paul Simon created one of the great music videos.
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My wife was born in Sierre Leone - that's in Africa for you people with poor geography skills or those of you raised in the American public educational system. Her parents were missionaries, but they moved back to the states not long after she was born so she doesn't actually have any memories from the continent, but its still pretty cool to say she's from Africa. When they moved home to America they didn't own a television, nor did they buy one for many years. Her mother likes to brag that her kindergarten teacher gave her a hug when

Single Files: "Empty Room" by Ryan Adams

After a long "hiatus" Ryan Adams drops a new single in European laps.
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When Ryan Adams quit music back in 2009 due to his Ménière's disease and self-described disillusionment with the music industry a great many of us were very saddened. Many more, like myself, knew it wouldn't last. Adams is too prolific a songwriter (having knocked out 10 official albums in his 9 year solo career, plus half a dozen more unofficially released ones) and he obviously loves music too much to just completely walk away. Since the break he's gotten married to Mandy Moore, released a couple of books of poetry, tossed off a handful of web-only hard rock tracks under

Single File: "Dearest" by the Black Keys

The Black Keys cover Buddy Holly, but should have left him alone.
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When thinking about cool bands to cover Buddy Holly, the Black Keys are not likely to be the first group to jump to your mind. The Akron, Ohio duo are known for their soul blistering, face melting blend of blues rock so it seems a strange idea for them to cover the nerdy, family-friendly rock and roll pioneer, but cover him they do on a new album full of peculiar choices  titled Rave On Buddy Holly. I'm all about interesting cover songs though so I was excited to hear a more fiery take on "Dearest." Unfortunately the results are not
  The crews are likely still cleaning up the mess from this summer's festival, but the good folks at Bonnaroo are already planning ahead to next years shows. Yesterday organizers confirmed the dates for the popular festival and have already put up a pre-sale. The popular music festival's 11th season will run from June 7-10, 2012 at Great Stage Park in Manchester, a 650 acre farm that has held the festival since its inception in 2002. Though no line-up has been announced tickets area already on sale. General admission tickets sell for $209.50 with a limit of 10 per

Bright Eyes to Release New Live EP

Bright Eyes just announced the release of a new limited run live EP.
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The supposed to be breaking up Bright Eyes just announced the release of a new live EP. The release date for Live Recordings is slated for July 4 coinciding with the drop date for their next single, "Jejune Stars" off of their last studio album The People's Key. The EP will be released exclusively through HMV and will be limited to 1000 digipacks. It will feature 6 tracks from the band's most recent tour. Prior to the release of The People's Key Bright Eyes founder, and main figurehead, Conor Oberst stated that he will be retiring the Bright Eyes

Bootleg Nation: Van Morrison - Los Angeles, CA (11/26/78)

Van Morrison slugs it out with a high energy, hard rocking show from the late 70s.
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Van MorrisonLos Angeles, CaliforniaNovember 26 1978 Source: KWEST FM Board Broadcast Lineage: KWEST FM Board Broadcast > ? > Flac Level 6 > MP3@320kps Download the MP3:  Part I, Part II Brown Eyed GirlWavelengthAnd It Stoned MeCheckin' It OutHungry For Your LoveSweet ThingCrazy Love [lead vocals by Katie Kissoon]Kingdom HallMoonshine WhiskeyPurple HeatherHelp MeTupelo Honey, Band IntrosCaravanCyprus Avenue, All Your Revelation, It's Too Late To Stop Now    For ages, Van Morrison had the Web Sheriff on the payroll confounding bootlegers of all stripes. Folks like Van and others hire the Sheriff to rid the online world of illegal copies of

Listening Room: "Hard Sun" - Eddie Vedder

With a newborn in the house finding time for music is hard, but once in awhile a great song shines through.
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My wife gave birth to our first child a few weeks ago. To say this has had a limiting effect on my musical listening ability would be a gross understatement - akin to saying the TSA has a limiting effect on the enjoyment of air travel. Life with a newborn is surreal. Sleep is a treasure to be found whenever and wherever one can grab it. Spit-up, snot, buckets of urine and trails of poo are no longer disgusting things to never be discussed and only done in private but a normal matter of the day to day life, so

Single File: "Coming Home" By Maggie Bjorklund, Ft. Mark Lanegan

The harmony between Maggie's beauty and Lanegan's soul makes for a compelling, gorgeous song.
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"Intertwined"By Maggie Bjorklund, Ft. Mark LaneganFrom the album Coming Home Ragged beauty. There is something so often quite wonderful about two voices blending together in harmony. When one voice is rough and course and the other sweet and pretty, then that performance takes on an especially interesting blend. All too often that blend is like a coffee and cigarette-ash mocha, but when done right it can be something of rare beauty. Tom Waits found it with Crystal Gale. Mark Knopfler found it with Emmylou Harris. Mark Lanegan is turning his career into a series of pitch-perfect duets. He's performed

Bootleg Nation: Lucinda Williams - Sweet and Tender Kisses (02/26/89)

Lucinda Williams performs a gorgeous, heart-wrenching show in the early part of her career.
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Lucinda Williams"Sweet And Tender Kisses"KPFK-FM Radio Live Performance, Los Angeles, CA Download the MP3@320kps February 26, 198901 Big Red Sun Blues02 Crescent City03 Like A Rose04 All I Want (It Don't Matter To Me)05 Abandoned06 Wild And Blue07 Something About What Happens When We Talk08 SundaysLineup:Lucinda Williams - guitar, vocalsGurf Morlix - guitar, background vocalsDr. John Ciambotti - bassLineage: FM >? >shn >mkwACT v0.97 Beta 1 >wav >WaveRepair v4.8.4 (DNR, Declicking, Tracking) >shorten v3.5.1 >shn>MP3   Lucinda Williams is the queen of heartache. The Prime Minister of break-ups. The princess of bad relationships. She's felt the pain of love

Single File: "So High" By Ringo Deathstarr

The first sunny spring classic of the year.
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"So High" By Ringo Deathstarr From the album Colour Trip Spring has officially sprung and the weather agrees (at least here in west Tennessee).  There is something miraculous about deep blue skies punctuated by puffy white clouds and a bright sun warming ones most inner pleasures. Spring demands to be enjoyed. It also demands great music played at high volumes. Ringo Deathstarr not only delivers a fantastic band name, but a song that will make even the most devastatingly winter grinch smile. Its full of fast-paced punchy drums, Jesus and Mary Chain style guitar jangle, and a bright infectiousness that's

Listening Room: Rod Stewart - "Maggie May"

Rod Stewart may have become a caricature of his old self but "Maggie May" still holds up as a classic, no matter what the hip kids say.
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In college I had one of those old compact stereos.  I say old because this one came with a record player instead of a CD player.  A few years earlier I had grabbed a bunch of vinyl records from my aunt who was unloading them in a garage sale.  She had tons of great classics like the Beatles White Album, Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, a couple of Simon & Garfunkel albums and many other classic rock records.  From there I started collecting any vinyl I could get my hands on, not because I was an audiophile who was trying to

Single File: "2 Cities" By Adam & Darcie

This Utah duo create a lulling, gorgeous sound that's just perfect for my soon to be born daughter.
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"2 Cities"By Adam & Darcie From the EP Early in the MorningThe wife and I are about to have our first child.  It is an exciting, confusing, insane time full of lots of anticipation and holy crap! what are we doing moments.  Mostly though, it is a time of joy waiting for the little one to come.  There is lots of work to do, of course, and part of that, at least for me, is creating some special playlists to play to our baby girl once she comes. I am a freak for mix-tapes and playlists and creating the perfect

Single File: Hunx & His Punx - "Too Young To Be In Love"

Mixing 60's girl group pop with queer punk sensibilities Hunx & His Punx has just created a modern classic.
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"Too Young To Be I Love"By Hunx & His PunxFrom the album Too Young To Be In Love When I was a kid my mother always listened to the local oldies stations - you know the ones, they had call letters like KOOL and their ads usually featured the sun shining bright and some dark Ray Bans. They played all the old hits from the 50s and 60s. I hated it for no other reason than my mom loved it, and boy did she love that music. She'd crank it up driving us to school and sing along, embarrassing

Single File: "I Say Love" By Jen Olive

Blinded by Sound brings you the best in new music: up this week is Jen Olive's gorgeous, layered voice.
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God bless the digital revolution. As a people we now have more access to more music than anyone in the history of humanity. With the touch of a button (and a decent Internet connection) everyone can listen to all types of music from all over the world in mere seconds. No more are we constrained by only hearing what some number crunching head-of-a-major-studio-accounting-suit thinks will sell the most albums. No longer are we forced to listen to only whats played on the always bland, force fed, play-list determined by polling data corporate radio station. Nor do we have to only
The Dave Rawlings MachineTwisted Branch Tea BazaarCharlottesville, VAAugust 30, 2006 Disc 1 (MP3 encoded at 320kps) 1 Diamond Joe2 I hear them all3 Elvis Presley Blues4 The Wicked Messenger5 The way it will be6 The monkey & the engineer7 Copper Kettle8 To Be Young9 Knuckleball catcher10 Key to the kingdom Disc 2 (MP3 encoded at 320kps) 1 Big Rock Candy Mountain2 I'll be your baby tonight3 Luminous Rose4 Queen Jane Approximately5 I'll fly away6 Long Black Veil David Rawlings is the longtime companion of Gillian Welch.  They've been writing and performing together for so long it is really rather difficult to seperate the two. 

Listening Room: Etta James - "I'd Rather Go Blind"

Etta James cuts right through to the marrow and leaves me blind, and speechless.
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There is this great scene in the tragicaly underseen movie Ghost World where Steve Buscemi's akward, socially inept character goes out with the cute, but completely bland Dana.  They go to a bar where a revered, old bluesman is playing.  Buscemi is there for the music, but Dana is there to party and have a good time.  When Dana starts screaming and dancing to the loud, blues-rock of the opening act the look on Buscemi's face is priceless.  He's lonely, and certainly physically attracted to the woman, but her taste in music is so obviously out of whack to

Bruce Hornsby Creates Website to Release Concert Recordings

Bruce Hornsby gets it, the major music labels don't.
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In conjunction with Nugs.net Bruce Hornsby has created a new website, brucehornsbylive.com which is offering recordings of concerts from Hornsby throughout his storied career.  The shows will be available in both MP3 and FLAC formats and can be downloaded either as individual tracks or complete shows. Each download also comes with cover art in PDF format that one could easily print off.  Though the site requests you not to share the downloads with anybody else, there is no included DRM which allows you to move the music onto any device you like as ofen as you like, which is

Bootleg Nation: Mark Knopfler - Rare Sessions

Mark Knopfler fans put together a five disked set of alt-tracks, live cuts and rarities to mixed results.
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Download MP3@320kps:  Part 1, Part II, Part III, Part IV Thus far in the Bootleg Nation I have presented complete recordings of single concerts.  These type shows make up the vast majority of my bootleg collection, and in fact of all the bootlegs that exist in the world. But today I want to talk a bit about another type of bootleg, what you can loosely categorize as demos, alternate tracks, and rarities.  Musicians often go into the recording studio with only loose ideas on the songs they want to record for an album.  They will generally record everything they

Listening Room: Norah Jones - Not Too Late

After being buried under piles and piles of new music I remember just how remarkable Norah Jones really is.
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A friend of mine recently sent me about a dozen Norah Jones shows. I say he's a friend but really he's just somebody who reads my bootleg blog and wanted to share. Which makes him awesome, but not necessarily someone I'd say was close to me. Let's pause a moment and think about that. Somebody I do not know, whom I have never spoken with or chatted with or met, who lives on the other side of the equator just sent me several bootlegs (some of which he recorded himself) of Norah Jones playing live. This he did with

Bootleg Nation: Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Rolling Zuma Review

While bootlegging may live in a legal gray area, this Neil Young performance might just blow you away.
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  Download MP3@320kps:  Part I, Part IINEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSERolling Zuma RevueFestival Hall, Osaka, Japan, March 5, 1976 +Chicago Auditorium, Chicago, IL, November 15, 1976Liberated Lone Wolf bootlegSoundboard RecordingCD 1:1. Heart Of Gold2. The Old Laughing Lady3. Journey Through The Past4. Too Far Gone5. Give Me Strength6. The Needle And The Damage Done7. A Man Needs A Maid8. Tell Me Why9. Sugar Mountain10. Mellow My Mind11. Only Love Can Break Your Heart12. No One Seems To Know13. Country Home14. Don't Cry No Tears15. Lotta Love16. Like A Hurricane CD 2:1. Country Home2. Don't Cry No Tears3. Peace Of

The Grateful Dead to Release Massive Box Set of Their 1972 European Tour

The Grateful Dead officially release their entire Europe '72 tour in a limited release box set.
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The Grateful Dead's European tour in 1972 is much beloved by Deadheads and music lovers alike. It is probably cause for celebration then that the band has just announced the entire tour, consisting of 22 shows in 16 cities, will be released in one giant limited edition 60 disk box set in September. 1972 saw the Grateful Dead in transition. With the release of Workingman's Dead and American Beauty the band found themselves moving away from the primal psychedelia of their early days and finding their songwriting roots in country rock. The hard-drinking bluesman Ron "Pigpen" McKernan was suffering

The Listening Room: They Might Be Giants - "New York City"

I stumble upon an old tune my wife gave me and remember why I love her, (and They Might Be Giants) so much.
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"New York City"They Might Be GiantsFrom the album Factory Showroom I first heard They Might Be Giants through their album Flood in high school.  I loved that album -- still do -- it is so silly, fun, and hilarious and yet it's driven by really great melodies and song structures that rise above the Al Yankovich style of comedy music. I never did move beyond those Flood waters and essentially ignored all of their other output- until I got married, anyway.  The wife loves They Might Be Giants and so I was able to listen to many of their other

Bootleg Nation: Jerry Garcia Band - Berekely, CA (07/23/77)

Jerry Garcia sans the Grateful Dead still jams like nobody's business.
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Jerry Garcia Band 07/23/77 Keystone Berkeley, CA Download MP3@320kps:  Part I, Part II Audience Source Set I Tuning Sugaree Stop That Train Mystery Train Simple Twist Of Fate The Way You Do The Things You Do Set II Tuning They Love Each Other Sitting In Limbo Tore Up Over You My Sisters And Brothers Stir It Up Tangled Up In Blue One of the great things about the Jerry Garcia Band was that it allowed Garcia to play songs that just weren't suited for the Grateful Dead. The Dead played all sorts of genres themselves, but solo Garcia could

The Listening Room: Bruce Hornsby - "Stranded on Easy Street"

Hornsby takes a mediocre song and turns it into gold in concert.
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"Funiculi/Funicula>Stranded on Easy Street" Bruce Hornsby From the live bootleg dated 08/04/99 Download the track here, or get the whole show here.   I am a collector.  Not of rare, historical, or even valuable things, but a collector nonetheless.  You might say the things I collect generally fall under the entertainment (or the more snobby of you might call them artistic) category: books, movies, music; these are the things I obsessively obtain. I cannot walk past a used book store (or a library sale, or a Goodwill book section) without coming home with a sack of books.  I cannot

Bootleg Nation: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - Milwaukee, WI (05/22/10)

You should probably rethink your career as a living, breathing human being if this show doesn't get you shaking what God gave you...
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For my money there is nothing like a live concert.  Standing in front of a band with hundreds of like-minded fans hearing great music quite literally being created before your eyes is nothing short of magic.  The energy, the power, the vibrations that pound right through you is something you just can't get anywhere else.  Watching (and listening) to musicians connect with themselves, the audience, and their muse in a real time setting blows my mind every freaking time. I love everything about a concert -- being able to physically see the band on the stage, the music, standing