June 2014 Archives

DVD Review: The Who - Quadrophenia Live in London

Tho Who performs their complicated rock opera with renewed energy and a desire to update it for modern audiences.
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After the critical and commercial success of Tommy, the Who returned to the rock opera fold with their 1973 effort Quadrophenia. Filled with complex themes of identity and alienation, Quadrophenia was not as immediately accessible as Tommy; its nonlinear story line did not lend itself to a coherent stage production. Even the subsequent 1979 film version did not follow the story to the letter, relegating the music to the background. However, Quadrophenia remains some of Pete Townshend's most personal work, and he has continued to tinker with mixes and reissues. The Who has performed the entire rock opera on several

'Introducing Morrissey' Concert Film To Get DVD Debut In September

Moz reaches back into the past for archival releases as he preps first album in 5 years...
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The cantankerous, oft-afflicted Morrissey will release Introducing Morrissey on DVD for the first time in September. The show was recorded in February 1995 from his Vauxhall & I album. A 20th Anniversary re-issue of that record has already been announced. This is all happening as Moz preps to release his first solo album since 2009, World Peace Is None Of Your Business. He's also made attempts to tour the US but has yet to complete all scheduled dates due to a string of mystery maladies. Here's the tracklist for the DVD: Billy Budd Have-A-Go Merchant Spring-Heeled Jim Youre The One

Preview: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye

A preview of three songs from the upcoming Heartbreakers record
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My love for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers knows no bounds so the announcement of a new record Hypnotic Eye due out July 29 and tour dates this summer and fall have spun me into total fanboy mode. I got a pair of tickets for what will be my fourth Heartbreakers show and in the process got to download three tracks from the upcoming album. These are a tantalizing taste and will tide me over while leaving me hungry for the remainder of the record. Let's take a quick preview of these songs to stoke the fire of our fandom!

CD Review: Jim Mize

This singer-songwriter returns with a strong collection of songs.
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Not many "new" artists release their first album when they are in their 40s, only to take 14 years to release their next two, but so it is with Jim Mize. This Arkansas singer-songwriter didn't even enter a recording studio until he was in his late 30s, but that didn't stop him from writing and amassing a serious collection of songs in the process. Now, at age 57, he has graced the music world with his third album, simply titled Jim Mize. Mize's day job is that of an insurance adjuster, traveling the American South and West. He's seen his

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

CD Review: The Babys - I'll Have Some Of That!

A new version of this classic rock favorite is back for the first time in more than 30 years with I'll Have Some Of That!
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In the late 1970s and early 1980s, The Babys had a string of hits with songs such as "Head First and "Back On My Feet Again" that remain classic rock radio staples to this day. The band broke up in 1981, with singer John Waite forging a successful solo career, bassist Ricky Phillips joining Styx and keyboardist Jonathan Cain joining Journey, where he co-wrote "Don't Stop Believin', " among others. That trio later resurfaced in the super group, Bad English, but The Babys had been pretty much dead in the water since 1981. That all changed in 2013, as original

Little Mike and The Tornadoes - All The Right Moves

Unpretentious, meat-and-potatoes blues done up right
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Every city has at least a couple of restaurants that border on institutions - unpretentious joints that, year after year, continue to serve up equally unpretentious and thoroughly satisfying fare. If you make really, really good burgers, or pizza, or bagels, you might tweak the recipe now and again, but in the end you rely on the time-tested basics that work so well. Little Mike and The Tornadoes' music is a bit like that - predominantly familiar shuffles and twelve bar grinders, meat-and-potatoes stuff free of fancy frills or exotic embellishments, but always thoroughly engaging thanks to polished professionalism and

Kelley Hunt - The Beautiful Bones

A uplifting celebration of strength and resilience
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Judging by The Beautiful Bones, Kelley Hunt's sixth recording to date, she's a pretty irrepressible individual with an endlessly optimistic take on life's journey. The disc is full of positive and inspirational messages and proudly defiant proclamations of strength and independence. Hunt, who plays a mean piano, gets superb support from a fine band, with stellar guitar work in particular from John Jackson. The music itself feels spacious and free, blending blues, gospel, country and soul into an uplifting heartland gumbo. In addition to Jackson's versatile fretwork, alternately shimmering and slashing, the band is top-notch - drummer Bryan Ownings ,

DeepSoul: The Police - "Voices Inside My Head"

This 1980 cut shows how R&B greatly influenced the Police's early work.
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When one thinks of the Police, the word "soul" does not immediately leap to mind. Yet a single off their 1980 album Zenyatta Mondatta transformed into a staple of "Chicago-Style Steppin'," a dance made popular in Chicago's African-American clubs. "Voices Inside My Head" features heavy rhythmic elements, scratchy guitar, and Sting's eerie voice, adding up to a surprisingly soulful track that represents the Police's take on rhythm and blues. Recorded over four weeks in the Netherlands, Zenyatta Mondatta may be most famous for the classic songs "Don't Stand So Close to Me" and "De Do Do Do, De Da Da

Iggy Azalea, Miranda Lambert Top Song, Album at iTunes, Coldplay 'Ghost Stories' #3

Top songs, albums at iTunes for week ending June 9...
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I welcome myself back to my own column after this week after an absurdly long absence and we once again look at the most popular songs and albums from the #1 music retailer. This is your weekly iTunes Chart Watch and you are welcome to it... I've only heard 1/2 of one song on the Top Songs list, the inescapable and unforgivably awful "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. I don't know what a Iggy Azalea is and I choose to not find out. My money is on her being the latest inductee into the Andy Warhol Hall of Fame, soon to

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

CD Review: NRBQ - Brass Tacks

This veteran band turns in an eclectic set of strong songs on their newest release.
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NRBQ released its first album 45 years ago and has operated on the premise of no rules ever since. Founding member Terry Adams wanted a band that could play whatever style and songs it wanted, whenever it wanted and the band has built its reputation on doing just that. While the group has gone through numerous lineup changes (Adams is the lone remaining original member), this spirit lives on in its latest release, Brass Tacks. The album opens with the infectious pop of "Waitin' On My Sweetie Pie." Harmonies reminiscent of the Everly Brothers punctuate this bouncy number. Adams laments

Ronnie Earl And The Broadcasters - Good News

Another masterful set that sheds light of the spiritual side of the blues...
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Ronnie Earl is unquestionably one of the most ferociously accomplished blues guitarists around, capable of seemingly endless invention and utterly effortless fluidity. Yet Earl's blues are distinctly different. Whereas most are rooted in earthy carnality - the Saturday night side of the equation - there's a spirituality in Earl's music that seems better suited to Sunday morning. It's music for contemplation, salvation, and redemption rather than cathartic release or sexual braggadocio. That's not to say that Earl can't be as raw and real as anyone out there, and his utter absorption and intensity are legendary. But as someone who's struggled

The Nighthawks - 444

A righteously raucous roadhouse party from the consummate bar band...
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Consummate road warriors The Nighthawks, led by lifer Mark Wenner, may well be the ultimate bar band. Their good-time blend of blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll is a ready-made roadhouse party, a righteously raucous celebration of rootsy Americana. Kicking things off with the rollicking "Walk That Walk," the 'Hawks cruise through the blues (original "Livin' The Blues," "Nothin' But The Blues," and the Muddy Waters' classic "Louisiana Blues," all featuring Wenner's exemplary harp), and rip things up with some rowdy rockabilly ("444 A.M.," hence the disc's title, and "Lot Of Livin,"). Also in the mix are the swampy "Crawfish"

John Mayall - A Special Life

A solid statement from an elder statesman...
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If John Mayall's voice sounds just a wee bit creaky here and there on A Special Life, it's only to be expected. He's 80, after all, and this is his umpteenth recording in a career that's seen him touring endlessly for over 60 years. There's absolutely nothing creaky about the music though. Mayall has always known how to pick 'em - as the 'Godfather of British Blues,' he helped launch the careers of Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor in the UK before moving to California and doing much the same for Coco Montoya and Walter Trout. These days

Patrick Sweany Unveils Official Video "Every Night Every Day"

Blues-rock done right... oh, so right...
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Patrick Sweany is the latest artist to add his name to the esteemed Josh Hathaway's New Musical Obsession List. I nearly had to pull over to the side of the road when I heard "Them Shoes" for the first time last month. I did what I always do when something hits me like that and began exhaustively researching his bio and discography, leading me to the happy news Mr. Sweany was playing Music City Roots in Nashville at Loveless Cafe, a very cool event and venue. He played a 4-song mini set but that was enough to send me home
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

New Music Tuesday: Jack White, Chrissie Hynde, The Who, RSB Top Week's New Releases

Just a few of the highlights of this week's new release schedule #NewMusicTuesday
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New Music Tuesday returns this week to BlindedBySound. It's nigh impossible to chronicle everything hitting physical and digital shelves on any given week so I continue the fine work of Bro. Mat Brewster and list a few items that interest me or seem to be generating buzz among the masses. There's no doubt the album to know this week comes from Jack White. Lazaretto is his second solo record and follows up the magnificent Blunderbuss. I've avoided reviews and streams of the album but you can bet your ass I'm making a special trip to the store to score a

Alastair Greene Band Debuts "Trouble At Your Door" Video

New AGB Album 'Trouble At Your Door' releases June 17...
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Alastair Greene Band debuted a video for the title track from their forthcoming fifth studio album, Trouble At Your Door, due June 17 from Eclecto Groove/Delta Groove Records. "Trouble" showcases Greene's guitar prowess with a big riff and blazing guitar solo and serves as an appealing introduction to the new album (look for a review here on BBS as we get closer to the launch). Trouble features 11 new originals and a cover of "Strange Feeling," from the late Michael Burks. Greene also produced the sessions himself. Greene has been backed by a litany of top musicians, former members of

DVD Review: Super Duper Alice Cooper

A fantastic tribute to one of the originators of shock rock.
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Before Kiss and before Marilyn Manson, there was Alice Cooper. Cooper brought outrageous theatrics to rock and roll before and, arguably, better than most. It wasn't all about the stage show, however, as many Cooper songs remain staples on classic rock radio. If the former Vincent Furnier was Dr. Jekyll, then Cooper was Mr. Hyde, and the character nearly consumed him. His rise, fall and redemption are chronicled on the excellent new documentary, Super Duper Alice Cooper. Furnier was born in Detroit, but eventually relocated to Phoenix. His father was a preacher and Furnier spent a fair amount of time

DeepSoul Salutes Smokey Robinson: "You've Really Got A Hold on Me"

Our celebration of the legend's work concludes with a blusier tune that many, including the Beatles, have covered.
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DeepSoul's final column exploring the work of Smokey Robinson looks at a track that retains true crossover appeal: "You've Really Got A Hold on Me," the 1962 single so beloved by the Beatles that they covered it on their second LP, With the Beatles, a year later. Robinson injects some true rhythm and blues here, the sound a bit grittier than later, smoother cuts such as "Ooh Baby Baby." However, Robinson's words and music root in firmly in pop, ensuring equivalent success on the R&B and Billboard Hot 100 charts. Robinson penned the tune in 1962 after hearing Sam Cooke's

The Who FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Fifty Years of Maximum R&B by Mike Segretto Book Review

Mike Segretto's Who FAQ book truly does explore "All That's Left to Know About Fifty Years of Maximum R&B."
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The history of The Who is one of the most unlikely stories in music history. Like so many of their peers, the band are nearing their 50-year golden anniversary, and it might seem as if everything there is to say about them has already been said. But this is where the FAQ series from Backbeat Books comes in. The title of the new book by Mike Segretto speaks for itself: The Who FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Fifty Years of Maximum R&B. As an avid rock-book reader, I have become very familiar with the FAQ series, and have