Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Darius Rucker album news

Rucker was one of my highlights from Stagecoach 2011, read more about his upcoming album...

Capitol Records Nashville recording artist Darius Rucker will release his third country studio album, True Believers, on Jan. 22. Darius wrote 10 of 12 songs including the title track and debut single which is currently Top 20.

“For this album, we really paid attention to what our friends and fans were telling us on the road,” says Rucker. “The result is an album that I’m so proud of because my fans really have been the true believers since I released my first single to country radio. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.” 

Rucker’s first two country albums, Learn To Live and Charleston, SC 1966 both topped the Billboard Country album chart and produced five No. 1 singles including “Come Back Song,” “This,” “Alright,” “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” and “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.”

The album was again produced by Frank Rogers. Rucker is currently nominated for Musical Event of the Year at this year’s 46th Annual CMA Awards for his performance of “Stuck on You” with Lionel Richie.

In 2009 he was named New Artist of the Year at the CMA Awards. Most recently, Rucker was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on Oct. 16. 

True Believers Track Listing:

True Believers (Darius Rucker, Josh Kear)
Miss You (Darius Rucker, Frank Rogers)
Wagon Wheel (Bob Dylan, Jay Secor)
Love Without You (Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally)
Radio (Darius Rucker, Luke Laird, Ashley Gorley)
Lost In You (Darius Rucker, Mark Nesler, Phillip White)
I Will Love You Still (Darius Rucker, Josh Kear)
Take Me Home (Darius Rucker, Frank Rogers, Monty Criswell)
Shine (Darius Rucker, Frank Rogers)
Heartbreak Road (Darius Rucker, Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins)
Leavin’ The Light On (Darius Rucker, David Lee Murphy, Phil O’Donnell)
Lie To Me (Darius Rucker, Rodney Clawson, Bob DiPiero)

INXS' 'Kick' gets deluxe reissue treatment

I'm really looking forward to hearing this reissue, one of my faves from the '80s... 

In celebration of its 1987 release, INXS has will release three newly remastered Kick 25th Anniversary Editions of their highly successful studio album. The editions are available as a limited edition LP on red vinyl, a 25-track expanded Deluxe 2CD set; and a 32-track collector's edition Super Deluxe 3CD set coupled with a 60-minute DVD and 80-page hard cover book.

All three versions are available for purchase now and available exclusively online at The Deluxe 2CD Edition includes the remastered version of the original album, along with a bonus disc of early demo recordings and outtakes, live concert tracks, rare b-sides and remixes.

The collector's edition Super Deluxe 3CD+1DVD+80-page hardcover book edition includes the remastered version of the original album, a second CD of early demos, live concert tracks, rare b-sides and remixes, along with a third CD featuring special single edit versions and bonus remixes of "Never Tear Us Apart," "New Sensation," and "Devil Inside" among others. The added DVD features never-before-seen exclusive footage titled Through Our Eyes Only filmed by the band themselves, taking fans behind-the-scenes during the 1987-1988 "Calling All Nations World Tour."

Additional DVD features include unseen live-in-concert recordings, rare promos for the band and album, music videos, and a track-by-track documentary filmed during the late-80s to present on the making of the classic album featuring intimate interviews with the late Michael Hutchence and brothers Andrew, Jon and Tim Farriss. The collector's edition Super Deluxe set also comes with an 80-page art book that includes never-before-seen handwritten lyrics from the Michael Hutchence family archives, previously unseen photos, diaries, a Kick sticker sheet and original tour poster.

INXS has an entirely new line of merchandise and apparel commemorating the Kick 25th Anniversary available only online at: For more information please visit the bands' official website,

Originally released on October 19, 1987, Kick was originally rejected at the time by their record label, who offered the band $1,000,000 to go back to Australia and record an entirely different album. Instead, it became a worldwide, multi-platinum success. Yielding four Top 10 singles: "Devil Inside," "New Sensation," "Never Tear Us Apart," and "Need You Tonight" (which hit #1 in the U.S.), Kick solidified the band as one of the world's top concert attractions with a relentless radio presence and constant video rotation at MTV.

During this prolific period - the album from beginning to end, front to back, including the now iconic imagery - everything contributed to conjuring up one of the most inspired INXS albums of their career and one of the most exciting albums of that musical era, with sales now approaching 20 million worldwide.

In the accompanying DVD of the Kick 25th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition Andrew Farriss recalled "the Kick album was a very important album for INXS' career on lots of levels. We'd had chart success prior to that album. It was our sixth studio album, but the chart success we'd had prior to that album was a mixed bag."

Tim Farriss remembered, "Kick, to me, was an extension of Listen Like Thieves, the album we had just made with producer Chris Thomas. And it just felt like we had really just gotten it happening."

"We came up with 'What You Need' which was a top five hit for us then in the United States...and that really did change things in a big way for us," said Andrew Farriss. We knew what we had to do with Kick as an album, so Michael and I talked with the other guys in the band on a tour bus, I think in Germany of all places and said to them 'Look, you know, this album we're about to make, it feels like a big career move for us...if you really trust us with the songwriting, we'll try to give you ten 'What You Needs.' And the guys, to their credit, said 'okay, you write all the songs.' And we (Michael and I) went, 'alright!,' because now we had our mission statement. So, we sat down and carefully designed Kick."

Jon Farriss described the album and bands' then evolving sound as having "a groove element, a dance element that lies underneath a lot of that stuff. Motown (was) definitely a very influential aspect of INXS."

Michael Hutchence continued "It's a soul thing, really. I sort of write songs where there's just a movement, an energy, and rhythm. But, they're basically moral songs. 'Being good to each other, taking care of each other.' They're love songs. They're not trite. They're very passionate."

INXS KICK 25th Anniversary limited-edition red LP tracklisting:

Guns In The Sky

New Sensation
Devil Inside
Need You Tonight
The Loved One
Never Tear Us Apart
Calling All Nations
Tiny Daggers

INXS KICK 25th Anniversary Deluxe 2CD tracklisting:


Guns In The Sky
New Sensation
Devil Inside
Need You Tonight
The Loved One
Never Tear Us Apart
Calling All Nations
Tiny Daggers


Move On - Guitar Version
I'm Coming (Home)
Mediate - Live From America
Never Tear Us Apart - Live From America
Kick - Live From America
On The Rocks
Do Wot You Do - B Side New Sensation
Mystify - Chicago Demo
Jesus Was A Man - Demo
The Trap - Demo
Guns In The Sky - Kick Ass Remix
Need You Tonight - Mendelson Extended Mix
Move On

INXS Kick 25th Anniversary Super Deluxe 3CD+1DVD (w/80 page hardcover book):


Guns In The Sky
New Sensation
Devil Inside
Need You Tonight
The Loved One
Never Tear Us Apart
Calling All Nations
Tiny Daggers


Move On - Guitar Version
I'm Coming (Home)
Mediate - Live From America
Never Tear Us Apart - Live From America
Kick - Live From America
On The Rocks
Do Wot You Do - B Side New Sensation
Mystify - Chicago Demo
Jesus Was A Man - Demo
The Trap - Demo
Guns In The Sky - Kick Ass Remix
Need You Tonight - Mendelson Extended Mix
Move On


Never Tear Us Apart - Soul Version
New Sensation - Nick 12" Mix
New Sensation - Nick 7"
Devil Inside - Extended Remix
Devil Inside - 7"
Different World - 7"
Calling All Nations - Kids On Bridges Remix


Documentary: Track Baby Track Documentary
INXS KICK World Tour: Exclusive Band Footage [Through Our Eyes Only]
Guns in the Sky
Need You Tonight

Switchfoot concert review: Los Angeles

photo by Andy Barron
A version of my review originally appeared at 

If music feeds the soul, then Switchfoot is a prime source of nourishment.

Since the mid-‘90s, the San Diego band has crafted meaningful alternative rock like few others. Many songs are spiritual in nature, but the lyrics have a universal appeal.

That approach helped 2003 CD “The Beautiful Letdown” go double platinum and follow up effort “Nothing is Sound” reach gold sales certification.

On last year’s adventurous “Vice Verses,” Switchfoot emphasized more rhythmic elements and utilized programming on selected tracks. More recently, they have been putting together “Fading West,” a documentary due out next summer. It captures the musicians from the stage to the shore (surfing is a major part of the guys’ lives).

Footage was shot using three cameras Sunday night at a sold out City National Grove of Anaheim show. Before start time, a brief snippet of the work-in-progress was projected on venue screens and fans were prompted to show their enthusiasm for filming purposes.

While waiting for the doors to open, I saw a teenage girl sporting a homemade Switchfoot t-shirt with words from the tune “Needle and Haystack Life” and positive band attributes. Much of the crowd consisted of high school and college students; some parents had young children in tow.

The 80-minute, 14-song concert kicked off with a harrowing "The War Inside.” Shaggy-haired singer/guitarist Jon Foreman stalked the stage and delivered the vocals monotone style while lead guitarist Drew Shirley provided stinging riffs.

A bulk of the set was evenly divided between “Vice Verses” and Grammy-winning 2009 album “Hello Hurricane.” All five band members continually smiled at each other. Foreman seemed to having the best time and constantly ventured into the audience. Early on, he said, “We’re from just down the road, so this is like a homecoming party for us.”

Crunchy guitars and powerhouse drums by Chad Butler propelled the hit single “Stars” as fans dutifully pogoed along. Foreman and bassist brother Tim’s harmonies totally soared. The fun and funky stomping rocker “The Original” espoused individuality.

Jon Foreman explained the compelling “Restless” was inspired by rainy British weather and author C.S. Lewis. His passionate vocals, Shirley’s chiming guitar work and Jerome Fontamillas’ lush keyboardist/guitarist on the slow building “Restless” combined for a magnificent concert moment a la U2 (they also evoked Bono and company during the harmonica-laden, uplifting ballad “Your Love is a Song”). You couldn’t help but get caught up in all the emotion. Foreman finished it on his Taylor acoustic guitar.

Hard-charging “Mess of Me” boasted a Nirvana-styled wallop, bluesy breakdown section and saw the band really kick out the jams. Prior to “Dare You to Move,” the singer recounted when Switchfoot first signed to Columbia Records in the ‘90s and how it was hard to reconcile with the hit-driven music industry.

“For me, it’s always been an issue of heart. We believe in these songs, no matter if they’re hits or not,” he said. The comforting song resulted in plenty of fans’ hands stretched skyward, much like you’d see during the Harvest Crusade held annually next door at Angel Stadium.

The same held true for another big Switchfoot hit, ‘Meant to Live,” punctuated by Shirley’s careening guitar sounds. Moody, chanting rocker “Dark Horses,” - a top 5 alternative radio hit from “Verses” – capped the main set off in electrifying fashion.

Epic anthem “Where I Belong” saw Foreman wave a white flag (more U2 parallels) and sing inspirational lines like “this body’s not my own” and “when I reach the other side” to group gang chants. It was a stunning conclusion, complete with streams of confetti.

There were a few missed opportunities. “Selling the News” would’ve been a timely insertion into the set as we reach the Election Day and are continuously bombarded by political ads. Performing the giddy “Hello Hurricane” without a passing reference to the cyclone battering the Eastern seaboard seemed a bit incongruous. But those are minor quibbles.

All told, Switchfoot put on a powerful concert.

Paper Route did a great 45-minute opening set reminiscent of Postal Service and M83, mixed with a little bit of The Killers and OneRepublic. The Nashville electronic pop/rock trio (expanded to a five-piece in concert), just released second album “The Peace of Wild Things” and has a secret weapon in drummer Gavin McDonald. His propulsive beats were fast as a machine.

Both McDonald and singer J.T. Daly took turns playing a small cocktail kit perched on a high platform. The group fared best during “Two Hearts,” the lush synth-driven “Better Life” and soulful “You & I.”

Switchfoot, City National Grove of Anaheim, Oct. 28, 2012
Setlist: The War Inside/Stars/The Sound/Needle and Haystack Life/The Original/Restless/Dare You to Move/Mess of Me/Your Love is a Song/Back to the Beginning*/Meant to Live/Dark Horses
Encore: Hello Hurricane/Where I Belong
*Unconfirmed title for new song debuted live

Monday, October 29, 2012

'Holidays Rule' album feat. Paul McCartney, Shins, fun., Civil Wars, out now

Holidays Rule, a varied new seasonal music CD, is out now through Hear Music/Concord Music Group.

The set boasts 17 fresh recordings, including fun., Paul McCartney, The Shins, The Civil Wars, Rufus Wainwright (with Sharon Van Etten), Fruit Bats, Punch Brothers, Irma Thomas (with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band), Calexico, Andrew Bird, Holly Golightly, Fiery Furnaces alumna Eleanor Friedberger, The Head and the Heart and others.

Producers Sara Matarazzo, Chris Funk and executive producer Randall Poster of bi-coastal music-supervision company Search Party – along with executive producer Nancy Jeffries of MPL – strove to give the project the feel of a cohesive album, rather than a holiday hodgepodge.

"We've had great success working with Nancy and the MPL team on a number of projects," explained Poster. " We thought it would be a lot of fun to record some holiday songs together!"

“I love holiday music,” Matarazzo volunteers. “But every year I find myself going back to the standards. I wondered, where’s the holiday record for this generation? This was a chance to create something that gave today’s artists a chance to put their mark on the tradition.”

Matarazzo particularly credits Funk, avid multi-instrumentalist, house producer at Search Party and guitarist for The Decemberists, for the cohesion and community vibe of the project.

Funk oversaw several of the Holidays Rule sessions, notably the very first: “We brought in Y La Bamba to do ‘Señor Santa,’ which was one of the more challenging songs, and we were really excited by the result,” Funk recalls, adding that the band’s dreamy, accordion-accented spin on the whimsical tune (a yuletide variation on “Mr. Sandman”) helped set the tone for the entire set.

Some of the numerous highlights include fun. whipping up a distinctly postmodern take on the rollicking “Sleigh Ride,” adding a frosty techno swirl to the winter perennial.

Paul McCartney continues in the velvety mode of his recent pop standard outing, effortlessly conjuring the warmth of the fireside with “The Christmas Song.” “Having him on this record is unbelievable,” enthused Matarazzo. “As far as I’m concerned, I could walk on the moon and it wouldn’t surpass this.” Adds Funk, “Paul nailed it, of course. And the track is so masterfully recorded that you feel like you’re in the room with him.”

The Shins, meanwhile, take McCartney’s own “Wonderful Christmastime” in a cheekily retro direction, turning the track into a musical homage to the Beach Boys. Wainwright and Van Etten deliver a fittingly seductive “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

Funk journeyed to New Orleans to co-produce the Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s gorgeous collaboration with Irma Thomas. Grammy-winning duo The Civil Wars, work their intimate magic on “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” with only acoustic guitar and their spellbinding vocal blend. Calexico’s “Green Grows the Holly” works similarly spooky-rural terrain (with their trademark border-town brass for expressive contrast).

Punch Brothers’ mandolin-spiced rendition of the hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is the most overtly religious track but offers, as Funk notes, “some unexpected twists and turns.” On the disc’s final track, Andrew Bird harkens back to his Bowl of Fire days with the violin charge of “Auld Lang Syne.”

“Either you love the holiday season or you don’t,” Matarazzo reflects. “But if you do, you’re going to sing passionately about it. That was the one constant in all these different recordings – that warmth, intimacy and conviviality – those qualities that bring us all a little closer.”

Track Listing

1. fun. – Sleigh Ride (3:38)
2. The Shins – Wonderful Christmas Time (2:25)
3. Rufus Wainwright with Sharon Van Etten - Baby It's Cold Outside (4:15)
4. Paul McCartney – The Christmas Song Ages (3:55)
5. Black Prairie feat. Sallie Ford – Man With the Bag (3:34)
6. Civil Wars - I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day (2:35)
7. Calexico - Green Grows the Holly (4:07)
8. AgesandAges – We Need A Little Christmas (3:16)
9. Holly Golightly - That's What I Want for Christmas (2:28)
10. Irma Thomas with Preservation Hall Jazz Band– May Everyday Be Christmas (2:32)
11. Heartless Bastards - Blue Christmas (2:10)
12. Eleanor Friedberger - Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me (5:29)
13. Fruit Bats - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (3:02)
14. Y La Bamba – Senor Santa (3:10)
15. The Punch Bros. - O Come O Come, Emmanuel (4:06)
16. The Head & The Heart - What Are You Doing New Year's Eve (4:30)
17. Andrew Bird - Auld Lang Syne (4:31)

The return of Camper Van Beethoven

Seminal alt-rock band Camper Van Beethoven release a new album, La Costa Perdida, on Jan. 22, via 429 Records.

David Lowery (guitars and vocals), Victor Krummenacher (bass, baritone guitar), Greg Lisher (guitars), Chris Pedersen (drums), Jonathan Segel (violin, guitar, mandolin, organ, backing vocals) and Michael Urbano (drums and percussion) reunited for their eighth studio album and first since 2004. All tracks were produced by the band and recorded in the Oakland home studio of Segel. 

La Costa Perdida sets the tone for Camper’s exploration of the band’s literal and figurative experiences as musical sons of the Lost Coast of California—a mostly undeveloped section of California’s North Coast in Humboldt and Mendocino counties. The theme connects all the tracks on the album. The songs mark the first time the band recorded as a unit, playing together for two weeks. 

Says Victor Krummenacher: “The coolest part was that everything flowed from the fact that these distinctive musicians and personalities sat in the living room. Our music now sounds like four people are writing it. The songs have great energy, but we’re more relaxed and stately and a lot more confident. The songwriting here has elements of vintage Camper along with grown-up Camper.”

Track Listing:

1) Come Down The Coast
2) Too High For The Love-in
3) You Got To Roll
4) Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out
5) Peaches In The Summertime
6) Northern California Girls
7) Summer Days
8) La Costa Perdida
9) Aged In Wood
10) A Love For All Time 

Rod Stewart holiday show on PBS

photo by Penny Lancaster-Stewart
Rod Stewart hosts his first holiday special, Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas, Baby, on Great Performances beginning this December on PBS (Check local listings). In New York, the program airs Nov. 26 at 8 p.m.

"I've always wanted to do a Christmas special," Rod Stewart remarked. "And this was truly worth the wait because what we were able to accomplish is just beyond my wildest dreams."

Stewart's concert special was taped in September at the lush Villa de Leon, a private residence overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Pacific Palisades, CA, near the famous Getty Villa, for which it is sometimes mistaken. It captures Stewart as he performs a collection of some of the most beloved holiday standards and traditional songs from his new album Merry Christmas, Baby.

Throughout the special, Stewart is joined by Michael Bublé on "Winter Wonderland," Mary J. Blige on "We Three Kings" and Cee-Lo Green on the title tune "Merry Christmas, Baby" featuring New Orleans' favorite son, Trombone Shorty.

"What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" is a 'virtual' duet with Ella Fitzgerald featuring Chris Botti. Among the other holiday favorites are "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," "Blue Christmas," "When You Wish Upon A Star," "Silent Night," and "Auld Lang Syne."

Stewart's PBS concert special and album also feature a new original track, "Red-Suited Super Man" composed by Rod Stewart, David Foster and Amy Foster.

David Foster, chairman, Verve Music Group, serves as producer and arranger of the Merry Christmas, Baby CD. The TV program is directed by Jim Gable and executive produced by Arnold Steifel.

Visit Great Performances online at for additional information.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Peter Gabriel’s 'So' deluxe reissue

This just came out and I can't wait to hear it. Gabriel's just-completed tour featuring the full album was one of the best shows I've seen this year and reminded me of what an '80s classic it is. Read on for more details...

Peter Gabriel’s 1986 album, So, has been digitally remastered for a special belated 25th Anniversary Edition via Real World Records/EMI in multiple physical and digital configurations. 
The album topped charts around the world and reached No. 2 in the USSo became the best-selling release of Gabriel’s solo career, landing an international array of multi-platinum certifications, including quintuple-platinum in the US with sales of more than five million copies.
Launched with the huge hit single “Sledgehammer” and its groundbreaking music video (which remains MTV’s most played video of all time), So also includes “In Your Eyes,” famously featured in Cameron Crowe’s film ‘Say Anything,’ the haunting duet “Don’t Give Up,” performed with Kate Bush, and “Big Time,” Gabriel’s bombastic, tongue-in-cheek commentary on ‘80s extravagance.  Co-produced by Gabriel and Daniel Lanois, the album also includes contributions from Laurie Anderson, Stewart Copeland, Jim Kerr, Bill Laswell, and Nile Rodgers.
So’s 25th Anniversary Edition is available on CD and digitally, as well as in an expanded 3CD and digital Special Edition, which adds a previously unreleased 1987 Athens concert recording from Gabriel’s ‘So’ tour, and as a 4CD/2DVD/LP/12” Deluxe, Limited Edition box set. 
The box set includes the remastered album on CD and on 180-gram vinyl which has been mastered at half speed to maximize the audio quality and re-sequenced so the tracklist, unlike that of the original LP, is as Peter Gabriel had originally envisioned. The set also features a bounty of previously unreleased audio and video content, including the two Athens concert CDs and a ‘So DNA’ CD of work-in-progress drafts of So’s songs, mapping the album’s evolution from concept to completion. 
One of the box set’s two DVDs features the fully restored Athens concert, which was filmed and recorded by director Michael Chapman and executive produced by Martin Scorsese.  Gabriel’s first concert to be filmed, the footage has been assembled for the first time from more than 150 reels of original 35mm negatives and its audio has been mixed in 5.1 surround. The box set’s second DVD features a new ‘So: Classic Album’ documentary.  The latest addition to the acclaimed and award-winning ‘Classic Album’ series tells the story behind the making of the album and its music videos, with contributions from many of those involved, including interviews with Gabriel and Lanois, among others. 
The box set also includes a 12-inch double A-side vinyl single with two previously unreleased tracks from the So sessions, “Courage” and “Sangrada,” plus an alternate version of “Don’t Give Up” (Piano and Bvox Mix). A 60-page case-bound book with an introduction and ‘So DNA’ summary written by Peter Gabriel, new liner notes, and an extensive collection of rare and never before seen photographs completes the set.

Peter Gabriel: So (25th Anniversary Edition) [CD, digital]
Original album, remastered:
1. Red Rain
2. Sledgehammer
3. Don’t Give Up (with Kate Bush)
4. That Voice Again
5. Mercy Street
6. Big Time
7. We Do What We’re Told (Miligram’s 37)
8. This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds)
9. In Your Eyes
Peter Gabriel: So (25th Anniversary Special Edition) [3CD, digital]
CD 1 - Original album, remastered (tracklist above)
CDs 2 & 3 – ‘Live In Athens 1987’:
This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds)
San Jacinto
Shock The Monkey
Family Snapshot
Games Without Frontiers
No Self Control
Mercy Street
The Family And The Fishing Net
Don’t Give Up
Solsbury Hill
Lay Your Hands On Me
Here Comes The Flood
In Your Eyes
Peter Gabriel: So (25th Anniversary Deluxe, Limited Edition) [4CD/2DVD/LP/12” box set]
CD 1 - Original album, remastered (tracklist above)
CDs 2 & 3 – ‘Live In Athens 1987’ (tracklist above)
CD 4 – ‘So DNA’ (work-in-progress song drafts; track sequence is the same as the So CD tracklist)
DVD 1 – ‘Live In Athens 1987’ concert film + 5.1 surround audio mix (tracklist above)
DVD 2 – ‘So: Classic Album’ documentary
LP – Original album, remastered and re-sequenced [180-gram vinyl]
12-inch AA Vinyl Single:
Don’t Give Up (alternative version - Piano and Bvox Mix)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thrice concert album due next week

Orange County, Calif. alt-rock band Thrice announced a hiatus last fall after 13 years together and eight full-length releases.  

Select farewell tour stops were recorded for Anthology, out on Oct. 30. The live recording features 24 songs and will be available digitally, on two CDs, and as a limited edition box set containing four LPs.

The LP box set is limited to 3000 stamped and numbered pieces and will include a 24-page booklet along with 2 black LP’s and 2 white LP’s all on 180 gram vinyl. The track listing and pre-order details will be announced in the coming weeks. 

"This is a live record that is truly live,” commented drummer Riley Breckenridge.  “There are no overdubs, no edits and no pitch corrections. We wanted this to be an honest and accurate representation of a show from our Farewell Tour and a memento for our fans, and that's exactly what it is."

Thrice released their first proper full-length, Identity Crisis, in 2001 and went on to release six highly praised albums – The Illusion Of Safety (2002), The Artist In The Ambulance (2003) and Vheissu (2005), the four-piece concept album The Alchemy Index: Fire and Water (2007) and Earth and Air (2008), and the band-centric masterpiece, Beggars (2009).
The most recent full length, Major/Minor, emerged last year.

Kasey Chambers album out now

Aussie duo Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's second album of duets, Wreck and Ruin, is in store now. 

“I hope people will get a sense of who we are as a couple,” says Chambers, a multi-platinum artist Down Under. “There's a certain sound that we create when it's only the two of us. We could not create that on any other solo album, or with any other artist...It's something that we've realized is really quite special. There are a lot of songs on this album that I don't think we could sing if we weren't married.”

Chambers and Nicholson met a decade ago when she sang on one of his records. They married at the end of 2005 and released their first duets album, Rattlin’ Bones, in 2008. It proved so popular in their home country that they toured behind the project for three years and picked up numerous awards for the album.

For Wreck and Ruin, the pair (who are parents to three young children) wrote the bulk of the new material in a remote writing cabin about an hour and a half from their home. The project was recorded in Foggy Mountain Studios, owned by Kasey’s brother Nash Chambers - located in a valley in the Australian bush, far from mobile phone access.

“We put together a whole new band for this album and got together with them a few days before we started recording,” Nicholson says. “We hung out around the studio just jamming songs and getting comfortable with each other, but we didn't prep the album songs too much. It was more about creating a sense of ease between everybody before we got to work.”

Chambers adds, “When we were recording it and Shane was talking to the band, he said, ‘It’s very traditional but not conventional.’ And I thought, ‘Yeah, that hits the nail on the head for me’…This album is a lot more traditional than any other album that Shane and I have made, together or apart. And it’s got a lot more of the old-timey type of sounds on it. But there’s something that’s not conventional – obviously it doesn’t sound like an album from back then, but it draws from it.”

Lindsey Buckingham news

Lindsey Buckingham: One Man Show - the first ever solo acoustic live album from the longtime Fleetwood Mac singer/songwriter and guitarist - arrives on Nov. 13.  

It will be available digitally on iTunes as Buckingham concludes his year long trek of sold out solo acoustic shows (remaining tour dates below). The intimate and stripped down setting on the road truly displayed the immense talents of this legendary performer. The album, recorded live in Des Moines, Iowa on Sept. 1, is a raw and unmixed performance that includes many of his hits. 
Buckingham says, “As an artist, you need to seek out what is essential and discard what is inessential, to always keep an eye on what lives at the center.  That was the impetus for this performance.  My center has always been voice and guitar, and as I've evolved, I've looked to broaden the range and vocabulary of that center.  So when I decided to tour in 2012, it suddenly felt as though I'd been working towards something, that I'd arrived at a new place.  I sensed it was time to do something I'd never done: A one man show. This performance is from a single night in Des Moines, Iowa, taken right off the console mix, with a couple of room mikes added in.  It's live and raw, with no post-production.  I love it!  It captures not only the spirit of the performance, but also the spirit of where I now live as an artist.”
Album Track Listing
1. Cast Away Dreams
2. Bleed To Love Her
3. Not Too Late
4. Stephanie
5. Come
6. Shut Us Down
7. Go Insane
8. Never Going Back Again
9. Big Love
10. So Afraid
11. Go Your Own Way
12. Trouble
13. Seeds We Sow
Tour Dates

Date    City                                          Venue
11/3     Oklahoma City, OK                  Academy of Contemporary Music @ University of
      Central OK Performance Lab
11/4     Overland Park, KS                   Yardley Hall, Carlsen Center @ Johnson County
      Community College
11/5     Little Rock, AR                         Juanita’s
11/7     Chattanooga, TN                     Track 29
11/8     Nashville, TN                           War Memorial Auditorium
11/9     St. Louis, MO                           Pageant
11/11   Asheville, NC                           The Orange Peel
11/12   Knoxville, TN                           Bijou Theatre
11/13   Louisville, KY                           Headliners
11/14   Lexington, KY                          Opera House
11/16   Saugatuck, MI                         Saugatuck Center for the Arts
11/17   Milwaukee, WI                         South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center
11/18   Madison, WI                            Barrymore Theatre
11/19   Eau Claire, WI                         State Theatre
11/20   Minneapolis, MN                      Dakota

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bjork news

One Little Indian is set to release bastards, an album of remixed tracks from Björk’s Biophilia, on Nov. 19. Some of the remixes, selected by Björk, were released in an eight-part series earlier this year and remastered for this album.

“I felt it important to gather together the essence of the remixes,” said Björk, “so I picked a quarter of them for one CD for people who are perhaps not too sassy downloaders or don’t have the time or energy to partake in the hunter-gathering rituals of the Internet. I was incredibly impressed by how the core of the mixes took Biophilia somewhere else while still keeping its character, and like they so often do when at their best: the remixes gave the songs more beats; legs to dance on! I spent some time editing together not necessarily the best ones but the ones that made the strongest whole.”

Both the original Biophilia and bastards will be available on 12” vinyl as well as CD and digital download. See below for the complete bastards tracklisting.
For the original Biophilia album, Björk chose and collaborated with app developers, scientists, writers, inventors, musicians, and instrument makers to create a multimedia exploration of the universe and its physical forces—particularly those where music, nature, and technology meet. Each of the 10 songs on Biophilia is available as an app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The Biophilia app suite was named one of 2011’s Best Apps by Apple.

The Biophilia project also includes interactive educational programming designed to teach students about the relationships between music, science and technology. Each of the 10 songs on the album is available as an app, with each individual app teaching a different feature of musicology. As part of her residency in Iceland, Björk collaborated with the University of Iceland and the City of Reykjavík to create interactive workshops that reflect the themes and natural phenomena that inspired her Biophilia album. The project is set to continue in Reykjavík over the next three years, and it recently received the 2012 EUPRIO Award for best science media project.

Björk brought this educational programming to New York middle school students during her residency at the New York Hall of Science in February, and she also teamed up with the New York Public Library and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan to develop a series of programs running from July through December 2012. The workshops have also been held in Manchester, Oslo, São Paulo and Buenos Aires. Björk plans to take the workshops around the world in the next few years. 

bastards Track Listing
1. Crystalline (Omar Souleyman Remix)
2. Virus (Hudson Mohawke “Peaches and Guacamol” Rework)
3. Sacrifice (Death Grips Remix)
4. Sacrifice ((Matthew Herbert’s Pins And Needles Mix) edit) 
5. Mutual Core (These New Puritans Remix featuring Soloman Is. Song)
6. Hollow (16-bit Remix)
7. Mutual Core (Matthew Herbert’s “Teutonic Plates” Mix)
8. Thunderbolt (Death Grips Remix)
9. Dark Matter (Alva Noto Remodel)
10. Thunderbolt (Omar Souleyman Remix)
11. Solstice (Current Value Remix)
12. Moon (The Slips Remix)
13. Crystalline (Matthew Herbert Remix)

Great Big Sea career compilation, U.S. tour dates

To mark 20 years as a band, Great Big Sea are releasing XX, their first greatest hits (a 2CD set) and a box set which includes bonus audio and a DVD of the band’s early career edited by member Sean McCann. XX will be released digitally on Oct. 30, with the two CD package and box set arriving Nov. 27.

The Canadian group's 20th Anniversary tour kicks off in March in Anaheim, CA (dates are below)On XX, Great Big Sea recorded six new songs, including "Let My Love Open The Door," their  take on the Pete Townsend hit, re-imagined through the lens of some questionable characters from Newfoundland.

The XX box set that accompanies this release is packed with bonus material. Beyond the two-disc greatest hits collection, it includes another disc that contains some of the band’s lesser-known excursions and experiments. Another audio disc features one of the band’s first interviews, recorded in the fall of 1993 for CBC St. John’s, which includes rare and unheard songs from the band’s earliest days. The box contains a special book with lyrics, stickers, and a calendar covering a year in the band’s life. For the DVD, there's a movie containing early interviews and backstage footage.

Tour dates

MAR 05  -  Grove of Anaheim - Anaheim, CA
MAR 06  - The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
MAR 07  - Alladin Theater - Portland, OR
MAR 08 - The MooreTheater - Seattle, WA
MAR 19 - The Fitzgerald Theater - Minneapolis, MN
MAR 20 - House of Blues - Chicago, IL
MAR 21 -  The Waiting Room - Omaha, NE
MAR 22 - The Boulder Theater - Boulder, CO
MAR 23 - The Boulder Theater - Boulder, CO
APR 14 - The Center for the Arts - Buffalo, NY
APR 16 - Michigan Theater - Ann Arbour, MI
APR 17 - The Warner Theatre - Washington, DC
APR 18 - Keswick Theatre - Philadeplhia, PA
APR 19 - Town Hall - New York, NY
APR 20 - The Wilbur Theatre - Boston, MA
APR 21 - The Wilbur Theatre - Boston, MA
APR 23 - Flynn Center - Burlington, VT
APR 24 - State Theatre - Portland, ME

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lady Antebellum's live DVD

I'm really looking forward to seeing this - hopefully a precursor to my catching them at Stagecoach '13!

"Lady Antebellum: Own The Night World Tour" is scheduled for release Dec. 4 on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Video through Eagle Rock Entertainment. Filmed this past June in Little Rock, Arkansas, the concert features documentary footage of the tour and seven bonus tracks. 

The 90-minute performance includes #1 hits “I Run To You,” “We Owned The Night,” “American Honey,” “Just A Kiss,” “Our Kind of Love,” and “Need You Now.”  Among the performances are excerpts depicting their lives as songwriters, musicians and friends.
Lady Antebellum is currently nominated for Vocal Group of the Year and Album of the Year for "Own the Night" at the upcoming CMA Awards.

Blur news

Blur's recent performance at Hyde Park to mark the closing of the Olympic Games is being made available in a 4CD+DVD deluxe edition as Parklive, beginning Dec. 4 from Virgin Records (Dec. 3 internationally from Parlophone).

The deluxe edition includes the entire show, with extras over two CDs with a DVD of the 12-camera shoot directed by Mathew Amos. Also included is an exclusive CD, ‘Blur - Live At The 100 Club,' recorded at the legendary London venue in August, and an additional CD of live tracks recorded during the summer this year, including “Under The Westway” and “The Puritan” performed live on Twitter from a London rooftop, and recordings from the band’s Wolverhampton warm-up show and BBC Radio Maida Vale sessions.

All discs are housed in a 60-page hardback book containing exclusive photographs from both Hyde Park and the 100 Club. The deluxe edition is available from and from music retailers.

Blur has partnered with Abbey Road Live Here Now to deliver the best high-quality concert audio to fans. The Hyde Park show, part of the closing ceremony celebrations for the 2012 London Olympics, will also be available in
Parklive DVD, 2CD, and digital album configurations starting Dec. 4.

dB's founder Chris Stamey returns with new CD

“This record is the closest I’ve ever gotten to the sound I hear in my head in the middle of the night,” Chris Stamey says of his new Yep Roc Records release, Lovesick Blues, set for a Feb. 5 release. “It’s always the quiet ones that sound the loudest in the dark.”
As a solo artist, producer, arranger, studio entrepreneur and founder of seminal indie combo the dB’s, the North Carolina-bred singer/songwriter/guitarist has built an influential catalog that’s earned him the devotion of a far-ranging fan base and won him enduring status as a godfather to the Southern alternative pop community. 
Lovesick Blues is Stamey’s first full-length release since A Question of Temperature, his 2005 collaboration with Yo La Tengo. The new album follows on the heels of Falling Off the Sky, the much-heralded reunion album of the dB’s.
“I wanted to make a record that could make you feel less alone, like someone else has been there before you,” Stamey explains. “I was thinking about records like The Ballad of Todd Rundgren and Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter and Robert Wyatt’s At Last I Am Free and Richard Thompson’s Small Town Romance. Those are all records that were a source of comfort to me at various points in my life. They were records that seemed to speak one-on-one, records that weren’t trying to sell you anything. It’s that old saw about the blues being sad yet making you feel better. None of the songs on Lovesick Blues are traditional three-chord blues, but some of them speak that same emotional language.”
Like the recent dB’s album, Lovesick Blues was birthed at Modern Recording, the small yet technologically advanced Chapel Hill studio that Stamey has operated for the past two decades, where he’s produced recordings by the likes of Whiskeytown, Alejandro Escovedo, Flat Duo Jets, Le Tigre and Tift Merritt.
The Lovesick Blues sessions found him handing the production reins to fellow North Carolina musician/producer Jeff Crawford, who’s also a solo artist and a member of the band the Old Ceremony. The album also draws upon the talents of the Fellow Travellers, a core group of musically literate young players from the Chapel Hill area who participated in the Big Star concerts, as well as members of the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra.
“I wrote most of the songs during one two-week period,” Stamey explains, adding, “I’d wake up early and go into a room where the light was good and write a song every day. Then I played them for Jeff, and we picked the ones that seemed best for the way we wanted to record. On most of the songs, we first did live takes, with me playing guitar and singing at the same time. Then we’d orchestrate them, adding the string and wind and vocal colors that we thought were needed to underline the meaning of the songs. In the process, I added a couple of older songs, ‘London’ and ‘Occasional Shivers,’ which seemed to make sense for this album.”
Some unexpected but helpful input arrived in the form of XTC’s Andy Partridge, who entered the picture after Stamey invited him to make a vocal cameo on “You 'n' Me 'n' XTC.” Partridge declined the offer, but ended up getting involved in the project anyway, offering some key production, arranging and mixing suggestions via transatlantic email. 
“He didn’t like the repetitive chords of ‘You 'n' Me 'n' XTC,’” Stamey admits. “It was only after I played him the other songs that he started getting really into it. He became a long-distance safety net for us; Jeff and I would send him mp3s of songs in progress and he’d write back with very detailed, specific suggestions. It was like having an exceptionally intuitive Ouija board, and it really enlivened the process.”
Growing up in Winston-Salem, Stamey made his earliest ventures into recording with a series of homemade avant-garde experiments with future Let’s Active leader Mitch Easter during grade school, then studied formal composition at UNC-Chapel Hill before starting the obscure but ultimately influential Sneakers. Stamey launched his own pioneering indie label, Car Records, in 1976, and the following year moved to New York, where he played bass with Alex Chilton before forming the dB’s. 
The dB’s recorded a pair of albums, 1981’s Stands for Decibels and 1982’s Repercussion, that remain indie-pop landmarks. Stamey then departed for a solo career, turning out a series of smart, musically adventurous gems including It’s A Wonderful Life, Instant Excitement, It’s Alright, Fireworks, Travels in the South and the holiday-themed Christmas Time.
His catalog also includes a pair of duo albums with Peter Holsapple, Mavericks and Here and Now, as well as the experimental instrumental departure The Robust Beauty of Improper Linear Models in Decision Making, a collaboration with guitarist Kirk Ross, and A Question of Temperature, on which he was backed by longtime friends (and early production clients) Yo La Tengo.
Having recently wrapped up a round of shows with the reunited dB’s, and energized by the understated intensity of his new solo effort, Stamey is planning on bringing Lovesick Blues to the live stage with an acoustic chamber-pop format, touring on his own and calling on local string players and harmony singers to play the notated arrangements.
By embodying the qualities that have always been at the heart of his work, while introducing some vital new elements to the mix, Lovesick Blues demonstrates that, after a lifetime of music-making, Chris Stamey’s flame still burns as brightly as ever.
“I’ve been very lucky to have been around a lot of great, creative musicians in my life,” he states, adding, “I still learn things all the time from them, and I know that I still have a long way to go.  But I think this is the closest I’ve gotten on record to expressing what is unique about what I do, the part that’s been there all along.”