Thursday, August 30, 2012

News on Rick Springfield

One of my most anticipated CDs of the fall. His last was among my top 10 of the year...

Rick Springfield’s new Universal Music Enterprises album Songs for the End of the World arrives at retailers in physical and digital formats on Oct. 9. It is his first album since 2008’s Venus in Overdrive, which entered the Billboard sales chart at No. 28, his highest position in two decades.

Collaborating on songs like the three-chord rocker “I Hate Myself,” the anthemic “Our Ship’s Sinking,” “Love Screws Me Up” and “Depravity” with his bass player Matt Bissonette, Springfield sets his sights on the possibilities of escaping the current, apocalyptic world situation in our closest relationships.

In doing so, he employs the kind of self-effacement and ability to poke fun at himself as he demonstrated when putting his dog Lethal Ron on the cover of Working Class Dog or spoofing his image by playing a sleazy, drug-and-sex-crazed version of himself on Showtime’s dark comedy Californication. John Waite and Mr. Mister’s Richard Page appear as backup vocalists, along with Rick’s original guitarist, Tim Pierce, who hasn’t played on record with him since 1999’s Karma.

“There’s real feeling in it, but you can’t write about that stuff too seriously,” he says of his sometimes tongue-in-cheek approach to serious subjects. “In the end, it’s about the world in flames, but from a personalized viewpoint. I take what’s happening to me and place it in a universal context. It’s what I’ve always tried to do with my songwriting.”

The album will also include special bonus, digital, cloud-based material that can be accessed by scanning a picture inside the album’s booklet via a special app developed by Aurasma, including videos, photos and additional bonus tracks. Befitting the performer’s special relationship with his audience, Springfield enlisted fans to submit videos of themselves singing along to a YouTube recording of “I Hate Myself.”

Springfield then used these fan’s actual voices on the album as well as an extended bonus version of “I Hate Myself” and has included their names in the credits. A 30-minute audio collection of the individual entries will be part of the extra features offered for all physical versions of the album. There also will be four separate album covers containing unique bonus content available through various individual retailers.

Still playing nearly 100 live shows a year, Springfield’s bond with his audience is the subject of the recent documentary An Affair of the Heart, which came out earlier this year, winning special jury awards at both the Nashville and Florida Film Festivals. He also recently wrote and recorded a new song with Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters / Nirvana) as well as being a featured guest in Grohl’s new documentary about “Sound City,” the fabled San Fernando Valley recording studio.

His 2010 autobiography, Late, Late at Night…: A Memoir, for Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone imprint, entered The New York Times best-seller list at No. 13, hitting the Los Angeles Times and Publishers Weekly lists as well, with Rolling Stone recently naming it one of the Top 25 rock autobiographies of all time. In the book, Springfield revealed the life-long depression he’s battled throughout his career, a theme he returns to in such songs as “I Hate Myself” and “Love Screws Me Up.” “I’m not the shiny, happy guy people think I am from my role in General Hospital,” insists Springfield. “I tend to put that angst into my music.”

With Songs for the End of the World, Rick Springfield applies his sardonic view to life as we live it today, offering a ray of hope in the midst of all the turmoil.

“The darker side of my nature creeps in and out, but so does a degree of optimism,” he says. “In the end, I believe that solace and healing can be found in the presence of someone who understands, loves and accepts you for who you are, even while these looming threats remain."

One Direction news

Earlier this year, One Direction's debut album Up All Night debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and is currently the top selling debut of 2012. 

Now the young UK act is scheduled to put out its second album Take Me Home on Nov. 13.

The lads once again teamed with Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha, Ed Sheeran and McFly’s Tom Fletcher. Other collaborators include Dr. Luke, Shellback and Toby Gad. 

Lead single “Live While We're Young” will premiere on radio stations worldwide on Sept. 24 and can be heard at 9 a.m. PST in the US. Then the single will be released digitally Oct. 1 in the U.S. round the world the pre-order for the single became the fastest selling pre-order single in history, hitting No. 1 in over 50 countries within hours of it going on sale.

In Spring 2013, One Direction will begin their sold out world tour in the UK, which includes nine shows at London’s O2 Arena. The US leg kicks off in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on June 13, 2013.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Elbow B-sides album due

For long term Elbow watchers, the announcement that Dead In The Boot is finally due for digital release on Sept. 4 will be very good news. First talked about around the time of the release of the band's debut album Asleep in the Back, Dead In The Boot brings together B-sides and the odd non-album track from the band's thirteen year recording career.

It's the first release following Elbow's highly-visible performance at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics. Elbow also contributed the specially commissioned "First Steps" to the London games.
"The band have always loved B-side land and this is a collection of our favorites. None of our B-sides are album rejects. It's a different space, usually just post finishing an album when all the members of Elbow are chiming and feeling very creative. This gives Dead in the Boot a real late night vibe. My sister came up with the title after we released Asleep in the Back. Some of these songs are the favorites we have ever written. It was important to us that this collection be an album in its own right so for some fans it may seem like there are glaring omissions, but these songs are the ones that hung together perfectly." 
- Guy Garvey, singer of Elbow
The early years are represented by "None One" from the original Newborn EP released by Uglyman Records in 2000 and "Lucky With Disease" from 2001. The band's most recent work is showcased by "Buffalo Ghosts" the B-side to the limited edition 10" vinyl release of "Open Arms" last April.

In addition there are 10 further tracks that demonstrate the depth of Elbow's songwriting, comprising heart wrenching ballads, loping steel guitar ornamented grooves ("The Long War Shuffle") and blues drenched howls ("McGreggor").

Mostly self-produced, recording B-sides throughout the years allowed the band to hone their studio skills which eventually led Elbow keyboard player Craig Potter to fully produce and mix the bands last two albums. It may be categorized as a B-sides album but Dead In The Boot stands shoulder to shoulder with every other Elbow album released.

 "Dead In The Boot" will be available digitally on Sept. 4, 2012. Look for vinyl & CD editions later this fall.  

Track listing:
1. Whisper Grass - (Fallen Angel – V2 single release)
2. Lucky With Disease - (Newborn – V2 single release)
3. Lay Down Your Cross - (Not A Job – V2 CD Single)
4. The Long War Shuffle - (Leaders Of The Free World – V2 CD Single)
5. Every Bit The Little Girl - (One Day Like This – Fiction 7" single)
6. Love Blown Down - (Fugitive Motel – V2 CD Single)
7. None One - (Newborn – Uglyman CD EP)
8. Lullaby - (One Day Like This – Fiction CD Single)
9. McGreggor - (Forget Myself – V2 7" single)
10. Buffalo Ghosts - (Open Arms – Fiction 10" Single)
11. Waving From Windows - (Grace Under Pressure – V2 CD Single)
12. Snowball - (From Help – A Day In The Life – Warchild album release)
13. Gentle As - (Leaders Of The Free World – V2 7" single)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Alanis Morissette tour begins, new album out Tuesday

Alanis Morissette just started the first North American tour in support of her new studio album, Havoc and Bright Lights, out tomorrow via Collective Sounds/Sony RED).

Of the album - produced by Joe Chiccarelli and Guy Sigsworth - and tour, she said: 

"The songs from the last 17 years are blending together like great friends. Thankfully, there is a timelessness in their content and passion, for me!  The show covers the gamut of every chord choice and every emotion I have ever felt.  I am spent afterwards, happily so.  I am thrilled to be able to play and tour with my family, blending my personal and artistic fulfillment into one sweaty, feisty, expressed, communal traveling circus!" says Morissette. "I look forward to connecting with everyone face to face, as well as through the many social networks of this exciting new climate."

Tour Dates

DATE            CITY                           VENUE
8/25/12         Montclair, NJ             Wellmont Theatre
8/26/12         Huntington, NJ          The Paramount
8/29/12         Atlantic City, NJ         House of Blues
9/24/12         San Diego, CA          Humphrey's
9/26/12         Pomona, CA             Fox Theater
9/29/12         Las Vegas, NV         Desert Breeze Park 
10/1/12         Big Sur, CA              Henry Miller Library
10/4/12         Vancouver, BC         Center for Performing Arts
10/5/12         Seattle, WA              Moore Theater
10/7/12         Portland, OR            Crystal Ballroom
10/8/12         Boise, ID                  Knitting Factory
10/10/12       Denver, CO              Paramount
10/12/12       Minneapolis, MN      State Theater
10/13/12       Chicago, IL              Riviera Theater
10/15/12       Toronto, ON             Sound Academy
10/16/12       Montreal, QC           Metropolis
10/17/12       Boston, MA              House of Blues
10/19/12       Waterbury, CT         Palace Theater
10/22/12       New York, NY          Terminal 5
10/23/12       Silver Spring, MD     The Fillmore
10/25/12       Atlanta, GA              The Tabernacle
10/26/12       Nashville, TN            Ryman Auditorium
10/28/12       Houston, TX             Bayou Music Center 
10/30/12       Austin, TX                Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
11/1/12         Phoenix, AZ             Comerica

Pinback album, tour news

Pinback has confirmed selected tour dates in support of their upcoming album Information Retrieved, due Oct. 16.

The first album in five years from vocalist/guitarist Rob Crow and bassist/vocalist Zach Smith, Information Retrieved marks their full-length label debut for Temporary Residence Ltd. 
Pinback formed in San Diego in 1998. Crow and Smith have continued to perform with a multitude of other projects in between Pinback releases, including the return of Smith’s long-standing critically acclaimed group Three Mile Pilot and Crow’s third solo album, He Thinks He’s People.

Track listing
1.Proceed To Memory
5.His Phase
7.True North
8.A Request
9.Denslow, You Idiot!

Tour dates
9/12 Saint Rocke...Hermosa Beach, CA
9/13  Ventura Theatre...Ventura, CA
9/14 SLO Brew...San Luis Obispo, CA
9/15 Sunset Temple...San Diego, CA
11/9 Underground Arts...Philadelphia, PA
11/10 Royale Nightclub...Boston, MA
11/11 Black Cat...Washington, DC
11/12 Irving Plaza...New York, NY
11/14 Motorco...Durham, NC
11/15 Terminal West...Atlanta, GA
11/16 Exit/In...Nashville, TN
11/17 Metro...Chicago, IL
11/18 High Noon Saloon...Madison, WI
11/20 Blind Pig...Ann Arbor, MI
11/21 Lee’s Palace...Toronto, ON

Friday, August 24, 2012

Yellowcard album makes high debut+U.S. tour dates

Yellowcard just debuted at #10 on the Billboard 200 album chart with their new album Southern Air (Hopeless Records).

Produced by longtime associate Neal Avron, it features guest appearances by Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low) and Cassadee Pope (Hey Monday), among others. Air is the fifth Yellowcard album to reach the top 20 (and second in the top 10). 

Says Ryan Key (vocalist/guitarist), “Yellowcard was very literally a garage band in 2000 when we signed our first recording contract. This moment is one that we are not taking lightly and one we will never forget. You all, our fans, have carried us to heights we never thought imaginable.”

In the US alone this week, Southern Air has logged the #10 Top Current Album, #2 Current Rock Album, #2 Current Alternative Album, #2 Vinyl Album, and #2 Indie Label Current Album. Southern Air also has the distinction of being one of the best reviewed Yellowcard albums to date. 

Yellowcard is Key (vocals/guitar), Sean Mackin (violin), Longineu Parsons (drums), Ryan Mendez (guitar) and Josh Portman (bass).

Tour Dates:

Nov 2 Las Vegas, NV Hard Rock Hotel & Casino @ Vinyl
Nov 3 Los Angeles, CA House of Blues - LA
Nov 5 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theatre
Nov 6 Dallas, TX House of Blues
Nov 7 Austin, TX Emo’s East
Nov 9 Tampa, FL Jannus Live!
Nov 10 Orlando, FL House of Blues, Orlando
Nov 12 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
Nov 13 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore Charlotte
Nov 15 Baltimore, MD Ram’s Head Live
Nov 16 Philadelphia, PA The Electric Factory
Nov 17 New York, NY Best Buy Theatre 
Nov 18 Boston, MA House of Blues
Nov 20 Cleveland, OH House of Blues
Nov 21 Detroit, MI St. Andrews Hall
Nov 23 Chicago, IL House of Blues
Nov 24 Chicago, IL House of Blues
Nov 25 Sauget, IL Pop’s
Nov 27 Denver, CO The Summit Music Hall
Nov 28 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex, Rockwell
Nov 30 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Dec 1 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
Dec 2 San Diego, CA House Of Blues

A vinyl re-release for 'John Wesley Harding’s New Deal'

I happened to interview Wes for this album (my second chat with him). I look forward to hearing it in the LP format... 

John Wesley Harding’s New Deal, originally released by Rhino in 1996, will come out for the first time on vinyl via Yep Rock on Sept. 4. 

It was the songwriter’s first album away from Sire after the early '90s trilogy of Here Comes The Groom, The Name Above The Title and Why We Fight. Left to his own devices, on his own dime, determined (for the first time) to make precisely the record he wanted, Harding produced an unexpectedly introspective album that instantly became a fan favorite, and coincided with a sharp turn towards the acoustic in his career, inspired less by Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and The Lovin’ Spoonful, and more by the more baroque folk stylings of Cat Stevens, Duncan Browne and early Bee Gees.

The title, which seemed to refer to the end of his association with Sire, also signaled a change of intent. The Sire records were partly successful because of their almost absurd stylistic variety, but on New Deal, Harding seemed for the first time to find his authentic musical voice on a record that worked precisely because of its cohesion of expression.

All the songs had simple, rich, emotionally direct arrangements. It was the first time a John Wesley Harding production married form and content; each song seemed to have the perfect setting; no instrument was unnecessary. Drums were used on only two songs.

Though Harding didn’t want to bloat the vinyl, or alter the presentation of the original record, with unnecessary associated material, this version comes with a digital download of 15 bonus tracks, including every extant acoustic demo of the songs on the album, numbering ten, all previously unreleased, recorded 6/7/94 for a tape called “The Sayonara Sessions”.

Also included are all five bonus tracks from the Other People’s Failure CD5, including two out-takes (“Let Us Now” and “Death Of The Ghostwriter”), live versions of “Kiss Me, Miss Liberty” and “The Secret Angel,” and the classic, prophetic “When The Beatles Hit America,” in its finest incarnation, recorded live for KSCA FM in LA.

John Wesley Harding’s New Deal is regarded, among his fans, as his finest record, and it will never sound better than on this, its first release on vinyl, on two 33rpm records for the perfect listening experience.

'A Charlie Brown Christmas' reissue coming

Definitely a classic... 

Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas [2012 Remastered & Expanded Edition] will be released by Fantasy on Oct. 9. One of the most popular and beloved holiday albums of all time, the multi-platinum selling original soundtrack recording was a Library of Congress National Recording Registry inductee last May and a Grammy Hall of Fame inductee in 2007.
The 2012 Remastered & Expanded Edition CD will feature the original 1965 recording newly remastered with 24-bit technology from the original analog stereo master tapes. It also contains three holiday bonus tracks that did not appear on the original LP: “Greensleeves,” “Thanksgiving Theme,” and “Great Pumpkin Waltz.” The digi package includes a 20-page booklet featuring memorable Peanuts character images from the beloved A Charlie Brown Christmas television special and new liner notes by Peanuts and Guaraldi historian Derrick Bang,author of Vince Guaraldi at the Piano (McFarland Press). Concurrently, Fantasy will issue a 2012 LP pressing of the classic album on green vinyl.

When Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas album was inducted into the Library of Congress, the Library’s media release noted, “A Charlie Brown Christmas introduced jazz to millions of listeners.”
According to annotator and Guaraldi biographer Bang, “The importance of [that] sentence can not be overstated.” Children all over the world who had resisted jazz as the music of their parents were given an introduction.
Berkeley-based Fantasy Records wisely released a soundtrack LP of the San Franciscan pianist’s work on the show. (Completing the Northern California scenario, Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz built his final studio in Santa Rosa, and it’s there where the Charles M. Schulz Museum was established as a permanent home to Snoopy and the gang. So too the sweet voices heard on “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” are from San Rafael’s St. Paul’s Church Children’s Choir.)
Just as Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life became part of the American Christmas experience, CBS Television achieved the same result with A Charlie Brown Christmas. At the same time, any jazz-resisting viewers found themselves thoroughly absorbed.
For this new edition of the soundtrack for A Charlie Brown Christmas, reissue producer Nick Phillips and remastering impresario Joe Tarantino resurrected the original stereo analog master tapes along with the original stereo mixes.
Longtime fans may have purchased the album before, but the sonic differences between the new edition and the album’s debut CD released in 1988 are vastly different, since analog-to-digital conversion has improved over the past quarter century as a side-by-side listening comparison will reveal.
The album’s centerpiece track, today as it was in 1965, is “Christmas Time Is Here,” particularly the long, soulful instrumental version that clocks in at just over six minutes.

As the humble Guaraldi told critic Ralph J. Gleason in 1958, “I don’t think I’m a great piano player, but I would like to be able to have people like me, to play pretty tunes and reach the audience.” That wish was granted in a way that far exceeded anything he could have imagined. Derrick Bang summarizes it perfectly: “I’d say Guaraldi got his heart’s desire.”

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Who Live In Texas '75 DVD on the way

This should be a great performance with Keith Moon still on drums. Can't wait to see it.

On Oct. 9, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release The Who Live In Texas ’75 on DVD and digital video.
It was filmed in Houston on Nov. 20, 1975 at the start of a U.S. tour for The Who By Numbers. With Dolby Digital Stereo sound, this 117 minute concert—previously only available as a muddled bootleg—has been restored by longtime Who collaborator Jon Astley.
Shot five years after one of the greatest live albums in rock, Live At Leeds, The Who Live In Texas ’75 finds The Who achieving an almost magical mystical chemistry. The extensive Tommy section helps make this a Who fan’s delight.
Track Listing
1) Substitute  
2) I Can’t Explain  
3) Squeeze Box 
4) Baba O’Riley  
5) Boris The Spider  
6) Drowned  
7) However Much I Booze  
8) Dreaming From The Waist  
9) Behind Blue Eyes  
10) Amazing Journey  
11) Sparks  
12) Acid Queen  
13) Fiddle About   
14) Pinball Wizard  
15) I’m Free  
16) Tommy’s Holiday Camp  
17) We’re Not Going To Take It / See Me, Feel Me / Listening To You  
18) Summertime Blues  
19) My Generation  
20) Join Together  
21) Naked Eye  
22) Roadrunner  
23) Won’t Get Fooled Again  
24) Magic Bus  
25) My Generation Blues

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Joe Strummer reissue news

Hellcat Records announces the digital release of Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros, The Hellcat Years. The album came out yesterday, which would have been the late Clash singer/guitarist's 60th birthday.

Besides the digital release, Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, Global A Go-Go and Streetcore, will be re-issued on Sept. 25.

Fans can stream the rare and previously unheard live recording of "Johnny Appleseed" at

A comprehensive collection of  recorded music, hard to find B-sides and never before heard impassioned live performances, the compilation highlights three superb albums; Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, Global A Go-Go and Streetcore, all recorded between 1999 and Strummer’s untimely death in 2002.

Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros, The Hellcat Years also features three rare live tracks documenting the celebratory 2002 reunion of Strummer and Clash band mate Mick Jones at a benefit concert for the Fire Brigades Union in London. Backed by an overjoyed Mescaleros, the two legends roar through exhilarating versions of Clash classics Bank Robber, White Riot and London’s Burning.

Bonus/rare track Listing
Time and The Tide (B-side of Yalla Yalla)
The X-Ray Style (live summer 99) (B-side to Yalla Yalla)
Yalla Yalla (Norro’s King Dub) (7:01) (B-side to Yalla Yalla)
The Harder They Come (live) (B-side to Coma Girl)
Rudi, A Message To You (live) (B-side to Coma Girl)
Blitzkreig Bop (live) (B-side of Coma Girl)
Yalla Yalla (live) (B-side to Coma Girl)
Armagideon Time (B-side to Redemption Song)
Pressure Drop (B-side to Redemption Song)
Junco Partner (from Hellcat Give Em The Boot IV compilation)
Shaktar Donetsk (Acton Concert)
Bhindee Bhagee (Acton Concert)
Rudy Can’t Fail (Acton Concert)
Tony Adams (Acton Concert)
White Man In Hammersmith Palais (Acton Concert)
Mega Bottle Ride (Acton Concert)
Get Down Moses (Acton Concert)
Police and Thieves (Acton Concert)
Cool 'n' Out (Acton Concert)
Police On My Back (Acton Concert)
Johnny Appleseed (Acton Concert)
Coma Girl (Acton Concert)
I Fought The Law (Acton Concert)
Bank Robber (encore w/ Mick Jones) (Acton Concert)
White Riot (encore w/ Mick Jones) (Acton Concert)
London’s Burning (encore w/ Mick Jones) (Acton Concert)

Neil Diamond's 'Hot August Night' tour and deluxe CD reissue

Neil Diamond is currently in the midst of a five-night, sold out stand at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles - the site of his celebrated live 2LP set, Hot August Night.

That recording took place on Aug. 24, 1972 and was among 10 sold out shows at the landmark outdoor venue. 

To mark the occasion, Geffen/Universal Music Enterprises just put out a fine newly  re-mastered 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition with three previously unreleased songs, all his stage banter and band introductions, plus additional photos.  

The unreleased material comprises his 1968 ballad "A Modern Day Version Of Love," the plaintive Randy Newman-penned "I Think It’s Going To Rain Today" and jaunty acoustic "Gitchy Goomy" (from 1972's Moods), introduced as a philosophy lesson for children. 

Even if you already own the 2000 remaster or other versions, I'd still recommend buying this one, just to have the entire concert in unedited form. You get to hear Diamond's often humorous asides (including how he used to wear sunglasses onstage and threw a pair out to fans because it was cool). He calls The Greek a place God made for performers because it is paradise and gives a shout out to the "tree people" who snuck in the back way to get a glimpse of the concert.   

A more recent tour photo
At the time, Diamond was a 31-year-old singer/songwriter at the height of his powers and during several points in this show, he displays gritty, roaring vocals. It especially comes across amid the opening orchestrated "Crunchy Granola Suite" and closing, gospel-inspired encore "Soolaimon/Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show."

Some of the late 1960s/early '70s lyrics may seem hokey today, but there are plenty of hits and well-known album tracks here: the strident "Solitary Man" and "Cracklin’ Rosie," exhilarating "Cherry Cherry," a transcendent "Sweet Caroline," quietly affecting "Red Red Wine," "Song Sung Blue" and "Shilo," the gradual buildup of "Holly Holy" and contemplative "I Am…I Said."

Upon its original U.S. release in December 1972, Hot August Night went top 5 on the Billboard Albums chart and was certified double platinum. Diamond would later release live sequels Love at The Greek (1977), Hot August Night II (1987), Hot August Night/NYC (2009).  

Remaining Greek Theatre shows in LA are 8 p.m. Aug. 23 & Aug. 25. 

Other tour dates:

Aug. 27 Sacramento, CA...Power Balance Pavilion
Aug. 29 Phoenix, AZ...US Airways Center
Sept. 1 Las Vegas, NV...MGM Grand Garden Arena

Monday, August 20, 2012

Jason Aldean album news

Jason Aldean's fifth album “Night Train” is due out Oct. 16 on Broken Bow Records. 

The lead single “Take A Little Ride” sold more digital downloads in its first week than any male country artist in history. Currently approaching the Top 10 on the Billboard country songs chart in its fourth week, the song was Aldean's highest chart debut to date.

"I feel really great about the songs we recorded for this album," said Aldean. "There are some surprises on there that might raise a few eyebrows, and there's also some more traditional stuff too. I don't like being put in a box, and I think with every record, we've had a lot of variety…'Night Train' is no different. I got to do a cool uptempo song with Luke (Bryan) and Eric (Church), who've both been out with me over the last two years. I love collaborations like that, and I think the fans dig it when artists get together…it keeps it interesting."

Producer Michael Knox is back for the fifth time, along with Aldean’s road band that, in a departure from country’s status quo, have played on every song he’s recorded in his career, creating the unique synergy between Aldean’s records and live show that he’s become known for.

“There’s no formula to music," Aldean notes. "It’s meant to be experimented with. You’re supposed to try things. So I love getting in there with my guys and coming up with sounds that nobody else really uses.”


1. This Nothin' Town
(Busbee / Neil Thrasher / Wendell Mobley)   
2. When She Says Baby
(Rhett Akins / Ben Hayslip) 
3. Feel That Again
(Neil Thrasher / Wendell Mobley / Vicky McGehee) 
4. Wheels Rollin'
(Neil Thrasher / Wendell Mobley / Hillary Lindsey) 
5. Talk
(Neil Thrasher / Wendell Mobley)
6. The Only Way I Know (with Luke Bryan and Eric Church)
(David Lee Murphy / Ben Hayslip)
 7. Take A Little Ride
(Dylan Altman / Rodney Clawson / Jim McCormick) 
8. I Don’t Do Lonely Well
(Neil Thrasher / Tom Shapiro / Chuck Wicks) 
9. Night Train
(Neil Thrasher / Michael Dulaney) 
10. 1994
(Thomas Rhett / Luke Laird / Barry Dean)
11. Staring At The Sun
(Neil Thrasher / Wendell Mobley / Tony Martin)
12. Drink One For Me
(Neil Thrasher / Wendell Mobley / Tony Martin)   
13. Black Tears
(Canaan Smith / Tyler Hubbard)
14. Walking Away
(David Lee Murphy / Rodney Clawson) 
15. Water Tower
(Jason Sellers / Paul Jenkins / Michael Dulaney)

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Doors at Hollywood Bowl '68 reissued

The Doors' Hollywood Bowl show on July 5, 1968 is largely considered the band’s finest on film. For the first time, the film from that performance has been restored using the original camera negatives and the audio has been remixed and mastered from original multi-tracks by the group’s engineer, Bruce Botnick.

Live at the Bowl '68 arrives Oct. 23 in several formats. Eagle Rock Entertainment will present the concert on Blu-Ray ($19.98), DVD ($14.98), and digital video ($12.99). Rhino will release the remixed audio for the entire concert on CD ($18.98), digital audio ($11.99) and double-LP ($34.98).

This new restoration offers a stunning visual upgrade from earlier versions and will give fans the closest experience to being there live alongside Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, who said, “You can hear it as if you were at the Hollywood Bowl, on stage with us.”

Live at the Bowl '68 will include three previously unreleased tracks from the performance. Technical issues with the recording of “Hello, I Love You,” “The WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat),” and “Spanish Caravan” prevented them from being released before. Now, through restoration of the audio, all three will be included, marking the first time the concert has been available in its entirety. 

The DVD, Blu-Ray and digital video each feature a 16x9 high-definition digital transfer with both a stereo and 5.1 audio soundtrack as well as over an hour of bonus material. Included in the additional content are “Echoes From The Bowl,” The Doors’ route to the Hollywood Bowl; “You Had To Be There,” memories of The Doors’ performance at the Bowl; “Reworking The Doors,” an in-depth look at how the film was restored; and three bonus performances: “Wild Child” from The Smothers Brothers Show in 1968, “Light My Fire” from The Jonathan Winters Show in December 1967 and a version of Van Morrison’s “Gloria” with specially created visuals.

Track Listing

1.Show Start/Intro
2.“When The Music’s Over”
3.“Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)”
4.“Back Door Man”
5.“Five To One”
6.“Back Door Man” (Reprise)
7.“The WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)”
8.“Hello, I Love You”
9.“Moonlight Drive”
10."Horse Latitudes”
11.“A Little Game”
12.“The Hill Dwellers”
13.“Spanish Caravan”
14."Hey, What Would You Guys Like To Hear?
15.“Wake Up!”
16."Light My Fire" (Segue)
17.“Light My Fire”
18.“The Unknown Soldier”
19.The End (Segue)
20.“The End”

Major Velvet Underground box set due

When The Velvet Underground & Nico album was released in March 1967 on Verve Records, with its Andy Warhol-designed, peel-off banana cover, it was far from a chart-topper.

In fact, as the famed quote attributed to Brian Eno famously put it, the album may not have sold many copies, “but everyone who bought it formed a band.” And its reputation as a groundbreaker has only increased over the four-and-a-half decades since its original release.

Universal Music / Polydor  will celebrate the now-iconic album’s 45th anniversary on Oct. 30, with a multi-format, worldwide release October 29-30 that includes stereo and mono versions remastered from the original tapes, as well as previously unreleased recordings of the band’s rehearsals in Warhol’s Factory and the subsequent rare April 1966 Scepter Studios recordings captured on acetate featuring early, alternate versions of songs later issued on The Velvet Underground & Nico. 

A limited-edition, Super Deluxe 6CD box set will also feature a previously unavailable November ’66 live concert performed by the Velvets’ original, five-person lineup—Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Moe Tucker and Nico—at the Valleydale Ballroom in Columbus, Ohio, and Nico’s Chelsea Girl, an album released in October 1967 (seven months after the Velvets’ disc) which included all the members of the band as well as a teenage folksinger named Jackson Browne.

It also includes an 88-page booklet featuring a new essay by band biographer Richie Unterberger. All remastering, tape transfers and digital assembly at the prestigious Sterling Sound Studios in New York were overseen by veteran A&R producer Bill Levenson, who has been involved for more than 30 years in previous Velvet Underground reissues like VU and Another VU in the ’80s, the banana-covered box set in the ’90s and UMG’s first expanded, deluxe edition of The Velvet Underground & Nico in 2002.

The 6CD set captures the Velvets in a crucial period in their development, starting with the band’s Factory rehearsals in January ’66, covering the original Scepter recording sessions that April, then a live show in November, leading up to the March ’67 release, almost a year after the album was finished. Nico’s Chelsea Girl, which came out in October seven months later, completes the set’s almost two-year arc, chronicling the band both before and directly after its historic debut.

The Super Deluxe set allows fans to compare the mono and stereo versions of the album. Longtime Velvets aficionados have touted the mono mix because of its lo-fi quality, with the music coming off even tougher as a result of its compression.

Universal will release the album worldwide simultaneously in six different physical and digital versions. Aside from the Super Deluxe edition, The Velvet Underground & Nico will be available in a brand-new two-CD Deluxe Edition which includes a stereo version of the album along with a separate disc of the Factory rehearsals and Scepter Studios sessions. There will also be a digital exclusive and a one-CD original stereo album remaster in both physical and digital form.

Alongside a re-mastered vinyl edition, the deluxe edition and digital reissue of The Velvet Underground & Nico is not only for hard-core fans, but for anyone who wishes to trace the two-year development of a world-class band in the process of creating one of the greatest rock albums in history through rare and previously unreleased recordings.

Long awaited return of Abandoned Pools

Sublime Currency, Abandoned Pools' first new music in seven years, arrives on Aug. 28 through Tooth & Nail.

Available for pre-order at iTunes, it includes an exclusive acoustic version of the title track. The songs find solace in faith and marriage.

 “This record is more of a joyful record,” said bassist/principal member Tommy Walter. “I’m a happier person (now)...I reached a low point in my life and I think my music now reveals how I overcame that. This record is about feeling like I discovered something that’s important to me.”

Walter played all the instruments on the album except ion of the drums.

“I went back to my core of writing on my own and recording on my own because it keeps the project focused,” he explains. “I had a lot of range on the first album and I wanted to keep that going here, this range of styles. The songs come from a long span of time, but I feel like they’re all appropriate to now.”

While “Unrehearsed” showcases the more pop-oriented side of the album as a surging tune that recalls Abandoned Pools’ debut, “In Silence,” a track Walter penned about getting married, is an immediate and engaging mellow rock number. It’s the title track, however, that culls the album together. Named from a quote by composer John Cage, the synth-laced rock track aims to share a personal journey, offering the listener some sense of how one can emerge from the struggle in the lyrics: “I can push the buttons/I can wrestle with the phantoms/Till I see that all the best things happen naturally.”

"It all comes down to where your motivation is when you make music,” Tommy says. “It's not about hype or trying to get someone's attention. It's about making music for the love of music itself.”

Prior to making the album, Walter (co-founder of eels) produced, mixed and collaborated Sara Bareilles, Ryan Tedder, Backstreet Boys, Better Then Ezra, Mike Simpson of The Dust Brothers and Bryce Soderberg of Lifehouse.  
Upcoming shows:
Aug. 28 – Los Angeles, CA – Hotel CafĂ© (Tommy solo) 
Sept. 15 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy
Sept. 27 – Upland, CA – The Wire

New John Hiatt album due

I reviewed Hiatt live at the Coach House for his last tour. I look forward to hearing the new material.  

John Hiatt will release Mystic Pinball on Sept. 25 via New West Records. Blues driven first single "We're Alright Now" is available to hear Mystic Pinball will be available as both a CD and on limited edition 180-gram vinyl.

For Hiatt's 21st studio album, he turned to producer Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith), who also helmed 2011's Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns. Hiatt relies on the musical skills of Doug Lancio (electric guitar, mandolin, dobro), Kenneth Blevins (drums and percussion) and Patrick O'Hearn (bass). 

John Hiatt's career as a performer and songwriter has spanned more than 30 years. Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, BB King, Bonnie Raitt and Iggy Pop have all covered his work. Hiatt began his solo career with the 1974 album Hangin' Around the Observatory.

Track Listing:
1. We're Alright Now
2. Bite Marks
3. It All Comes Back Someday
4. Wood Chipper
5. My Business
6. I Just Don't Know What To Say
7. I Know How To Lose You
8. You're All The Reason I Need
9. One Of Them Damn Days
10. No Wicked Grin
11. Give It Up
12. Blues Can't Even Find Me 

Tour Dates:
August 18            Philadelphia, PA                   Philadelphia Folk Festival *
August 20           Bloomington, IN                   Buskirk Chumley Theatre
August 21          Bloomington, IN                   The Castle Theatre
August 22          Lexington, KY                       Lex Opera House *
August 23          Cincinnati, OH                       Taft Theatre *
August 25          Washburn, WI                       Big Top Chautauqua
August 26          Highland Park, IL                  Ravinia *
August 27          Kansas City, MO                  Uptown Theatre
August 29          Arvada, CO                           Arvada Center
August 30          Boulder, CO                         Chautaugua Auditorium
September 1      Yosemite, CA                       Strawberry Fest
September 2      Napa, CA                             Uptown Theatre
September 4      Hermosa Beach, CA              Saint Rocke
September 5      Solana Beach, CA                 Belly Up
September 6      Agora Hills, CA                     The Canyon
September 7      San Juan Capistrano, CA       The Coach House
September 10    Wichita, KS                           The Cotillion
September 14    Nashville, TN                        The Cannery (AMA Festival & Conf)
September 19    Atlanta, GA                           Variety Playhouse
September 20    Greenville. SC                       The Handlebar
September 21     Alexandria, VA                      Birchmere
September 22     Alexandria, VA                      Birchmere
September 23     Alexandria,VA                       Birchmere
September 25     New York, NY                       City Winery
September 26     New York, NY                       City Winery
September 28     Westhampton Beach, NY       Westhampton Beach PAC
September 29     Plymouth, NH                       Flying Monkey
October 1            Brownfield, ME                     Stone Mtn Arts Center
* with Steve Earle

Additional tour dates to be added. Check back at