March 7, 2013
By Ken Tucker / NPR
The cover of David Bowie’s new album The Next Day is actually the cover of Bowie’s 1977 album Heroes, with a white square placed over the singer’s face. It’s a brilliantly simple yet shrewd piece of appropriated art, a gesture announcing that Bowie will not try to break with his past, but instead will transmute it, refract it and, if he’s lucky, deepen it. Because depth is something David Bowie has usually, often wisely, resisted. In taking on, over the decades, different costumes and guises — Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke — and in gliding across the surface of genres such as glam rock, hard rock and disco, Bowie has proven a surprisingly durable artist. He’s someone whose best songs allow him to make emotional, even moving music without becoming maudlin or melodramatic or, heaven forbid, sentimental.
The song “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” proceeds from the title pun to suggest that stars — celebrities — haunt the lives of us ordinary folk, and that they’re as jealous of our lives as some of us are of theirs. The video for the song, co-starring Bowie and Tilda Swinton, finds them playing a happily aging couple who shop for groceries and chuckle unironically at TV sitcoms, even as their mundane activities are observed by young, glamorous people literally dying for such contentment. The music of “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” is all guitar- and drum-driven urgency, with Bowie yelling with deliberate hoarseness over the instruments, his voice a metaphor for the exhausted dread contained in the lyric. [...]
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February 25, 2013
From The Daily Swarm
Squirrel Thing Recordings, the label behind the mysterious lost recordings of Connie Converse, is proud to announce the release of Molly Drake—a self-titled collection of never-before-heard songs recorded in the 1950’s at the Drake family home, and lovingly restored by Nick Drake’s engineer John Wood. According to Joe Boyd, legendary producer of Five Leaves Left and Bryter Later, “this is the missing link in the Nick Drake story.” [...]
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January 16, 2013
By Colin Daniels / Digital Spy
“Within the band we’ve been calling it 10 Reasons To Exist – but I will tell you we might have at least six of them (album names),” Bono told The Sun.
He added: “U2 have been back and they’re really in fine fettle.They’re mad for it at the moment and they really want to make a new record. [...]
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January 10, 2013
By Stephen Carlick / exlaim.ca
Grandiose psych-rockers the Flaming Lips are never far from the headlines, and now, they’re back again, with exciting news: the band will reissue their confounding 1997 four-disc classic, Zaireeka, for Record Store Day this April.
On Twitter yesterday morning (January 9), the band posted a photo of the record (seen above), along with “Workin on expanded VINYL package of Zaireeka!!! For re-release on Record Store Day!!!” [...]
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October 30, 2012
By Gary Graft / Billboard
As if a new album (“Viva Duets”), book (“Life Is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett”) and a movie also titled “The Zen of Bennett” aren’t enough, Tony Bennett already has his next project in motion — a jazz album with Lady Gaga.
Bennett, who recorded “The Lady is a Tramp” for his 2011 “Duets II” album, tells Billboard that Gaga’s father, Joseph Germanotta, called him on his daughter’s behalf while she was on tour in Australia.
“He said she told him that ‘I want to do a jazz album with Tony Bennett, a jazz album,’ ” Bennett recalls. “So that will be the next album after (‘Viva Duets’).” The two will be working with arranger/orchestrator Marion Evans, though Bennett says that the song list is “secret.”
Studio plans are still being determined. “It’s going to really reaffirm that she’s one of the best jazz singers that anyone’s ever heard,” Bennett adds. The set will also let the ageless Bennett immerse himself once again in his very favorite musical genre. [...]
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September 4, 2012
By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
Manuel Vasquez defends the unusual product he’s selling. But not everyone’s buying it.
Vasquez is the 26-year-old co-owner of a boutique who produces records in his spare time. His latest release features music written and performed by convicted mass murderer Charles Manson.
“I’ve gotten some hate mail from it. There are people not appreciating the release of music by him,” he said. “People say they don’t understand why I’d want to associate myself with this or why I would be interested in releasing it.”
Even his parents tried to talk him out of pressing and selling the 40-minute vinyl album. [...]
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April 2, 2012
From Rolling Stone
Patti Smith has just announced details of her 11th studio album, her first collection of original material since 2004’s trampin’. Banga will be out on June 5th through Columbia Records. The first single from the album, “April Fool,” featuring Television’s Tom Verlaine, was released today [April 1] on iTunes.
Smith recorded Banga at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. In a statement, the singer-songwriter says the new album was inspired by her dreams as well as her observations of an increasingly complex and chaotic world: [...]
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March 9, 2012
By Roger Friedman / Forbes
Bruce Springsteen‘s “Wrecking Ball” was released on Tuesday. But it’s having not the easiest time faring in the marketplace. On ITunes, “ Wrecking Ball” is the number 11 album, well behind ubiquitous number 1 seller Adele and her “21″ album. And there are nine other albums between by Adele again and even the Monkees. On Amazon.com, “Wrecking Ball: Special Edition” logs in at number 95 on the MP3 download chart. Yet, on Amazon’s chart of physical sales, the album is number 1, right behind Adele. Hitsdailydouble is predicting total sales of between 200,000-210,000 in a virtual heat with Adele. That may be optimistic since Adele is played on the radio night and day, and “Wrecking Ball” is getting limited attention on rock radio.In all likelihood, “Wrecking Ball” will come in at number 2 next week. (Sony shouldn’t mind; they’re each on their label.) [...]
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February 16, 2012
By Steve Balton / Rolling Stone
Bob Seger is hard at work on his first studio collection since 2006’s Face The Music [it's actually called Face The Promise]. “I’m setting myself a deadline of September 24th to have it out,” Seger tells Rolling Stone. “Wish me luck.”
The Detroit-based rocker released a greatest hits compilation, Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets, last year. He just finished a highly successful tour built around the classics that earned him a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: “Night Moves,” “Hollywood Nights,” “Like A Rock,” “Against The Wind” and “Travelin’ Man/Beautiful Loser,” just to name a few.
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February 10, 2012
Older Posts »
By Chuck Klosterman / Grantland
When I saw Van Halen at Café Wha? in January, I was operating from a position of accidental enthusiasm. I didn’t think I was even going to a concert, to be honest; I halfway expected to show up at the venue and find myself sitting through a press conference punctuated by an acoustic rendition of “Me Wise Magic” (or something of that order). But then I realized the band was going to play for real, with actual amps and electricity, in a claustrophobic basement. I got excited. And then they played, and then I got really excited. And then I went home and immediately wrote a 2,000-word review, and then I woke up the next day and realized the review I’d written made absolutely no linear sense, so then I immediately wrote another one, this time with my corpus callosum intact. And then (AND THEN) I kind of stopped thinking about the show entirely. I stopped thinking about the future of the band, or the fact that they were releasing a new album in February. [...]
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