Monday, December 22, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Then how about the “Legacy” edition, which adds a DVD of Pearl Jam’s previously unreleased 1992 performance on MTV Unplugged?
Careful now, try not to drool.
Oh, and then there's the "Super Deluxe Edition," whose name screams "rip-off," but which contains the Legacy package plus vinyl, plus beautiful and unique packaging, plus -- don't let us forget this part -- the virtual Holy Grail of Pearl Jam fandom. In 1990, Vedder and future bandmates Stone Gossard, Mike McCready and Jeff Ament traded tapes, creating a legendary cassette demo that led to Vedder joining the band. Scratchy bootlegs of the demo tape have circulated for years; the deluxe edition of Ten will include "a crystal-clear dub of the tape on a replica cassette." Yowza. The reissue drops March 24; pre-order now at pearljam.com.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Sure, I read about Joe Satriani suing Coldplay, saying the 2008 Coldplay song "Viva La Vida" copied the melody and chord progression from Satriani's 2004 composition "If I Could Fly." But let's face it, there are only so many melodies and chord combinations in the world and similarities are bound to crop up. My attitude toward this sort of thing is that the plagiarism has to be pretty blatant to justify a public accusation and lawsuit.
Then I came across the YouTube clip embedded below, which first plays clips from the two songs back to back, and then plays a mash-up of the two songs together -- and after watching it, all I could think was "Dude, get out the checkbook."
It's of course possible or even probable that this was purely unintentional, as George Harrison claimed in the infamous "My Sweet Lord"/"He's So Fine" case, but the result should be the same, i.e. the original songwriter is compensated.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
RATM guitarist Tom Morello, for one, is outraged by the practice and has been outspoken in criticizing it from the stage in recent concert appearances. Sesame Street composer Christopher Cerf is quoted as saying “I wouldn’t want my music to be a party to that.” But not everyone objects; bassist Stevie Benton from Drowning Pool, whose track "Bodies" is a favorite tool of Guantanamo iterrogators, says “I take it as an honor to think that perhaps our song could be used to quell another 9/11 attack."
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
As a founding member, co-chief songwriter and co-lead vocalist of the most important and influential band in the history of popular music, Lennon’s musical legacy would have been secure if he had never played another note after the Beatles broke up in 1970. But he did, creating a complex, at times uneven, but never dull body of solo work that includes some of the most indelible songs and performances of the era.It was always just a matter of time before his turn came up to be the Daily Vault’s Artist Of The Month, and so we’re proud to announce that our December 2008 retrospective with feature the music and words of John Lennon. This December the Daily Vault celebrates the musical legacy of one of the era's greatest songwriters with reviews of 11 Lennon solo albums and collections in a retrospective that begins Friday, December 5 and runs every weekday through Friday, December 19. The majority of these reviews will be appearing on the Vault for the first time. Enjoy, and imagine...
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
We won't try to run down the full list here, since USA Today has already kindly done so and done so quite well, thank you. But here's just a few names and genres to whet your appetite: Chuck Berry, Black Sabbath, Cheap Trick, Genesis, Grateful Dead, heavy metal, Robyn Hitchcock, Jesus & Mary Chain, KISS, Minnesota acts, Nada Surf, Roy Orbison, Phish, Elvis Presley, Rare Earth, Sevendust, The Coasters, White Zombie, Frank Zappa. And that's just the Rock section... then you get to R&B/Jazz/Blues/Gospel/Reggae, and Country/Folk/Roots, and Spoken Word/Theater/Classical... whew. Look at it this way -- you may not need to go to Target after all.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The question still to be explored is, does this effect extend beyond further lining the pockets of the already successful and famous? Does a placement on Rock Band help your unknown indie band? The jury is still out, and the chances of a big video game employing nothing but undiscovered acts continues to waver somewhere around zero. That makes those lesser-known acts who do manage to get into the video game mix alongside veteran million-selling acts something akin to lottery winners.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Live In Gdańsk is a double live album plus concert DVD, released on September 23rd on Columbia Records. The first solo live album from Pink Floyd’s singer / guitarist captures his concert in front of 50,000 in the Gdansk shipyards, the final performance of his critically acclaimed 2006 On An Island tour. It also features the first-ever recording of selected Pink Floyd classics performed with an orchestra. It was the only concert on the tour to feature a live orchestra, and features the final public performance of the late, great Richard Wright on keyboards.
Monday, November 24, 2008
For one, there's Darren Paltrowitz's biweekly effort at Keeping Up with the latest in music, books, and all other forms of entertainment media.
For another, there's Bruce Rusk's review of a recent Nine Inch Nails concert -- sounds like Trent & co. are putting on quite a show this winter.
And for another, there's a review of a Jon Troast show at a much smaller venue -- my living room -- for anyone interested in hearing more about how a house concert works...
Finally, there's the reviews we just published of Powderfinger, Talking Heads, Kraftwerk, Elvis Presley, Fight Like Apes, Bob Seger, Marvin Gaye, CSS, Megadeth, Duran Duran, Stevie Ray Vaughan and The Cure -- not to mention the reviews we're about to publish of Guns N' Roses, Ry Cooder, Rick Wakeman, Science Faxtion, George Michael, Billy Squier, Donovan, the Rolling Stones, Katie Miller-Heidke, Jeff Beck, Keane, the Mountain Goats, The Clash, Love & Rockets, Morrissey, Tina Turner and many more to come.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Sometimes you just have to tip your hat, though. And this week our competitors over at PopMatters have outdone themselves with a superb series celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of one of the most important albums in music history, The Beatles, a.k.a. The White Album. Not content to simply publish a review -- or several reviews -- PopMatters enlisted a substantial chunk of its writing staff to deliver a track-by-track analysis of the album plus an overview, dividing the double LP up into four sides and releasing first the overview and then analysis of one side per day all week this week.
Like The Beatles itself, the track reviews feature many different voices commenting on the origins, recording and significance of each track, a fitting tribute to an album that symbolized the splintering of pop's greatest band, while thoroughly capturing the moment in the midst of one of their most musically fertile and personally conflict-ridden periods.
It's a fascinating read; hats off here.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The key is a code included in the packaging of every copy of the new album. Entering the code on the band's Web site unlocks a dossier containing the outline of a murder mystery and profiles (with photos) of 11 suspects. As Pollstar explains it, "To solve the mystery by eliminating one suspect each week, fans must use the full album packaging (lyrics, the mugshots and info provided), their historical knowledge of Mudvayne and the video for the first single, 'Do What You Do,' as well as weekly clues revealed on the band's Web site."
Grand prize is a Mudvayne "VIP laminate for life," one runner-up will settle for a signed Washburn guitar, and 10 more runners-up will receive signed copies of The New Game's deluxe edition. All in all, a pretty sweet deal -- and perhaps a sign of things to come as artists, labels and retailers begin to think more creatively about how to create the value needed to keep fans buying hardcopy product from brick-and-mortar stores.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Dark Horse being, of course, a faintly ridiculous name for the latest album by a platinum-selling corporate rock hit machine. But then, many things about this band are faintly ridiculous, as pointed out in the uncharacteristically snarky review by AllMusic Guide's Stephen Thomas Erlewine of the group's latest record:
Nickelback are not known for their insight, but Chad Kroeger's caterwauling claim that "we got no class, no taste" on "Burn It to the Ground," the second song on their sixth album, Dark Horse, is a slice of perceptive, precise self-examination. Nickelback are a gnarled, vulgar band reveling in their ignorance of the very notion of taste, lacking either the smarts or savvy to wallow in bad taste so they just get ugly, knocking out knuckle-dragging riffs that seem rarefied in comparison to their thick, boneheaded words.
Oh Stephen, tell us how you really feel...
As a footnote, the LA Times jumps on the pile as well with a blog piece about how desperate the band appears to compete for sales numbers with David Cook, Axl, et al, offering a first-day discount price for the album of $3.99 that might tend to aggravate the fans who only recently paid 99 cents just to hear the advance single "Gotta Be Somebody"...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Hit by declining sales of hardcopy CDS from brick-and-mortar retail outlets, the traditional record store has been forced to retrench, rethink and renew its approach to business. And now, they're getting some help with that from a likely source.
The National Association of Recording Merchandisers, a.k.a. NARM, recently confirmed it will sponsor Record Store Day on April 18, 2009. As the leading trade association for music retailers, wholesalers, distributors, record labels, multimedia suppliers, suppliers of related products and services, and individual professionals and educators in the music business, NARM aims to help the organizers prepare for the April '09 event as well as continuously promote Record Store Day and the unique culture of indie record stores in the media and online at www.recordstoreday.com.
"NARM is so pleased to be sponsoring Record Store Day 2009," said President Jim Donio. "The extraordinarily successful debut of Record Store Day in 2008 served to perfectly underscore how vibrant and vital record stores are to communities and economies around the world. NARM hopes that its support will enable organizers to make next year's event an even bigger and better celebration of independent music retailers' passion and commitment to the music that enriches and inspires us all."
Monday, November 17, 2008
1. Outlaw Pete
2. My Lucky Day
3. Working on a Dream
4. Queen of the Supermarket
5. What Love Can Do
6. This Life
7. Good Eye
8. Tomorrow Never Knows
9. Life Itself
10. Kingdom of Days
11. Surprise, Surprise
12. The Last Carnival
A Night with the Jersey Devil
A release from the Springsteen camp quotes Bruce: "Towards the end of recording Magic, excited by the return to pop production sounds, I continued writing. When my friend producer Brendan O'Brien heard the new songs, he said, 'Let's keep going.' Over the course of the next year, that's just what we did, recording with the E Street Band during the breaks on last year's tour. I hope Working On A Dream has caught the energy of the band fresh off the road from some of the most exciting shows we've ever done. All the songs were written quickly, we usually used one of our first few takes, and we all had a blast making this one from beginning to end."
Working On A Dream is Springsteen's twenty-fourth album. It was once again produced and mixed by Brendan O'Brien -- the fourth Springsteen/O'Brien collaboration -- and was recorded and mixed at Southern Tracks in Atlanta, GA with additional recording in New York City, Los Angeles, and New Jersey.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
When Annie Mawson of the Sunbeams Music Trust opened the envelope she received back from McCartney some nine months after mailing her original request for a half million pounds, she found not a check, but a 1911 salary register from Liverpool City Hospital that features the name E. Rigby, a scullery maid whose annual earnings were 14 pounds. It's unclear when McCartney acquired the document, but regardless, the Sunbeams Music Trust is anticipating a payday of 500,000 pounds ($775,000) or so when it puts the artifact up for auction this month.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
What's next, earthquakes? Locusts? The return of MC Hammer?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
- First of all, it was already widely known that the obnoxious person formerly known as Prince was in the habit of being a jerk to his own fans. Turns out he doesn't like to pay his bills either. What a class act.
- Raul Malo, lead singer of the superb but star-crossed alt-country group The Mavericks, is preparing to issue his third solo album since the band's most recent hiatus. Lucky One will feature all originals after two albums' worth of covers and Malo will be touring in support.
- Fans knew this days ago, but for the record and for the rest of you, looks like Bruce Springsteen will be celebrating the new U.S. president's inauguration with a new album coming out in January. No word if "Hail To The Chief" will be on the track list....
Thursday, November 6, 2008
- Sly Stone is a musical icon, one of the truly towering figures in the history of soul music. Sly Stone is also a man... a very troubled, erratic and possibly unbalanced man. For more on the Sly one's latest concert debacle, check this account.
- Joining the recent flurry of reunion rumors are The Kinks, the original British brothers-and-bandmates-who-frequently-can't-stand-one-another-but-make-amazing-music-together. Brother Ray Davies reports that brother Dave has recovered sufficiently from a 2004 stroke for recording and touring to become a real possibility again. Stay tuned...
- Finally, one of this writer's favorite bands of the moment, The Hold Steady, earned a nice writeup the other day on MSNBC.com.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
That is all.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Meanwhile, we assume all Wilco fans caught the band's memorable visit last Thursday to The Colbert Report, including a very funny interview between Stephen Colbert and frontman Jeff Tweedy, and an exclusive performance of "Wilco The Song," a parody meant to, among other things, tweak Joe The Plumber.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
And so it is with a very large grain of salt in our other outstretched hand that the Daily Vault presents the latest rumor to cross our plate, which goes something like this:
The lead singer from Alter Bridge, Myles Kennedy, is rehearsing in Coventry, England with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham for a tour to start in February or March. Rehearsals will soon be moving to another country (France? Canada?) try to throw the press off the path. They have people working full time to throw chaff at the media (well, that part's certainly consistent with recent reports...) to keep people guessing.
After Zep's triumphant reunion show in London ten months ago, Plant was quoted as saying "you never know" about a full tour from the band, but he has since been absorbed in touring his collaboration with Alison Krauss. According to the rumor, Plant is said to have threatened legal action if the other three try to use the Led Zeppelin name, logos or other Swan Song trademarks without his participation. At the same time, other reports suggest Plant hasn't ruled out joining in a future Zeppelin tour, but just doesn't want to do it in 2009.
As stated above, take all of this with a grain of salt, as we do. We don't know if the above rumor is fact, fiction, or some creative mix of both designed to throw everyone off the trail of what's actually happening. All we can say for sure is that there are an awful lot of people interested in seeing Zeppelin or some variation of it play live again.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The good news: this morning no less a music-world luminary than the revered Nick Hornby of Songbook fame plugged this writer's very favorite music blogger Heather Browne and her site I Am Fuel, You Are Friends (a Pearl Jam quote). And where did the wise and wonderful Mr. Hornby offer this well-deserved nod? In -- wait for it -- THE NEW YORK TIMES. Woo-hoo! Way to go Heather!
The bad news: another of my favorite music blogs -- Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands -- announced late last week that it is in danger of shutting down under legal pressure from the authorities. And not just any authorities -- Google itself. The virtual publisher, via Blogger, of this blog. And Heather's. And hundreds of other music-related blogs. Where exactly does protection of creators' intellectual property rights -- which I support wholeheartedly -- bleed into Orwellian censorship? I don't know, but this incident suggests the boundary between the two has become almost too blurry to make out.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
So you might be forgiven for wondering how the DV might react to the recent news that Bryan Adams has pulled almost the same bonehead maneuver, sending the Web Sheriff (no, really, that's their company name) after a bunch of fan sites and even a tribute band?
First, obviously, we have to stop laughing. A Bryan Adams tribute band? Seriously?
Fortunately, we understand from this article in the UK Register that Adams has stopped short of lawyering up and is in fact in the process of working out mutually agreeable arrangements with said fan sites. A much better outcome for all concerned, though it may represent a lost opportunity for Adams. I mean, a ban from the Daily Vault certainly would have been the most attention he's gotten from us in years...
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
- On November 4 Atlantic and Rhino team up to release a limited- edition CD boxed set containing Japanese imports of all 10 of Led Zeppelin's albums in mini-LP replicas with artwork from the original U.K. LP sleeves. The Led Zeppelin Definitive Collection of Mini-LP Replicas boxed set will be available for a suggested price of $199.98. Listening party samplers available in Real and QuickTime formats...
- Original sensitive-guy singer-songwriter James Taylor offers a glimpse into the thought behind his recent Covers album and his work for the Obama campaign in this interview.
- Agape Children's Choir and Little Engine Productions have created an amazing nonpartisan music video aimed at mobilizing voters in this important election season.
- The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has extended its deadline for submissions for the 2008 contest to December 1. A small sampling of this year's crop of judges for this annual competition includes: Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20); Chaka Khan; Tom Waits; KT Tunstall; Robert Smith (The Cure); Ricky Martin; Loretta Lynn; Neil Finn (Crowded House); Buckcherry; T-Pain; James Cotton; Jerry Lee Lewis; Craig Morgan; Ray Davies (The Kinks); and McCoy Tyner. For more information and to enter, visit the ISC site.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Pete Yorn - American Blues Vol. 1
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
It's been widely known that Everett had a troubled childhood and lost his sister and mother to suicide and cancer in the late 90s, as he was working on albums like Novocaine For The Soul and Electro-Shock Blues. What I personally wasn't aware of is that Everett's father was a famous physicist who came up with the parallel worlds theory, which suggests that every decision made creates an alternate reality. Everett's relationship with this odd, brilliant and distant man, who died of a heart attack when Everett was 19, forms the backbone of his new biography Things the Grandchildren Should Know. He also sat for interviews for a Nova special on his father called Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives (check PBS for local airtimes in your area). Finally, don't miss the fascinating article that triggered this post, over on (surprise, surprise) USA Today.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Now, I've considered a few times over the years whether I was a little hard on Jenkins and TEB. It probably wasn't their idea to record those bumpers. And while I remain very comfortable with the parenting decision my wife and I made, at least one TEB fan wrote in to tell me I was in fact exactly what I stated right up front in my review -- a prude. Fine. Given what passes for standards of public behavior today, I'll take that as a compliment.
And then last night I read this piece, in which an older but apparently no wiser Stephan Jenkins wastes a substantial number of syllables ragging on the album as an art form and basically admitting he can't be bothered to put together ten decent songs at once, that three or so at a time is more his speed. Let me tell you two things: 1) The day albums cease to be a relevant art form will be the day I roll up the Daily Vault and take it off-line; and 2) The day I give a flying anything what Stephan Jenkins thinks will be... well, clearly, that just won't happen.
Digital downloading won't kill the album any more than the Kindle will kill books. These art forms have endured for good reasons. Trend-hopping stylistas like Jenkins always make the same mistake, assuming that smaller and faster and less substantial and less meaningful automatically equals better. Twitter is maybe the ultimate example of this simultaneously lazy and hyperactive cognitive A.D.D., which is why I'd guesstimate its half-life at about six months. If there's one thing this nation, this culture is crying out for right now, it's more substance, not less. Long live the album.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Out of the hordes of surrounding mainstream media coverage, I would also point you to this entertaining UK Telegraph review with Angus Young, particularly his explanation for the group's decision to sell their album only in hardcopy form via Wal-mart or acdc.com, no iTunes or downloads at all:
“We don’t make singles, we make albums. We work on getting the songs on our albums to work together... So that’s how we feel about our albums being a complete piece of work. And we won’t go on iTunes unless they offer the option to us to 'lock’ our album... In the US, though, we’re looking at iTunes being the biggest music retailer in the country. We looked at who was number two and found that it was Wal-Mart. So we decided to make this album exclusively available in Wal-Mart stores... I remember when we first started touring in the US back in the Seventies, we’d arrive in these towns, and I’m talking about all these places in between New York and Los Angeles, and we’d always go straight to the local record shop. These are the places where people hung out – you could talk music, pick up a few albums and all of that. Now you go back to these places and they’re all closed down. However, there is a Wal-Mart in all these towns, so we believed this to the best alternative to iTunes."
The record shop is dead; long live the record shop. Hope it's a great run, Angus.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I can't put it any better than Pollstar did: "The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have both been lightning rods for controversy over the past few years, but there's one thing we can all agree on: the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who've served there." The concert and associated broadcast content produced by CNN will highlight veterans' issues including mental health support and disability benefits, preventing homelessness, and properly compensating those who serve.
Live performers will include 50 Cent, Ludacris and Saving Abel, with taped performances from Kanye West, Kid Rock, Angels and Airwaves, Fall Out Boy, Juanes, Nelly and Taylor Swift, among others. News content will feature Anderson Cooper and CNN will air a separate special hosted by Cooper focusing on the many challenges faced by returning veterans.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Not that I'm going to soapbox on that particular subject today; it's really just an excuse to remind you all that Wampus head honcho Mark Doyon has been one of the wisest voices in the wilderness commenting on music industry developments for some time now -- and as a singer-songwriter, independent label owner, publicist and music blogger all rolled into one, why wouldn't he be? He sees these issues from all angles, not just one particular self-interested one. Plus, he wrote "Cuckold Of Titan," so that entitles him to your eternal attention regardless.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
- We're not quite sure how an article ostensibly about the new country-flavored album from The Pretenders came to be titled "Chrissie Hynde has never heard of Sarah Palin," but this piece from MSNBC is still worth checking out.
- Word from the New York Times is Kid Rock has finally joined the 21st century and made his music available online via Rhapsody (lucky them). Now if AC/DC would just end their holdout...
- Nick Reynolds, a founding member of folk-rock pioneers The Kingston Trio, has died. The group's focus on guitars and harmonies inspired Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and the Beatles, among others. R.I.P.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tell Tale Signs is the 8th installment in Dylan’s “Bootleg Series,” and features previously unreleased recordings, live performances and alternate versions of songs recorded during sessions for some of his most acclaimed albums, Oh Mercy and Time Out of Mind among them. Also included on the album are Dylan’s recordings for the soundtracks of the films Lucky You, Gods & Generals and North Country, and “32-20 Blues,” his first ever release of a Robert Johnson song.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Hope arrives by way of New Jersey. Your friends at the DV (me and Jason at least) will be glued to the set this year after the announcement that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band will play this year's half-time show from Tampa. If anyone can save this annual display of bad taste and poor judgement by the network execs, its The Boss. Kudos to the network idiots for getting this one right.
The model has proven viable enough that there are actually several Web sites devoted to it now -- think Sellaband and SliceThePie and ArtistShare and CASH Music -- but equally as intriguing are acts who choose to go directly to their fans. The Brian Travis Band of LA is $5,500 into a $7,000 fundraising effort to finish off the mastering and duplication of their latest record. And D.C.-based rock band Shane Hines and the Trance have raised $30,000 of a projected $40,000 recording budget for their new album via their TeamTrance site, including raising $13,000 in the first week of their fundraising drive.
Drummer/author Jake Slichter of Semisonic famously characterized the band as "rock and roll sharecroppers," making music as debt-burdened indentured servants to their label. In the future will we call them rock and roll panhandlers? Or is the better comparison to the PBS "viewer supported" model? Finally, is this progress, or just another odd twist along the road to a destination that isn't yet in sight?
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
P.S. Good for you, Clay.