Thursday, August 28, 2008
What this means for the ongoing debate over creator's rights, the RIAA's heavy handed enforcement tactics, and/or the continually evolving music industry business model will no doubt be the subject of continuing speculation.
Of more immediate concern to GNR fans -- who, amazingly enough, still exist -- is the loss of access to the only new music the band has produced in the past 15 years. As one fan pointed out ruefully online, "For all we know, that could be the closest we ever get to an actual release."
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
- Little Feat's new album features a slew of guest stars taking over the frontman slot once held by Lowell George and reinterpreting classics from the band's rich catalogue. Any album with Vince Gill -- who tackles the immortal "Dixie Chicken" -- Dave Matthews, Bob Seger, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, Jimmy Buffett and Emmylou Harris all singing on it has got to be worth a listen...
- Speaking of presidential candidates' relations with the music world, the Rocky Mountain News reports that Barack Obama's acceptance speech at Invesco Field in Denver will be bracketed by performances from Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. Now that's some Jersey love right there...
- There have been hundreds of reviews of Radiohead concerts published in the past decade. We've even published one or two ourselves. This one from the LA Times was good enough to make me -- who doesn't even like the band -- curious about seeing them live. Nice job.
Monday, August 25, 2008
I mean, first you call your latest album Hard Candy, then you call the accompanying tour "Sticky & Sweet"... And you just turned 50? A extremely fit 50, and after all it is the new 40 and everything, but really... you have kids. They have friends. And you're still prancing around like a pole dancer and making shock-value-only videos?
I mean, it's almost as cringe-worthy as a bunch of sixty-somethings prancing around under a giant lips-and-tongue-logo...
Friday, August 22, 2008
The song is a complete reversal of the sound Metallica was reaching for on the much maligned St. Anger, channeling their classic period with a hint of the 90s era. Don't be surprised if the opening few minutes of the song remind you of "Fade To Black," or "The Unforgiven," because the vibe is very much similar to those stellar tracks. The dueling guitar harmonies are back, as are the mind numbingly fast solos, delivered by one Kirk Hammett. Sure the lyrics are a bit cheesy in areas, but Metallica really never delivered incredibly profound wordplay.
- This morning's USA Today profiles the new generation of mellow, sunny singer-songwriters (Colbie Caillat, Marie Digby, Meiko, Brett Dennen, Sara Bareilles, Yael Naim, Greg Laswell), but what struck me about the article is how many of these folks experienced a very much 21st-century phenomenon: TV is the new radio. Never mind pitching to radio station music directors; it's the music producers for One Tree Hill and Grey's Anatomy you want to get your stuff to when you're shooting for the big career bump.
- Don't invite Lindsey Buckingham and Sheryl Crow to the same beach party anytime soon. From the sound of the Fleetwood Mac guitarist's latest comments, he's still pretty cheesed off at Crow's previous and apparently quite premature announcement that she was going to be joining the Mac for a new album and tour.
- Surely by now you've heard the one about Bono accidentally leaking tracks from the new U2 album by cranking his stereo a bit too loud. The new media paradigm -- all access, all the time -- is pretty unforgiving...
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Moore was one of the finest horn players of his generation. I had the privilege of seeing him play with the DMB twice, and he was exceptional on both occasions, at ease and in the flow whether stringing together sweet phrases on his alto sax or honking out rhythmic accents on his bari. His swinging lines anchored DMB classics like “Ants Marching” and his flute work on tracks like “Say Goodbye” was nothing short of transcendent. His versatility and deeply soulful playing helped define the DMB’s unique sound, and while they may find someone else to play his parts, he can never truly be replaced. Moore was no less essential to the DMB than Keith Moon was to The Who, and will be missed equally.
Heartfelt condolences to his family and bandmates on this tremendous loss.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
The new album features 15 new tracks from brothers Angus and Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams, and Phil Rudd, the very same lineup that made 1980's immortal Back In Black. The album was produced by Brendan O'Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Train) at the Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, BC.
"Rock 'N' Roll Train," the album's first single, will debut on August 28th, with a video to premiere in September. Maybe the best news of all for fans -- the band is set to kick off its first world tour since 2001 in late October. Break out the cannons and get ready to head-bang!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
As the Associated Press notes on MSNBC.com, the list of artists taking a moment to perform classic albums live in their entireity has ballooned from an oddity into a full-blown trend. In recent months we have seen: Lou Reed playing Berlin on its 35th anniversary, Public Enemy performing It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Sebadoh playing Bubble and Scrape, Mission of Burma performing Vs., Liz Phair recreating Exile In Guyville (which she will do again later this month), and -- well, okay, THIS isn't exactly news -- Roger Waters playing the entire Pink Floyd classic Dark Side of the Moon as his second set at Coachella. Not to mention similar recent performances of whole albums by artists as diverse as Jay-Z, Lucinda Williams, Sonic Youth, Wilco, Slint, Iron Maiden and GZA.
In the era of the download, where individual tracks and custom playlists have gained prominence in the marketplace, it's great to see that the artist's vision of a substantial set of interconnected songs can still have a place at the table. Rock on, album-makers...
Monday, August 11, 2008
Hayes got his start as a house songwriter and musician at Stax records in the 60s, eventually emerging as a successful solo artist with his breakout album Hot Buttered Soul. Hayes was a pivotal creative force in the genesis of 70's soul music, influencing artists to this day. He received numerous gold and platinum awards, and headlined the legendary Wattstax concert in 1973.
He also acted, and for several years provided the voice of Chef on the animated series South Park. Throughout his career he garnered dozens of Grammy's and other accolades, including an Oscar in 1972 for best original song and induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
This year's list of showcase artists is amazing. How about: Joan Baez, John Hiatt, Jim Lauderdale, Tift Merritt, Levon Helm, Steve Earle, James McMurtry, Gary Louris and Mark Olson (from the Jayhawks), Kathy Mattea, Reckless Kelly and on and on.
Also, on September 18 the 7th Annual Americana Music Association’s Honors and Awards Show will recognize John Hiatt with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting and Jason and the Scorchers with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Performance. The two-hour event will be broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio, and rebroadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio and BBC2 Radio.
Tickets are available through www.americanamusic.org, where you can also find more details about award nominees, showcases, prize packs, etc.