Posts tagged with "DEC 2010"

CASEY DESMOND

CASEY DESMOND
CASEY DESMOND Talent, tenacity and tech savvy are moving this indie artist forward Casey Desmond is the kind of kid who makes parents proud. At 24 she’s already received more awards and acclaim than many artists accumulate over a career. In addition to recently winning the Vision 4 Music songwriting competition and the Los Angeles Music awards, she’s been a repeat nominee for the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, a finalist in the Boston Music... 

DOOBIE BROTHERS

DOOBIE BROTHERS
DOOBIE BROTHERS After four decades of musical adventures, they’re still grooving “I was surprised to hear people come up and say, ‘Man, that new album is classic Doobie Brothers!’” says Tom Johnston with a chuckle. “I thought that was awesome. That’s pretty hip.” World Gone Crazy, the Doobies’ first new album in a decade, is indeed immediately identifiable as the work of the group that first rose to prominence in the 1970s with... 

AMOS LEE

AMOS LEE
AMOS LEE Getting out of his comfort zone with an unexpected collaboration For his fourth and latest album, Mission Bell, Amos Lee teamed with members of the critically acclaimed Americana band Calexico. Recorded at the group’s Wavelab Studio in Tucson, Ariz., the album frames Lee’s storytelling skills in a blend of roots music and old-school R&B. The Philadelphia native and onetime elementary school teacher spoke with us about the new music,... 

STEVE LUKATHER

STEVE LUKATHER
STEVE LUKATHER Toto’s guitar giant steps out on his own with an emotional new album By Russell Hall Steve Lukather is feeling a little philosophical these days. The reason, he admits, is because he’s just come through an especially tumultuous year. “I’ve reassessed things,” says the veteran guitarist. “I stopped drinking and stopped smoking, and started going to therapy. It’s like the warranty is up at age 50. I have lots of friends... 

DANIEL LANOIS

DANIEL LANOIS
DANIEL LANOIS A master producer vows to raise the standard yet again By Chris Neal Daniel Lanois was riding his motorcycle down a Los Angeles street in June when he was cut off by a car coming from the opposite direction. He veered to miss it, swerved onto the sidewalk—and woke up a few minutes later on his back in a parking lot, suffering from six broken bones, a cracked pelvis and internal bleeding. Lanois spent the next three weeks in intensive care,... 

KEVIN EUBANKS

KEVIN EUBANKS
KEVIN EUBANKS Leaving the Tonight Show behind him, a jazz guitar master looks ahead By Jeff Tamarkin When a 30-foot hole opened up in the basement of Kevin Eubanks’ home in the notoriously unstable terrain of Hollywood, he wasn’t sure what to do at first. “It was a massive problem with my house,” he says. “I didn’t know whether I was going to sell it or rebuild the foundation.” A contractor suggested it might be a nice place to build... 

ANNIE LENNOX

ANNIE LENNOX
ANNIE LENNOX Revisiting the music of her childhood while looking ahead If Annie Lennox had done nothing in her life except sing “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” the 1983 No. 1 smash that helped define that decade, her place in pop history would be secure. But there’s been no stopping her for nearly three decades. With the Eurythmics—the duo she formed in 1980 with Dave Stewart—Lennox scored hit after hit, from “Here Comes the Rain Again”... 

BRYAN ADAMS

BRYAN ADAMS
BRYAN ADAMS Why strip his hits down to their bare bones? He does it for you A few songs into Bare Bones, the live album he released late last year, Bryan Adams pauses to make sure the audience knows what it’s in for. “I don’t know if you got the memo about tonight’s show,” he says, “but this is the band.” By “the band,” the veteran Canadian rocker meant the minimalist lineup of himself and pianist Gary Breit, his lone accompanist.... 

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE Rediscovering themselves as creative, dangerous and daring After spending most of 2009 working with producer Brendan O’Brien on a follow-up to their hit 2006 album The Black Parade, the members of My Chemical Romance were hit with an unsettling realization: They didn’t like their new material all that much. They felt bored and stifled. So when a quick session to write a couple of additional songs veered in a more inspiring... 

REGINA SPEKTOR

REGINA SPEKTOR
REGINA SPEKTOR A self-proclaimed “nerd” lets fans into the live music-making process In 2009, Regina Spektor’s director friend Adria Petty convinced her that the time was right to preserve one of her concerts on film. Petty (daughter of Tom Petty) traveled across England on tour with Spektor, filming behind-the-scenes footage, then shot her show at the Hammersmith Apollo. That performance is documented on the new DVD and CD set Live in London,... 

CAKE

CAKE
CAKE Two decades after forming as a “convulsive gesture,” an alt-rock stalwart doesn’t look back Cake frontman John McCrea isn’t given to retrospective analysis of how he, his music or his band has evolved over the past 20 years. “I feel strongly that the song should be its own universe,” he says. McCrea sees no need to find the threads that tie together either the band’s career or its new album, Showroom of Compassion. Fair enough.... 

CASSANDRA WILSON

CASSANDRA WILSON
CASSANDRA WILSON She listens and lets the songs speak to her—then she makes them her own Cassandra Wilson has a sixth sense when it comes to finding songs. “They will tell me if they are for me,” she says. “A song tells me that it belongs to me. It has to resonate and have some connection to who I am, who I’ve grown up to be, who I was and will be and who I want to be.” The veteran singer’s latest album, Silver Pony, includes several... 

INXS

INXS
INXS Reaching out to singers from around the world to celebrate a durable rock legacy Veteran Australian pop-rock band INXS set about making an instrumental album of new material. But the longer they worked on that project, the more they found themselves tinkering with older INXS tunes, spinning them into some unexpected new directions. “We weren’t really serious at first,” says keyboardist and principal songwriter Andrew Farriss, “and then... 

TAPES ’N TAPES

TAPES ’N TAPES
TAPES ’N TAPES An indie-rock upstart finds space in its songs during a full-circle journey to independence In some ways, the story of Tapes ’n Tapes reads like a case study of how the music business has changed over the last half-decade. The Minneapolis quartet released its debut, The Loon, in 2005, independently (in the U.S., at least) on its own Ibid label. The buzz earned them a spot on the roster of XL Recordings and a bigger budget for... 

THE DAMNED THINGS

THE DAMNED THINGS
THE DAMNED THINGS Fall Out Boy + Anthrax + Every Time I Die = a different kind of rock supergroup The first sound on Ironiclast, the debut album from unlikely hard-rock supergroup the Damned Things, is a monster guitar riff characteristic of six-string slingers Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano from thrash-metal mainstay Anthrax. The songs that follow are fast, tight and laser-precise—kind of like Every Time I Die, singer Keith Buckley and bassist Josh... 

RHONDA VINCENT

RHONDA VINCENT
RHONDA VINCENT One of bluegrass’ leading ladies takes care of business Rhonda Vincent grew up in the family business. The Missouri native first began singing at age 5 as a member of her parents’ bluegrass group, the Sally Mountain Show. Three years later she took up the mandolin, and it’s been her instrument of choice ever since. “One of the great things about growing up in a bluegrass family is that it allows you to experience so many different... 

YOKO ONO

YOKO ONO
YOKO ONO After a lifetime of artistic adventures, a restless innovator finds a new home on the dance floor “Never!” replies Yoko Ono when asked if she ever imagined she might someday become the toast of the dance floor—but that’s precisely what she has become. To a new generation of club kids who know little of her many decades of creating visual art, poetry, performance art and music—or of her marriage and collaborations with late Beatle... 

STEEL MAGNOLIA

STEEL MAGNOLIA
STEEL MAGNOLIA HOMETOWN: Nashville MEMBERS: Joshua Scott Jones (vocals, guitar), Meghan Linsey (vocals) ALBUM: Steel Magnolia, out Jan. 11 WEBSITE: steelmagnoliamusic.com In March 2006, Joshua Scott Jones walked into a karaoke club in Nashville. There he met and sang with Meghan Linsey for the first time, belting out a version of the Air Supply hit “All Out of Love” together. The two hit it off and began dating, but were determined to pursue... 

THE MEMORIALS

THE MEMORIALS
THE MEMORIALS HOMETOWN: Berkeley, Calif. members: Viveca Hawkins (vocals), Nick Brewer (guitar), Thomas Pridgen (drums) ALBUM: The Memorials, due out Jan. 18 WEBSITE: thememorialsmusic.com After parting ways with prog-rock band the Mars Volta in late 2009, drummer Thomas Pridgen immediately set about putting a new group together. He reached out to singer Viveca Hawkins and guitarist Nick Brewer, both of whom he had met while attending the Berklee... 

HOPE

HOPE
HOPE HOMETOWN: Woodstock, N.Y. INFLUENCES: Mariah Carey, Sade, Sting ALBUM: Hope, due out early 2011 WEBSITE: followhope.com In a way, Hope’s destiny in music was preordained by the bittersweet circumstances of her birth: Her twin sister, Faith, died just days after both were born. “Sometimes I feel like half of me is not here,” she says. “Music has become a huge part of that other half. I rely on the music to give me sanity and inspiration.”... 

FISHMAN LOUDBOX MINI

FISHMAN LOUDBOX MINI
FISHMAN LOUDBOX MINI Let your acoustic guitar be heard FOR: Electrifying acoustic tones. Although Fishman is best known for its outstanding acoustic guitar pickups, over the past decade it has also been crafting a serious line of sound reinforcement products for acoustic instruments. Primarily designed to amplify acoustic guitars, the Loudbox Mini’s 60 watts pack a serious punch. Plug your guitar cable into the instrument channel and the three-band... 

COLLINGS 290

COLLINGS 290
COLLINGS 290 An acoustic specialist plugs in at last FOR: Tone aficionados. After 32 years of building some of the most highly regarded acoustic instruments on the planet, luthier Bill Collings decided to turn up the volume. Just like its namesake (the highway that leads to Collings’ shop on the outskirts of Austin), the electric Collings 290 is going to take you to a place filled with inspiration and musical diversity. The craftsmanship is outstanding... 

BLUE MICROPHONES SPARK

BLUE MICROPHONES SPARK
BLUE MICROPHONES SPARK Beauty is in the ear of the beholder FOR: Smoking tones in an attractive package. If you could fall in love with a mic based on appearances alone, get ready to elope with Spark—and it sounds just as good as it looks. In tracking guitars and vocals, we got the feeling that this cardioid condenser mic would sound great no matter what we put in front of it. Inserting the Focus button allows you to roll off some low end in a... 

KEITH MCMILLEN SOFTSTEP

KEITH MCMILLEN SOFTSTEP
KEITH MCMILLEN SOFTSTEP Put your best foot forward FOR: Control freaks. The Keith McMillen SoftStep is one of the most intriguing devices we’ve come across in a long time. Simply calling it a USB controller doesn’t suffice—McMillen has dubbed the SoftStep a mouse for your feet, and we’re inclined to agree. The idea of being able to arm tracks and control the transport in Pro Tools with your hands otherwise occupied is appealing enough, but... 

ART TUBEOPTO 8

ART TUBEOPTO 8
ART TUBEOPTO 8 Light up your audio interface with this input/output expander FOR: Tube-driven input/output (I/O). If you’re looking to expand the I/O on your ADAT-compliant interface, ART’s TubeOpto 8 features eight channels of top-class tube-driven mojo sure to cure what’s ailing you. Each of the Opto 8’s channels feature gain and output controls as well as pad, low cut and phase switches for lots of useful functionality. You can dial in... 

GEAR – SIX-STRING SKINNY

GEAR – SIX-STRING SKINNY
Everything you need to know about selecting the perfect guitar From Eric Clapton’s soaring blues to Tony Iommi’s pulverizing metal riffs and Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic jams, no single instrument has defined the sound and spirit of rock ’n’ roll music more than the guitar. If you want to grab an axe and add a few notes to that legacy, you have to start with the right instrument. With endless variations and models to choose from, how do... 

Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg
PHOTOGRAPHER HENRY DILTZ SNAPPED THE COVER shot of Dan Fogelberg’s 1974 album Souvenirs in the living room of art designer Gary Burden’s Topanga Canyon, Calif., home. “Gary collected Indian artifacts, and among them was that eagle feather,” recalls Diltz. “Dan picked it up, and that looked so great it became the album cover. There was such an intensity to the way he was looking at the camera. It had an ancient quality to it.” The sepia... 

KEITH URBAN

KEITH URBAN
DEC 2010 COVER STORY: KEITH URBAN FEATURES: THE INDIE SURVIVAL GUIDE MUSICIAN: KEVIN EUBANKS, STEVE LUKATHER PRODUCER: DANIEL LANOIS Q&A’s: MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, ANNIE LENNOX, REGINA SPEKTOR, BRYAN ADAMS, AMOS LEE SPOTLIGHT: YOKO ONO, THE DAMNED THINGS, RHONDA VINCENT, TAPES ‘N TAPES, INXS, CASSANDRA WILSON, CAKE WHO’S NEXT: HOPE, THE MEMORIALS, STEEL MAGNOLIA INDIE SCENE: CASEY DESMOND BEHIND THE CLASSICS: “Hard Knock Life... 

BOB REA

BOB REA
BOB REA Ragged Choir bobreamusic.com Rea’s songs can come across ragged at times, but they’re also very easy to like. An old school raconteur with a stylistic similarity to the likes of Guy Clark, Waylon Jennings and Rodney Crowell, Rea demonstrates a surefooted take on the Everyman perspective.  Read More →

MICK RHODES

MICK RHODES
MICK RHODES ’Til I Am Dust myspace.com/mickrhodesmusic Mick Rhodes jumps genres like a kangaroo navigating the Outback, yet consistently cranks out great tunes. Whether it’s the pop spark of “Back to the 909,” the Americana revelry of “It’s Too Late” or the backwoods stomp of “Brown and Blue,” Rhodes rocks with conviction.  Read More →

KEVENS

KEVENS
KEVENS We Are One kevens.com Reggae has splintered into several subgenres over the years, but Kevens takes a traditional tack that would likely find Bob Marley nodding his approval. Opening track “HalleluJAH” echoes Marley’s spiritual side, while songs like “Open Your Eyes and “Breakdown the Walls” offer further affirmation. Kevens maintains a rock steady rhythm throughout.  Read More →

BIRDSONG AT MORNING

BIRDSONG AT MORNING
BIRDSONG AT MORNING Annals of My Glass House birdsongatmorning.com A lovely compendium combining Birdsong At Morning’s four EPs, Annals of My Glass House finds the chamber folk trio gently ruminating on matters of the heart. Nick Drake’s influence is obvious, but hushed covers of Blondie’s “Dreaming” and the Rolling Stones’ “Moonlight Mile” also prove revelatory.  Read More →

AUDITORIUM

AUDITORIUM
AUDITORIUM Be Brave auditoriummusic.com You’d expect a musician who brands himself Auditorium to go for theatrics, but the man behind this curtain, Spencer Berger, keeps the drama to a minimum. There’s delicacy in his deft approach, with his sweeping vocals and ornate acoustic settings rekindling memories of Mike Love and the Beach Boys.  Read More →

PATRICK WILLIAMS

PATRICK WILLIAMS
PATRICK WILLIAMS Aurora patrickwilliamsmusic.com While known mainly as a film and television composer, Grammy and Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Patrick Williams is also an accomplished jazz arranger whose work with Frank Sinatra, Tom Scott and clarinetist Eddie Daniels has earned him acclaim throughout his 50-year career. Aurora reunites Williams with Scott and Daniels and also includes other ace players like Hubert Laws, Arturo Sandoval, Chuck Findley... 

TIM LEE 3

TIM LEE 3
TIM LEE 3 Raucous Americanus timleethree.com After winning over rock fans in Let’s Active and the dubiously dubbed Windbreakers, Tim Lee has been soaking up the sounds of the South while touring what he and his wife, bass player Susan Bauer Lee, call the “pulled pork circuit.” The accurately titled, sprawling double disc Raucous Americanus emphasizes the gritty, no-nonsense MO that’s become the Tim Lee 3’s stock in trade. With drummer Matt... 

DARDEN SMITH

DARDEN SMITH
DARDEN SMITH Marathon dardensmith.com While Darden Smith’s Austin upbringing might lead some to tag him as just another Texas troubadour, his recent efforts have shown some distance from his homegrown roots. While he is known to dabble in pop, Marathon reflects a darker side to his musical persona, given a set of songs united by a sense of hushed introspection. The album maintains a consistent conceptual feel that connects the steadfast sway of... 

BRIAN RAY

BRIAN RAY
BRIAN RAY This Way Up brianray.com Although Brian Ray honed his chops backing Etta James, Smokey Robinson and French heartthrob Johnny Hallyday, since 2002 he has been perhaps best known as a member of Paul McCartney’s backing band. Not surprisingly, Ray’s second solo effort reflects a pop sensibility honed by experience and enhanced by long-term exposure to McCartney. Yet his fondness for big beats, vibrant hooks and catchy choruses doesn’t... 

MINI MANSIONS

MINI MANSIONS
MINI MANSIONS Mini Mansions minimansionsmusic.com Mini Mansions’ ambitious and complex sound draws equally from pop and prog-rock. Their appealing melodies aim for accessibility, and radiant textures and breezy harmonies make Mini Mansions feel spacious. At times the L.A.-based band’s members seem intent on proving their skill at shaping soundscapes, especially on songs like “Monk” and “The Room Outside.” That comes with the territory,... 

THE JIGSAW SEEN

THE JIGSAW SEEN
THE JIGSAW SEEN Bananas Foster thejigsawseen.com Given to elaborate arrangements that incorporate a staunchly retro feel, the Jigsaw Seen remains one of the more accomplished power-pop outfits to have emerged from L.A.’s 1980s paisley underground. Their music veers from exuberant and embracing to precious and precocious, giving songs like “David Hart’s Name of Song,” “Fruitbasket Upset” and “Melancholy Morning” a consistent sound that’s... 

KATE JACOBS

KATE JACOBS
KATE JACOBS Home Game katejacobsmusic.com Kate Jacobs’ sly, childlike vocals generally tread the divide between innocence and whimsy, but Home Game finds her cloaked in a blanket of domesticity. With two toddlers keeping her occupied, she sings of being drawn to the hearth although tempted by the tug of the road. The sentiments are simple, but Jacobs’ alluring delivery makes even the wistfully dreamy “Time for Bed” seem like a sumptuous delight.... 

GARY HUSBAND

GARY HUSBAND
GARY HUSBAND Dirty & Beautiful Volume 1 garyhusband.com Drummer and keyboardist Gary Husband’s résumé is peppered with albums by famous musicians, Jeff Beck, Jack Bruce, Robin Trower and John McLaughlin among them. Several notables contribute here—McLaughlin, Trower, Steve Hackett and Allan Holdsworth included—but Dirty & Beautiful isn’t a mere exercise in superstar indulgence. Rather, it’s a showcase for Husband’s talents as... 

JEFF FINLIN

JEFF FINLIN
JEFF FINLIN The Tao of Motor Oil jefffinlin.com Singer and songwriter Jeff Finlin’s latest offering is a study in tone and temperament, ranging from the sobering pronouncements of “Barefoot in the Snow,” “Hands Off the Wheel” and “La Luna” to the steadfastly determined “East by West” and “Stones Must Roll.” The Tao of Motor Oil (a title Finlin said refers to his hope for a smoothly running life) maintains an unwavering resolve... 

STACIE COLLINS

STACIE COLLINS
STACIE COLLINS Sometimes Ya Gotta… staciecollins.com Stacie Collins represents a refreshing break from the shy, retiring types that seem to dominate Austin and Nashville these days. Opening track “Hey Mister” emphasizes that point by tossing out the typecasting so prevalent in commercial country music these days. “Hey mister, listen to the radio playin’/Another shooting star/But they ain’t got a damn thing to say.” Collins isn’t so... 

ERIC BRACE & PETER COOPER

ERIC BRACE & PETER COOPER
ERIC BRACE & PETER COOPER Master Sessions redbeetrecords.com Inspired by a shared admiration for a pair of iconic instrumentalists—Dobro legend Mike Auldridge and pedal steel master Lloyd Green—Peter Cooper and Last Train Home’s Eric Brace opted to celebrate their legacies by actually enlisting these veteran virtuosos themselves. With additional support from Nashville’s finest session players, the performances are flawless—and the material... 

BLEU

BLEU
BLEU Four bleutopia.com Bleu—also known as singer, songwriter and instrumentalist William James McAuley III—boasts a power-pop sound that embraces rousing anthems, outsized arrangements and the kind of insistent singalongs that might give the E Street Band a run for their money. After taking honors in Boston’s annual Battle of the Bands competition, McAuley joined L.E.O., a group that shared members with Chicago, Hanson and Jellyfish while... 

Who Is Harry Nilsson

Who Is Harry Nilsson
Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? [Lorber Films] DVD Harry Nilsson was a one-of-a-kind character: an immensely talented songwriter whose biggest hits were covers; an ebullient soul fueled by a terror of abandonment; an ambitious striver who seemed determined to wreck his career; a man with the voice of an angel and a devilish sense of humor; a lover of life who often appeared to have a death wish; a onetime multimillionaire... 

ROCK BAND 3

ROCK BAND 3
ROCK BAND 3 [Harmonix] GUITAR HERO: WARRIORS OF ROCK [Activision] VIDEO GAMES The music game genre has grown crowded quickly over the last few years, but the essential battle at its core remains that between the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises. The latest iteration of each demonstrates the very different ways in which the games have evolved. The Guitar Hero series is on its sixth major incarnation, not counting seemingly endless variants like... 

GUITAR HERO: WARRIORS OF ROCK

GUITAR HERO: WARRIORS OF ROCK
GUITAR HERO: WARRIORS OF ROCK [Activision] ROCK BAND 3 [Harmonix] VIDEO GAMES The music game genre has grown crowded quickly over the last few years, but the essential battle at its core remains that between the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises. The latest iteration of each demonstrates the very different ways in which the games have evolved. The Guitar Hero series is on its sixth major incarnation, not counting seemingly endless variants like... 

JIMI HENDRIX

JIMI HENDRIX
JIMI HENDRIX West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology [Experience Hendrix/Sony Legacy] BOX SET At some point the world resigned itself to the idea that every scrap of tape left behind by musical giants like Miles Davis and John Coltrane was worth hearing—that every alternate version was at least a little revealing, and even a seconds-long take that broke down before getting started offered a glimpse into the creative process. It’s... 

CAREY OTT

CAREY OTT
CAREY OTT Human Heart [DiscoverRock.com] On his second full-length solo album, Ott again displays the understated melodicism of his previous work as well as a winsome voice reminiscent of Freedy Johnston. On the punchy “Wish I Could,” Ott voices his eternal optimism with pithy lines like “I want to talk and communicate with everyone.” That theme continues on the oughta-be-a-hit “Be Honest,” where he croons, “A little more courtesy, empathy/All... 
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