Posts tagged with "Issue No24"

THE BIG PICTURE

THE BIG PICTURE
THE BIG PICTURE A memorable video can be the key to taking your act to the next level Back in the day, blowing up big often began with a lucky live gig in which an A&R rep happened to be in the audience. Or having your demo land on the right record exec’s desk. Today, artists from Justin Bieber and OK Go to Carly Rae Jepsen and PSY have catapulted to stardom thanks to clips on YouTube, Vimeo and other video websites. In fact, it’s hard to... 

ALICIA KEYS

ALICIA KEYS
  ALICIA KEYS – FIRED UP With a new album and a host of other projects, Alicia Keys is sizzling  BY RUSSELL HALL Sometimes an offhand comment can lead to magic. That’s exactly what happened to Alicia Keys as she began making her new album. Taking note of Keys’ energized demeanor, an interviewer called the 31-year-old singer-songwriter a girl on fire. “That’s it!” Keys thought. “That describes everything I’m feeling. Now... 

TEGAN AND SARA

TEGAN AND SARA
TEGAN AND SARA Twin talents enjoy the view from the bright side on their latest project After 13 years and a dozen albums, identical twins Tegan and Sara Quin are not afraid of change. “We always aim to create a slightly different record each time we step into the studio,” says Tegan. Take their latest album, Heartthrob. “Sara encouraged me to write outside my usual themes, like self-loathing, loss and heartbreak. So I wrote love songs for... 

AARON NEVILLE

AARON NEVILLE
AARON NEVILLE  An American treasure revisits the music that honed his otherworldly vocals   Aaron Neville has sung R&B, gospel and country, everywhere from Bourbon Street to Sesame Street, but now he’s returning to the street-corner sounds he’s loved since boyhood with his doo-wop record, My True Story. For the new album, Neville’s first on Blue Note Records, he called label president Don Was, who in turn reached out to longtime doo-wop... 

ONE CONTROL’S MOSQUITE BLENDER

ONE CONTROL’S MOSQUITE BLENDER
ONE CONTROL’S MOSQUITE BLENDER STOMPBOX SUPERCHARGER Ten years ago, if asked what “parallel processing” meant, most guitarists would have muttered something about computers. Today, the technique has become so prevalent many guitarists pick up expensive effects loop controllers just to be able to pull it off. One Control’s affordable Mosquite Blender delivers a single foot-switchable effects loop with a simple wet/dry mix control. Use it to... 

MICW ISHOTGUN

MICW ISHOTGUN
MICW ISHOTGUN POCKET-SIZED PRO MIC While photographers have long followed the adage, “the best camera is the one you have with you,” the MicW iShotgun proves that the same is true for microphones. Designed to plug directly into a standard 1/8” TRRS communications jack, this pocket-sized highly-directional condenser mic provides a professional-quality solution for anyone recording on the go with an iOS or Android device. It also comes complete... 

APPLIED ACOUSTICS SYSTEM LOUNGE LIZARD EP-4

APPLIED ACOUSTICS SYSTEM LOUNGE LIZARD EP-4
APPLIED ACOUSTICS SYSTEM LOUNGE LIZARD EP-4 ENDLESS KEYBOARD TONES Why settle for a single electric piano model, when the Applied Acoustics Systems Lounge Lizard EP-4 virtual instrument offers a limitless supply of vintage keyboard tones. Using some of the most sophisticated modeling technology available, Lounge Lizard EP-4 provides real-time manipulation of nearly every aspect of its tone, with advanced control over hammers, tines, pickups and other... 

ZOOM MS-100BT

ZOOM MS-100BT
ZOOM MS-100BT MULTI-EFFECTS POWER IN A BOX It’s hard to look at the Zoom MS-100BT and think “multi-effects pedal,” but inside this standard-size stompbox live 92 outstanding effects and eight distinct amp models, all of a quality any gigging guitarist can appreciate. Unlike similar compact multi-effects units, the MS-100BT allows up to six effects to be accessed simultaneously, effectively replacing an entire pedalboard with a single pedal.... 

WAVES REDD

WAVES REDD
WAVES REDD ROAD. ABBEY ROAD. From the late ’50s to the late ’60s, three hand-built mixing consoles dominated the British recording industry, Abbey Road Studio’s REDD.17, REDD.37 and REDD.51. The Waves REDD plug-in recreates the sound of these three classic EMI mixing desks with haunting accuracy, providing every DAW owner the opportunity to experience classic console sound. All three models deliver the coveted “British EQ” warmth plus silky... 

BEEPSTREET’S IMPAKTOR

BEEPSTREET’S IMPAKTOR
BEEPSTREET’S IMPAKTOR FROM IPHONE TO YOUR DRUM There are tons of great iOS music apps out there, but BeepStreet’s Impaktor stands out as one of the most innovative to hit the Apple App Store in months. This unique drum sequencer turns any compatible iOS device into a playable percussion instrument. Just set your iOS device on a table (or other flat, resonant surface), and start tapping away with your hands or drum sticks. Impaktor senses and interprets... 

BOICEBOX PEDALBOARDS

BOICEBOX PEDALBOARDS
BOICEBOX PEDALBOARDS STOMP ON THIS BoiceBox pedalboards have been stirring buzz among traveling guitarists lately, and for good reason. They’re made from an attractive three-ply bamboo composite that’s far thinner, lighter and stronger than standard nine-ply birch—and with the addition of a detachable lid, the board itself turns into a seriously heavy-duty flight case. Both flat and tiered BoiceBox models feature advanced cable-management systems,... 

ELECTRO-HARMONIX DELUXE BASS BIG MUFF PI

ELECTRO-HARMONIX DELUXE BASS BIG MUFF PI
ELECTRO-HARMONIX DELUXE BASS BIG MUFF PI NEXT-GEN BASS FUZZ The Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi offers bass players the classic fuzz tone they crave but with powerful tone-shaping controls needed for modern bass styles. In addition to a wet/dry blend control—which allows one to balance the fuzz with unaffected clean dynamics—there’s a footswitchable crossover onboard designed to roll highs off the clean signal and lows off the distorted... 

TEENAGE ENGINEERING OP-1

TEENAGE ENGINEERING OP-1
TEENAGE ENGINEERING OP-1 GIZMO-FUELED SYNTH One of the most unique, if not comprehensive, synth workstations available, the Teenage Engineering OP-1 pushes the envelope for sheer number of built-in gizmos and available aftermarket gadgets. It comes packed with eight different sound engines, spanning the gamut from the retro 8-bit Dr. Wave synth to the sophisticated String physical modeler. Sampling and sequencing options abound, and there’s even... 

FENDER PAWN SHOP REVERSE JAGUAR BASS

FENDER PAWN SHOP REVERSE JAGUAR BASS
FENDER PAWN SHOP REVERSE JAGUAR BASS VINTAGE BASS The Fender Pawn Shop Reverse Jaguar Bass takes you back to when bizarre one-offs and custom models would occasionally pop up in secondhand guitar stores. With its reverse neck and body, this is one striking bass. This instrument’s true character is revealed when it’s plugged in. With a pair of humbuckers—rare for a Fender bass—it’s an ideal combination of punch and jangle with just the right... 

YAMAHA DTX450K ELECTRONIC DRUM KIT

YAMAHA DTX450K ELECTRONIC DRUM KIT
YAMAHA DTX450K ELECTRONIC DRUM KIT Affordable electronic drums that groove With more than 45 years producing world-class drums, it’s not surprising that Yamaha’s DTX450K earns such high marks. The DTX450K is perfect for triggering samples in the studio or getting your groove on in any volume-conscious venue—including your living room. The most feature-rich model in Yamaha’s affordable DTX400 series, the DTX450K certainly doesn’t skimp in... 

EARASERS EARPLUGS

EARASERS EARPLUGS
EARASERS EARPLUGS Affordable, comfortable hi-fi earplugs  Musicians want to protect their hearing but they hate the sound, feel and appearance of over-the-counter earplugs. Custom-molded models address these objections but they require professional fitting and are pricey. EARasers—a company founded by musicians—is dedicated to creating comfortable, attractive, accurate and affordable earplugs. Since their arrival at 2012’s summer NAMM show,... 

APOGEE QUARTET

APOGEE QUARTET
APOGEE QUARTET Affordable electronic drums that groove We had anticipated Apogee would deliver its pristine digital conversion and fidelity to the Quartet, but its massive range of studio control totally blew us away. Like the One and the Duo, all of the Quartet’s I/O levels are controlled via sleek pushbuttons and a single big knob. What sets the Quartet apart are its four phantom-powered combi-jacks, ADAT I/O and three independent balanced outputs.... 

ISOACOUSTICS ISO-L8R 155 SPEAKER STANDS

ISOACOUSTICS ISO-L8R 155 SPEAKER STANDS
ISOACOUSTICS ISO-L8R 155 SPEAKER STANDS Definitive isolation for studio monitors The first thing we noticed when testing the IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R 155s was a dramatic improvement in monitoring clarity. Bass tightened, mids opened, and the separation between instruments became more apparent. ISO-L8R 155s achieve this effect by addressing the most common monitoring problems. Their floating design has a decoupling effect, dramatically reducing false low... 

AKG D12 VR REFERENCE KICK-DRUM MICROPHONE

AKG D12 VR REFERENCE KICK-DRUM MICROPHONE
AKG D12 VR REFERENCE KICK-DRUM MICROPHONE Bass drum mic goes to the next level The AKG D12 VR celebrates the company’s 65th anniversary with a nod to the dynamic mic that put them on the map in the ’50s and ’60s—the original D12—and the iconic D112 kick-drum mic heard on countless recordings and innumerable live venues. Without phantom power, the D12 VR delivers the pure character produced by any sound source. With phantom power engaged,... 

JOE CHICCARELLI

JOE CHICCARELLI
JOE CHICCARELLI Rock, pop, country or jazz, it’s all about serving the music       By Michael Gallant In more than three decades, Joe Chiccarelli has amassed an impressive roster of production and engineering credits—from Alanis Morissette, My Morning Jacket and the White Stripes to Jason Mraz, Elton John, Christina Perri and the Shins. But it all began humbly for the multiple Grammy winner. “I started in music as a bass player in rock bands,... 

LISA LOEB

LISA LOEB
LISA LOEB The ’90 chart-topper looks to the past to find new inspiration  Lisa Loeb has spent the last few years steeped in the world of children’s entertainment. She released children’s albums in 2008 and 2011. She wrote a children’s book, and has a new one coming out in April. She started the Camp Lisa Foundation to send underprivileged children to camp. And she had her second child in June 2012. So what coaxed her back to making pop... 

EELS

EELS
EELS No plan is no problem for E and his band of indie rockers      Heading into the studio without a single song written could easily lead to chaos, but on the latest Eels album, Wonderful, Glorious, the casual approach was key to  bringing the band together. “Normally I have a concept or musical idea of what I want a record to sound like, but I went in with none of that,” says frontman Mark Everett (better known as “E”). Instead, E... 

TRISTAN PRETTYMAN

TRISTAN PRETTYMAN
TRISTAN PRETTYMAN An intensely personal album deepens her connection with fans Singer-songwriter Tristan Prettyman shares the difficult aftermath of her breakup with fellow artist Jason Mraz on her recently released third album, Cedar & Gold. At first reluctant to sing about the personal trauma, she eventually embraced the opportunity to connect more deeply with her audience. “I wondered if it was going to be too much information,” Prettyman... 

MACY GRAY

MACY GRAY
MACY GRAY Honoring a music legend with a cover of a classic album  Macy Gray was on a mission to honor her personal hero, Stevie Wonder, by covering his iconic album Talking Book. The new record—which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the original’s release—features Gray interpreting classics from “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” to “Superstition.” But don’t call it a tribute record. “It’s a love letter and a big thank... 

UNCLE KRACKER

UNCLE KRACKER
UNCLE KRACKER A pop-rock hit-maker brings his feel-good groove to country music   His 2001 breakout single, “Follow Me,” was a pop smash. But in recent years, Uncle Kracker, aka Matthew Shafer, has shifted from funky post-grunge rock to country, working with producer Keith Stegall (Alan Jackson, Zac Brown Band) and signing with roots label Sugar Hill Records. What hasn’t changed is the Detroit native’s penchant for fun—a philosophy reflected... 

LINDSEY STIRLING

LINDSEY STIRLING
LINDSEY STIRLING HOMETOWN: Gilbert, Ariz. INFLUENCES: Bond, Vanessa-Mae, David Garrett ALBUM: Lindsey Stirling, out now WEBSITE: lindseystirlingviolin.com Lindsey Stirling is a fiddler who really could dance on a roof. The 26-year-old violinist, who was reared on masters like Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Mozart, has created her own style fusing classical with pop, house and hip-hop. Her spunky stage presence, top-notch technical chops and ninja-like... 

ZIGGY MARLEY

ZIGGY MARLEY
ZIGGY MARLEY Exploring the connection between his father’s legacy and his own artistry Although Ziggy Marley has won five Grammys and garnered widespread acclaim for his work as a humanitarian, author and producer, to many he will always be known as Bob Marley’s eldest son. Rather than distancing himself from his father’s legacy, Marley embraces the spirit and artistry of the legendary performer, who died in 1981. His new album, Ziggy Marley... 

HOLLY WILLIAMS

HOLLY WILLIAMS
HOLLY WILLIAMS Back on the highway and serving notice that she’s here to stay    It can be tough to live up to family legacies—and Holly Williams carries one monster pedigree. Her grandfather was legendary Hank Williams. Her father, Hank Williams Jr., is also a country giant, and her half-brother, cow punkster Hank III, has broken his own barriers. Is the long shadow of such success intimidating? “If anything, it’s been kind of a challenge,”... 

Atoms for peace

Atoms for peace
ATOMS FOR PEACE Amok [xl] When Thom Yorke needed musicians to back him on a 2009 solo tour, the Radiohead frontman laid the foundation for one of the more puzzling supergroups in recent memory. Among those he enlisted was Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, a perpetually shirtless slap-and-pop funkateer whose people-pleasing main band couldn’t differ more from Yorke’s. The other members—producer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Paul McCartney), drummer... 

THE JOY FORMIDABBLE

THE JOY FORMIDABBLE
THE JOY FORMIDABBLE Wolf’s Law [Atlantic]  The sophomore effort from these Welsh alt-rockers offers guitars that crunch at heavy metal levels and vocals that soothe to the point of hypnosis. Mega distortion gives way to dreamy interludes and ethereal harmony, and frontwoman Ritzy Bryan’s voice conjures the drama and enchantment of Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan. On such tracks as “Tendons,” guttural bass lines drop to the depths of... 

CARRIE RODRIGUEZ

CARRIE RODRIGUEZ
CARRIE RODRIGUEZ Give Me All You Got [Ninth Street Opus] A classically trained violinist, Carrie Rodriguez possesses firm command over another instrument: a sultry, Texas-cured soprano voice. Her engaging vocal style is best served without garish musical adornments or modern studio tricks, and on her fifth album, she smartly plays to her strengths, laying out a generous spread of mostly quiet acoustic songs. The simple restraint exercised by Rodriguez... 

KID ROCK

KID ROCK
KID ROCK Rebel Soul [Atlantic] On his ninth studio album, Kid Rock lightens up. He’s never exactly been a brooding singer-songwriter, but after stepping up his game with 2010’s Rick Rubin-produced Born Free and dabbling in politics during last year’s Mitt Romney campaign, he seems ready to fling off the fedora and let his hair down. He leads listeners right into the party with “Chickens in the Pen,” a solid Southern rock foot-stomper. He’s... 

RICHARD THOMPSON

RICHARD THOMPSON
RICHARD THOMPSON Electric [New West]  Recorded in a few days at producer Buddy Miller’s Nashville home, Electric sounds more live than Thompson’s Dream Attic(2010), an actual live album. Perhaps it’s because he didn’t overdo it in the studio. Thompson has said that he and his trio banged out the recording with minimal fuss, and the lack of embellishment does these songs good. Fortunately, austerity doesn’t come at the price of substance,... 

GREEN DAY

GREEN DAY
GREEN DAY ¡Tré!  [Warner Bros.]  After diving into political and social commentary with concept albums in 2004 and 2009, Green Day lightened the mood in 2012 with a trilogy of less weighty records, released a few months apart. ¡Tré! wraps the triptych in characteristic fashion: There are no grand philosophical statements or particular points of view, just punchy pop songs that echo elements of the band’s career to now. “Missing You,” “Amanda”... 

RA RA RIOT

RA RA RIOT
RA RA RIOT Beta Love [Barsuk] Beta Love is an eccentric marriage of styles coexisting harmoniously, against the odds. This Syracuse quartet has moved from broody indie chamber-pop toward vibrant synth-pop, and the jolt that comes from the opening notes signifies more than just the newfound prominence of keyboards: It’s a complete reevaluation of their songwriting. This restructuring could be attributed to the departure of cellist Alexandra Lawn... 

WANDA JACKSON

WANDA JACKSON
WANDA JACKSON  Unfinished Business [Sugar Hill] At 75, Wanda Jackson has nothing left to prove. Since emerging in the ’50s as a female Elvis, she’s weathered fallow periods, but the Queen of Rockabilly has never really disappeared. In 2009, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and two years later, Jack White stepped up to produce The Party Ain’t Over, a problematic album that said as much about White’s ambitions as it did... 

MILES DAVIS QUINTET

MILES DAVIS QUINTET
MILES DAVIS QUINTET Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2  [Columbia/Legacy] What a difference a couple of years makes.  The Miles Davis Quintet documented on the first volume of this series—recorded in 1967 in various European locales—was, by many accounts, the quintessential Miles Davis outfit, as well as one of the most incendiary and innovative jazz ensembles ever. With Wayne Shorter on saxophone, Herbie Hancock on keyboards, Ron... 

CHIEF KEEF

CHIEF KEEF
CHIEF KEEF Finally Rich [Interscope] Taken out of context, the songs on Chief Keef’s big-league debut aren’t terribly remarkable. The Chicago rapper slurs his way through slang-heavy lines about liquor, drugs, money, guns, jewelry, foreign cars and occasionally the validation and security that come with success. He’s blunt and boastful, an unrepentant gangsta who found internet fame while under house arrest. The interesting thing: Keef is just... 

SCOTT WALKER

SCOTT  WALKER
SCOTT  WALKER Bish Bosch [4AD] Scott Walker’s output has been sporadic over the last 30 years, but he always makes the music of nightmares. On his first album since 2006, he interrupts stretches of silence with disjointed moments of off-kilter musicality. Bish Bosch is full of mechanical sounds—from the industrial hammering intro of the opening track to guitars that sound like television static and the repeated motif of sharpening knives. Hitchcockian... 

GRAHAM PARKER AND THE RUMOUR

GRAHAM PARKER AND THE RUMOUR
GRAHAM PARKER AND THE RUMOUR Three Chords Good [Primary Wave] Reunion albums naturally make listeners nervous. A record might be good, or it might be embarrassingly lame. Or it might be Three Chords Good, the first new record by Graham Parker and the Rumour in more than 30 years. Rich and exciting, it sounds at first like a long-lost gem. Then the words sink in. While the venom of Parker’s punky New Wave-era work hasn’t disappeared, it’s tempered... 

RAVI SHANKAR

RAVI SHANKAR
RAVI SHANKAR Tenth Decade: Live in Escondido [East Meets West] In light of Shankar’s death on  Dec. 11, 2012, Tenth Decade will likely stand as the final major release from an iconic musician who bridged East and West like no other. Filmed at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, Calif., in October 2011, the nearly 90-minute performance finds the master sitar player—91 at the time, sporting a full gray beard and using a cane as he... 

EL PERRO DEL MAR

EL PERRO DEL MAR
EL PERRO DEL MAR Pale Fire [The Control Group] Sarah Assbring, the Swedish artist behind El Perro del Mar, continues to evolve her sound, and after beginning the move away from acoustic arrangements on her last album, she completes the shift to electronica on her fourth full-length. Though synthesizers aren’t new to El Perro del Mar’s catalog, the sound of Pale Fire is more obviously electronic, as heard in the intentionally programmed sound of... 

CHRIS STAMEY

CHRIS STAMEY
CHRIS STAMEY Lovesick Blues [Yep Roc] Having spent much of his career in the producer’s chair, Chris Stamey fittingly applies lessons learned behind the scenes to this, his first solo album in seven years. Following a recent reunion with his seminal power-pop band the dB’s, Stamey ups the musical ante on Lovesick Blues. The album is lushly arranged and brimming with emotion, and Stamey adds a personal perspective to the radiant pop approach that’s... 

FREE ENERGY

FREE ENERGY
FREE ENERGY Love Sign [Free Energy Records] These Philadelphia rockers started strong on their 2010 debut, a ridiculously catchy collection of power-pop riffs, handclaps and harmony vocals. They’ve only gotten better on the follow-up, a joyous set of songs about dancing all night and making out. It sounds simplistic, but there’s greater nuance on Love Sign. With help from producer John Agnello, the band toys with slower jams and makes room for... 

CLINIC

CLINIC
CLINIC Free Reign [Domino] On their self-produced seventh album, these Leeds art-rockers trade intensity for laser-like focus. Something intangible pushes the songs forward, despite seemingly loose constructions. While Free Reign marks the return of Clinic’s trademark fuzzy guitars—lacking on their previous album, the mostly acoustic Bubblegum—the sound is less bristly than on earlier efforts. It’s also more psychedelic, with vintage organs... 

SALLY SHAPIRO

SALLY SHAPIRO
SALLY SHAPIRO Somewhere Else johanagebjorn.info/sally.html Relative to modern EDM, the ’80s-born sound known as Italo disco is more suave and sophisticated than it is sweaty, though the goal is still to make bodies move. On their third album, the Swedish duo of singer Sally Shapiro and producer Johan Agebjörn venture beyond the subgenre, making successful forays into lush, drowsy synth-pop. They occasionally get back to their roots but even when... 

OVERMOUNTAIN MEN

OVERMOUNTAIN MEN
OVERMOUNTAIN MEN The Next Best Thing overmountainmen.com The past has much to teach us, and whether exploring U.S. history (“Alexander Hamilton”) or the lives of regular folks, Overmountain Men are eager students. They’re also schooled in traditional American music, though Avett Brothers bassist Bob Crawford and singer-songwriter David Childers aren’t dogged bluegrass re-enactors. The standout title track is a dark, smoldering thing, and trading... 

GLISS

GLISS
GLISS Langsom Dans officialgliss.wordpress.com This L.A. trio’s song titles are telling. “Blur” describes the guitars—gorgeously bleak and distorted—while “Waves” sums up those wonderful washes of bittersweet synth. “Weight of Love” is the thematic centerpiece, a measurement not easily calculated. Like sometime tour mates the Raveonettes, Gliss makes music that’s both heavy and weightless, filled with big sounds yet fitted with... 

GEORGE KILBY JR.

GEORGE KILBY JR.
GEORGE KILBY JR. Six Pack georgekilbyjr.com A jammer from way back, this Alabama-born, New York-based blues ’n’ roots vet must have loved cutting “Something I Can’t Find,” the first tune on this six-song EP to feature an extended guitar break. Kilby also gets an audible kick out of trucking country-style through Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love,” trading licks with banjoist Andy Goessling. But he’s even better on the four tighter tracks,... 

TODD MAY

TODD MAY
TODD MAY Rickenbacker Girls myspace.com/toddmay Rock nerds will read the title and think of the jangly guitars beloved by the Byrds, Tom Petty and countless power-pop bands. Those influences likely apply, but May is actually referencing Ohio’s Rickenbacker Air Force Base. Growing up nearby, he chatted up pilots’ daughters worldlier than he was, and here, he sings songs about girls in motion. May himself is constantly on the move, jumping from... 
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