Posts tagged with "Issue No27"

KEYS TO SUCCESS

KEYS TO SUCCESS
KEYS TO SUCCESS The world of keyboards is vast and complex, so how do you choose the right one for you?   From the classic analog synths of the ’70s to the cutting-edge digital workstations of today, keyboards have been an integral part of music for nearly half a century. Nearly every genre, including pop, rock and jazz, relies on keyboards in the studio and onstage as a mainstay instrument. And scoring and production for TV and film wouldn’t... 

SIGUR RóS

SIGUR RóS
SIGUR RóS Kveikur [XL] What is it about Sigur Rós? By rights, this Icelandic band shouldn’t be anywhere near popular enough to headline Madison Square Garden or appear on The Simpsons, and yet in the first half of 2013, they’ve done both, building anticipation for this, their seventh album of elliptical, ethereal, strangely enchanting “dream rock,” as many describe their sound. This time out, “nightmare rock” sometimes seems the better... 

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE …Like Clockwork  [Matador] It’s been six years since Queens of the Stone Age released Era Vulgaris, and in that time, frontman Josh Homme has worked with the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, and drummer Joey Castillo has left the band. But in spite of—or maybe because of—the time away, the Queens’ sixth album reveals a renewed sense of self-assurance. It’s evident in the expansive sound, which allows the guitars... 

DEMI LOVATO

DEMI LOVATO
DEMI LOVATO Demi [Hollywood] The last time Demi Lovato released an album the onetime teen Disney princess was coming off a rough patch that included a break for rehab and newly discovered bipolar disorder. Not so surprisingly, the music on 2011’s Unbroken took a serious turn. On her fourth album, the 20-year-old pop singer and X Factor judge is still in a reflective mood, but with a brighter outlook this time. And as its title implies, Demi is supposed... 

THE NATIONAL

THE NATIONAL
THE NATIONAL Trouble Will Find Me [4AD] Though the National is often described as “world-weary,” “world-wary” may be more accurate. On five previous albums, the Brooklyn-based band crafted increasingly sophisticated songs populated by characters that live in their own heads, reluctant to engage as they parse the secret angst and uncertainty of evolving adulthood. The group’s latest is a stunning refinement of the form—a search for self... 

JOHN FOGERTY

JOHN FOGERTY
JOHN FOGERTY Wrote a Song for Everyone [Vanguard] John Fogerty’s first album in four years finds him collaborating with musical A-listers on songs he’s written throughout his career. Several tracks remain faithful to the original recordings, and while the new version of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” doesn’t add much, it’s a pleasure to hear Alan Jackson’s rich baritone. The most notable departure may be the Foo Fighters’ hard-rock... 

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS Nanobots [Idlewild] On Nanobots—their 12th studio album, not counting the four they’ve made for children—They Might Be Giants continue to be very serious about the business of being silly. This time out, the indie mainstays rhyme about combustible heads, the misguided commitments of karate, and occasionally even educational topics, as on their homage to Nikola Tesla and his works. With 25 tracks clocking in at just over... 

Steve Martin & Edie Brickell

Steve Martin & Edie Brickell
Steve Martin & Edie Brickell Love Has Come for You [Rounder] Twenty-five years ago, the idea of a Steve Martin recording with Edie Brickell might have seemed like a disaster of New Coke proportions, but Love Has Come for You proves them to be a delightful creative duo. The album combines Brickell’s lyrics and smoky soprano with Martin’s intricate and evocative banjo melodies. Though they co-wrote these songs from opposite coasts, they truly... 

LOW

LOW
LOW The Invisible Way [Sub Pop] Over the course of their dozen-plus previous offerings, Low has never shown themselves to be the most effusive combo, so to hear them opting for a more expressive delivery suggests a bid for accessibility. The tone is still austere, and the subject matter decidedly conflicted—themes veer from struggle to intimacy—but the sound is no longer blanketed by the veil of melancholia that’s enveloped it in the past. Those... 

JOE BONAMASSA

JOE BONAMASSA
JOE BONAMASSA An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House  [J&R Adventures] Anyone who reserves a page of his concert DVD’s booklet for a list of guitars he plays on the disc is obviously after the gearheads. (For the record, a 1974 Martin D-41, a 2012 Gibson SJ-200 and Guild F-512 12-string are among the dozens of acoustics listed.) And up until about a year or so ago, Joe Bonamassa mostly appealed to fellow instrumentalists, who could appreciate... 

Pistol Annies

Pistol Annies
Pistol Annies Annie Up [Sony Nashville] When it comes to Pistol Annies—Miranda Lambert, Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe—the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts. On its second album, the country trio pays tribute to lower-class women and speaks intelligently of their struggles. Whether singing alone or in harmony, each Annie adds new wrinkles to her phrasing: Lambert sounds feistier than ever, and Presley and Monroe meet that challenge... 

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS
FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS More Than Just a Dream [Elektra] Like any music junkie, Fitz and the Tantrums frontman Michael Fitzpatrick is well aware of the second-album curse. He responds by filling the follow-up to his band’s 2010 debut, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, with a few new styles and sounds, attempting to outrun the backlash he fears is coming. And for the most part, Fitz and the Tantrums stay one step ahead. More Than Just a Dream is more dynamic... 

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson Let’s Face the Music and Dance [Sony Legacy] For Willie Nelson, there’s no better (legal) way to celebrate a birthday than to release a record. The latest addition to the octogenarian’s 200-plus-album discography marks a return to the Great American Songbook, which served him so well on 1978’s Stardust. Nelson’s instantly recognizable, languorous vocals suit the material, giving a rough-hewn charm to standards like “Walking... 

The Three O’Clock

The Three O’Clock
The Three O’Clock The Hidden World Revealed [Omnivore] In the early ’80s, two separate yet parallel strains of Southern California rock offered different takes on ’60s revivalism. On one end, there was the hardcore punk of Black Flag and their ilk—bands that redefined “loud” and “fast” by pushing the antiestablishment rock of forefathers like Credence Clearwater Revival to hulking extremes. Punk was great for angry teenagers, but what... 

THE CHAPIN SISTERS

THE CHAPIN SISTERS
THE CHAPIN SISTERS A Date With the Everly Brothers thechapinsisters.com When ’50s rockers gain traction among young’uns, it’s usually because they represent the rebelliousness that historians often associate with the era, but that seldom translates in the malt-shop hits still heard on oldies radio. Recent examples include most-exalted badass Johnny Cash and feisty growler Wanda Jackson. The Everly Brothers are a harder sell, but the Chapin Sisters—two... 

MORTAR & PESTLE

MORTAR & PESTLE
MORTAR & PESTLE Mortar & Pestle mortarandpestlemusic.com One track into the debut from this Oakland trio, you might be surprised to see a drummer credited in the liners. On “U.V.”—as good a first impression as any new group might hope to make—singer Janaysa Lambert and keyboardist Paul Shinichi do soulful synth-pop somewhere between Depeche Mode and Des’ree, that ’90s one-hit wonder behind “You Gotta Be.” They could have gotten... 

DOUG MACLEOD

DOUG MACLEOD
DOUG MACLEOD There’s a Time doug-macleod.com A master of amused resignation, like all the best bluesmen, Doug MacLeod is as fine a phrase turner and joke maker as he is a string bender and drawling crooner—and that’s saying something. On his latest album—the umpteenth in a career rife with accolades and collaborations with genre greats—the 66-year-old hangs with good-time girls (“Rosa Lee”) and strolls on the dark side (“Run With the... 

MICHAEL GALLANT TRIO

MICHAEL GALLANT TRIO
MICHAEL GALLANT TRIO Completely gallantmusic.com Michael Gallant has never met a keyboard he doesn’t like. As a music journalist [and regular contributor to M], he’s profiled everyone from Dave Brubeck to Justin Timberlake—and as a pianist, he’s performed with Dixieland ensembles and composed scores for films, theater productions and even iPad graphic novels. Here, leading a jazz-rock trio, he deftly and tastefully swings between genres, playing... 

BORA YORK

BORA YORK
BORA YORK Dreaming Free borayork.com You can’t fake the warm feeling Chris Bartels gets on Dreaming Free, the full-band follow-up to an indie-folk solo effort he dropped in 2011. Collaborating with his wife and a group of good friends, the 25-year-old Minnesotan makes soft-focus synth-pop for young romantics and dreamers. Everything from the chiming guitars to the echoing vocals positively glows, and despite the bittersweet tinge of tunes like “Close... 

COLD SATELLITE

COLD SATELLITE
COLD SATELLITE Cavalcade coldsatellite.com What bar band sings lines like, “In the distance lies a city / a dappled ruby hub”? One smart enough to divvy up duties and let a poet write the lyrics and a burly-voiced guitar slinger deliver them. Cavalcade marks the second collaboration between celebrated wordsmith Lisa Olstein and acclaimed country rocker Jeffrey Foucault, and it’s plain to see what they get from each other. Songs this meaty and... 

HALLE & THE JILT

HALLE & THE JILT
HALLE & THE JILT Three Roads Home halleandthejilt.com Plenty of songwriters claim to take lyrics from diary entries, but in the case of Halle Petro, this seems especially true. Her songs are clear enough—most deal with relationships, and she pretty much lets on whether she’s hopeful or heartbroken—but there are gaps in the stories, just like there’s space in the arrangements of these 10 bluesy, rootsy jazz tunes. There’s little soul-diva... 

LINDA DRAPER

LINDA DRAPER
LINDA DRAPER Edgewise lindadraper.net On the latest from this New York singer-songwriter, the name of the game is motion. On “Glass Palace,” Draper contemplates leaving a lover and perhaps even passing into the great beyond, while “Right on Time” and “Hollow” find her “running down Bergen Avenue” and racing against the tide of tediousness threatening to overtake her life. With all of these songs—pop-rock sparklers informed by the... 

PARIS COMBO

PARIS COMBO
PARIS COMBO 5 pariscombo.com Few musical terms can be more terrifying than “jazz fusion.” When supremely talented players go all crazy chemist and start mixing genres, things can get ugly fast. But that’s not the case with Paris Combo. The French five-piece hit big during the ’90s swing revival, but then, as now, they refused to be fitted for standard-issue zoot suits. On 5, their first album since 2004, these wily Parisians throw a fantasy... 

THE BLACK LILLIES

THE BLACK LILLIES
THE BLACK LILLIES Runaway Freeway Blues theblacklillies.com Born of heartache—Cruz Contreras formed the group after the 2007 dissolution of his marriage, which also busted up his previous band—the Black Lillies are no longer strictly a vehicle for catharsis. On its third album, this seriously fierce trad-country outfit indulges in musical joyrides (see the sublime “Smokestack Lady”) and offers heartfelt character studies of Vietnam soldiers,... 

NAKIA

NAKIA
NAKIA Drown in the Crimson Tide nakia.net Singer, songwriter, actor and reality TV veteran Nakia Reynoso is a one-man variety show—a retro-sounding, thoroughly modern all-around entertainer for his time and place. In 2011, The Voice judge Cee Lo Green was sufficiently smitten to make him a quarterfinalist, and one spin through this six-song EP reveals why. Like Green, Nakia makes heavily varnished pop rooted in—but not slavishly indebted to—classic... 

CATHY

CATHY
CATHY Swimsuit Season cathymusic.com The latest in a long line of unassuming indie bands to have discovered the perfect ratio of wounded-dude sincerity to left-of-the-dial irreverence, Cathy makes record-geek rock everyone can get behind. Here, the Brooklyn foursome honors saints ranging from Alex Chilton to J Mascis, channeling their love and respect into punky power-pop jams and rousing alt-country sidesteps. There are even a few ballads, closer... 

GWEN SEBASTIAN

GWEN SEBASTIAN
GWEN SEBASTIAN Gwen Sebastian gwensebastian.com Thanks to The Voice—and judge Blake Shelton—this North Dakota singer-songwriter got her name out to the masses. Thanks to her voice—unusually tart and twangy—she skirts a pop-country pitfall or two, infusing this slick disc with a bit of old-school grit and genuine character.    Read More →

BAD PILGRIM

BAD PILGRIM
BAD PILGRIM Bad Pilgrim badpilgrim.com Good students of Operation Ivy, Less Than Jake and maybe even early Elvis Costello, Bad Pilgrim prove that poppy punk and breakneck ska can be sweet and juvenile without bouncing into goofball territory. Spin “Don’t Leave Me Alone” and spend a glorious 1:20 with your teenage self.    Read More →

JIMBEAU HINSON

JIMBEAU HINSON
JIMBEAU HINSON Strong Medicine jimbeauhinson.com Forgive Hinson if he’s feeling reflective. HIV-positive since the early ’80s, the hit-making country songwriter is glad to be alive, and on these earnest folk-rock tunes, he’s not shy about saying so. His calm, soulful delivery is as listenable as it is admirable.    Read More →

THE ORANGE PEELS

THE ORANGE PEELS
THE ORANGE PEELS Sun Moon theorangepeels.com On their fifth album, these Northern California tunesmiths rejigger the lineup and, by their estimation, get a bit experimental. Should they open for Muse, they’ll have a couple of grand arena-esque jams to pick from, but their focus remains sweet orchestral indie pop, complex yet light.    Read More →

STANDISH/CARLYON

STANDISH/CARLYON
STANDISH/CARLYON Deleted Scenes facebook.com/standishcarlyon Back in the day, this album might have facilitated romance between Bauhaus and Wham! fans. Today, its spacey, minimalist, gothed-out lover-man R&B feels universal, natural—even inevitable. It has something to do with the internet, as well as the sensual songcraft of this Aussie duo.    Read More →

FILTER

FILTER
FILTER On their latest, the unorthodox rockers welcome back the drum machines  Throughout the last 20 years, Filter has covered a broad spectrum, from intense industrial rock to shiny pop. On their sixth full-length album, The Sun Comes Out Tonight, they strike a balance between electronic and acoustic. Their loud/quiet contrast, exemplified by 2002’s hit single, “Take a Picture,” led a Warner Bros. exec to refer to the band as “musical schizophrenia.”... 

GOO GOO DOLLS

GOO GOO DOLLS
GOO GOO DOLLS   The moody alternative rockers look at the brighter side on their new set   “I’m an artist as much as anybody’s an artist,” says Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznik, placing air quotes around the word artist. “Sometimes I can be a bit of a precious little bitch about my work. But not being precious about it, digging in and putting the sweat into it, is where the really good stuff comes from. And being determined to not... 

BOBBY McFERRIN

BOBBY McFERRIN
BOBBY McFERRIN The vocal acrobat pours his joy into songs  of faith and devotion  “Making music is the most joyful experience I know,” says vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin, best known for his 1988 Grammy-winning smash, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” His new album, spirityouall, is a collection of devotional songs and original compositions. “Without faith I couldn’t walk, much less sing,” says McFerrin. “My career is very public,... 

JIMMY EAT WORLD

JIMMY EAT WORLD
JIMMY EAT WORLD Looking at love and life with a new perspective—and a new producer Though best known for their optimistic 2002 hit “The Middle,” Jimmy Eat World’s lyrics have always leaned more toward heartache and internal struggle. With the polished rock of their eighth album, Damage, frontman Jim Adkins decided to write an album that reflected the world-weary attitudes of someone who has grown up writing love songs. “The kinds of love... 

MELISSA FERRICK

MELISSA FERRICK
MELISSA FERRICK Teaching opens creative doors for the veteran singer-songwriter Teaching lyric writing at Boston’s Berklee College of Music has fostered a career renaissance for folk-rocker Melissa Ferrick. “I’m surrounded by all these jazz musicians, classical composers and theater professionals,” she says. “There’s such an intensity—and it’s a good thing. It’s made me into a happier live performer. I’ve been exhausted but completely... 

INDIA.ARIE

INDIA.ARIE
INDIA.ARIE                           The distinctive artist defines success—and her music—in her own terms     “I had no idea I could make an album in six months,” says India.Arie of her fifth studio project, SongVersation. “I’ve never done anything that fast. Ever. I don’t do anything fast. But I told myself that’s what I needed to do—and I did it. I’m still laughing at that one.” That kind of speed hardly sounds... 

MEGADETH

MEGADETH
MEGADETH Dave Mustaine explains why these metal icons aren’t afraid to take risks  Megadeth’s latest album, Super Collider, celebrates 30 years in the metal trenches—and it will certainly satisfy the cravings of fans who feast on the band’s stock-in-trade: shock-and-awe thrash metal. But it may also confuse—and even anger—some die-hard headbangers. This is the most melodic record frontman Dave Mustaine has made in years, and there’s... 

TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON

TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON
TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON  Musician, composer, professor—for this busy drummer, the beat never stops By Jeff Tamarkin Hearing Terri Lyne Carrington rattle off the list of artists she’s drummed with is jaw-dropping: Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz, Al Jarreau, Dianne Reeves, Carlos Santana, for starters. These giants and scores more of their stature seek her out for her airtight timekeeping, creative impulses and sensitivity... 

STEVE EARLE

STEVE EARLE
STEVE EARLE A powerful storyteller takes a hard look at hard times    “All singer-songwriters do this job on groundwork laid by Bob Dylan, who built his own fame based on Woody Guthrie,” says Steve Earle. “We’ve all done it with one foot in the 1930s, even though none of us—including Bob—witnessed that time firsthand. Times are really hard these days. What I’m seeing out the window is a lot closer to what Woody saw than it’s been... 

MARK HORNSBY

MARK HORNSBY
MARK HORNSBY This veteran producer’s goal is to unlock the best in every artist  MARK HORNSBY LEARNED EARLY ON THAT VERSATILITY WAS the key to a successful career as a producer and recording engineer, recalling a mentor who cautioned against getting pigeonholed into a certain sound or style. “If you get locked into just one thing, one day you’re going to wake up and not have any work,” says Hornsby. Hornsby’s never lacked for work. He spent... 

JOE SATRIANI

JOE SATRIANI
JOE SATRIANI With a new set, the guitar virtuoso showcases his Unstoppable talent By Russell Hall Surprisingly, Joe Satriani doesn’t always pay scrupulous attention to detail. His new album, Unstoppable Momentum, is a case in point. Only after the project was complete did it occur to him that the opening track was in 5/4 time. “A few things got past me,” says the guitar ace with a laugh. “It never dawned on me that it might be weird to start... 

DAVID KAHNE

DAVID KAHNE
DAVID KAHNE A studio maestro shares the secrets to some of his timeless collaborations  By Michael Gallant “Somebody once asked George Bernard Shaw what a great play was,” says David Kahne. “He said that it’s when you go to the theater, and you know what’s going to happen—but when it does, you’re still surprised. That’s a great description of a single as well. You can hear it over and over again, but it still gets you every time.”... 

VALERIE JUNE

VALERIE JUNE
VALERIE JUNE HOMETOWN: Humboldt, Tenn. INFLUENCES: Wanda Jackson, Dolly Parton, Nina Simone ALBUM: Pushin’ Against a Stone, out August WEBSITE: valeriejune.com Valerie June showed off her vocal chops by singing in church as a child in West Tennessee, where she soaked up the region’s rich musical culture. She landed her first gig as a teen with the help of her father, a promoter for gospel musicians. “It was and still is hard to go anywhere without... 

natalie gelman

natalie gelman
NATALIE GELMAN HOMETOWN: New York City INFLUENCES: Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Fiona Apple ALBUM: Streetlamp Musician, out now WEBSITE: nataliegelman.com Natalie Gelman grew up training with professionals from the Juilliard School and the New York City Opera. At 16, she borrowed a friend’s guitar and began writing songs. Too young to play the clubs, Gelman hit the city’s subways, busking on platforms for tips. She eventually became a popular fixture... 

ROD MELANCON

ROD MELANCON
ROD MELANCON HOMETOWN: Wright, La. INFLUENCES: Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard ALBUM: Mad Talkin’ Man EP, out now WEBSITE: rodmelancon.com As a boy in the bayou country of southern Louisiana, Rod Melancon was a faithful disciple of playwright Tennessee Williams. Committed to pursuing a career in acting, he moved to Hollywood in his early 20s. However, he changed course one Christmas when his parents gave him an acoustic guitar. “That... 

TAYLOR SPRING 2013 LIMITED 400 SERIES

TAYLOR SPRING 2013 LIMITED 400 SERIES
TAYLOR SPRING 2013 LIMITED 400 SERIES GRANADILLO GRANDEUR Bob Taylor’s passion for exotic tonewoods is one of the defining characteristics of his company’s guitar lineup, which has pioneered the use of Hawaiian koa, cocobolo, striped ebony and other varieties. For the Spring 2013 Limited 400 Series, Taylor turned to granadillo for a unique look and sound. A granadillo back and sides topped with a Sitka spruce top voices these guitars with bold... 

Audio-Technica AT2020 USB+

Audio-Technica AT2020 USB+
Audio-Technica AT2020 USB+ RECORDING RIG IN A MIC A full recording studio is great when tracking an album, but what if you just want to lay down a fleeting song idea? The Audio-Technica AT2020 USB+  bypasses the hassle of juggling studio gear by packing all of the essentials into a single condenser microphone. Based on the original AT2020, this excellent sounding mic connects via USB to any Mac or Windows PC, and a built-in headphone jack provides... 

Waves Manny Marroquin Signature Series

Waves Manny Marroquin Signature Series
Waves Manny Marroquin Signature Series MUST-HAVE STUDIO TOOLS The Waves Manny Marroquin Signature Series plug-in collection includes six ingenious plug-ins masterminded by a hit producer-engineer behind many of today’s hottest pop acts. These plug-ins range from the more straightforward MM Reverb and MM Delay to the specialized MM Triple D and the MM Tone Shaper. Simple controls and logical layouts provide intuitive operation, without limiting an... 

ANTELOPE AUDIO ORION 32

ANTELOPE AUDIO ORION 32
ANTELOPE AUDIO ORION 32 STELLAR I/O FOR ANY PLATFORM The Antelope Audio Orion 32 USB audio interface packs a boatload of pristine AD/DA conversion into a single rack space, delivering a staggering 32 channels of both input and output at up to 24-bit/192 kHz resolution. In addition to its analog I/O—all handled by standard DB-25 connectors—the Orion 32 also sports ADAT and MADI digital connections, so it can easily integrate into a more advanced... 
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