Posts tagged with "June 2011"

Journey – The New Frontier

Journey – The New Frontier
How classic-rock juggernaut Journey turned a whole new generation into believers By Chris Neal Jonathan Cain is in the midst of a minor crisis. He was just shopping with his son in the Irish capital of Dublin when his wife called to let him know that their laptop computer has gone kaput, the victim of a virus that hacked all their credit cards—except for one, which happens to be a brand that isn’t welcomed by merchants here in Dublin. So while... 

RAY CHARLES

RAY CHARLES
  THIS 1985 LOS ANGELES SESSION WITH THE LEGENDARY RAY Charles had a permanent impact on rock photographer Norman Seeff’s methods. “Within a couple minutes of beginning the session, we were involved in a deeply revealing conversation about his inner creative process,” Seeff recalls. “All the while, Ray was playing and demonstrating the power of emotional expression on the piano I had rented for the session. We got classic Ray shots... 

CHRISTINA PERRI

CHRISTINA PERRI
CHRISTINA PERRI How one unexpected dance catapulted her into a promising career Few young artists can point to one particular time on one particular evening as the precise moment they broke through to a national audience. But for then-unsigned and unknown singer and songwriter Christina Perri, that moment came when her song “Jar of Hearts” was heard by millions accompanying dancers on the hit reality-competition TV show So You Think You Can Dance.... 

GARLAND JEFFREYS

GARLAND JEFFREYS
GARLAND JEFFREYS After an inspirational break to raise his daughter, it’s time to get wild again Garland Jeffreys is a New York City man through and through. Born in Brooklyn, he first made his name on the city’s thriving folk scene in the mid-1960s. He fell in with fellow Syracuse University student Lou Reed, and before long found himself in the studio playing guitar on Vintage Violence, the 1969 debut solo album by Reed’s Velvet Underground... 

MARIANNE FAITHFULL

MARIANNE FAITHFULL
MARIANNE FAITHFULL A legendary rock chanteuse talks sad songs and horror stories Yes, singer, songwriter and actress Marianne Faithfull’s 1964 breakthrough hit “As Tears Go By” was written by the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Yes, she and Jagger dated throughout the late ’60s. No, she doesn’t want to talk about it. “I don’t even mention their names,” she says. “Those people are written out of my picture.”... 

“WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC

“WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC
“WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC Rock’s favorite “pop-culture Cuisinart” is still mixing things up “Weird Al” Yankovic is in St. Charles, Mo.—at least, he thinks so. “I’m pretty sure I am,” he reports by phone. “They took the bag off my head and here I was.” He may prefer to open with a joke, but the man born Alfred Matthew Yankovic takes the craft of skewering the music world just as seriously today as he did when he first burst onto... 

DEF LEPPARD

DEF LEPPARD
DEF LEPPARD Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell are hard rock’s double-barrel dream team By Russell Hall Chemistry is a delicate thing among the members of any band—but in a hard-rock outfit with a trademark two-guitar attack like Def Leppard, there is another, secondary chemistry that must also be just right. Guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell have for nearly two decades forged a perfect balance between the former’s more technically minded,... 

ADAM ANDERS

ADAM ANDERS
ADAM ANDERS Glee’s music man runs one of the world’s biggest hit-making machines By Michael Gallant Adam Anders remembers his first season as executive music producer for the hit TV show Glee with a mix of pride and horror. “It was brutal,” he says. He and production partner Peer Åström worked six days a week, often running on a few hours sleep per night. “It was horrendous, but I love doing it,” he says. “And we have a much better... 

BÉLA FLECK

BÉLA FLECK
BÉLA FLECK The banjo virtuoso breaks boundaries again with his original Flecktones By Steven Rosen Béla Fleck made the banjo dangerous. Before he picked it up, the instrument was mostly consigned to the province of old-fashioned country and bluegrass tunes. But all that changed in 1979 when the native New Yorker recorded his first solo album, Crossing the Tracks. “I was really intent on being good on the banjo,” Fleck says. “So I learned... 

COLBIE CAILLAT

COLBIE CAILLAT
COLBIE CAILLAT Falling in love, making new friends and sharing more of herself than ever Colbie Caillat believes in fate. In fact, it plays a major role in the songs on her third album, All of You. The 26-year-old California singer wrote most of the tunes about her relationship with guitarist Justin Young. Caillat wasn’t looking for a boyfriend, but she had just released an album and hired a band that happened to include Young. A connection was... 

MARC BROUSSARD

MARC BROUSSARD
MARC BROUSSARD This son of Louisiana’s Cajun country prefers humanity to perfection A signed picture of local native Marc Broussard hangs on the wall at Don’s Country Mart grocery store in Carencro, La., but the acclaimed singer and guitarist doesn’t get treated like a celebrity around here. “They don’t really know what I do,” he says with a laugh. “And that’s fine with me. Here in Cajun country, that’s just how you supplement your... 

MY MORNING JACKET

MY MORNING JACKET
MY MORNING JACKET One of rock’s leading bands hits the gym to reset its circuits My Morning Jacket bassist Tom “Two-Tone Tommy” Blankenship is out of breath, and there are a few possible reasons. Most likely that he just completed a morning workout at his Louisville, Ky., home. But it’s also possible he’s still collecting himself after his band’s electrifying set from days earlier at this year’s Bonnaroo Music Festival. Or he may just... 

JOSS STONE

JOSS STONE
JOSS STONE How one whirlwind week in Nashville offered her a fresh start Joss Stone was in Spain last year, helping a friend repair his boat, when producer and Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart rang with an intriguing proposal: Fly to Nashville and make an album in just a few days. “I thought, ‘Wow, that sounds like a good idea,’ so I did,” the 24-year-old British soul singer remembers. She told her friend, filmmaker and photographer Paul... 

BATTLES

BATTLES
BATTLES How to avoid the sophomore slump? Scrap the second album altogether A year ago, the members of the experimental, largely instrumental math-rock band Battles faced a challenge that even their astounding technical wizardry might not help them overcome. Specifically, how to forge ahead as a three-piece following the departure of multi-instrumentalist Tyondai Braxton, and what to do with the already completed tracks planned for their highly anticipated... 

YOUSSOU N’DOUR

YOUSSOU N’DOUR
YOUSSOU N’DOUR A Senegal-born international superstar finds a familiar spirit in Jamaica For Senegalese vocal legend Youssou N’Dour, making a reggae album was all about completing a circle. After all, one of reggae’s most prominent strands of DNA comes from the music of African slaves brought over during the 1800s by European-held slaves—a connection that was particularly important to the music of reggae’s greatest legend, Bob Marley. “I’m... 

GOMEZ

GOMEZ
GOMEZ Who are their fans? You might be surprised—they certainly are How can you pick out a Gomez fan from a crowd? Answer: You can’t. “No one can identify our audience,” declares guitarist Tom Gray, one of Gomez’s three singers and four songwriters. “That’s certainly the case at gigs. If you took people in the audience out of the room and said, ‘What do these people have in common?’ you’d have a hard time figuring out what it... 

THE JOLLY BOYS

THE JOLLY BOYS
THE JOLLY BOYS Melding a unique traditional folk style with unexpected new elements Trends come and go, but the Jolly Boys have been playing mento music—a Jamaican folk style that was a major influence on reggae and ska—for nearly 60 years. The veteran band extends and expands that tradition on Great Expectation, a new collection that trades its usual fare for mento interpretations of songs by the likes of Amy Winehouse, the Clash, Johnny Cash,... 

MATT NATHANSON

MATT NATHANSON
MATT NATHANSON Reaching the masses by stripping down and reinventing a pop-friendly sound Bob Dylan has worked with some interesting collaborators over the years, but singer and songwriter Matt Nathanson believes the rock legend missed out on one that would have been particularly interesting. “I’ve always said if Bob Dylan had written lyrics for Def Leppard, he’d have had the perfect band,” Nathanson says. As that unusual rock fantasy suggests,... 

THE GREENCARDS

THE GREENCARDS
THE GREENCARDS A devoted fan following helped inspire and finance a new album, brick by brick Being a bluegrass band in Australia isn’t exactly a lucrative profession. Ask the Greencards’ mandolin player Kym Warner how they dealt with that dilemma, and he offers an obvious answer. “Well, we’re here, aren’t we?” In this case, “here” is Nashville, where Warner and Greencards co-founder, singer and bassist Carol Young, have chosen to... 

KATIE COSTELLO

KATIE COSTELLO
KATIE COSTELLO HOMETOWN: Hermosa Beach, Calif. INFLUENCES: Fiona Apple, the Beatles, X ALBUM: Lamplight, out now WEBSITE: katiecostellomusic.com Katie Costello recalls that she was “deathly shy” until she discovered songwriting at age 13. By 17 she was self-releasing her debut album, Kaleidoscope Machine, which generated enough buzz in nearby L.A. to earn her songs spots on TV shows including 90210, One Tree Hill and Private Practice. Still,... 

AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE

AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE
AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE HOMETOWN: Oakland, Calif. INFLUENCES: Terence Blanchard, Steve Coleman, Wayne Shorter ALBUM: When the Heart Emerges Glistening, out now WEBSITE: ambroseakinmusire.com Trumpeter Akinmusire caught the jazz world’s attention by winning the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, judged by the likes of Quincy Jones and Herb Alpert. He signed with the legendary Blue Note label last year and recorded When the... 

XIMENA SARIÑANA

XIMENA SARIÑANA
XIMENA SARIÑANA HOMETOWN: Guadalajara, Mexico INFLUENCES: Tracy Chapman, Ella Fitzgerald,  Paul Simon ALBUM: Ximena Sariñana, out Aug. 2 WEBSITE: ximenamusic.com Well-known since childhood in her native Mexico as a singer, songwriter and actress, Sariñana is preparing to introduce herself to a broader audience with her first English-language album. Ximena Sariñana, recorded in L.A. with producers Greg Kurstin, Dave Sitek and Natalia Lafourcade,... 

Def Leppard by Jeff Fasano

Def Leppard by Jeff Fasano
Def Leppard by Jeff Fasano For M Music & Musicians Magazine – June 2011  Read More →

ANCIENT VVISDOM

ANCIENT VVISDOM
ANCIENT VVISDOM A Godlike Inferno myspace.com/ancientvvisdom Proving it’s possible to worship the beast while playing at a reasonable volume, these Texas folk-metal mavens temper electric crunch with acoustic picking, boot stomps and bamboo percussion. The quiet suits frontman Nathan Opposition—a thoughtful pagan who’s spent time contemplating man’s wickedness.  Read More →

JACK BEAUREGARD

JACK BEAUREGARD
JACK BEAUREGARD The Magazines You Read myspace.com/jackbeauregard Synth-pop is the medium, not the message, for Jack Beauregard, a German duo whose sensitive-guy songs are more Belle and Sebastian than Depeche Mode. When Daniel Schaub sings about going all night, his fantasy entails comforting a troubled lover, keeping her warm while she tosses and turns.  Read More →

FORD & LOPATIN

FORD & LOPATIN
FORD & LOPATIN Channel Pressure myspace.com/gamesmusic If it sounded cool in the ’80s, Brooklyn duo Ford & Lopatin squeeze it onto this record. Thomas Dolby synths, slap bass, shredding guitars, soft-rock vocals and the hook from Ready for the World’s funk hit “Oh Sheila”: They’re all here, warped and blended to brilliant effect.  Read More →

THE SHIVERS

THE SHIVERS
THE SHIVERS More theshiversnyc.blogspot.com With keyboardist Jo Schornikow on piano or organ, singer Keith Zarriello inevitably sounds like a salty old barstool philosopher. When she’s on synth, he becomes an unlikely pop singer—Tom Waits in Prince’s purple finery. Either way, this New York duo keeps it intense, soulful and unpredictable.  Read More →

AITAN

AITAN
AITAN Top of the World aitan.com Stylish L.A. synth-pop newcomer Aitan wants either to be the male Katy Perry or his generation’s George Michael. Both are worthy goals—no, seriously—and if this slick, well-crafted EP is any indication, Aitan won’t reside in the indie scene for long.  Read More →

P.J. PACIFICO

P.J. PACIFICO
P.J. PACIFICO Outlet pjpacifico.com Life is tough for touring musicians, but less so for those with supportive partners. P.J. Pacifico is grateful for the woman who’s stuck by him for the last 10 years, and on “As Soon as I Can,” the country-tinged pop-rock centerpiece of his third album, he thanks his wife for letting him pack up the car and chase his dreams. He probably got permission by playing her “Home With Me,” his heartfelt telling... 

CIRKUS

CIRKUS
CIRKUS Medicine cirkustent.com Trailblazing trip-hop producer Cameron McVey and his wife, “Buffalo Stance” singer Neneh Cherry, have been making anything-goes 21st century pop music since at least the late ’80s. For their second album as cirKus, the forward-looking couple again teams with daughter Lolita Moon and producer-guitarist Karmil, creating the musical equivalent of a family juggling act. From the woozy swagger of opener “Drug of Choice”... 

EDIE CAREY

EDIE CAREY
EDIE CAREY Bring the Sea ediecarey.com Artists like Edie Carey provide a valuable, if underappreciated, public service. As per her official bio, Carey occupies that “middle ground between singing at weddings and being Madonna,” and while she might never be a pop star, this strumming balladeer poetess writes truthful, elegant songs for adults. Her seventh album is about following dreams, starting families, overcoming insecurity and losing the destructive... 

LINDI ORTEGA

LINDI ORTEGA
LINDI ORTEGA Little Red Boots lindiortega.com Lindi Ortega knows she’s no Elvis Presley—she even sings a song called “I’m No Elvis Presley”—but she comes closer than any female Canadian country singer since k.d. lang. On pop-rockabilly opener “Little Lie,” Ortega revisits the King’s early days, pairing “That’s All Right”–style guitar with the rolling drums of “Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum,” the lead track on Bob Dylan’s... 

THE TUNNEL

THE TUNNEL
THE TUNNEL Fathoms Deep thetunnelsf.com A veteran of San Francisco’s avant-garde theater scene, hammy Tunnel frontman Jeff Wagner sings like a theme-park pirate or B-movie baddie. “I’m not of your world,” he warns on “King of the Impossible,” claiming instead to be from a “whole other underworld.” That underworld sounds suspiciously like Australia, as his sound echoes several of that continent’s most influential acts. The most obvious... 

LIL DAGGERS

LIL DAGGERS
LIL DAGGERS Lil Daggers myspace.com/lildaggers When they’re so inclined, Lil Daggers can take off on a mangy psych-blues ramble as good as any by better-known ’60s revivalists the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or Brian Jonestown Massacre. On “Dada Brown” and “Slave Exchange,” the Miami sextet does just that, setting crud-caked guitars against cheap-o 1966 organ tones. As garage-rock classicists they’re great, but the Daggers cut deepest... 

TRS-80

TRS-80
TRS-80 Horizons trs80.com Jay Rajeck founded TRS-80 in 1997, years before the advent of “chillwave,” or hypnagogic pop, or whatever this week’s correct term is for the current wave of indie music meant to invoke hazy memories of early-’80s video-game soundtracks, New Wave hits and other sounds ingrained in the brains of people raised during the Reagan years. TRS-80 has toured with Ariel Pink and Geneva Jacuzzi—leaders of the movement in... 

ARNOLD McCULLER

ARNOLD McCULLER
ARNOLD McCULLER Soon as I Get Paid arnoldmcculler.com If James Taylor and Phil Collins picked up any extra soulfulness in recent years, they probably got it from Arnold McCuller. A longtime back-up singer for these and other pop giants, McCuller plays smooth bluesman on Soon as I Get Paid, a collection of covers and originals. His own “Gods and Monsters” is the standout—a song about a voodoo guitarist casting spells at an after-hours juke joint.... 

THE WRONGLERS WITH JIMMIE DALE GILMORE

THE WRONGLERS WITH JIMMIE DALE GILMORE
THE WRONGLERS WITH JIMMIE DALE GILMORE Heirloom Music myspace.com/thewronglers There’s a reason country artists—even great songwriters like Jimmie Dale Gilmore—keep coming back to ’30s and ’40s bluegrass. The era’s proto-country songs have it all: humor, heartbreak, outlaw spirit and wellsprings of emotion. Backed here by the virtuosic pluckers, pickers and fiddlers of California’s Wronglers, Gilmore revisits the classics, delivering... 

NINE 11 THESAURUS

NINE 11 THESAURUS
NINE 11 THESAURUS Ground Zero Generals myspace.com/nine11thesaurus It’s bluntly provocative, but Nine 11 Thesaurus is a fitting name for this Brooklyn crew—five teenage rappers searching for words to describe the post-9/11 world. Some group members lost family members in the attacks, but while they do rhyme about wars and world affairs, they focus more on domestic issues like institutional racism (“Bondages”), police brutality (“Police Sirens”)... 

JOHAN AGEBJÖRN

JOHAN AGEBJÖRN
JOHAN AGEBJÖRN Casablanca Nights johanagebjorn.info To outsiders, the world of European dance music can seem strange and forbidding. There are flashing lights and fashions to consider, and the music breaks down into subgenres—Italo Disco, Eurobeat, Hi-NRG, etc.—distinguishable only to the indoctrinated. Johan Agebjörn is an insider, but on his first solo album of what he simply terms “disco,” the Swedish producer aims for inclusiveness.... 

TITLE TRACKS

TITLE TRACKS
TITLE TRACKS In Blank titletracksdc.blogspot.com “Everything goes away!” John Davis proclaims on “Shaking Hands,” the first song on the sophomore effort from Title Tracks. As he makes this claim, stampeding drums and his own gruff, jangling guitar threaten to drown him out—and in the process succeed in proving him wrong. One thing that clearly refuses to go away is punky ’70s power-pop, the signature sound on this 32-minute rocket of a... 

MILES DAVIS

MILES DAVIS
DVD MILES DAVIS Live at Montreux: Highlights 1973-1991 [Montreux Sounds/Eagle Eye Media] Let us now praise Claude Nobs. For founding the annual Montreux Jazz Festival, for sure—it’s one of the world’s most venerable and beloved music showcases. But also for having the foresight to document the sights and sounds from as many festival performances as possible, creating a tremendous archive from which a great many essential archival releases have... 

R.E.M.

R.E.M.
REISSUE R.E.M. Lifes Rich Pageant (25th Anniversary Edition) [I.R.S./Capitol] While the following year’s Document would be the group’s true commercial breakthrough, the stage for that momentous event had been set by its predecessor, 1986’s Lifes Rich Pageant. The indie-rock heroes signaled a willingness to meet the mainstream halfway—OK, at least a little bit of the way—by tapping John Mellencamp producer Don Gehman. Singer Michael Stipe’s... 

SHORTCUTS TO SONGWRITING FOR FILM & TV

SHORTCUTS TO SONGWRITING FOR FILM & TV
BOOK REVIEW SHORTCUTS TO SONGWRITING FOR FILM & TV Robin Frederick [TAXI Music Books] While Robin Frederick isn’t a household name, she certainly has the street cred to call herself an authority on music acquisition for film and television. Starting her career as a New Age artist in the early ’90s, she segued into a long and fruitful career as a writer and executive producer for countless kids’ TV shows and albums (working on such varied... 

DAVID BROMBERG

DAVID BROMBERG
DAVID BROMBERG Use Me [Appleseed] Since the start of his solo career nearly 40 years ago, eclectic singer and songwriter David Bromberg has been known for tapping tradition to borrow from the blues. Happily, Use Me—his second release since ending a long studio silence in 2007—finds him in a feisty mood, assured and as focused as ever. Given this edgy series of broadsides, he also brandishes an unusually brusque point of view, with songs such as... 

NICK 13

NICK 13
NICK 13 Nick 13 [Sugar Hill] Twelve years ago, Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness released his country-tinged first solo album—and thanks to Ness’ distinctive, SoCal-sunbaked voice, it still sounded a lot like Social Distortion. Nick 13, whose Berkeley-based psychobilly band Tiger Army is cut from the same cloth as Social D, gets a very different result on his own self-titled solo debut. A straightforward traditional effort co-produced by roots... 

SONDRE LERCHE

SONDRE LERCHE
SONDRE LERCHE Sondre Lerche [Mona] Sondre Lerche has undertaken several stylistic transitions in his relatively brief career, from chamber-pop wannabe and crooner of the occasional torch song to would-be rocker. With his latest album, an eponymous effort released independently, the native Norwegian finds a comfortable niche that accommodates all these incarnations. Whether it’s the casual stride that glides through “Ricochet,” “Living Dangerously”... 

JOLIE HOLLAND + THE GRAND CHANDELIERS

JOLIE HOLLAND + THE GRAND CHANDELIERS
JOLIE HOLLAND + THE GRAND CHANDELIERS Pint of Blood [Anti-] A pint is the usual amount extracted when you donate blood. Is that what the title of Jolie Holland’s fifth CD references? Or is it a different sort of bloodletting—perhaps the sort that shows up in “Remember” (“It brings a smile to my lips/When I think of your fist narrowing in on and cracking his ribs”)? Hard to say: Her title is as elliptical as her lyrics, and her singular... 

JOE JACKSON TRIO

JOE JACKSON TRIO
JOE JACKSON TRIO Live Music – Europe 2010 [Razor & Tie] Joe Jackson should be an expert by now on how to make in-concert albums. This edition of Live Music is the sixth in the series for the sharp-tongued new-waver turned Cole Porter enthusiast, and it carefully highlights the strengths of his touring band while also tossing in a few surprises for fans who bought the first five. A plurality of the set list comes from 1982’s Night and Day,... 

FOSTER AND LLOYD

FOSTER AND LLOYD
FOSTER AND LLOYD It’s Already Tomorrow [Effin Ell] During their late-’80s heyday, Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd brought a literate, punkish attitude to country radio. Foster went on to a hit-laden solo career, Lloyd created a string of masterful power-pop albums and both remained busy as producers and songwriters for others. Their first new album together in more than two decades picks up right where they left off, with their Everly-esque harmonies... 

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS Join Us [Idlewild] Brooklyn indie-rock originators They Might Be Giants claim to once again be making music for adults, but when it comes to the “the two Johns”—founding frontmen and songwriters Flansburgh and Linnell—“grown-up” has always been a relative term. Were it not for a handful of PG-13 words and concepts, Join Us might appeal to young fans of Here Come the ABCs and Here Comes Science, two of four children’s... 
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