Posts tagged with "JUNE 2012"

LINKIN PARK

LINKIN PARK
LINKIN PARK High-energy heavy hitters finally discover the perfect mix of rock and rap Linkin Park is on a roll. After releasing albums sporadically for most of their first decade, the Los Angeles rap-rockers have picked up the pace with two more since 2010, including Living Things, their latest. “We want to put out more music, more often,” says singer Chester Bennington. “The first six years of our career we released two records that took... 

SONIC BOOM

SONIC BOOM
Born in the studio, raised in the club, EDM is now poised to conquer the world By Kenneth Partridge It’s the bouncing, humming high-voltage strings that launch Nicki Minaj’s hit “Starships.” It’s the swirling, building buzz in Rihanna’s No. 1 smash “We Found Love.” It’s the driving dance groove in hits by Usher, Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, Chris Brown—you can’t turn on pop radio for 10 minutes without hearing... 

Toontrack EZkeys, EZdrummer, and EZmix 2

Toontrack EZkeys, EZdrummer, and EZmix 2
Toontrack EZkeys, EZdrummer, and EZmix 2: EZ Does It When the muse strikes, you need instant access to tools that will feed your creativity—and that’s where Toontrack’s amazing software comes into play. EZkeys and EZdrummer provide not only great virtual instruments to play back your parts—piano and drums—but also extensive libraries of loops to build songs and arrangements. EZkeys goes further by allowing you to experiment with chord progressions... 

Mackie DL1608: iPad Mixer

Mackie DL1608: iPad Mixer
Mackie DL1608: iPad Mixer Imagine using your shiny new iPad to mix your band onstage. The Mackie DL1608 lets you do just that. The compact digital mixer features 16 Onyx mic preamps, built-in effects, four-band EQ and compression on each channel, 31-band graphic EQ on the output, and much more. But the really cool thing is that your trusty iPad provides the horsepower to make the thing go. Just slip it into the dock and start mixing. With the iPad... 

TASCAM PR-10: Instant Capture

TASCAM PR-10: Instant Capture
TASCAM PR-10: Instant Capture Back in the day, songwriters carried around mini tape recorders to capture an idea whenever inspiration struck. You just fired up the recorder and sang the idea onto tape. Later you could harvest the ideas you liked. Today’s technology makes this even easier, especially with the TASCAM PR-10 super-compact digital recorder. With no moving parts or tape and built-in stereo mics, the PR-10 is ideal for instant idea capture.... 

Apogee Mic: Recording Made Easy

Apogee Mic: Recording Made Easy
Apogee Mic: Recording Made Easy Sure, you need a great mic to make a great recording—but you also need a high quality signal going to your recording device. You could use a standard mic plugged into a preamp then an audio interface or A/D converter. Or, simply connect a USB cable to an Apogee Mic—yes, the same Apogee that arguably makes the best converters around—to your computer or iPad and start recording. It’s so good, we’ve heard fully... 

Zoom R8, R16 and R24: Portable Studio

Zoom R8, R16 and R24: Portable Studio
Zoom R8, R16 and R24: Portable Studio We’ve come a long way since the heyday of cassette tape four-track recorders. Today’s self-contained portable studios—like the Zoom R8, R16 and R24 (the big difference is the number of tracks)—offer the ability to record multiple tracks, process tracks with EQ and effects, add drum loops, do light editing, and create complete final mixes all in one simple-to-use unit. All you need is a microphone or two... 

Alesis iO Dock: Home Studio Connections

Alesis iO Dock: Home Studio Connections
Alesis iO Dock: Home Studio Connections  The iPad is coming on strong as the number one must-have musician tool. But with the rise of recording apps and virtual instruments for the iPad comes the need for a way to get quality audio in and out. Enter the Alesis iO Dock—which provides all the connections you need to turn your iPad into a full-fledged recording studio. You get two inputs for your microphones or guitar/bass/keyboards, MIDI in/out/thru,... 

MOTU Track 16: Big Feature, Small Package

MOTU Track 16: Big Feature, Small Package
MOTU Track 16: Big Feature, Small Package Looking to get a ton of signals into your Mac or PC without tying up all of your desk’s real estate? Then check out the brand-new MOTU Track16. The Track16 can fit in nearly any space—even a laptop bag—yet it provides up to 16 simultaneous inputs and 14 simultaneous outputs. There’s also MIDI, USB 2.0 and FireWire, and way more. Take control with the one-touch front-panel knob or via the included... 

TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play: Perfect Vocals In A Box

TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play: Perfect Vocals In A Box
TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play: Perfect Vocals In A Box Now you can take all that studio polish you love to hear on your voice with you when you hit the stage. The TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play is a stompbox—why should guitarists have all the fun?—designed especially for vocalists. Not only does it offer a full complement of vocal effects, such as equalizers, compressors and more, you also get an onboard intelligent harmony machine for huge-sounding... 

Roland BA-330: Big Sound On The Go

Roland BA-330: Big Sound On The Go
Roland BA-330: Big Sound On The Go Take your show on the road—any road, anytime, with or without an electrical outlet, as long as you have the Roland BA-330. The BA-330 is a portable stereo PA system capable of cranking out an amazing amount of sound while running on eight AA batteries. There are enough inputs to comfortably handle two mics and two guitars or two stereo keyboards, plus there’s an AUX in for your MP3 or CD player. Built-in effects,... 

JamHub GreenRoom: Silent Rehearsal Room

JamHub GreenRoom: Silent Rehearsal Room
JamHub GreenRoom: Silent Rehearsal Room Not all of us have the luxury of owning a soundproof rehearsal room. But with the JamHub GreenRoom your band can rehearse nearly anywhere and never have to deal with annoyed neighbors. The GreenRoom offers musicians and vocalists their own input channel for their instrument or microphone. Plus, you can dial up the headphone mix you want to hear, complete with effects to keep the sound from getting sterile.... 

HEAR NO EVIL

HEAR NO EVIL
HEAR NO EVIL Safeguard your greatest musical asset by selecting the right hearing protection Who can forget fictional rocker Nigel Tufnel’s hysterical scene in This Is Spinal Tap, boasting his amp’s volume knob goes to 11? In reality, such ear-splitting decibels are no laughing matter. Performing night after night without hearing protection can be perilous, often causing relentless ringing ears—known as tinnitus, the inability to discern frequencies,... 

SLY STONE

SLY STONE
SLY STONE WAS IN AN ESPECIALLY UPBEAT MOOD when photographer Norman Seeff shot this L.A. session for the 1974 album, Small Talk. “His music had such a scintillating vitality, and that’s exactly how I found him to be as a person,” Seeff recalls. “He was like, ‘Hey, whatever you want, I’m here.’ And then he would deliver.” Stone’s positive frame of mind appeared to be rooted in his new role as a husband and father, something Seeff... 

CHRIS SMITHER

CHRIS SMITHER
CHRIS SMITHER A veteran bluesman learns to make it happen all by himself    “People say to me, ‘What I really like is the fact that there’s a rueful cynicism in what you sing,’” says Chris Smither. “I can see that. But I have to say, in my own defense, that most of my stuff has an element of hopefulness. Usually I’m trying to point out there’s a way out of this stuff.” A veteran bluesman who looks on the bright side? Maybe—at... 

SAINT SAVIOUR

SAINT SAVIOUR
SAINT SAVIOUR HOMETOWN: London, England INFLUENCES: Janis Joplin, Deep Purple, Björk ALBUM: Union, out now WEBSITE: saintsaviour.co.uk After establishing herself as one of the most sought-after session vocalists in London, Saint Saviour secured prime gigs as lead singer for indie pop outfits the RGBs and Groove Armada. In fact, she sang three tracks on Groove Armada’s Grammy-nominated 2010 album, Black Light, and joined them on their last headlining... 

BAKER

BAKER
BAKER HOMETOWN: New York City INFLUENCES: David Bowie, Jack White, Kanye West ALBUM: The Baker EP, out now WEBSITE: bakermusic.com Christopher Baker was playing cello by age 5, eventually played Carnegie Hall and graduated from Harvard University. Since transitioning his career path from classical cellist and vocalist to electro-pop singer, he has earned rave reviews with his cover of Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box.” Since releasing a seven-track... 

HALEY REINHART

HALEY REINHART
HALEY REINHART HOMETOWN: Wheeling, Ill. INFLUENCES: The Beatles, Nina Simone, Tony Bennett ALBUM: Listen Up!, out now WEBSITE: haleyreinhart.com American Idol alum Haley Reinhart—who finished third in season 10—recorded her debut album Listen Up! following the show’s international tour. “I wanted to wait till I could put all my focus and energy into the album and be very hands-on with every single aspect,” she says. “It was really important... 

JIMMY FALLON

JIMMY FALLON
JIMMY FALLON Blow Your Pants Off  [Warner Bros.] When he released his first album, 2002’s The Bathroom Wall, Jimmy Fallon was a  Saturday Night Live cast member best known for co-hosting the Weekend Update segment and occasionally pulling out his acoustic guitar to parody popular songs. After leaving SNL, Fallon took over from Conan O’Brien as the host of Late Night and promptly made the show his own—in part thanks to his winning musical... 

GUIDED BY VOICES

GUIDED BY VOICES
GUIDED BY VOICES Class Clown Spots a UFO [Guided by Voices Inc.] You’d think Robert Pollard had something to prove. Although the singer and songwriter kept plenty busy on his own during (and after) Guided by Voices’ 2004-2010 hiatus, he seems to have barely dipped into his always-towering stockpile of songs. The band’s latest is the second of three albums planned for release this year, and it’s trademark GBV: 21 songs in 39 minutes, from fragmentary... 

ZAC BROWN BAND

ZAC BROWN BAND
ZAC BROWN BAND Uncaged [Southern Ground] The third release from these Southern jammers turned country-radio darlings is more board shorts and flip-flops than Wranglers and boots. Uncaged is a freewheeling summer soundtrack that draws more from Jimmy Buffett than George Strait. It’s also the seven-piece band’s most cohesive, and arguably best, record to date. A few new faces have been added to the mix, including Jason Mraz, who co-wrote the beachy... 

LIARS

LIARS
LIARS WIXIW [Mute] For what it’s worth, the title of Liars’ latest is pronounced “wish you,” and the band members say the fact that its unique spelling is a palindrome was somehow a source of comfort to them. Never mind—that explanation is about as oblique as the music on this follow-up to 2010’s Sisterworld, 11 songs steeped in synthesizer textures and atmospherics. Liars have previously played with keyboards and electronics, alternating... 

PATTI SMITH

PATTI SMITH
PATTI SMITH Banga [Columbia] The first lady of ’70s bohemian New York City makes another remarkable comeback with her 11th studio album. Her first collection of original songs since wowing literary circles with her 2010’s National Book Award-winning memoir Just Kids sees Smith’s mastery of language in full bloom. Though passionate as ever, the now 65-year-old Smith has largely stepped back from the howls and growls of her early days in favor... 

LITTLE FEAT

LITTLE FEAT
LITTLE FEAT Rooster Blues [Rounder] When Little Feat reconvened nearly a decade after the 1979 death of seemingly irreplaceable co-founder Lowell George, few predicted the band would be going strong nearly a quarter-century later. Now comes another enormous challenge, as drummer Gabe Ford takes on the daunting task of occupying the drum throne of the great Richie Hayward, who died in 2009. That leaves keyboardist and vocalist Bill Payne as the only... 

KELLY HOGAN

KELLY HOGAN
KELLY HOGAN  I Like to Keep Myself in Pain [Anti-] Before Georgia-born Kelly Hogan became Neko Case’s reliable onstage vocal foil a few years back, she had a budding career as a frontwoman in her own right. She picks up the reins again on her first solo album in more than a decade, showing exquisite taste on 13 songs written by the likes of Andrew Bird, M. Ward and Vic Chesnutt. Backed by a band that includes keyboard legend Booker T. Jones, Hogan... 

RAVI COLTRANE

RAVI COLTRANE
RAVI COLTRANE Spirit Fiction [Blue Note] Ravi Coltrane wasn’t quite 2 when his legendary father, John Coltrane, died in 1967. From the start of his career as a saxophonist and composer in the ’80s, the younger Coltrane sought to discover his own voice. He began recording as a leader in the late ’90s, and each successive recording has further established him as a significant artist—but Spirit Fiction is his tour de force. Produced by Coltrane... 

BODEANS

BODEANS
BODEANS American Made [Free & Alive] BoDeans’ latest is the first album in the band’s nearly three-decade career without co-founder Sammy Llanas, who departed abruptly last year. Remaining original member Kurt Neumann here joins longtime keyboardist Michael Ramos and a few fresh faces to deliver a nonetheless familiar set of heartland rock. Neumann’s husky timbre, workingman’s tales and rootsy hooks have always suggested a Midwestern Springsteen,... 

SOPHIE B. HAWKINS

SOPHIE B. HAWKINS
SOPHIE B. HAWKINS The Crossing [Lightyear] Sophie B. Hawkins, best known for the 1992 sleeper hit “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” and 1995’s adult-contemporary staple “As I Lay Me Down,” has completed her transformation from young spunky performer to cool, assured vet with The Crossing. Hawkins pulls triple duty on her first album in eight years, acting as producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist while recording entirely in her home studio.... 

PAUL SIMON

PAUL SIMON
PAUL SIMON  Graceland: 25th Anniversary    [Sony Legacy] Perhaps the rhythmic experiments on Paul Simon’s 1986 album Graceland should have come as no surprise. He had always known a striking backbeat when he heard one, reaching back as far as “Cecilia,” “Mother and Child Reunion” and “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” But when Simon fell for the joyful sounds of South Africa and sought to incorporate them into his own music, he soon discovered... 

BOBBY WOMACK

BOBBY WOMACK
BOBBY WOMACK The Bravest Man in the Universe [XL] Soul legend Bobby Womack has always tried to adapt with the times. On his first mainstream effort since the mid-1990s Womack takes another bold step forward, embracing programmed beats and electronic vibes as a new setting for his ageless voice. Co-produced by Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn, much of the album is rooted in that act’s sonic territory. But the electronic bent not only spares Womack... 

MAPS & ATLASES

MAPS & ATLASES
MAPS & ATLASES Beware and Be Grateful [Barusk] On their second full-length set, the members of Chicago-based band Maps & Atlases again take an approach that frequently defies easy categorization. It’s a collision of styles and genres that combine pulsating tempos with quirky off-kilter pop. “Old Ash” and “Silver Self” recall the intoxicating essence of Paul Simon’s Graceland, with each song incorporating the infectious shuffle... 

BLUES TRAVELER

BLUES TRAVELER
BLUES TRAVELER Suzie Cracks the Whip [429 Records] After more than two decades on the jam-band circuit, Blues Traveler doesn’t stray from a comfortable formula on its first album in four years. Though lacking anything as indelible as 1990s favorites like “Run-Around” and “But Anyway,” Suzie Cracks the Whip is another respectable installment in the group’s catalogue. Frontman John Popper’s high-pitched vocals and stretched-out harmonica... 

ERIC HUTCHINSON

ERIC HUTCHINSON
ERIC HUTCHINSON Moving Up Living Down [Warner Bros.] On his major-label debut, Eric Hutchinson’s upbeat, effusive melodies are underscored with reggae-ish rhythms, finding a niche that falls somewhere between Billy Joel, Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder. The Washington, D.C., native has taken a winding path to nationwide prominence, having been briefly signed to Madonna’s Maverick imprint before self-releasing 2008’s Sounds Like This. The album... 

NENEH CHERRY & THE THING

NENEH CHERRY & THE THING
NENEH CHERRY & THE THING The Cherry Thing smalltownsupersound.com Most artists never quite reach the free-jazz-meets-pop stage of their careers—but then, most don’t have the pedigree of Neneh Cherry. Born in Sweden, this stepdaughter of jazz trumpeter Don Cherry came up in London’s post-punk scene doing stints with groups like the Slits before emerging as a singing, rapping pop star in the late ’80s. Since her 1988 smash “Buffalo Stance,”... 

CHARM CITY DEVILS

CHARM CITY DEVILS
CHARM CITY DEVILS Sins charmcitydevils.com These Baltimore hard rockers are protégés of Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, and their second album updates that band’s bruising glam-blues boogie for the nü-metal era. Nowadays it’s cool for dudes to sing about their feelings, and frontman John Allen opens up about everyman struggles, singing lines like, “You should have believed in me when I needed you” in the opening “Spite.” If it’s hard... 

WAYNE KRANTZ

WAYNE KRANTZ
WAYNE KRANTZ Howie 61 waynekrantz.com Among other things—lots of other things, actually—Howie 61 is a taking-stock record. On “I’d Like to Thank My Body,” this New York City jazz-fusion guitarist gives props to his brain and vascular system, rating his earthly frame a “more or less acceptable container for living” over an elastic funk beat. If that doesn’t prove there’s plenty of life left in this chameleonic player, Krantz takes... 

BRYAN DUNN

BRYAN DUNN
BRYAN DUNN Sweetheart of the Music Hall bryandunnmusic.net One perk of songwriting is imagining your way out of everyday life. This New York-based roots rocker hangs with Romeo, Juliet, Heathcliff and Superman on the opening “New Mercedes” alone. Elsewhere Dunn gets mixed up in murder plots (“Adeline”), prepares for the reaper (“6 Black Horses”), and romanticizes the Lower East Side scene that nurtured his talent (“Sweetheart of the... 

DANTE VS. ZOMBIES

DANTE VS. ZOMBIES
DANTE VS. ZOMBIES Buh myspace.com/wwwdantevszombies These L.A. garage-punk all-stars clearly had a blast writing their latest press release, which cheekily refers to their music as “spaghetti-western jungle” and “not-quite-gentrified-ghetto-pop”—although maybe not as much fun as they seem to have had actually recording this debut album. Featuring Starlite Desperation frontman Dante White-Aliano and a pack of his wacky buds, DVZ makes ’50s... 

JON CLEARY

JON CLEARY
JON CLEARY Occapella joncleary.com In the steamy, groove-drenched version of New Orleans presented on this album—a tribute to legendary Crescent City songwriter Allen Toussaint—Jon Cleary has but one rule: “Everything I Do Gohn Be Funky.” Well, not everything. The English-born session ace mellows out on Glen Campbell’s 1977 hit “Southern Nights,” but he gets toes tapping even as he gazes at the stars and plucks out a spare piano melody.... 

STONERIDER

STONERIDER
STONERIDER  Fountains Left to Wake  stoneriderband.com Don’t be misled by the extramusical trappings of this Atlanta trio’s latest—neither the Floyd-at-Pompeii visuals of the cover, seemingly designed for meditating upon while in an altered state, nor its double-album sprawl. StoneRider singer and guitarist Matt Tanner, bass player Neil Warren and drummer Jason Krutzky do seem to believe rock peaked in 1973 (and there’s a case to be made),... 

BOB CANNON

BOB CANNON
BOB CANNON Unbreakable Heart facebook.com/bobcannonmusic As a journalist whose byline has appeared in such publications as Entertainment Weekly and M Music & Musicians, Cannon has soaked up the finest in country, rockabilly and pop. As a musician he reveals his connoisseurship here, loading his debut with hooks, subtle humor and, above all, heart. Along the way he faces heartache, joblessness and treacherous women—check out “Weapons of Mass... 

THE CORNER LAUGHERS

THE CORNER LAUGHERS
THE CORNER LAUGHERS Poppy Seeds cornerlaughers.com Even when they’re not referencing landmarks in their hometown of San Francisco, the Corner Laughers make it known they’re a California band. Singer and ukulele player Karla Kane’s melodies hit like injections of vitamin D. If she’s slightly more pragmatic and sarcastic than the twirling flower children of the ’60s, she nonetheless nails the shiny-happy likes of “Twice the Luck” while... 

ANDY DAVISON

ANDY DAVISON
ANDY DAVISON Let Music Unfold andydavisonmusic.com The “you” Davison pleads to on “Back on You” and this EP’s title track could be a god, a lover or both. The ambiguity is down to this young Belfast singer-songwriter’s earnest lyricism and angelic old-soul vocals. On his promising debut, Davison enlists hip-hop producer Homecut to flesh out his acoustic tunes with snatches of electronic drums, upright bass and piano. The latter is particularly... 

COMPANY

COMPANY
COMPANY  Dear America exitstencil.org/company.php This Charleston quintet’s excellent sophomore album is all about emotional highs and lows. Opener “Moonlight” is the Young Rascals’ “Good Lovin’” done in the rousing arena-Americana style of My Morning Jacket, and the vibe stays as lively on “Show Me You Really Want Me,” a Weezer-grade ’90s-rock basher. By “Bound to Drop the Ball,” however, singer Brian Hannon has dug out his... 

ANT MCNAUGHT

ANT MCNAUGHT
ANT MCNAUGHT Apache Lane antmcnaught.com After a stint in the New York folk scene, this singer-songwriter moved to Santa Cruz in 1980 and started a family. He never stopped playing—it just took him a few decades to get his stuff on tape. Better late than never. This set reveals McNaught to be a deep-thinking, dusky-voiced strummer with some lingering questions to work out about love and mortality. The delicate country shuffle “Cottonwood Tree”... 

THE HOLLYHOCKS

THE HOLLYHOCKS
THE HOLLYHOCKS Understories thehollyhocks.com Guitarist Dan Jewett once played with a pre-fame Adam Duritz, and like Duritz’ Counting Crows these Oakland newcomers do moody jangle-rock with a dash of Americana. “I’m getting nothing done, having not much fun,” sings Kristin Sobditch, forever turning sadness into sweet, irresistible pop.  Read More →

CHELLE ROSE

CHELLE ROSE
CHELLE ROSE Ghost of Browder Holler chellerose.com Rose’s unadulterated Appalachian accent makes just as strong an impression here as her grimy, sexy mountain-folk songwriting. Her first record in 12 years deals with love, death, God, the devil, divorce and coal mining. One spin and you’ll know where she’s been.  Read More →

MICHAEL THE BLIND

MICHAEL THE BLIND
MICHAEL THE BLIND Are’s & Els michaeltheblind.com Michael Levasseur hails from Portland, so right away you’re thinking smarty-pants indie rock. The multi-instrumentalist and his band deliver just that—sometimes with strings (“Another Circle of Fifths”), sometimes with cow-punk gusto (“Depth Perception”), always with passionate Michael Stipe-tinged vocals and wordplay that demands to be heard.  Read More →

RYAN MONROE

RYAN MONROE
RYAN MONROE  A Painting of a Painting on Fire ryanmonroemusic.com A lot happened between “The White Album” and punk, and this Band of Horses multi-instrumentalist offers a 12-track summation of the process. There’s Paul McCartney piano balladry, proggy hard rock, even gleaming ELO pop. “If I keep moving, the darkness will be gone,” Monroe sings, already squinting.  Read More →

RANI ARBO & DAISY MAYHEM

RANI ARBO & DAISY MAYHEM
RANI ARBO & DAISY MAYHEM Some Bright Morning raniarbo.com Because these not-quite-old-timey New Englanders sing about constants—death and disasters—they need music built to last. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, Arbo and company do bluegrass, gospel and even a Springsteen cover, offering moments of somber reflection and unfettered release.  Read More →
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