Posts tagged with "NOV 2010"

PETER HIMMELMAN

PETER HIMMELMAN
PETER HIMMELMAN An accomplished indie artist insists the mainstream matters “I don’t work that often with inspiration,” Peter Himmelman declares. “I just work with necessities.” For instance, he decided several years ago to try his hand at scoring television shows because, as he says, “Music doesn’t pay anymore.” He found considerable success, winning an Emmy nomination for his contributions to the drama Judging Amy. Then came a TV... 

DOOBIE BROTHERS

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

JASON BONHAM

JASON BONHAM
JASON BONHAM Drumming up a salute to the Led Zeppelin legend—and his family name When Led Zeppelin reunited for one show in London three years ago, many hoped the event would be followed by a full-fledged tour—not least of all Jason Bonham. He had impressively taken over the drum seat once occupied by his late father, John Bonham. But Zeppelin singer Robert Plant balked, and a plan to continue in some fashion without him fizzled. So Bonham elected... 

RICHARD THOMPSON

RICHARD THOMPSON
RICHARD THOMPSON An eclectic guitar slinger continues a four-decade journey through music By Bob Cannon Over the course of his long career, Richard Thompson has become accustomed to hearing fans tell him they prefer the live versions of his songs over the studio takes. So for his latest album, Dream Attic, Thompson elected to cut out the middleman—all 13 songs were recorded live during a two-week American tour last February. “We basically chop... 

LIZ PHAIR

LIZ PHAIR
LIZ PHAIR One of rock’s most daring artists once again surprises her audience Liz Phair has become accustomed to ruffling feathers. Her now-classic 1993 debut, Exile in Guyville, exposed the boys’-club nature of indie rock with its frank explorations of femininity. Ten years later she infuriated her loyal alt-rock fans by issuing a self-titled album of slick, catchy pop songs. Over the last several years she has confounded expectations by becoming... 

LINKIN PARK

LINKIN PARK
LINKIN PARK Making noise about nü-metal, new directions and nuclear war Linkin Park will not be rushed: A Thousand Suns, the California hard-rock group’s latest, is just the fourth studio album the band has released since forming in 1996. It’s something of a departure for the band, with less emphasis on heavy metal guitar riffs and volatile vocals than on electronic musical textures, elements of hip-hop and driving rhythms. Why the change?... 

NATASHA BEDINGFIELD

NATASHA BEDINGFIELD
NATASHA BEDINGFIELD Building relationships through the power of positive songwriting “I am quite pessimistic—that’s why my music is the opposite,” Natasha Bedingfield says with a laugh. “I need music to help me get through things.” The English singer and songwriter sure makes a convincing optimist. Her latest release, Strip Me, is so chock full of uptempo grooves and sunny lyrical nuggets that it comes on as the musical equivalent of... 

AARON NEVILLE

AARON NEVILLE
AARON NEVILLE Knocked down by tragedy, the sweet-voiced legend bounces back to spread the gospel Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina destroyed Aaron Neville’s New Orleans home. Two years later his wife of almost 48 years, Joel, died after a long bout with lung cancer. A pair of blows like that would’ve tested the faith of many men, but not Neville. “My faith never wavered,” says Neville, who relocated to Nashville after the Katrina disaster.... 

DAR WILLIAMS

DAR WILLIAMS
DAR WILLIAMS How a back-to-basics move led to a reevaluation of her rich musical history For years, Dar Williams had been thinking about rerecording some of her older songs in stripped-down arrangements. When she at last undertook the project, she was surprised at how much she had changed since starting her career nearly two decades ago. “Listening to the original recordings, I thought, ‘Wow, I don’t sound like the same person anymore,’”... 

BAD BOOKS

BAD BOOKS
BAD BOOKS Indie rockers Kevin Devine and Andy Hull join forces and get a little freaky Asked to describe Bad Books, the new joint side project between indie troubadour Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra frontman Andy Hull, the twosome will point to one song in particular on their self-titled debut. The grungy “Baby Shoes” was inspired by a six-word short story often (and probably wrongly) attributed to Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes.... 

SHAWN MULLINS

SHAWN MULLINS
SHAWN MULLINS How crossing the divide between Atlanta and Nashville lit up his world A dozen years ago, the Top 10 hit “Lullaby” and platinum album Soul’s Core catapulted Atlanta-born singer and songwriter Shawn Mullins into the limelight. Before long he found himself opening arena shows for the likes of ’N Sync, the Backstreet Boys and Destiny’s Child—and becoming increasingly uncomfortable with his place in that overblown pop world.... 

SUGARLAND

SUGARLAND
SUGARLAND The country duo turns over another new leaf with its new album’s arena-rocking sound If Sugarland’s new album, The Incredible Machine, sounds grand and full of ambition, that’s because its inspiration was, too. “We had gotten a call about writing a song for a 2010 Winter Olympics soundtrack,” says guitarist Kristian Bush. “So we started thinking, ‘If I were writing a song for a skier or snowboarder to play on their iPod before... 

TRICKY

TRICKY
TRICKY Mixing things up with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and commitment Fame swept over trip-hop star Tricky so quickly in the mid-1990s that he was barely able to catch his breath. He sat out much of the ’00s to do just that. “It was a way of catching up with myself,” says Tricky of his self-imposed hiatus, during which he became a self-described fitness nut. “I’m more comfortable now. I realized I’ve got a great job. I’m lucky to... 

PHIL COLLINS

PHIL COLLINS
PHIL COLLINS A rock giant’s R&B labor of love might just be the last album he ever makes Phil Collins has sold more than 250 million albums over four decades as both a solo star and as the singer and drummer for rock supergroup Genesis. He has earned seven Grammy awards, an Oscar, two Golden Globes and membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now Collins claims that he is well and truly finished. He swears that Going Back, a new 18-track... 

LAUREN PRITCHARD

LAUREN PRITCHARD
LAUREN PRITCHARD HOMETOWN: Jackson, Tenn. INFLUENCES: Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Al Green ALBUM: Wasted in Jackson, out now digitally; CD release due in February 2011 WEBSITE: laurenpritchard.com Lauren Pritchard came to Los Angeles from Tennessee as a teenager, determined to make her name in the music business—but before long found herself broke and resigned to returning home defeated. Then a friend’s mother intervened, convincing her to... 

THE SECRET SISTERS

THE SECRET SISTERS
THE SECRET SISTERS HOMETOWN: Muscle Shoals, Ala. influences: The Everly Brothers, Simon and Garfunkel, Don Williams ALBUM: The Secret Sisters, out now WEBSITE: secretsistersband.com Sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers grew up singing together in a town famous for music—but they never intended to perform as a duo. An impromptu audition for veteran producer Dave Cobb in the fall of 2009 changed all that. A few days later, Cobb had them on a plane to... 

MATT WHITE

MATT WHITE
MATT WHITE HOMETOWN: New York City INFLUENCES: Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen ALBUM: It’s the Good Crazy, out now WEBSITE: mattwhitemusic.com On his 2007 debut album, Best Days, Matt White built his sound around piano and guitar equally. On the follow-up, it’s all about the ivories. “This is really my first record,” he says. “Best Days was essentially chasing a time, and I experimented with a lot of nuances, like playing the... 

SEYMOUR DUNCAN DEJA VU TAP DELAY

SEYMOUR DUNCAN DEJA VU TAP DELAY
SEYMOUR DUNCAN DEJA VU TAP DELAY Tap tempo delay with bucket brigade tone FOR: Button pushers. Over the past several years, veteran pickup manufacturer Seymour Duncan has been rolling out an impressive line of boutique-flavored guitar effects. The Deja Vu Tap Delay blends a bevy of modern features with analog bucket brigade circuitry to create a pedal that has something for just about every delay fanatic. The D/A Blend control allows you to dial... 

DIRECT SOUND EXTREME ISOLATION HEADPHONES

DIRECT SOUND EXTREME ISOLATION HEADPHONES
DIRECT SOUND EXTREME ISOLATION HEADPHONES Isolation headphones for studio and stage FOR: Saving your ears—and sanity. Extreme Isolation Headphones were designed by session drummer John Gresko to address the challenges of audio bleeding from ’phones to mics as well as room noise competing with headphone mixes. The result: Vocalists can finally record without fearing headphone-born feedback blowing their ears out, while drummers or guitarists who... 

TOONTRACKS EZMIX

TOONTRACKS EZMIX
TOONTRACKS EZMIX Studio plug-in with optimized presets FOR: Great mixes in a snap. Toontrack master sound designer Mattias Eklund has partnered with DSP gurus Overloud to come up with a preset-based plug-in that makes dialing up killer treatments a snap. The sortable Name, Type and Instrument columns make finding what you’re looking for easy. The Shape, Blend and Level faders allow you to quickly fine tune presets, which can then be renamed and... 

AVID ELEVEN RACK

AVID ELEVEN RACK
AVID ELEVEN RACK Pro Tools interface for guitar FOR: Racking up a killer guitar tone. Avid’s Eleven Rack is a 24bit, 96k USB Pro Tools interface that is as comfortable on the concert stage as it is in the studio. The user-friendly interface makes accessing and modifying the healthy sampling of amp, effect, speaker and mic models refreshingly intuitive. Eleven Rack also functions as a mic pre-amp with phantom power for tracking vocals or re-amping.... 

APOGEE GIO

APOGEE GIO
APOGEE GIO Guitar interface for GarageBand, MainStage and Logic FOR: Stomping your Mac. The GiO puts the fun in functionality for guitarists who want to rock out with their Apple computers. First and foremost this unit is a 24-bit USB-driven audio interface for guitar, designed by AD/DA conversion pioneers Apogee. However, the real functionality is in the massive amount of control given to your feet, freeing up your guitar-wielding hands from that... 

GEAR – LIGHT YOUR FIRE

GEAR – LIGHT YOUR FIRE
Rock’s top lighting designer helps you turn an ordinary show into a dazzling spectacle Certainly, the first and foremost reason we attend concerts is to hear great music—but skillful stage lighting can transform a relatively simple treat for the ears into an unforgettable multimedia experience. To ensure that what audiences see is as vibrant and explosive as what they hear, many of the world’s biggest touring acts turn to lighting designer Marc... 

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix
HENRY DILTZ, THE OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER FOR THE 1969 WOODSTOCK MUSIC & Art Fair, was sleeping behind the stage in his station wagon on the morning of Aug. 18 when he heard the music crank up. He roused himself and hustled to the stage to capture on film the festival’s final performer. By the time Jimi Hendrix went on, at 9 a.m., the once half-million-strong audience had dwindled to about 25,000. “There were these huge speakers,” Diltz says.... 

JOHN LEGEND & THE ROOTS

JOHN LEGEND & THE ROOTS
NOV 2010 COVER STORY: JOHN LEGEND & THE ROOTS FEATURES: MILES TO GO, WHOLE NEW WORLD MUSICIAN: JOE SATRIANI, RICHARD THOMPSON PRODUCER: DAVE STEWART Q&A’s: LINKIN PARK, LIZ PHAIR, NATASHA BEDINGFIELD, HUEY LEWIS, JASON BONHAM SPOTLIGHT: PHIL COLLINS, SUGARLAND, TRICKY, SHAWN MULLINS, BAD BOOKS, DAR WILLIAMS, AARON NEVILLE WHO’S NEXT: MATT WHITE, SECRET SISTERS, LAUREN PRITCHARD INDIE SCENE: PETER HIMMELMAN BEHIND THE CLASSICS:... 

PAUL TURNER

PAUL TURNER
PAUL TURNER Another World paulturner.com With songs both pensive and forlorn, Paul Turner’s downcast demeanor is reminiscent of previous haunted souls like Nick Drake and Elliott Smith. The music conveys a tender fragility, with cello and acoustic guitar creating the sparse settings. Despite its meditative insularity, Another World is finally a welcome space for listeners.  Read More →

RAT WAKES RED

RAT WAKES RED
RAT WAKES RED Acres ratdisk.com Who would think that a trio that tags itself Rat Wakes Red would sound so seductive? If the name suggests punkish mischief, the music shatters that suggestion through its dimly lit melodies and sensual settings. The supple addition of violas, synths and keyboards to standard rock regalia makes Acres all the more alluring.  Read More →

ARTHUR NASSON

ARTHUR NASSON
ARTHUR NASSON Echo Garden arthurnasson.com Arthur Nasson effectively blurs the boundaries between pop practitioner and avant-garde innovator. Consequently, Echo Garden varies dramatically in its tones and textures, running the gamut from more engaging entries to brash rockers, with several songs given over to atonal soundscapes. Few other artists could so effectively express experimental ambition on such a grand scale.  Read More →

LELAND SUNDRIES

LELAND SUNDRIES
LELAND SUNDRIES The Apothecary EP lelandsundries.com Nick Loss-Eaton, also known as Leland Sundries, is a public-relations professional by trade but a musician at heart. On this sepia-toned EP, he proves as adept at creating intriguing music of his own as he is at marketing the sounds of others.  Read More →

MIC HARRISON AND THE HIGH SCORE

MIC HARRISON AND THE HIGH SCORE
MIC HARRISON AND THE HIGH SCORE Great Commotion micharrison.com The vibrant fall foliage that adorns the cover of Great Commotion reflects the homespun attitude in the grooves. Although Harrison and company tone down their edgier inclinations on this sixth album, the band still sounds ruggedly assured, even when allowing opportunity for sentiment to shine through.  Read More →

NOVEMBER

NOVEMBER
NOVEMBER Sugar Free novembernow.com November is a darker month, when trees are stripped of their leaves and the populace braces for the onslaught of winter. Not surprisingly then, the band with that name boasts an ominous sound—a snarling, insistent jackhammering that suggests danger on the way. Some songs are sweeping in scope (“Follow Me,” “Imagination”), but others lumber along insistently (“Scars,” “Love the Lonely”) like Pearl... 

CASEY NEILL & THE NORWAY RATS

CASEY NEILL & THE NORWAY RATS
CASEY NEILL & THE NORWAY RATS Goodbye to the Rank and File caseyneill.org Casey Neill emerged from the Pacific Northwest, a populist folk rocker with a penchant for posturing and protest. Half a dozen albums on, Neill offers his most accomplished effort yet, one that combines his world-weary view with a dramatic delivery. The riveting “All Summer Glory,” the bittersweet ballad “Ouroboros” and the reflective “Radio Montana” are strikingly... 

RYAN MONTBLEAU BAND

RYAN MONTBLEAU BAND
RYAN MONTBLEAU BAND Heavy on the Vine ryanmontbleauband.com Credit Ryan Montbleau with the ability to sound folksy without being folk-y. His down-home shuffles belie an uptown sound, and given his casual vocals and the feast of fiddles that weave their way into the mix, Montbleau’s breezy presentation provides a jam-band feel without that genre’s tendency toward overindulgence. Take the low-key “Slippery Road,” a pleasing paean to procrastination,... 

CONNIE LIM

CONNIE LIM
CONNIE LIM The Hunted connielimmusic.com Connie Lim describes her music as “retrotronica,” a melding of old-school folk and modern techno. The 24-year-old Lim’s reverence for role models like Suzanne Vega, Feist and Natalie Merchant is made evident in her sophomore set through the purity of her vocals and her Anglophile inclinations. Likewise, several songs—“Sugar,” “Now” and “Morning”—evoke the pastoral imagery of quiet idyllic... 

THE PINX

THE PINX
THE PINX Southern Tracks myspace.com/thepinxatlanta Atlanta rock trio the Pinx come roaring out of the gate on this Molotov cocktail of an EP, bashing through these seven cuts as if their rock ’n’ roll lives were at stake. Classic-rock influences prevail, but there’s no dust on these guys—singer and guitarist Adam McIntyre, bass player Joseph T. Giddings and drummer Jim O’Kane play as if they’re opening for a double bill of the Who and... 

TREASA LEVASSEUR

TREASA LEVASSEUR
TREASA LEVASSEUR Low Fidelity treasalevasseur.com Plowing the fertile fields of blues, soul, jazz and cabaret, Canada’s Juno award-winning chanteuse Treasa Levasseur is an old soul recast as a contemporary crooner. Suggestive, seductive, soulful and scornful—depending on the song and circumstance—she sounds as timeless as the love-struck laments that soar throughout this set. With hints of Sade, Norah Jones, Laura Nyro and Bonnie Raitt, Levasseur’s... 

DAVID LANZ

DAVID LANZ
DAVID LANZ Liverpool: Re-imagining the Beatles davidlanz.com Any attempt to reinterpret the Beatles runs the risk of coming off as corny, cheesy or worse. So credit David Lanz for recasting these songs as stirring instrumentals that ring true to the originals while adding an original perspective to the mix. A skilled pianist and adept arranger, Lanz transforms “Things We Said Today,” “Yes It Is” and “Lovely Rita” into elegiac mini-suites... 

KRISTIAN HOFFMAN

KRISTIAN HOFFMAN
KRISTIAN HOFFMAN Fop kristianhoffman.com Veteran pop purist Kristian Hoffman has previously notched credits working with former Kinks kingpin Dave Davies and veteran producer Earle Mankey. On Fop, his fourth solo sojourn, he expands his ambitions by weaving together the strands of America’s popular music traditions. From the sounds of the roaring ’20s (“Imaginary Friend”) to ’70s-style power ballads (“Something New Is Born,” “Cassandra”)... 

GAELIC STORM

GAELIC STORM
GAELIC STORM Cabbage gaelicstorm.com Like fellow Irish expatriates Black 47, Santa Monica’s Gaelic Storm pays homage to the homeland and keeps the ties intact. Not surprisingly, then, fiddles, bagpipes, rock and reels make Cabbage a hearty stew. Comprised mostly of uptempo tunes, the album revives the celebratory style that got the Storm attention for its role as the resident dance band in the film Titanic. Gaelic Storm’s spirited approach informs... 

KEVIN CONNOLLY

KEVIN CONNOLLY
KEVIN CONNOLLY North/East kevinconnolly.com Over two decades and a catalog that includes nine independently released albums, Kevin Connolly has become one of New England’s most respected troubadours. However, unlike the usual wistful folkies who haunt the region’s clubs and coffeehouses, Connolly’s music can be tough and tenacious. Although its roots are in the singer-songwriter tradition, he’s never been reticent to inject elements of R&B,... 

MARSHALL CHAPMAN

MARSHALL CHAPMAN
MARSHALL CHAPMAN Big Lonesome tallgirl.com Marshall Chapman’s been mining a roots-oriented sound for nearly 35 years, first for major labels and subsequently under her own Tall Girl imprint. She’s also toured and recorded with Jimmy Buffett, releasing a live album as the maiden offering on Buffett’s Margaritaville label. Her ongoing association with Buffett bandmate Tim Krekel informs Big Lonesome, an album that highlights her usual mix of feisty... 

DWIGHT TWILLEY

DWIGHT TWILLEY
DWIGHT TWILLEY Green Blimp dwighttwilley.com There’s no shortage of individuals who would take credit for jumpstarting the power-pop movement way back when, but none of them stake as convincing a claim as Dwight Twilley. His 1975 Top 20 hit “I’m on Fire” helped lay the groundwork for the entire retro rock regimen, and by the time he returned to the charts with 1984’s “Girls,” his argument had been made. Sadly, Twilley’s accomplishments... 

VARIOUS ARTISTS

VARIOUS ARTISTS
VARIOUS ARTISTS Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010 [Rhino] DVD REVIEW Rock ’n’ roll as a genre couldn’t exist without the electric guitar. That means Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, put on by the guitar legend tri-annually since 2004, is in essence a celebration of rock ’n’ roll’s very raison d’être. For each event Clapton handpicks a lineup of axe slingers that embraces a broad range of styles and generations, from his... 

JOHN LENNON

JOHN LENNON
JOHN LENNON Gimme Some Truth [Capitol] BOX SET REVIEW “Look at me,” sang John Lennon in 1970, with the Beatles’ bitter breakup just behind him and an uncertain new decade ahead. “What am I supposed to be?” Every great songwriter asks that question in one way or another, but few do so with the ruthless honesty with which Lennon pursued it through a solo career rich with contradictory impulses, wild course corrections and—of course—an... 

TRACE ADKINS

TRACE ADKINS
TRACE ADKINS Cowboy’s Back in Town [Show Dog/Universal] Trace Adkins’ new album begins with a punchline about the wah-wah guitar lines that once dominated porn soundtracks (“Brown Chicken Brown Cow”) and ends with a hillbilly brawl (“Whoop a Man’s Ass”). In between, the rest of this underwhelming set might make you forget the fact that Adkins, with his profound baritone, is one of modern country music’s most powerful voices. When... 

KATIE MELUA

KATIE MELUA
KATIE MELUA The House [Dramatico] Katie Melua has become a U.K. sensation, but stateside success has escaped her grasp so far. Her latest disc might just gain her the foothold she’s been seeking. Produced by techno-pop wizard William Orbit, The House boasts a Dido-flavored feel perfectly suited to Melua’s chanteuse-y approach. “I’d Love to Kill You,” the opening track, sets the tone, as Melua’s old-school pop voice is framed in a lovely... 

DAVID GRAY

DAVID GRAY
DAVID GRAY Foundling [Downtown] Following the breakup of his longtime backing band, David Gray pursued a new direction on 2009’s Draw the Line. Foundling is a spinoff from those earlier sessions, which found him shuffling off with a small group of essential players and doing solitary takes on songs originally intended for a larger ensemble. Not that this material is stripped down entirely; while selections like “Forgetting,” “The Old Chair”... 

SUPERCHUNK

SUPERCHUNK
SUPERCHUNK Majesty Shredding [Merge Records] Superchunk doesn’t aspire to be Merge Records’ most innovative or best-selling act. Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance—founders of both Superchunk and Merge—leave that to the Arcade Fire, whose Suburbs album recently became the venerable North Carolina indie imprint’s first-ever chart-topper. The decidedly less ambitious Majesty Shredding, Superchunk’s first full-length in nine years, is a gift... 

PETE YORN

PETE YORN
PETE YORN Pete Yorn [Vagrant] Pete Yorn’s latest proves that off-the-cuff projects can yield superb results. Recorded in just five days with former Pixies leader Frank Black producing, the disc strips Yorn’s songwriting, singing and guitar gifts to their essence. The opener, “Precious Stone,” sets the tone. Framed by fuzzed-up guitars and a molten bridge, Yorn sounds scruffy and vulnerable on this country-tinged pop rocker. “Velcro Shoes”... 

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE
JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE Harlem River Blues [Bloodshot] As evidenced by what is certainly his best album to date, Justin Townes Earle has put the brakes on his attitude and opted for a more traditional stance. Unabashedly emotional, these retro-minded songs could sub for old-school standards, each drawing on archetypal Americana styles ranging from bluegrass and classic country to blues, folk and gospel. They’re etched with bold strokes, mining a sound... 
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