Posts tagged with "SEPT/OCT 2012"

DON FELDER

DON FELDER
DON FELDER With his first solo project in decades, a former Eagle soars again   It’s 9 a.m. on the west coast and Don Felder is a bit drowsy. “Too early,” he says. “I’ll let you know how I’m doing after my second cup of tea.” Tea? A far cry from the indulgent excesses of his near three-decade rock star tenure with the Eagles—the band that brought him fame, fortune and no shortage of conflict prior to his abrupt termination in... 

TAMAR KAPRELIAN

TAMAR KAPRELIAN
TAMAR KAPRELIAN HOMETOWN: Scottsdale, Ariz. INFLUENCES: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty ALBUM: California EP, out now WEBSITE: facebook.com/TamarKaprelian Pop singer-songwriter Tamar Kaprelian, 25, moved around a lot as a kid—she was born in Scottsdale, Ariz., and raised in Georgia and California. After discovering Billy Joel and Paul McCartney in her father’s record collection at age 14, music became a constant in her life, and she... 

PITCH PERFECT

PITCH PERFECT
PITCH PERFECT Crafting superior vocal tracks takes both technical and personal skills “Vocal production can be one of two things,” says producer, mixer and engineer Fab Dupont. “One is the art of constructing a finished vocal track by getting the best performance and best sound possible. Two is the art of making a singer sound an awful lot better than he or she really is. They’re two different spirits and practices, and you know right away... 

RICHIE SAMBORA

RICHIE SAMBORA
RICHIE SAMBORA Life’s trials lead him beyond Bon Jovi to a very personal solo effort  By Russell Hall  Richie Sambora isn’t one to hold back. His new solo album is the best thing he’s done outside Bon Jovi, he insists, and he’s not going to rein in his enthusiasm with false modesty. “People have been very surprised by this record,” he says. “They’re surprised it’s me. I could take that as a bad thing, I suppose, but I think it’s... 

THE WALLFLOWERS

THE WALLFLOWERS
Stuart Mathis, Jack Irons, Jakob Dylan, Greg Richling, Rami Jaffee THE WALLFLOWERS Regrouped, refreshed and ready to prove that time off does a band good   Taking a break isn’t the same thing as breaking up, and the Wallflowers’ frontman Jakob Dylan reveals the band needed the former but never considered the latter. In the years since the group’s last album, 2005’s Rebel, Sweetheart, Dylan released a pair of solo albums in 2008 and 2010,... 

CORIN TUCKER BAND

CORIN TUCKER BAND
Seth Lorinczi, Sara Lund, Corin Tucker, Mike Clark CORIN TUCKER BAND The indie rocker chooses musical democracy for her new album   After writing all the songs on her 2010 solo debut, 1,000 Years, Corin Tucker took a more collaborative approach on her latest. Kill My Blues was very much a team effort, as Tucker and her backing musicians jammed out the tunes in their rehearsal space. “We needed to open more doors for the band to evolve,” Tucker... 

SHEMEKIA COPELAND

SHEMEKIA COPELAND
SHEMEKIA COPELAND Belief in the power of song drives this vocalist’s musical mission Shemekia Copeland sits in her hotel room in Harlem, counting down the minutes until she begins a spate of interviews to discuss her new album, 33 1/3. Her husky voice betrays a bit of anxiety knowing that the public is about to hear her latest. “I’m sitting here thinking ‘Wow! My album is out today.’ And I’m in Harlem, my old stomping ground.” Since... 

DWIGHT YOAKAM

DWIGHT YOAKAM
DWIGHT YOAKAM  Country’s hippest cowboy offers of-the-moment insights in a fresh new set Most of the time, Dwight Yoakam lives in the moment. The 55-year-old Kentucky native prefers not to have any long-term goals aside from continuing to find joy in his work. It’s a strategy that’s served him well in his near three decade career as a singer-songwriter-actor. “When I started doing more film work, I began not waiting until I had time to... 

JEFF LYNNE

JEFF LYNNE
JEFF LYNNE The ELO mastermind releases two different—yet sonically linked—projects  In a 1974 radio interview, John Lennon said of Electric Light Orchestra, “I call them the Son of Beatles, but I’m sure they’re doing other things we never did.” It’s a compliment that Jeff Lynne recalls word for word, in Lennon’s Scouse accent, and treasures to this day. “That was a big moment for me,” Lynne recalls. “Almost a benediction.” Lennon’s... 

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN  At 70, the guitar virtuoso still revels in his dynamic musical journey By Jeff Tamarkin  John McLaughlin remembers some odd advice he once received from Miles Davis—cryptic words at the time, but later made perfect sense. It was 1969, and the young guitar master was working in the studio with the jazz titan when “Miles made this Zen statement,” recalls McLaughlin. “He told me, ‘Play like you don’t know how to play guitar.’”... 

RON ANIELLO

RON ANIELLO
RON ANIELLO  Doing whatever it takes to make the record great             By Michael Gallant When Ron Aniello was selected to produce Bruce Springsteen’s 2012 album Wrecking Ball, he faced a daunting challenge—how to offer constructive criticism to a personal hero. “Being in the studio, and hearing the voice of my childhood was the main thing I had to get over,” Aniello says with a laugh. “Telling an artist like Bruce that a certain... 

“Bohemian Rhapsody” QUEEN

“Bohemian Rhapsody” QUEEN
Brian May, John Deacon, Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury “Bohemian Rhapsody” QUEEN “Bohemian Rhapsody” is one of rock’s most beloved hits—and yet for all its brilliance, the song is only more remarkable considering it breaks every rule. There is no chorus. The form is odd and asymmetrical. The title never once appears in the lyric. It’s more than six minutes long. And it has an opera section with mock Italian lyrics. That the disparate... 

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac Photographer norman seeff rented a beautiful Malibu home overlooking the Pacific to shoot Fleetwood Mac for their 1979 album, Tusk. “They were like kids in a sandbox, having fun,” Seeff recalls. “But they also knew exactly what they were doing. They understood that by being spontaneous they would capture something they wouldn’t get if they were more controlled.” As the wine began to flow, the band became more rambunctious.... 

KISS

KISS
KISS For a long time, beginning in 1999, Paul Stanley wasn’t sure Kiss would make another studio album. Worse, he wasn’t sure he wanted to. Ironically, it was the making of the previous year’s Psycho Circus—the much-ballyhooed record that featured original members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley reunited with Kiss founders Stanley and Gene Simmons—that put Stanley in that frame of mind. As he tells it, Criss and Frehley were recalcitrant participants,... 

MATCHBOX TWENTY

MATCHBOX TWENTY
MATCHBOX TWENTY On the pop-rockers’ latest release, everyone gets a turn in the spotlight Matchbox Twenty’s new album, North, is the band’s first collection of all-new material in a decade. It’s also their first release to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. But what really sets the record apart is the group effort to make it. Rob Thomas has long been the frontman and songwriting engine driving the pop-rockers, scoring hits like... 

ELLIE GOULDING

ELLIE GOULDING
ELLIE GOULDING Global success scores the singer more creative control on her latest      Ellie Goulding hit the ground running after she released her debut album, Lights, two years ago, and she hasn’t slowed down one bit. In her native England, she won a coveted Brit Award and was invited to play at the Royal Wedding. In the U.S., she scored an unexpected hit with “Lights”—which has been downloaded a whopping 3 million times. Now Goulding,... 

THE WORLD FAMOUS HEADLINERS

THE WORLD FAMOUS HEADLINERS
THE WORLD FAMOUS HEADLINERS World Famous Headliners worldfamousheadliners.com How do you know Big Al Anderson still loves his job? Leading this Nashville supergroup, the 65-year-old sounds younger than he did on “No Good to Cry,” the garage nugget he cut in 1967 with the Wildweeds, the Connecticut band he fronted before serving 22 years with cult heroes NRBQ. In fact, singing and playing guitar is no longer Anderson’s main gig. Since the 1990s,... 

MASTA ACE

MASTA ACE
MASTA ACE MA_Doom: Son of Yvonne mastaace.com In the flashback skit that begins this hip-hop nostalgia trip, young Duval Clear rechristens himself Masta Ace. The Brooklyn MC has used that tag for nearly a quarter century, influencing scores of better known rappers, but this album’s subtitle, Son of Yvonne, is perhaps the meaningful pseudonym. After all, it was Duval’s mom’s record collection—romanticized on “Ninteen Seventy Something”—that... 

RAFIQ BHATIA

RAFIQ BHATIA
RAFIQ BHATIA Yes It Will rafiqbhatia.com On his full-length debut, guitarist and composer Rafiq Bhatia presides over jagged jazz jams that don’t always feature guitar and seldom feel particularly composed. True, his sharp, spiraling runs are all over “Background Music”—a song with far too many dynamic shifts to justify its self-deprecating name. Ditto “Try” and “Endogenous Oscillators.” But on the seven-plus-minute centerpiece “Annihilator... 

SKYLINE DRIVE

SKYLINE DRIVE
SKYLINE DRIVE Topanga Ranch Motel skylinedrive.me Bless the acoustic guitar—the go-to instrument for rock ’n’ rollers looking to reinvent themselves as troubadours. Among the latest to unplug and rejoice is Skyline Drive main man Derek Thomas, formerly of experimental L.A. rockers 60 Watt Kid. On Topanga Ranch Motel, there’s nothing remotely innovative—just rootsy strumming, craggy singing, woe-is-me sentiments and the seriously sad pedal... 

HARLAN

HARLAN
HARLAN Night Loop thestillbeat.com This Southern duo has everything it needs to make edgy electro-pop for urbane Northerners. There are static-electric synth sounds, restless beats, reverb-rich vocals, cryptic lyrics, and the kinds of bluesy guitar riffs Depeche Mode uses to conjure the mystical dread of the Mississippi Delta. Only this isn’t music for nightclubs. Multi-instrumentalists John Norris and Scott Campbell aim more for planetariums, campfires... 

45 GRAVE

45 GRAVE
45 GRAVE Pick Your Poison 45grave.net One generation’s devil’s music is another’s easy listening, and while the return of L.A. “death-rock” pioneers 45 Grave—back after a 27-year hiatus—won’t mean much to today’s bloody-eared extreme-metal fanatics, there’s plenty here to recommend. Like a West Coast cross between the Misfits and New York Dolls, the band does trampy, campy psychedelic bar rock, gobbling up Halloween clichés like... 

KENDRA MORRIS

KENDRA MORRIS
KENDRA MORRIS Banshee kendramorrismusic.com Having spent nearly 10 years on the New York City scene, fronting an all-girl band before going solo, this Florida native is too poised and focused to warrant the “American Amy Winehouse” tag she’ll inevitably receive. That said, there are similarities. Like her late U.K. counterpart, Morris is a cool, tattooed retro-soul sister who came of age in the hip-hop era. On her debut, she links Billie Holiday... 

JANIS MARTIN

JANIS MARTIN
JANIS MARTIN The Blanco Sessions cowislandmusic.com Rockabilly pioneer Janis Martin—dubbed “the female Elvis” during her brief ’50s heyday—died in 2007, but not before teaming with producer Rosie Flores, one of the genre’s finest revivalists, for one final session. After Martin’s death, Flores struggled for years to shop the album, and she ultimately financed this release via a Kickstarter campaign. The result is a bittersweet 11-song... 

RUBY VELLE & THE SOULPHONICS

RUBY VELLE & THE SOULPHONICS
RUBY VELLE & THE SOULPHONICS It’s About Time facebook.com/soulphonics The title doesn’t lie: It is about time, and that time is the golden age of soul and R&B. We’re talking Motown, Stax and young Aretha, but rather than mimic any single artist or classic label stable, Ruby and her suit-clad sidemen roll a decade of music into one nattily dressed package. That means a mix of JFK-era love songs—check out the “(Love Is Like a) Heat... 

SUSAN CATTANEO

SUSAN CATTANEO
SUSAN CATTANEO Little Big Sky susancattaneo.com Students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music have a fine teacher in Susan Cattaneo, part-time faculty of the songwriting department. On this EP, she leads a crack Nashville squad through seven pro-built country tunes. Whether stomping (“Let the Music Deliver Me”) or pining (“A Place Called Love”), she places each verse, chorus and bridge exactly where it belongs. Like any master crafter, Cattaneo... 

DISPATCH

DISPATCH
DISPATCH Circles Around the Sun dispatchmusic.com This insanely popular New England band’s first album in 12 years takes its name from the leadoff track—an underdog story that may be a parable for Dispatch itself. As the song opens, doctors rocket a sickly child into space, and after a few years in orbit, he returns “with a smile as big as the whole world.” Formed in Vermont, this markedly un-hip trio logged mad miles in the ’90s, becoming... 

TUMBLEWEED WANDERERS

TUMBLEWEED WANDERERS
TUMBLEWEED WANDERERS So Long tumbleweedwanderers.com Are those echoes of Sugar Ray’s “Fly” in “Take It Back,” the closest the Wanderers come on their debut album to penning a summer jam? Could be—the members of this San Fran Americana quintet are children of the ’90s, even if they’d like to pretend otherwise. “This ain’t ’69 / you’ve gotta change your mind,” frontman Jeremy Lyon sings on the soulful “Take It Back,” only... 

PINEY GIR

PINEY GIR
PINEY GIR Geronimo! pineygir.com Raised by a Pentecostal minister, Gir failed at speaking in tongues—unless you count “tang-ticky tang-tang-tang-tang,” one of the nonsense phrases she’ll throw into her smiley ’60s-style pop songs. Her sheltered upbringing hasn’t left her naive—just sweet and hopeful, even when life bursts her balloon.  Read More →

LOWTALKER

LOWTALKER
LOWTALKER The Marathon EP myspace.com/lowtalkermusic Properly channeled, the rage required to play hardcore can also produce music like this: earnest, surging, scream-along rock for tattooed dudes in touch with their feelings. It gets pretty heavy, but love of classic Midwestern punk keeps this Milwaukee foursome from steamrolling the listener.  Read More →

JOE FIEDLER’S BIG SACKBUT

JOE FIEDLER’S BIG SACKBUT
JOE FIEDLER’S BIG SACKBUT Joe Fiedler’s Big Sackbut joefiedler.com Three trombonists and a tuba player walk into a studio. It has the makings of a joke, but bandleader Fiedler plays it straight, fitting intricate melodies and inventive solos around Marcus Rojas’ anchoring tuba. On “Calle Luna, Calle Sol,” he even makes the t-bone sound sexy. Take that, saxophone.  Read More →

GRACE PETTIS

GRACE PETTIS
GRACE PETTIS Two Birds gracepettis.com Landing somewhere between old-school country and Top 40 folk-rock, Pettis pens detailed songs about lovers on the mend and young musicians on the move. Through these vignettes, she offers glimpses of her own personality, revealing herself to be an observer and a dreamer—a winning combo.  Read More →

BIRDS OF CHICAGO

BIRDS OF CHICAGO
BIRDS OF CHICAGO Birds of Chicago birdsofchicago.com It’s not quite Rod Stewart-meets-Billie Holiday—and that’s probably for the best—but husky-voiced JT Nero and silky-smooth Allison Russell lead a kind of Americana equivalent. They deliver barefoot, butt-shaking country-rock uplift and somber folk meditations, never skimping on poetry.  Read More →

MXR M80 Bass D.I.+

MXR M80 Bass D.I.+
MXR M80 Bass D.I.+ BASS TONE TO DI FOR Live sound techs, studio engineers and bass players everywhere are talking about the new MXR M80 Bass D.I.+. This handy bass pedal delivers a solid compromise between a direct box and the sound of a conventional bass amp. The clean channel provides a touch of color, and the distortion channel allows you to add all the texture you like, plus there’s a three-band EQ onboard. Capable of sounding rude and beefy... 

Roland VT-12

Roland VT-12
Roland VT-12  PRO VOCAL TRAINING TO GO Finally, there’s a portable, handheld vocal trainer designed to offer singers the edge they need. The new Roland VT-12 features real-time vocal analysis, and an illuminated pitch meter that detects two voices at once for harmony training. There’s also a built-in metronome and onboard recorder that allows you to sing along to backing tracks. In addition to 50 lessons from the world-standard Concone classical... 

Native Instruments’ Maschine

Native Instruments’ Maschine
Native Instruments’ Maschine  SONGWRITER’S PLAYGROUND Although mostly adopted by the electronic music community, Native Instruments’ Maschine offers superior songwriting and arrangement tools that nearly every musician can benefit from. Both the DAW-style software environment and the purpose-built hardware controller are fairly straightforward, making it easy to lay down original backing tracks with the included virtual instruments and grooves.... 

IK Multimedia iRig Stomp

IK Multimedia iRig Stomp
IK Multimedia iRig Stomp  IPHONE STOMPBOX INTERFACE There are tons of gadgets that let you plug your guitar into your iOS device, but that’s typically where the signal stops. The IK Multimedia iRig Stomp is a simple stompbox-style device that passes the incoming signal to an iPhone or iPad and returns the result back to your guitar rig. It’s a great way to add iOS app-based effects to any live setup, practice with one of the looper apps on the... 

PreSonus Studio One 2

PreSonus Studio One 2
PreSonus Studio One 2  DAW DREAMS Powerhouse features such as transient detection and pitch correction make PreSonus Studio One 2 more than a match for any DAW on the market. Sheer ease of use makes it one of the best options for musicians who’ve spent more time rocking out than boning up on recording technology. With complex processes, such as tightening up multitracked drums or comping vocals, reduced to a couple of steps, Studio One 2 nicely... 

iZotope’s Alloy 2

iZotope’s Alloy 2
iZotope’s Alloy 2  SIX MIXING TOOLS IN ONE Packed with virtual processors that cover every major aspect of software mixing, iZotope’s Alloy 2 plug-in delivers the kind of value that seems too good to be true till you hear it. With hundreds of presets to choose from—covering everything from bass to vocals—finding the right jumping off point is a snap. Then it’s just a matter of using Alloy 2’s comprehensive in-depth controls to tweak... 

Avalon V5

Avalon V5
Avalon V5  PREAMP, REAMP, KILLER DI Perfect for project and pro studios alike, the Avalon V5 preamplifier offers up tons of flexible functionality. Its variable input handles anything from ribbon mics and hi-Z instrument sources to ultra-hot line-level signal like a champ. A musical tone circuit that features settings taken straight from the award-winning Avalon U5 makes dialing in the ideal sound incredibly easy. And thanks to a convenient instrument-level... 

Arturia MiniBrute

Arturia MiniBrute
Arturia MiniBrute  FULL-BLAST ANALOG SYNTH Between its brilliant simplicity and modest price tag, the Arturia MiniBrute is one of the most accessible pure analog synthesizers available. Packed with intuitive hands-on controls, even complete synth novices will have a blast experimenting and creating original sounds with the MiniBrute. At the same time, the MiniBrute delivers enough innovative features to satisfy the most seasoned synth player, such... 

Avid’s Pro Tools HD Native Thunderbolt

Avid’s Pro Tools HD Native Thunderbolt
Avid’s Pro Tools HD Native Thunderbolt  DITCH THE TOWER When Avid announced Pro Tools HD Native in the fall of 2010, they made huge waves in the recording world. For the first time it was possible to get the near-zero latency of Pro Tools HD, but without the added expense of DSP acceleration. The trouble was musicians still needed a tower-format computer with PCIe slots to run it. With Avid’s Pro Tools HD Native Thunderbolt, you can get the... 

Keith McMillen Instruments’ QuNeo

Keith McMillen Instruments’ QuNeo
Keith McMillen Instruments’ QuNeo  TOTAL CONTROL FREAK Keith McMillen Instruments’ QuNeo condenses more than 60 individual controls into a single device that’s roughly the size of a tablet PC. Extremely flexible and fully assignable, QuNeo lets you take command of any MIDI-controllable software. The QuNeo features 16 pads (each of which doubles as an X/Y controller), plus a handful of touch-sensitive control strips and more. For those who... 

CASIO XW-P1 PERFORMANCE SYNTHESIZER

CASIO XW-P1 PERFORMANCE SYNTHESIZER
CASIO XW-P1 PERFORMANCE SYNTHESIZER Sounds in the key of live In an era dominated by soft synths and MIDI controllers, the ultraportable Casio XW-P1 marks a refreshing return to the traditional performance keyboard. Browsing through the presets, we were immediately floored by its array of outrageous lead tones, which would make any keyboard player from Keith Emerson to Jordan Rudess equally proud. Also impressive was the selection of hands-on controls,... 

POSITIVE GRID JAMUP PLUG INTERFACE AND JAMUP APP

POSITIVE GRID JAMUP PLUG INTERFACE AND JAMUP APP
POSITIVE GRID JAMUP PLUG INTERFACE AND JAMUP APP Rock your iOS The JamUp Plug is a simple and super compact iOS audio interface designed to complement Positive Grid’s guitar effects apps, JamUp Pro and the free JamUp Lite. It’s easy to see why these guitar effects apps have been earning top reviews in the App Store. Features such as a highly flexible signal chain, a handy MP3 import option, and a looping phrase sampler turn an average iOS device... 

TWO NOTES AUDIO ENGINEERING TORPEDO LIVE

TWO NOTES AUDIO ENGINEERING TORPEDO LIVE
TWO NOTES AUDIO ENGINEERING TORPEDO LIVE  Pro Loadbox with digital miking As the trend toward in-ear monitoring and amplifier-free “silent” stages continues, guitarists have been desperate to keep their favorite tones. The Two Notes Torpedo Live is the perfect compromise. This 100-watt loadbox lets you run your guitar or bass head direct to the board, without sacrificing tone. Powerful 32-bit DSP provides 32 cabinet models, eight virtual microphones,... 

AEA RPQ500 MIC PREAMP WITH EQ

AEA RPQ500 MIC PREAMP WITH EQ
AEA RPQ500 MIC PREAMP WITH EQ Preamp tailor-made for ribbon mics The RPQ500 packs the mojo of AEA’s original RPQ ribbon preamp into an API 500 Series compatible module. A specially tailored EQ section addresses the proximity issues most commonly associated with ribbon mics, taming excessive buildup in the bottom end. Bypassable high- and low-frequency controls make it easy to clear up muddiness or add space and air. This was particularly useful... 

JAMMIT APP

JAMMIT APP
JAMMIT APP Jam with the masters If you’ve always dreamed of jamming with your favorite rock stars, now’s your chance. Developed by multiplatinum producer-mixer Scott Humphrey (Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Rob Zombie), Jammit lets guitarists, bass players, drummers, keyboardists and vocalists jam along with a hit parade of original master tracks. Mix the provided stem tracks to create your perfect backing track, then loop and slow playback to work... 

GREEN DAY

GREEN DAY
GREEN DAY ¡Uno!  [Reprise] Fourth act, same as the first: That’s the story Green Day aims to tell with ¡Uno!, the first installment in a trilogy of albums they’ll roll out over the next few months. Having played alt-rock heroes in the post-Cobain ’90s and unlikely political rock-opera dramatists in the Bush ’00s, the trio inches back toward its punk roots, crafting restless power-pop tunes that—modern studio sheen notwithstanding—might... 

DIANA KRALL

DIANA KRALL
DIANA KRALL Glad Rag Doll [Verve] Earlier this year, Diana Krall collaborated with Paul McCartney on Kisses on the Bottom, his tribute to pre-rock standards. She displayed an undeniable affinity for the songcraft of that earlier, simpler time, so it’s not surprising that she covers similar ground here. What is surprising: her adventurous approach. With T Bone Burnett producing and a guitar-heavy band behind her, Krall digs into the core of each... 
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