Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Lonely Note Radio

We here at the Lonely Note have decided engage in a trial period of internet broadcast via Live365.com. If you'd like to take a listen at some of our hand-selected material, you can tune into our station by going here.

Happy Listening!

February 2006 Rock Releases

As promised, here are some new releases coming out this month in the world of rock/pop.

Again, I tend to listen to a somewhat heavier style of music, so some of these may be just that (and some may not). And remember, this is not an all-inclusive list, just ones I found interesting. Check them out!

February 2006 Rock Releases

February 7th

Mastodon – Call of The Mastodon
In Flames – Come Clarity
Kid Rock – Live (or Feb. 28th – not sure!)
A Global Threat – Where The Sun Never Sets
Mylo – Destroy Rock and Roll

February 21st

Evans Blue – The Melody and the Energetic Nature of Volume
Dog Fashion Disco – Adultery
Kataklysm – In the Arms of Devastation
Amorphis - Eclipse

February 28th

Hawthorne Heights – If Only You Were Lonely
Smoking Popes – Smoking Popes at Metro
Bayside – Acoustic
Majesty - Hellforces

Monday, January 30, 2006

Spoon's "Most Fully Realized Album to Date"

Forgive my slothiness (is slothiness even a word?) for not discovering Spoon's Gimme Fiction 'till now. The album, which was relased in May of 2005, has been described by the Tuscon Weekly as their "most fully realized album to date." I'd have to agree.

The record covers all areas of the alternative rock spectrum; from the
Scissor Sisters sounding 'I Turn My Camera On' to the Beatles-revivalist 'The Beast and The Dragon, Adored.' But to put Gimme Fiction into the terms of other-band-emulators is a dangerous misconception. The band is orignal, and has proven so for the last twelve years.

Posted below are three different songs from the album that I think will give any newbie to the recording a fair shot at developing their own appraisal of the band's latest effort.


Spoon - The Beast and Dragon, Adored

Spoon - I Turn My Camera On

Spoon - They Never Got You

Jak Paris Releases Video to MTV

On February 17, MTV will air Jak Paris's video for 'Not Back Down.' The rocker from Las Vegas first made waves last year and was voted Best Male Vocalist in Modern Rock by Garageband.com. The video has also been featured on Access Hollywood. Jak Paris plans on hitting the air waves near you with an upcoming radio campaign in March.

To listen to music by this new artist, visit the official webpage here.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Musically Minded OHNY

When I'm not busy reading other tech or music blogs, one of my favorite web posts to peruse is Overheard in New York. OHNY is a blog where funny, disgusting and other entertaining quotes uttered in New York City are posted for all of us outside of the five boroughs to read. The site relies on 8 million other New York residents for material, and if you happen to live in the city and have heard something funny, you can submit your eavesdropped quote here.

Today I have been lucky enough to stumble across a musically minded quip from last week. For your enjoyment, here it is:

Hipster guy #1: No way! I thought I passed you the other day,
but thought, "Nah, it couldn't be him, he wouldn't grow his hair that long."
Hipster guy #2: Yeah. No. I grew it out, man.
Hipster guy #1: You look like Axl Rose!
Hipster guy #2: It's more of a Southern rock thing really. Like a My Morning Jacket look.

--25th & 7th

And for those of you who are OHNY fanatics, site editor S. Morgan Friedman has published the Overheard in New York book.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Lonely Note Featured on About.com

Two of our recent posts have been published on About.com's Top 40/Pop music section. The section's author, Bill Lamb, first contacted us back in August about adding us to his list of Top Pop Music Blogs, and has been nice enough to follow-up with us and host some of our work this week. You can check out the articles at the following links:

My Initial Thoughts on HD Radio: Guest Blogger Steve of The Lonely Note

While You're At It, Pick This Up: Guest Blogger Tae of The Lonely Note

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Music That Doesn't Scream: Calla

Last autumn was when Calla released Collisions, the native Texas band's third album. Citing that particular album's influences, frontman/guitarist Aurelio Valle claims Collisions was an experiment and an expression that "succeeded." Bands that Valle said inspired Calla's newest work include Jesus and Mary Chain, the Cocteau Twins, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Pulp and Radiohead.

When asked why he doesn't scream in his music, Valle explained:

"For the most part, I'm just not one of those dudes who will scream his lungs out. I don't know that I have it in me. Maybe I do, but I haven't found it yet."

Attached is one of Calla's signature non-screamo songs. 'This Better Go As Planned' is track number 3 off of Collisions and is one of my mellow favorites.

Calla - 'This Better Go As Planned'

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Buckcherry - 'Dirty Mind'

Here is a forgotten gem from a time not so long ago. Buckcherry formed in the mid-90s with an affinity for killer metal and tattoos. And when they released their major label debut in 1999, they were sure to combine both. With a cover featuring a tattooed seductress, the self-titled album contained a slew of slicing metal action, including 'Lit Up,' 'Check Your Head,' and this little diddy, 'Dirty Mind.'

Having forgotten about this song years ago, I was reminded of its musical deliciousness this weekend during a night out on the town. Made up of all the traditional elements of the typical rock anthem, 'Dirty Mind's sum is greater than its parts. The climactic build-up in the beginning, the crunchy guitar, the foul language, the screaming by
Joshua Todd and the hooky guitars all combine to make anybody wanna bust out the air guitar.


Buckcherry - 'Dirty Mind'

A Non-Music Post: Chris Penn Dead??

Apparently I missed the memo regarding actor Chris Penn's death. I was browsing through the top news stories on CNN.com, when on the front page I saw a headline that read "Autopsy Doesn't Find Why Chris Penn Died" ---like it's well-known news or something. Either way, I'm disappointed to hear the news 'cause I was really looking forward to his upcoming performance in the rumoured Footloose II, the sequel to one of the greatest music movies of all time. ...Behind Purple Rain of course.

Seriously though, as a
Tarantino film fan, it is sad to see that one of my favorite gangster personalities from Resevoir Dogs is no longer with us. He also played a pretty good role as a cop in the Tarantino-penned True Romance as well. And although he certainly didn't get the spotlight as much as his more famous brother Sean, I still think the guy was one hell of an actor.

Back to the music...

Action Action is Back

Listening to Ethel today, I heard the new Action Action. Only hearing the song once, I can't say what I truly think of the single just yet. I wouldn't say it's bad. However, Rafer Guzman with Newsday has given An Army of Shapes Between Wars a spin or two and he "reacts" to the new Action Action here.

In his article he claims that the band's sophomore effort "isn't exactly aiming for the Top40," and that "it's a tough disc to get a handle on." He elaborates further:

"...things take a new turn with "The Game," the album's lead single, which brazenly swipes the chorus from Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger" and even throws in a George Harrison-esque guitar line. "What Temperature Does Air Freeze At?" goes one better, riding on the lilting flutes from the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever." At times, Action Action sounds like the Dandy Warhols, the Brian Jonestown Massacre and other '60s revisionists."

Is that a good or bad thing? Guzman never really says. In the meantime, I'll try to get my hands on a copy of An Army, and I'll let you know what I think.

If any of you out there have heard the album, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Today marks The Lonely Note's one-year anniversary. Last year on this day, Steve featured our first two posts, a welcome to the site and a music-related news article. Since that time we have posted well over 300 news, review, rant, and audio articles. We'd like to use this day as a time to once again thank all of our readers for your continued support and inspiration. It is our hope that year #2 will be as enjoyable and successful as the first.

Thanks for a great year!
~The Lonely Note

Amy Lee and Shaun Morgan no more

I know I like to rag on Amy Lee for messing up bands (Cold, Seether, Evanescence). I am usually only slightly truthful, but today I bring sad (and true) news. Amy Lee of Evanescence and longtime beau Shaun Morgan of Seether have called it quits. I could not find a cited reason, but I imagine Seether's hard-core fans may have not liked Morgan's sappy duet of "Broken," and thus blamed Lee for Seether's softness. This perceived "softness" on Morgan's part may have driven a wedge between him and his fans. But of course this is all speculation, because maybe they just got plain sick of each other. At any rate, Morgan is now about twice the size of when he appeared in this picture. When I saw them in concert in November at the Rave, I wasn't sure if I would be able to tell Shaun from a ragged bum on the streets! Whatever the reason, I can no longer blame Amy Lee......

.....Speaking of Amy Lee, where the heck has Evanescence gone? I had always toyed with the idea of them being a one record band, but now it appears more realistic. A check on their website only states the band is "...in the studio working on new music." I did hear that Amy Lee's music was denied from the "Narnia" soundtrack (for being too dark), but that has been about it. It has been a long time since 2003's debut Fallen.......... How much longer will you make your fans wait?

Zach Rogue's Wave

Zach Rogue's previously one-man-act now consists of three other people. While the recording of his second album Descended Like Vultures occurred prior to its October 2005 release, collaboration with Gram Lebron on several different tunes convinced Rogue that having other bandmates might not be so bad. Gram is now part of Rogue Wave, along with Patrick Spurgeon and Evan Farrell.

The band has spent the last year touring vigorously and each member claims to have a different song they enjoy playing live. Rogue Wave leader Zach stakes claim to the soon-to-be-released 'Publish My Love,' and Patrick to 'California.' Evan, on the other hand, takes pleasure in performing 'Are You On My Side.' Gram is fond of 'Medicine Ball.'

Despite differences in song faves, the cohesive force binding this band together is its mutual commitment to quality live performances no matter what the track. The band is also loyal to fans, and are known to pack their own equipment after shows just so they can converse with audience members. Such grassroots ideals seem popular with the crowds, and Rogue Wave sold out club shows in DC and New York in 2005.

With such an appetite for performance, is there any possibility for new recordings in 2006? Zach Rogue responds:

I'm not one to make resolutions,but, I'd like to spend the first three-quarters of the year performing, and the last quarter of the year recording. Maybe I'll go into a cabin to write...grow a long beard.

Opening Pandora's Box

Over the past few years, i have found myself disenchanted with the radio medium for a number of reasons. Whether it was the horrible local advertisements or the constant rotation of the "flavor of the week" singles, I slowly went from switching the dial to listening primarily to CDs and the mp3s. Of course, this has its drawbacks. It has become harder to discover new artists and keep up with the constantly evolving music world. Fortunately, the presence of satellite radio stations XM and Sirius have opened the doors of musical awareness to a whole new generation of radio listeners. However, for those of you who don't want to invest in the various playing units that support these satellite radio stations, the option of online radio is available for anyone with a computer. Enter Pandora.com.

Pandora is the product of the Music Genome Project, which according to the owners, is "the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken." The radio site is considered a music discovery service that enables the listener to provide input and feedback to create a customized streaming station that adheres to their personal tastes. Any song or artist that is approved of will spawn other songs and artists that are similar. In addition, the opportunity to pause and skip tracks is also available to the user. Thus, the ability to have a degree of control over your radio and be exposed to music you will probably like.

For those interested in trying out the station, there is a free version available. Unfortunately, this also includes advertising. However, I think the pros outweigh the cons in this case. If you wish to completely avoid radio advertising, there is a second track that is available by subscription.

To visit Pandora.com, click here.

Monday, January 23, 2006

My Initial Thoughts on HD-Radio

Just when you thought terrestrial radio was old hat, the traditional radio industry has innovated a new way to revitalize itself. HD-Radio is in many ways like HD-TV. They’re both high definition, and they both require upper-end devices to decode their respective signals. But unlike HD-TV, HD-Radio doesn’t project a crystal clear image onto a flat screen so lifelike you wanna touch. Instead, the latter provides users with CD quality sound in much the same way the satellite radio signals do.

Last week, radio giants Clear Channel and CBS rolled out HD-Radio broadcasts in 43 US markets. An attempt at compensating for programming gaps, these included commercial-free talk and expanded music formats. But was anybody even listening? Digital radio’s perks include the allowance for three times as many stations in bandwidth previously slotted by one and unlike satellite radio services, there is no subscription fee required for access. But with digital radios costing more than $500, the savings in subscription fees seems moot and the likelihood of someone tuning in is remote.

The HD-Radio rollout is an attempt at competing for a new generation of listeners. As iPods become more prominent and advertising-free satellite radio gains appeal, terrestrial stations have realized that their demographic isn’t static. In the past few years satellite companies like XM and Sirius have gained millions of customers. With deeper playlists, fine-tuned programming options and expanded talk radio formats, the exodus from FM to satellite has been pronounced. Likewise, with the introduction of iPods and other similar MP3 players that can hold upwards of 10,000 songs, users have become their own DJs, programming playlists they want to listen to.

In order to have a chance at success, HD-Radio will need to provide lower priced receivers, unconventional advertising and alternative formats. And right now, all three things are projected to happen. By year’s end it is said that digital radios will be available for around $200, niche formats will emerge and “episodic” advertising will be implemented. Episodic advertising consists of commercials that follow each other and tell a story.

For now, whether or not listeners begin to transition to HD-Radio is uncertain. While taking a step in the right direction, terrestrial radio companies like Clear Channel seem to be emulating satellite radio’s novelty rather than providing anything original on their own. For the audiophile who left FM in the first place, that won’t be enough to get them back.

While You're At It: Pick This Up

The Most Terrifying Thing

Liverpool's TMTT is, at its core, a hard rock band. The band formed largely because of a shared affinity for the grunge era, with Nirvana said to be a direct influence in frontman Christopher Price's decision to make music. With this said, it should be noted that TMTT does not simply sink into the endless sea of Nirvana ripoffs that have somehow milked the grunge movement dry for the last fifteen years. No, the most interesting 'thing' about The Most Terrifying Thing is that they are able to blur several genre lines and still manage to sound familiar. In this sense, they possess the ability to sound like mainstream rock radio whilst maintaining somewhat of a fresh indie status. Their attention to cross-Atlantic rock movements put them in position to create something that transcends the usual tendency to lump bands into categories.

In 'Pop Song', the band ties elements of mid-90's hard rock in with the song structures of a U.K. garage band. What can be found with all of the tracks on their debut, Victoriana, is a hard rock emphasis in the rhythm section, as well as an awareness of solid pop songwriting. The combination of straight-forward rock and more experimental aspects generally works in the band's favor. Whether it is to an err or an advantage, the vocals tend to roam a territory somewhere between Better Than Ezra and Default. What does work very well for the vocals is that they occassionally shift into a higher range; as heard on the track "Enemy in Me." U.K. style post-grunge with an experimental twist, TMTT should be an easy listen for those who enjoy alternative hard rock in a similar vein to Sinch.

Victoriana is due for a renewed release date come January 30th. More information on the band can be found at the band's website and myspace.

Other key tracks: 'Always in the Way' and '80's Love Affair'

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Napster At 500,000 Subs; Why They're Different Than iTunes

This last Thursday it was announced that Napster had reached half-a-million subscribers. Doubling its number of subscribers in the past year alone, the former rogue P2P filesharing program has made gains in cutting into the marketshare of leading legal music vendor iTunes. Unlike iTunes, however, Napster has implemented different strategies in its attempt to lure legitimate customers and to rehabilitate its once scarred image.

For one, Napster has struck deals with college campuses all across the
US where students can access the service for 'free' as part of their tuition fees. And as a subscriber myself, I can tell you that the company allows users to download as much of the company's catalog as they want (certain restrictions apply, of course) and to listen to that music on authorized computers for as little as ten bucks a month. Sweeter deals are available too. For instance, if a user wants to transfer that music to an authorized MP3 player so s/he can listen to it away from her/his computer, an extra $5 a month is serviced as part of the Napster2Go program.

What seems to differentiate Napster from iTunes is access. Napster's corporate mantra is making available to the customer, as much music to listen to as possible, for a flat monthly fee. The program is a system where "customers can 'rent' music while they remain subscribers or can buy outright for around 99 cents a track." iTunes, on the other hand, takes a more minimalist approach and chooses to sell songs themselves for an average of 99 cents a piece---without a monthly subscription fee. In other words, you pay for music you want only when you want.

Napster is also big on personalization. As its users rate and download songs, the program generates suggestions of similar artists and tracks the user should probably like. In fact, one has the option to download "Your Playlist Today," a myriad of songs that Napster claims the user should download for that day. (Think
Tivo Suggest).

Owning 83% of the marketshare, iTunes is still king when it comes to digital music sales. But with $100 million on Napster's balancesheet and an increase in subscribers, the company's future holds promise:

'With exciting new development in the pipeline and over $100 million on our balance sheet, we are extremely excited about the future of Napster'. ~Chris Gorog, Napster CEO/Chairman

Sigur Ros' Tour Dates

Sigur Ros' may be rocking a venue near you! Iceland's experimental rock band has recently announced their U.S. tour dates. The tour is in support of their latest album, Takk.

Sigur Ros’ tour dates:

Feb. 6 – State Theatre, Portland, Maine
Feb. 7 – Orpheum Theatre, Boston
Feb. 9 – Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York
Feb. 10 – Borgata Music Box, Atlantic City, N.J.
Feb. 12 – Playhouse Square Centre, Cleveland
Feb. 13 – “Concert Promoter” Pavilion, Columbus, Ohio
Feb. 14 – Ryman Auditorium, Nashville
Feb. 16 – Taft Theatre, Cincinnati
Feb. 17 – Palace Theatre, Louisville, Ky.
Feb. 18 – Calvin College Fine Arts Center, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Feb. 20 – Murat Theatre, Indianapolis
Feb. 21 –The Pageant, St. Louis
Feb. 22 – Uptown Theater, Kansas City, Mo.
Feb. 23 – Paramount Theatre, Denver
Feb. 25 – "Cell Phone Provider" Theater, Houston
Feb. 26 – Performing Arts Center, Austin, Texas
Feb. 27 – Bass Performance Hall, Dallas

Friday, January 20, 2006

Nine Black Alps to Rock Dublin

It was in June when I first reported on Nine Black Alps and their resurrection of Nirvanaesque sounds. Now, with an upcoming show in Dublin, Ireland, the band from Manchester has made quite a dent on the UK and US music scene.

Nine Black Alps take their name from a Sylvia Plath poem, and their debut album Everything Is was recorded in Los Angeles by Beck producer Rob Schnapf. They have been compared to both The Pixies and Black Sabbath and have opened up for Kaiser Chiefs and Weezer.

Having wrapped up their American tour dates earlier this month, Nine Black Alps will rock Belfast and Cardiff after their Dublin Performance.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

An Article on 2005's Best Rock

Here is a decent article on the breakout bands of 2005. Part one in a series, it speaks of bands like The High Strung, The Detroit Cobras, Kings of Leon and much more. Music channel VH1 is also ripped on.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Hear Your Favorite Satanic Messages!!

There was once a time when record players were the preferred medium of playing music, but the introduction of the compact disc sent many a turntable to the dusty corner of the attic. The switch to CD players put such fads as playing music backward out of style. As a result, the search for hidden messages was all but impossible without a record player....until now.

The art of backmasking is defined as "a supposed subliminal message hidden in an audio recording that is only fully apparent when played backwards." Many of these subliminal messages were rumored to be satanic, in nature. We know, of course, that the common CD player does not have the ability to play tracks backward. However, current computer software is now available to do such a task.

Jeff Milner, a Canadian college student, hosts a website that allows visitors to play the hidden messages of songs from popular artists like Queen, the Beatles, the Eagles, and Britney Spears. The site offers interpretations of the messages, but one should feel free to draw other conclusions.

My personal favorite is the backmasking of the Beatles' "I'm So Tired," from the White Album. The part of the song, if played normally, is incipherable nonsense. When played backward, the interpreted message sounds like: "Paul is a dead man. Miss him, miss him, miss him."

To check out the website, click here.

this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, January 14, 2006

"4.5 Questions" with TJ Penzone of MWC

"In this band, we definitely don't have many boundaries. We pretty much don't have any."
Recently, TJ Penzone (third from left), vocalist for up-and-coming New York act Men Women and Children, took time from his busy schedule to answer some questions I had about the band. The upcoming album has been mixed for Warner Bros. Records by Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Erasure, Interpol) at Stratosphere Studios in West Chelsea - Manhattan, NY. Now, after a fall filled with the recording of a debut album and tours with the likes of Action Action and the legendary Gang of Four, TJ and his bandmates are poised for a new year of successes.

The following " 4.5 Questions " was taken from my Q&A with TJ:

1) Men, Women and Children is an entertaining name. How did the band decide on this title?

TJ: When we were in Nebraska recording our album, Nick our keyboardist saw this truck pass by... The truck said "serving men, women and children since 1930" or something. No idea what the product was though...we almost didn't use it cause we decided to make up 100 names after that - but in the end it just seemed like the right choice. Even people in the band who didn't like it at first liked it (i.e. me)...also we got it from Stevie Wonder's song "Saturn."

2) Who are your personal musical influences and how do these influences fit into the whole makeup of the group?

TJ: Talking Heads , Curtis Mayfield, The Time, Stevie Wonder, early Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Heatwave, Prince - these are pretty strong influences on us; i left about a few hundred out.

3) How has this band been unique from anything you have worked with in the past?

TJ: It was a breath of fresh air to write with this band. In my previous projects I put boundries on the songs and performance unintentionally...in this band we definitely don't have many boundries. We pretty much dont have any.

4) How did the recording process go for the new album, and when is the release date?

TJ: It's done and will be out March 14th in stores right by your house.

4.5) "One time when we were playing a show in... " (finish the tale)

TJ: One time when we were playing a show in Maryland (with no electronics because our van was broken into and our computer stolen earlier that day), a guy gave us 900 dollars in an envelope after we mentioned onstage about our current loss...it was definitely inspiring to see that there are still good people hanging around in the world.

My sincere gratitude to TJ Penzone for his time. For more information and audio, visit the band's official website and myspace.
Please support them by saving up your pennies to purchase the new album come March 14th and/or to catch Men Women and Children on tour this spring.

Oakenfold Returns With New Friends

DJ Extraordinaire Paul Oakenfold is ready to release the follow-up to his 2002 album "Bunkka," which sold 275,000 copies in the U.S. The new album, "A Lively Mind," will be slightly different from his previous works. The album is scheduled for release on April 11.

"I was looking for a different genre and a different feel and something just original for me," Oakenfold says.

In 2004, Oakenfold had completed the instrumental part of "A Lively Mind," but was lacking the vocal talent he covets on his albums. Therefore, he has spent the last two years scouting out singers. His search yielded such big names as Pharrell Williams (the Neptunes), Grandmaster Flash, and singer/actress Brittany Murphy!?!?!

"I knew I wanted a girl vocalist but also someone who's not known as a singer. It had to be someone from a completely different world than mine. Brittany Murphy fit the bill," Oakenfold says.

The tenative track listing for "A Lively Mind":
"Faster Kill Pussycat"
"No Compromise"
"Sex 'n' Money"
"Switch On"
"Set It Off"
"The Way I Feel"
"Praise the Lord"
"Save the Last Trance for Me"
"Not Over"
"Feed Your Mind"

Friday, January 13, 2006

Pick These Up

The Honeymoon Machine -
While the current trend in indie rock music has been the reintroduction of the synthpop sounds of the 1980's, The Honeymoon Machine, named after Steve Mcqueen's 1961 film, turn the other cheek and look further into the past. On their album Transistor Go Go, the U.K. band seems to pay homage to their biggest influences. The tracks 'Every Little Stone' and 'Who You Are" echo of Pink Floyd; whereas other numbers call to mind a range somewhere between Dylan and the Rolling Stones (is it by coincidence they have a Jagger-esque song titled 'Angie'?). Preferring slide guitar over the current keyboard craze, The Honeymoon Machine could settle nicely with fans of bands like The White Stripes, The Strokes, or Doves.
Other key tracks: 'I'll be Your Dog', 'Faith in People'

Verve Remixed - The Verve Music Group, which for decades and decades has established itself in the groundbreaking recordings of jazz musicians, recently released a box set of its Verve Remixed collections. Spanning three compilations made between 2002 and the present, this set showcases some of the world's top DJs and producers creating their own remixes of some of the most influencial jazz songs ever recorded. Whether it's Bent remixing Billie Holiday's 'Speak Low' or Felix Da Housecat's take on the Nina Simone classic 'Sinnerman', this album contains some fantastic, modern spins on those artists who started it all. Not only a well-conceived and well-executed chillout/dance compilation, the Verve Remixed set sheds some accessible light on the spirit of those early jazz musicians who may be overlooked by a large percent of today's generations. This is one of the best compilations I've heard in a long time.

Other key tracks: Nina Simone's 'See-Line Woman (Masters at Work remix)'; Astrud Gilberto's 'Who Needs Forever (Thievery Corporation remix)'

Stadium Arcadium

It has been confirmed that the Red Hot Chili Peppers will bring to the world their newest record, Stadium Arcadium, May 8th. The double-disc set will feature the first single, 'Dani California' and was recorded with the aid of Rick Rubin.

Anthony Kiedis explains the meaning behind the song:

It's kind of the last chapter of this young girl's life, but it speaks of a cultural death on the west coast of the USA, a certain death and a rebirth in a way, out with the old, in with the new, from specifically the state we hail.

Tour dates are said to be announced soon

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Caught on Tape: Journey - "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)"

The 1983 music video for Journey's single "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" has often been acknowledged as one of the worst music videos of all time; with Mtv even having hosted a show that ranked it among the top of the slop. And why is this? Not to let my personal love for the band complicate the issue, but I think this animosity is simply because everyone else is jealous of Journey. Jealous of the sheer degree of power that is portrayed in the short 4 1/2 minutes of godliness that was infinitely captured by some astute lens. Envious of the band's ability to rock - regardless of whether they possess any instruments or not (which they continually demonstrate through the use of air-guitar, air-drums and air-keyboard). Perhaps it is the overwhelming sex appeal of vocalist Steve Perry's form-fitting tank top and jeans that pushes some people over the edge? Or maybe these naive critics were thrown off by the band's intense facial expressions and body language?

When Perry sings, the brilliant light that surrounds his flowing locks of hair causes his body to buckle and curl inward under the pressure. In his effort to refute the pain, we see Perry attack a corrugated metal building down by the wharf. And even after all of this, the band is able to play on. Those covetous folk who dare criticize the masterpiece that is Journey's "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" video are likely no different from the high-heeled lass in the video - haunted at night by the radiant beacon of energy that is Journey. This is understandable; yet, we should not let it distract us from that fact that this video is nothing short of magnificant.

Exercise caution as you view...Probably the Best Music Video I've Ever Seen

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' To Release New Album

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are planning to release their second album, Show Your Bones, on March 28. The highly-anticipated sophomore effort is the follow-up to 2003's "Fever To Tell," which sold 524,000 copies and produced the hot single "Maps."

"'Show Your Bones' is what happens when you put your finger in a light socket," singer Karen O says of the album name. "Maybe there is some of that electric current flowing through the tracks of our album illuminating us from the inside out for you to laugh at and cry to or fry to. Or not."

In related news, Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O had posted a large amount of information about the new album on fansite, Bang, which resulted in the site's crashing. The information included new song titles and praise of guitarist Nick Zinner's mixing skill. For the full story, click here.

The official YYY's website is currently under construction, but Bang is back up-and-running, so updates on the YYYs can be found here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Jack White's "Acute Vocal Cord Problem"

The White Stripes have had to postpone their Japanese tour dates due to Jack White suffering an "acute vocal cord problem".

The band were due to kick off on January 12, playing two dates in Tokyo and one each in Osaka and Nagoya.

However, in a mail-out to fans, it was revealed that Jack has been instructed to not speak or sing for the next two weeks in order to protect his vocal cords and speed recovery.

The dates are hoped to be rescheduled as soon as possible, although the White Stripes still plan to play the
Big Day Out festival, which rolls through New Zealand and Australia from January 20.

Flaming Lips Release Single

Fans of the Flaming Lips will be satisfied to note that the band has released the first single, "W.A.N.D.", from their upcoming album, 'At War With The Mystics.' The single has been released to the public via digital retailers, such as itunes, Napster, Real/Rhapsody, and many others.

'At War With The Mystics' is now slated to be released for sale on April 4, 2006. Keep checking back for more updates.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Mylo = 'The Saviour of Dance Music'

Antimusic.com summarizes that Scottish dance artist, Mylo, will make his North American debut February 7th. Wittly titled Destroy Rock & Roll, the stateside record will feature the much-hyped 'Doctor Pressure' (an amalgamation of Miami Sound Machine and Mylo's own work).

Mylo has not only been described as "the saviour of dance music," but as possessing a "whip-smart electronic eclectisism" as well.

Bands agree to Brit performances

Coldplay have confirmed they will perform at this year's Brit Awards.

The Kaiser Chiefs, James Blunt, KT Tunstall, Kelly Clarkson, Kanye West and Paul Weller will also perform at the event.

Weller will receive a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony due to be held held at London's Earl's Court on 15 February.

Chris Evans will host the awards for the second year running reports BBC online.

The nominations for this year's awards will be announced tomorrow.

Fall Out Boy To Headline Upcoming North American Tour

For those of you who are dedicated players of the Madden Football videogaming franchise, Fall Out Boy's 'Dance Dance' has probably been engrained into the darkest depths of your brain. The Chicago-based mall-punksters were featured on the soundtrack of the latest edition of the game, and it seems like the single is played nearly everytime the ball is dead or during a huddle.

Now, with a kick-off show in Albany, New York this March, Fall Out Boy will attempt to conquer the hearts and minds of non-videogamers with a 40-market tour. This will be the band's first marquee event.

Bassist Pete Wentz explains the band's growth in popularity:

"We've gradually played in front of 50 to 8,000 people due to demand. We wanted to play arenas at this point to give everybody a chance to see us, but our next U.S. tour after this will probably be a small club tour."

All forthcoming tour dates are available at the band's website.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Rob Dickinson and Automobiles

Here is an interesting article on Rob Dickinson and his love for cars. Dickinson, the former Catherine Wheel lead singer and cousin to Iron Maiden leader Bruce Dickinson, released his solo album earlier in 2005.

And before you can utter, "'Come on Daisy, don't drown me this time' with a short and lazy Sunday post", here's 'Sparks Are Gonna Fly' from Catherine Wheel's 2000 release Wishville:

Catherine Wheel - 'Sparks Are Gonna Fly'

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Taylor Hawkins Side Project

Like Dave Grohl before him, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has taken his musical career to the next level by stepping out from behind the drumset to front his own band, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders. The band recorded its debut album with Hawkins handling the drum, vocal and guitar duties alongside guitarist Gannin and bassist Chris Chaney (Jane's Addiction, Alanis Morissette).

This won't be the first time Hawkins has stepped up to the mic. While with the Foo Fighters, he has been credited with vocal contributions on In Your Honor's "Cold Day In The Sun" and the 1999 b-side cover of Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar."

Hawkins has prepared a solo tour of the U.S. and the U.K., for this coming spring, in support of the record. Despite being accustomed to playing stadium shows with the Foos, the Coattail Riders will be performing concerts in more intimate settings.

The debut album is slated to hit store shelves on March 7, but you can check out some of the new tracks by visiting their myspace page, click here.

Friday, January 06, 2006

John Kirtland, His Record Label and a Bush Reunion?

Former Deep Blue Something drummer John Kirtland founded his own record label in 2003, and it has really taken off. Modeling the formulas fellow indie/progressive labels Wind-Up and Roadrunner Records implemented, Kirtland's self-titled record company has signed such explosive newcomers as the Burden Brothers, the Pat McGee Band and Bril.

Kirtland's entreprenurial saavy has even allowed him to acquire the multi-platinum-selling Bush catalog. And when questioned about the status of the post-grunge band, Kirtland says via WFFA.com:

[A]s soon as Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale wraps up work with his side-project band, Institute, the four members will reunite to record two new songs to be included in a greatest-hits disc Kirtland should release sometime this year.

But whether or not Bush does reunite, Kirtland isn't too concerned. With a steady eye towards the future both Bush and Deep Blue Something stand for the past. His label prides itself on diversifying its content and not relying too much on emulating the hot sound of the day. Instead, the Dallas-based Kirtland Records chooses its artists the old-fashioned way---through the quality-assured process of hand-picking its acts.

For those interested in hearing one of Kirtland Records' bands, here is the title track off of Bril's forthcoming album Airless Alarm:

Bril - 'Airless Alarm'

Thursday, January 05, 2006

January 2006 Rock Album Releases

It is a pretty slow concert month in Des Moines. There are tons of good local and regional bands playing great venues in Des Moines like Hairy Mary's, House of Bricks, Vaudeville Mews, and many others. But with school, I just don't have time to check them all out. The major concerts start hitting the area in February, and you WILL be hearing about them. Until then, I have to keep myself busy somehow. My New Year's Resolution was to buy more CD's. So in order to do that, I have to know what's out. About every month or so, I will try to put out a short list of new and upcoming Rock releases. There will be some pop/punk listed, but since I tend to listen to a little heavier variety of music, I will try to keep it in the rock/metal/alternative category. This is not an all-inclusive list, just release dates I could find. Some of these bands you will know, some you may not. Check them out!

January 2006 Releases

January 3

The Strokes – First Impressions of Earth

January 10

Chimaira – Chimaira (Special Edition)
Bleeding Through – The Truth
Fear of Eternity – Toward the Castle
Hurtlocker – Fear in a Handful of Dust
DragonforceInhuman Rampage
The Autumn Offering – Revelations of the Unsung
Underworld 2 Soundtrack – (f/ Chester Bennington, Hawthorne Heights, Puscifer, My Chemical Romance, Slipknot, Alkaline Trio, Senses Fail, Aiden, Atreyu, Trivium, Mendozza, Lacuna Coil, and many more!)

January 24

Fivespeed – Morning Over Midnight
P.O.D. - Testify
INXS – Switch
Sepultura – Dante XXI
Yellowcard – Lights and Sounds
Taste of Chaos – Best of TOC (f/ The Used, Underoath, Story of the Year, Thrice, Thursday, From First to Last, Rise Against, Blindside, Dark New Day, Avenged Sevenfold, Deftones, Every Time I Die, Shadows Fall, Bleeding Thru, Funeral For a Friend, and more!)

January 31

David Lee Roth – The Best

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Arctic Monkeys Loooove Hip Hop

Since Arctic Monkeys is the must-see/must-hear band of 2006 that everybody is talking about, here's a little bit of news on them:

Gigwise.com reports that the group plans on recording a number of hip-hop remixes of tracks from their forthcoming debut album. Moreover, the quartet loves hip-hop so much they "walk out on stage to the backing of Dr Dre’s ‘Next Episode.’" They are said to crank out The Neptunes in the dressing room as well.

I can't seem to get my hands on any Arctic tunage as of late, but you can watch a Quicktime video of the band's latest single here.

Who Will Be Hot in 2006?: Another Prediction

In tandem with my previous post on the soon-to-be-music-stars of the upcoming year comes another prediction---this time by MSNBC via Billboard:

Pop Rock:
A duplicate from the
previous list, Arctic Monkeys are said to make waves in the next few months. The Monkeys (not the Beatles rip-offs) were signed by Domino Recordings, home to Franz Ferdinand.

Indie Rock:
A new addition to the soon-to-be's is
Decemberadio. This Christian rock band is from West Virginia and cites Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz and the Black Crowes as their influences.

"Pop Heartthrob":
17 year old
Teddy Geiger was discovered on In Search of the New Partridge Family and is already "poised to be everyone's next musical sweetheart." His work draws comparisons to John Mayer and Dashboard Confessional.

Mylo likes to mash electro dance with rock and pop. His biggest hit was a merger of Miami Sound Machine's 'Doctor Beat' and his own 'Drop the Pressure.' He will take his clubbing hit parade on tour in the United States in 2006.

Hard Rock:
Austin quartet, The Sword, replicates the original head banging sounds of Black Sabbath with a sound as sharp as their name. Their self-titled debut is due out February 14.

Christian Scott is a 22-year-old trumpet player featured on Concord Jazz. MSNBC/Billboard says:

"With a maturity engendered by his mentoring uncle -- jazz saxophonist Donald Harrison -- Scott boasts a singular breathy tone. He sounds intent on breaking straight-ahead jazz codes with his funk- and rock-infused style, marked by odd meters, urgent grooves and passionate romancing."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

James Blunt - No Bravery

Already this new year, I find myself sifting through a bevy of music; much of which has been on my backburner since November. Though I've never been one to set New Year's resolutions, I generally feel compelled to at least cleanse my palate and set my mind on a fresh path. As my fellow contributor Steve recently stated, 2006 arrives with many undiscovered possibilities for excitement on our little site. Having said this, I venture forth, with my first post of the year covering the song 'No Bravery' by James Blunt.

Though his debut album, Back to Bedlam, was released in the U.K. almost a year ago (the U.S. release was not until October), James Blunt's crooning vocals and subtle melodies present themselves just as effectively now as they would have at the turn of 2005, and probably as they will again in coming years. The young British artist's unique voice resonates of vulnerability in much the same vein as David Gray or Coldplay, and writes song structures that seem to have been written while listening to old Elton John records. While not yet achieving widespread attention in the States, his UK success puts James Blunt in a favorable position for the future. While I would review his entire debut favorably, one particular track stands out the most.

The album closer, 'No Bravery', was written back in 1999 when Blunt was an officer in the Royal Armed Force's peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo. Following in the wake of a harrowing civil war, Blunt's occupation in the country likely provided enough pain to write a hundred songs. Supposedly written in the evenings while lying awake in his sleeping bag, the devastation featured in 'No Bravery' pulls at the heartstrings in a way that only a song written from such personal experience can manage. Providing little comfort, but crafted with such a beautiful simplicity and perfection, this powerful finale to Blunt's album finds his voice on the verge of cracking; a delicate piano tune layered poignantly with lyrics of intense visual references. This song could reduce a person down to tears.

I am excited to see what James Blunt does with 2006.

James Blunt - 'No Bravery'