Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wanda Jackson is BACK!!!

Fifty years after her original moment in the spotlight, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Wanda Jackson is connecting with a new generation courtesy of Jack White.
The White Stripes star and Third Man Records founder approached Jackson about recording an album together, and the result is The Party Ain’t Over — a record that sees the undisputed Queen of Rockabilly tackling tracks by everyone from Elvis and Bob Dylan to Amy Winehouse.
In addition to fronting the tracks performed by the assembled Third Man House Band (featuring White himself on guitar), Jackson chose three of the songs for the record, including the closing “Blue Yodel #6.” Among White’s choices, meanwhile, were Dylan’s “Thunder on the Mountain” and Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.”
Following the guitarist’s impact on Loretta Lynn’s career with his production of 2004′s Van Lear Rose, White’s work on Jackson’s album shows his dedication to keeping not only classic sounds, but also those responsible for them, in the current zeitgeist. It also shows that the living legend herself hasn’t lost a bit of what made her so well-loved to begin with.
Many thanks to Doug Levy for this article.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Album Review::White Lies - Ritual (Geffen)

Ritual is the second instalment by the British post punk indie trio. The sound is heavily influenced by the likes of Joy Division and Interpol but has a distinctly dark 80's synth feel that leaves the taste of The Human League in my mouth. For an album that has received the media hype that it has, I have found it a little bland and lacking in the experimentation that makes this genre so exciting.

That being said, the overall production on the album is very good, mostly to the credit of Alan Moulder (Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins and Jesus and Mary Chain). Aesthetically the sounds blend well and the album is very listenable and would be out of place at your friends dinner party.

Formerly known as Fear of Flying, the band consists primarily of Harry McVeigh (lead vocals, guitar), Charles Cave (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Jack Lawrence-Brown (drums).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cake - Showroom of Compassion (Upbeat Records)

When I heard that Cake were finally releasing a new album I got all excited and with tunes like "The Distance" and "Short Skirt Long Jacket" never going too far form my ipod, it can be safely said that I'm a fan.

It's been 6 years since the Californian hipsters released Pressure Chief and the first thing you'll notice is that it sounds like Cake. This band has a very distinct sound, bright bass, twangy guitars and John McCrea's immediately recognisable bass voice. Initially I was a little disappointed by this. After such a long wait I was expecting something... momentous.

After a few tracks had past however I began to settle. Cake really is a band's band. McMrea's great song writing and story telling, combined with strong hooks, great melodies and some very ambitious instrumentals make this an album that I will probably keep going back for over the next few weeks.

Highlights include "Italian Guy" and the single "Sick of You". Showroom of compassion was release on 11 Jan 2011.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Things to look forward to in 2011

2011 is promising to be a pretty interesting year - now I realise that that may seem a little cliche but just take a look at what I've sniffed out of the gossip columns.

WE've got new albums coming out from alternative queen PJ Harvey, post grunge kings Foo Fighters, everyone's favorite troubadour Frank Turner, rock supernova Queens of the Stone Age, retro dance-hall star Amy Winehouse, yes yes yes - it's the Beastie Boys, The Strokes and alternative folk's Iron & Wine.

There's also some old favorites that are reunited - the legendary Soundgarden, Britpop pioneers The Kinks and one of my childhood favorites The Stone Roses. Everybody said it would never happen but apparently we're also going to be getting shows and a potential album by legends The Smiths and Suede already has done a few select shows.

Of all the festivals and events going down this year. I'm looking forward to Sonosphere the most - Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth & Anthrax - YES YES YES!!! The Big daddys of thrash are coming to the UK!!! Other gig's I'm planning on getting to include an awesome double bill of Portishead & PJ Harvey, and The Flaming Lips - an act that I've been wanting to see for YEARS!!!

2011 also has some awesome movies coming out. Tin Tin, the Belgian adventurer, directed by Spielburg and produced by LOTR's Peter Jackson, True Grit, the latest installation by the Coen Brothers, Kenneth Branagh's take on the comicbook Thor and a rather interesting looking movie called Cowboys and Aliens starring Harrison Ford.

Apart from that theres a lot of brand new stuff going on so keep tuned and I'll let you know what I'm looking at, but for the mean time here are a few names to keep your ears open for soft and subtle James Blake, beautiful and scary Anna Calvi, sweet and sour Gemma Ray and just downright poetic Ed Harcourt.

Motörhead - The World is Yours Review

Motörhead is back with their 20th studio album and it’s exactly what you would expect of the British rock legends – simple, fast and hard rock n roll. Now they’re not exactly the average persons Christmas stocking filler but “The World is Yours” is some pretty accessible stuff, producing some of the catchiest driving tunes that they have released to date. Stand out moments include the double bass stomping “Born to Lose” and single “Get Back in Line", who’s video features the band beating the stuffing out of some corrupt London bankers.

“The World is Yours” was released via an exclusive publishing deal with Classic Rock magazine on December 13 2010 and the standard CD release will be distributed by their own label, Motörhead Music and distributed by EMI.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Anna Calvi - I'll Be Your Man (live)

News in Music 05/01/2011 :: Neubauten :: Nirvana :: QOTSA :: Mr Oizo ::

Einsturzende Neubauten forced to cancel US tour

German experimental pioneers have been forced to call off their 2011 American Tour due to issues with their working visas. The announcement went out via their Myspace page. "While the US Department of Homeland Security did issue approvals for the band's visas," they said, "it was not done in time to secure the appointments at the overseas embassies and consulates that represent the necessary final step in the process."

The two week trip was the first leg of their 30th anniversary and it is reported that all members are “extremely disappointed”.

Surviving Nirvana members perform one off gig

For the first time in 16 years, all past members of rock supernova Nirvana performed together at LA's Paladino Club.The live reunion saw drummer Dave Grohl, bassist Krist Novoselic and guitarist Par Smear perform Marigold, the B-side of 1993's hit single Heart Shaped Box with Dave singing from behind the drumkit. Since their debut, Nirvana, with Cobain as a songwriter, sold over twenty-five million albums in the US alone, and over fifty million worldwide

QOTSA in studio!

In a recent interview, guitarist Dean Fertita has reveiled that Queens on the Stone Age will be recording the follow up to 2007's Era Vulgaris. It will be the band's 6th studio album.

"Things are going really good," said Fertita. "Everybody seems excited and ready to go. We've got so many ideas started already that I guess we'll kind of see what turns out to be everybody's favourite. I think all of us really feel like we've found our space in it and can contribute to it."
No release date has been set.

Mr Oizo and Justice bang out Rubber.

Mr Oizo is collaborating on a soundtrack with Gaspard Auge (Justice) for his upcoming film release, Rubber. It is rumoured to be a mash of styles held together by John Carpenter inspired synthesizers. Carpenter has been a huge influence on many of the Ed Banger Records artists and it comes through on Rubber. Look out for this on on it's official release on 13 February 2011. The movie is set for international release on 1 April 2011.

::Gogol Bordello:: 15 December – O2 Academy Brixton

If ever there was a band that HAS to be seen live, it’s Gogol Bordello. The New York based troubadours are well known for their performances, combining everything from flamenco to punk into a world music stew. With support on the night from Alain Johannes and DaVotchKa, the evening begins on an eclectic note, but the crowd has defiantly come to see the headliners.

From the first chord that rings out across the sold out arena all chaos seems to break, lifting the crowd off their feet. Frontman Eugene Hutz is passionate and charges the stage like a man possessed – before I’ve had the chance to blink the opening number is done and the deafening roar of the crowd. The stage is set, the spell has begun. For the next 110 minutes the band delivers the high energy performance that has become so synonymous with the transcontinental husters.

Kudos must go to violin player Sergey Ryabtsev who is not only a virtuoso but highly entertaining and at 52 years old he is much more energetic than some school children.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Beck produces new Thurston Moore’s solo album

Sonic Youth front man Thurston Moore has been a busy with a solo album coming out in 2011, produced by long time friend and collaborator Beck.

"It's called Benediction, recorded in Southern California at Beck's home studio with him producing," said Moore. It also features Fishtown harpist Mary Lattimore and violinist Samara Lubelski. The album is to be released on Matador.

January Album Reviews

LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening (DFA, Virgin)

I can't believe this band has escaped me until now. This Is Happening is the third and purportedly final album from American singer songwriter James Murphy. The album was recorded over the course of 2009 and early 2010 in the famed Mansion. April saw the release of the first official single "Drunk Girls" with an amazing music video directed by the one and only Spike Jonze.

It's kinda dirty and a whole lot of fun - what more can you really ask for?

Gaslight Anthem - American Slang (SideOneDummy Records)

There was a lot of buzz before the release of the New Jersey groups third studio album. Singer sonwriter Brian Fallon wanted to move away from the "59's sound" that had lumped them into some kind of American revivalists box and what he delivered was just that.

American Slang is an awesome album, upbeat yet introspective without becoming blustery and self righteous. Ringing tones of Springsteen and driving as fast as you can are all over, it's tough as leather and as comfortable as worn in boots.

Against Me! - White Crosses (Sire Records)

Just showing that you can't keep a good thing down, Againt Me!'s 5th studio album was leaked online three months before it's targeted release date. Tom Gabel, vocals and guitar, responded by saying there was "no drama" and then posted the lyrics soon after.

The album itself is a much matured offering with the band being accused of "selling out" by some fans. Highlights include the title track "White Crosses" and "I was a teenage anarchist".

Bullet For My Valentine - Fever (Jive)

Being a fan of heavy metal gives me the Thor given right to be it's biggest critic and until now I have not liked BFMV. I thought they were lost in a sea of Iron Maiden inspired hair straightener. So it was with long teeth that I started to listen to their third studio album, Fever and I can say that I'm pleasently surprised.

Producer Don Glimor (Duran Duran & Rob Zombie) deserves honourable mention for his amazing guitar tones, the album hits hard and if sing along anthem rock is your thing then Fever will not disappoint. It's not my album of 2010 but it deserves a mention. Stand out track: "Alone".

Electric Wizard - Black Masses (Rise Above)

After 15 years, it's doom metals toughest act to follow brings us a juggernaught of an album. It's been described as a "down-tuned psychrock wall of sound" and an "ambient scarefest" but to me it's a lot more accesable than previous installments.

The Dorset based metalers remained true to their genre, grinding out cannabis and Lovecraft inspired doom tunes, it is not for the feint of heart. Black Masses is the bands 7th album and first with new bassist Tas Danazoglou.