Monday, March 30, 2009
Batten down the hatches, Tortoise is moseying back into our aural perimeter this summer with a new album that industry insiders are calling the Chicago post-rock institution's finest work since 1998's TNT.
EntitledBeacons of Ancestorship, the album is due out June 23rd on Thrill Jockey. Additionally, the first track on the album will be included on a Thrill Jockey compilation, Records Toreism, being released on Record Store Day on April 18th, and the band will be releasing a series of 5" records following the album's release. Tortoise will also be playing the Pitchfork Music Festival on Friday, July 17th. Their performance is part of the "Write the Night: Set Lists By Request" series where ticket holders can vote on which of the band's songs they'd like to hear during their set.
Beacons of Ancestorship tracklisting:
01. High Class Slim Came Floatin' In
02. Prepare Your Coffin
03. Northern Something
07. The Fall Of Seven Diamonds Plus One
09. Monument Six One Thousand
10. de Chelly
11. Charteroak Foundation
"Salt The Skies" video:
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
After years of planning and speculation, the long-awaited Neil Young Archives box finally arrives in stores on June 2. And from the track listing, which covers Young's career from his 1963 debut with his old band The Squires right up through Harvest, it's a real beaut.
Disc 00 EARLY YEARS (1963-1965)
1. Aurora The Squires – from the 45 RPM single (mono)
2. The Sultan The Squires – from the 45 RPM single (mono)
3. I Wonder The Squires – previously unreleased song (mono)
4. Mustang The Squires – previously unreleased instrumental (mono)
5. I'll Love You Forever The Squires – previously unreleased song (mono)
6. (I'm A Man And) I Can't Cry The Squires – previously unreleased song (mono)
7. Hello Lonely Woman Neil Young & Comrie Smith – previously unreleased version
8. Casting Me Away From You Neil Young & Comrie Smith – previously unreleased song
9. There Goes My Babe Neil Young & Comrie Smith – previously unreleased song
10. Sugar Mountain Neil Young – previously unreleased demo version (mono)
11. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing Neil Young – previously unreleased demo version (mono)
12. Runaround Babe Neil Young – previously unreleased song (mono)
13. The Ballad Of Peggy Grover Neil Young – previously unreleased song (mono)
14. The Rent Is Always Due Neil Young – previously unreleased song (mono)
15. Extra, Extra Neil Young – previously unreleased song (mono)
Disc 01 EARLY YEARS (1966-1968)
1. Flying On The Ground Is Wrong Neil Young – from the Buffalo Springfield Box Set (mono)
2. Burned Buffalo Springfield – from the album Buffalo Springfield (mono)
3. Out Of My Mind Buffalo Springfield – from the album Buffalo Springfield (mono)
4. Down, Down, Down Neil Young – previously unreleased version (mono)
5. Kahuna Sunset Buffalo Springfield – from the Buffalo Springfield Box Set (mono)
6. Mr. Soul Buffalo Springfield – from the Buffalo Springfield Box Set (mono)
7. Sell Out Buffalo Springfield – previously unreleased song (mono)
8. Down To The Wire Neil Young – from the album Decade (mono)
9. Expecting To Fly Buffalo Springfield – from the album Buffalo Springfield
10. Slowly Burning Neil Young – previously unreleased instrumental
11. One More Sign Neil Young – from the Buffalo Springfield Box Set
12. Broken Arrow Buffalo Springfield – from the album Buffalo Springfield Again
13. I Am A Child Buffalo Springfield – from the album Last Time Around
Disc 02 TOPANGA 1 (1968-1969)
1. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Neil Young – from the stereo promotional 45 RPM single-second pressing
2. The Loner Neil Young – from the album Neil Young
3. Birds Neil Young – previously unreleased version
4. What Did You Do To My Life? Neil Young – previously unreleased mix
5. The Last Trip To Tulsa Neil Young – from the album Neil Young
6. Here We Are In The Years Neil Young – from the album Neil Young–second version
7. I've Been Waiting For You Neil Young – previously unreleased mix
8. The Old Laughing Lady Neil Young – from the album Neil Young
9. I've Loved Her So Long Neil Young – from the album Neil Young
10. Sugar Mountain Neil Young – previously unreleased stereo master
11. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
12. Down By The River Neil Young with Crazy Horse – from the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
13. Cowgirl In The Sand Neil Young with Crazy Horse – from the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
14. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Neil Young with Crazy Horse – from the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Disc 03 LIVE AT THE RIVERBOAT (TORONTO 1969)
1. Sugar Mountain Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
2. The Old Laughing Lady Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
3. Flying On The Ground Is Wrong Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
4. On The Way Home Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
5. I've Loved Her So Long Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
6. I Am A Child Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
7. 1956 Bubblegum Disaster Neil Young – previously unreleased song
8. The Last Trip To Tulsa Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
9. Broken Arrow Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
10. Whiskey Boot Hill Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
11. Expecting To Fly Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
Disc 04 TOPANGA 2 (1969-1970)
1. Cinnamon Girl Neil Young with Crazy Horse – from the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
2. Running Dry (Requiem For The Rockets) Neil Young with Crazy Horse – from the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
3. Round And Round (It Won't Be Long) Neil Young with Crazy Horse – from the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
4. Oh Lonesome Me Neil Young with Crazy Horse – previously unreleased stereo mix
5. Birds Neil Young with Crazy Horse – from the 45 RPM single (mono)
6. Everybody's Alone Neil Young with Crazy Horse – Previously unreleased song
7. I Believe In You Neil Young with Crazy Horse – from the album After The Gold Rush
8. Sea Of Madness Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – from the original soundtrack album Woodstock
9. Dance Dance Dance Neil Young with Crazy Horse – previously unreleased version
10. Country Girl Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – from the album Déjà Vu
11. Helpless Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – previously unreleased mix
12. It Might Have Been Neil Young with Crazy Horse – previously unreleased live version
Disc 05 NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE–LIVE AT THE FILLMORE EAST (NEW YORK 1970)
1. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
3. Down By The River
5. Come On Baby, Let's Go Downtown
6. Cowgirl In The Sand
all previously released live versions
Disc 06 TOPANGA 3 (1970)
1. Tell Me Why Neil Young – from the album After The Gold Rush
2. After The Gold Rush Neil Young – from the album After The Gold Rush
3. Only Love Can Break Your Heart Neil Young – from the album After The Gold Rush
4. Wonderin' Neil Young – previously unreleased version
5. Don't Let It Bring You Down Neil Young – from the album After The Gold Rush-first pressing
6. Cripple Creek Ferry Neil Young – from the album After The Gold Rush
7. Southern Man Neil Young – from the album After The Gold Rush
8. Till The Morning Comes Neil Young – from the album After The Gold Rush
9. When You Dance, I Can Really Love Neil Young with Crazy Horse – from the album After The Gold Rush-first pressing
10. Ohio Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – from the stereo 45 RPM single
11. Only Love Can Break Your Heart Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – previously unreleased live version
12. Tell Me Why Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – previously unreleased live version
13. Music Is Love David Crosby, Graham Nash & Neil Young – from the album If I Could Only Remember My Name
14. See The Sky About To Rain Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
Disc 07 LIVE AT MASSEY HALL (TORONTO 1971)
1. On The Way Home
2. Tell Me Why
3. Old Man
4. Journey Through The Past
6. Love In Mind
7. A Man Needs A Maid/Heart Of Gold (Suite)
8. Cowgirl In The Sand
9. Don't Let It Bring You Down
10. There's A World
11. Bad Fog Of Loneliness
12. The Needle And The Damage Done
14. See The Sky About To Rain
15. Down By The River
16. Dance Dance Dance
17. I Am A Child
all previously released live versions
Disc 08 NORTH COUNTRY (1971-1972)
1. Heart Of Gold Neil Young – previously unreleased live version
2. The Needle And The Damage Done Neil Young – from the album Harvest
3. Bad Fog Of Loneliness Neil Young with The Stray Gators – previously unreleased version
4. Old Man Neil Young with The Stray Gators – from the album Harvest
5. Heart Of Gold Neil Young with The Stray Gators – from the album Harvest
6. Dance Dance Dance Neil Young – previously unreleased version
7. A Man Needs A Maid Neil Young with the London Symphony Orchestra – previously unreleased mix
8. Harvest Neil Young with The Stray Gators – from the album Harvest
9. Journey Through The Past Neil Young with The Stray Gators – previously unreleased version
10. Are You Ready For The Country? Neil Young with The Stray Gators – from the album Harvest
11. Alabama Neil Young with The Stray Gators – from the album Harvest
12. Words (Between The Lines Of Age) Neil Young with The Stray Gators – from the original soundtrack album Journey Through The Past
13. Soldier Neil Young – previously unreleased mix
14. War Song Neil Young & Graham Nash with The Stray Gators – from the 45 RPM single (mono)
Disc 09 JOURNEY THROUGH THE PAST - A FILM BY NEIL YOUNG
* Available for the first time since its original theatrical release in 1973
* In 5.1 DTS© surround sound and stereo
* Includes rare performance and documentary footage of Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and scenes from the recording of the Harvest album featuring Neil Young with The Stray Gators
Special features include:
* Theatrical trailer
* Radio spots
* Archival galleries
For more information and to preorder this collection, which is available as a 10-disc Blu-Ray set, a 10-disc DVD set and a 9-disc CD set, visit Reprise's Neil Young Archives page.
Also, don't forget about Young's upcoming electric car opus, Fork In The Road, which comes out on April 7.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
ON APRIL 14, THE CONCORD MUSIC GROUP RELEASES THE COMPLETE TONY BENNETT/BILL EVANS RECORDINGS, A SUBLIME 2-CD COLLECTION ON FANTASY RECORDS THAT SPOTLIGHTS THE ICONIC SONG STYLIST DUETING WITH THE LEGENDARY JAZZ PIANIST FROM THEIR TWO ALBUMS RECORDED IN 1975 AND 1976
Inarguably popular music's top song stylist, Tony Bennett joined together with the legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans for two albums of sublime duets recorded in 1975 and 1976. Venerated as gorgeous gems of jazz grace, the two LPs along with numerous alternate takes and bonus tracks are combined on the 2-CD The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings, released on the Concord Music Group Fantasy Records imprint on April 14. Featuring sessions originally produced by Evans' longtime manager Helen Keane, the new compilation is produced by Nick Phillips.
Bennett's collaboration with the exquisite pianist is a jazz treat. While the singer was reluctant to classify himself as an improvisational vocalist, his jazz influences were abundant. He learned breathing and phrasing by listening to pianist Art Tatum and got pointers on having a relaxed delivery by studying Mildred Bailey. His vocal influences included Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, who later championed him.
While Bennett found favor in the '50s and '60s on Columbia Records with popular hits, he also had the freedom to stretch in the jazz world, recording albums with the Count Basie Orchestra, Stan Getz and Zoot Sims, among others. However, with the business changing in the early '70s, Bennett left Columbia (in 1972) and began recording on Fantasy Records as well as on his own Improv label.
Originally released in 1975 on Fantasy Records, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album, the first meeting of the vocalist and pianist, featured the pair performing standards, as well as a moving rendition of the pianist's classic tune, "Waltz for Debby" (with lyrics written by Gene Lees). Other standards include "But Beautiful," "The Days of Wine and Roses," "Young and Foolish" and "The Touch of Your Lips."
Bennett recalls that the pair didn't even discuss song choices before the session: "I would name a tune, and Bill would say, 'That's good, let's do that.' We'd find a key and then the two of us would work it out. For about 45 minutes, we'd work out the arrangement, he'd say, 'Do you wanna modulate here? How many choruses do you want?' And then we would play it through and work out all the changes and all that. We spent three days doing that, until we had nine songs in the can."
The first meeting established the Bennett-Evans chemistry, with the two having plenty of room to make their own personal statements. The All Music Guide to Jazz comments, "This is a true duet, with Evans getting considerable solo time." Following the recording, the pair performed live on a number of occasions, including the Newport Jazz Festival (in New York) and on television appearances in The Netherlands and Toronto.
In 1976, Bennett and Evans returned to the studio for Together Again for Improv Records (and later reissued on Concord Records). It's another low-lights, high-improv date of standards that opens with an Evans solo rendition of "The Bad and the Beautiful" and continues with such moving renditions of "Lucky to Be Me," "You're Nearer," "You Don't Know What Love Is," "Lonely Girl," "You Must Believe in Spring" and another Evans' original, "The Two Lonely People" (with lyrics by Carol Hall).
Both sessions--recorded together, not in isolation booths--yielded several fine alternate takes that are included on The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings, as well as two bonus tracks from the second date, with a superb version of Cole Porter's "Dream Dancing."
Liner note scribe Will Friedwald, who is the co-author of Bennett's autobiography, The Good Life (1998, Pocket Books), writes, "It's not merely that the two projects, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album and Together Again have entered the curriculum for jazz pianists and especially singers--something that Bennett, a tireless supporter of musical education...would keenly appreciate. Rather, to a vast extent, they are the curriculum."
While pointing out that Bennett had previously recorded voice-piano recordings before his collaboration with Evans, Friedwald says that this collaboration was greatly different: "Instead of the singer being accompanied by the pianist, with one in the spotlight and the other comprising a supporting cast of one, both participants are equal partners. Indeed, to stress this, Bennett had the idea of opening Together Again with a piano solo by Evans--so no one would have the false idea that this was simply a vocal record with piano accompaniment. Indeed, the way that voice and keyboard interact here seems to have no antecedent in the whole history of jazz; this is more like an American ideal of lieder."
Reflecting back, Bennett remains especially proud of these sessions with Bill Evans, citing them as the most satisfying projects of his long career.
An Op-Ed Piece by Mr. Bradley Filicky
Okay, I know the film has been out for 3 weeks now, and I've posted about it a lot. But one thing I haven't done is expressed my opinion, so here goes. Watchmen has been one of my favorite stories of all time from the first time I read it when it first came out in 85. I was 11 and I was a little different after I had read it. It changed something inside me. it was dark, dense, complex and HEAVY. This is anything but light reading. It was like a rite of passage. So i could not approach the film version with anything but a fanboy's devotion, anticipation and worry. The chance of the movie failing were huge. Well now that I've seen it i have to say it was the best possible adaption that could exist on film. The only way to have done this better is to do a 1 season cable television series. Zack Snyder packed all the density and detail of the graphic novel. I only wish more of Rorschach's journal entries could have been included. Zack Snyder had what is necessary for making a great comic book movie. Love for the source material. The acting was overall good and I can deal with the somewhat shoddy make up jobs. I know this film has been getting mixed reviews, but come on fans.. Do you realize how much worse this could have been? Having said that there are 4 quibbles that I feel are legitimate.
1) The ending - So who cares that there wasn't a squid monster. It wouldn't have worked on film and you know it. But the thing that got to me was Jon being forced to leave rather than choosing it. In the novel there was a quiet dignity to Jon's smile as he teleported off to distant galaxies. On the other hand having a "god" people KNOW is watching gives Adrian's peace a little more staying ability. And the cultural impact would be fun to explore.
2) The music - Yes I know we've heard these songs used again and again. But know when I hear them I think of Watchmen. That's saying something.
3) The sex scene - Cheesy, yes.. But guys you get to see Malin Akerman's tits so please stop your bitchin'!
4) People who weren't familiar with the book find it a bit hard to follow and long winded. Well this says more about the source material then anything else. Time has separated form a cold war fear of nuclear annihilation, so the sense of dread the novel had is a bit diluted. If this film gets one person to read the book it has been worth it. And I think it has achieved that many times over.
So, to sum up, Watchmen will probably be my number 1 film of 2009.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
BILL CALLAHAN DESCRIBES THE RECORDING PROCESS OF HIS GREAT NEW ALBUM, SOMETIMES I WISH I WERE AN EAGLE
This just in from the press box of the artist formerly known as (Smog)'s longtime record label, Drag City...comic strip created by Callahan himself.
The outstanding Sometimes I Wish I Were An Eagle comes out April 14.
Working On A Dream (Columbia)
Bruce Springsteen's latest album is an attempt to mix together his usual elaborate storytelling and the hard-driving instrumentation that fuels many of his most beloved anthems. After the release of 2005's Magic, a critical commentary on America with a less than subtle message of disdain for the previous administration, Bruce comes back with a love letter to the future and its promise of hope and change.
But alas, it is an attempt. The album delivers its message with schlock and unoriginal melodies that can easily be hummed before they are heard. The majority of the album lacks the power that is Bruce himself, negating so much of the style that made him the Boss. Working On A Dream is heavy with simplistic metaphors such as romance in the aisles in “Queen of the Supermarket” and finger-snapping tunes like in “My Lucky Day.” Much of the album is devoid of depth, but who really exhibits depth or even good judgment when they are so happily in love? Bruce has it bad.
In “This Life” the listener can hear overtones of The River, yet where The River gave us desperation and want, “This Life” only emulates the sounds while filling us with the heart palpitations of a new love when he sings, “with you I have been blessed, what more can you expect?” On “My Lucky Day”, Bruce woos with, “In the dark of fierce exile, I felt the grace of your smile.” Lyrics like these can make one think Bruce wrote these songs while attending a wedding and taking notes as the vows are being recited.
Bruce fails to paint landscapes rich with the lyrical imagery he set as precedent on most of his previous offerings. “Outlaw Pete,” the introductory song on the album which lasts for eight hard to listen to minutes, seems to be set as a showcase for the E Street Band as Bruce sits this one out, but even the E Street Band loses focus and lacks the playful back and forth that they usually have such fun with. After two minutes I was looking for an out, checked the iPod and saw six more minutes were left. I felt like a traitor as I skipped to more pulse revving tracks.
The highlights of the entire album are two very diverse songs. The first is the last track on the album, the Golden-Globe winning song “The Wrestler.” Poignant, vivid, and desolate, it shows the classic Springsteen spirit of struggle and introspection. “Have you ever seen a one trick pony in the field so happy and free, if you've ever seen a one trick pony then you've seen me.” These are the Springsteen lyrics that we crave, these are the lyrics that make the listener lean in and study and ask themselves if they can see themselves within the words that he crafts and many can say yes, they can see themselves. Who among us haven't been so beaten by circumstance or by place that even the most precious of our comforts don't seem like they are even ours anymore? That is the depth of the human experience that Springsteen can tap into with surgical precision. “Good Eye” is a dirty grinding blues number that stands in volatile contrast to “The Wrestler.” Where “The Wrestler” delivers haunting echoes of self-doubt and defeat, “Good Eye” rails about riches and love under the watchful eye of suspicion. “I had all of the riches, I had each and every one, but I had my good eye to the dark and my blind eye to the sun.” Springsteen channels Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and even the Springsteen from Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. It is the song that makes me drop to my knees and air-guitar and see a swarming throng of imaginary fans holding up their cell phones to persuade me into an encore. It is the song that pushes me to not give up hope on this album full of puppy-dog hope.
“I always leave with less than I had before,” Springsteen sings on “The Wrestler.” I do not want to feel like that with this album. I will continue to listen to it. I will shuffle it into the mix on the iPod and learn to love each and every tune. No matter how long it takes, because the Bruce from my past deserves that.
Enjoy this YouTubed performance of Public Enemy, backed by The Roots, performing "Bring The Noise" on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon from last night while it's still up, as NBC shuts these shits down quick. It's a stunna.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Just thought you might want a look see. Cover photo was shot by legendary NY photographer Bruce Davidson from his 1959 Brooklyn Gang collection.
The Chess Records-influenced new album is due April 28 on Columbia. Very exciting.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Crystal Stilts are easily the best new band to emerge from Brooklyn in a hot minute. Following the critical and underground success of last year's outstanding Alight the Night, the Stilts usher in a new year of activity with a new single, "Love Is A Wave" b/w "Sugar Baby", which comes out on March 31 via Slumberland Records.
They have made the A side available as a free download through Bitchfork. Check it out here
Video for "Converging in the Quiet":
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Hey Phish phans,
Head over to www.livephish.com to download the entire weekend of Phish's triumphant return to the world stage at Hampton Colesium in Hampton, VA this week. They are giving away the MP3 downloads for free this week, and I'm not sure how long they are gonna be up there so get over there STAT.
Really bad film footage from the Hampton Colesium nosebleeds of "David Bowie":
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Please visit our pal NYC Taper to download the fourth-ever show from Sebadoh bassist Jason Loewenstein's new band Circle of Buzzards at the Glasslands on February 26.
Our boy Nate Pallace's old band, the Empire State Troopers, were on the bill here as well.
For more information on Circle of Buzzards and their upcoming activities, visit their website at www.jakerock.com.
They have no videos posted on YouTube yet, so in the meantime enjoy this footage of turkey buzzards circling in the air. Close enough, right?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I just read David Fricke's article on Rollingstone.com and the impending spring just got a little more exciting. From the gist of the piece, it sounds like Bob is in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid mode again, which can only mean good things.
Here is the article, courtesy of Rolling Stone about the upcoming follow-up to Modern Times:
"I'm listening to Billy Joe Shaver/And I'm reading James Joyce/Some people tell me I got the blood of the land in my voice," Bob Dylan sings in a leathery growl, capturing the essence of his forthcoming studio album — raw-country love songs, sly wordplay and the wounded state of the nation — in "I Feel a Change Coming On," one of the record's 10 new originals.
Set for late April, the as-yet-untitled album arrives a few months after Dylan's outtakes collection Tell Tale Signs, and it "came as a surprise," says a source close to Dylan's camp. Last year, filmmaker Olivier Dahan, who directed the 2007 Edith Piaf biopic, La Vie en Rose, approached Dylan about writing a song for his next feature. Dylan responded with "Life Is Hard," a bleak ballad with mandolin, pedal steel and him singing in a dark, clear voice, "The evening winds are still/I've lost the way and will." (The song appears in the film My Own Love Song, starring Renée Zellweger.)
Inspired, Dylan kept writing and recording songs with his road band and guests, with Los Lobos' David Hidalgo rumored on accordion. Dylan produced the album under his usual pseudonym, Jack Frost.
The disc has the live-in-the-studio feel of Dylan's last two studio records, 2001's Love and Theft and 2006's Modern Times, but with a seductive border-cafe feel (courtesy of the accordion on every track) and an emphasis on struggling-love songs. The effect — in the opening shuffle, "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'," the Texas-dancehall jump of "If You Ever Go to Houston" and the waltz "This Dream of You" — is a gnarly turn on early-1970s records like New Morning and Planet Waves.
Dylan makes references to the national chaos, as on the viciously funny slow blues "My Wife's Home Town" ("State gone broke, the county's dry/Don't be lookin' at me with that evil eye"), culminating in the deceptive rolling rock of "It's All Good." Against East L.A. accordion and a snake's nest of guitars, Dylan tells you how bad things are — "Brick by brick, they tear you down/A teacup of water is enough to drown" — then ices each verse with the title line, a pithy shot of sneering irony and calming promise. "You would never expect the record after Modern Times to sound like this," the source says. "Bob takes all of those disparate elements you hear and puts them into a track. But you can't put your finger on it — 'It sounds exactly like that.' That's why he's so original."
[From Issue 1074 — March 19, 2009]