Mirror Maze is a deceptively simple looking game that requires nerves of steel and a steady hand.
The objective of the game is to guide the red ball from the green "start" box to the red "end" box without touching any of the walls. The immediate challenge is that the green ball mirrors your movements and you also lose if the green ball touches a wall. While the first few levels are fairly easy, there are 36 levels in total which progressively increase in difficulty. The difficulties start with asymmetrical mazes and move from there into moving walls and warp gates.
As puzzle games go, Mirror Maze offers more variation than most which keeps it interesting. For those who are into competitive playing, the game also contains a (now expected) leader board.
Mirror Maze is available for $1.99 in the AppStore and there is a free lite version which contains twelve levels.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Mirror Maze is a deceptively simple looking game that requires nerves of steel and a steady hand.
Pinch is a 72-level puzzle game that is easy to learn but challenging enough to hold the attention of all levels of gamers.
Pinch contains six difficulty levels; each of which contain twelve levels. The first twelve levels are a tutorial level and are fairly quick plays. The next twelve levels make up the easy level and aren't a significant challenge. The medium, hard, harder and flux levels contain enough challenges to hold even the most experienced gamer's attention. The objective of the game is to get all of the "buttons" (called norbs) to the goal within the quickest period of time. The game uses OpenFeint to track scores on the leader board and manage game forums and chats.
There are a variety of challenges within the game which range from color-coded gates where your norb must match the gate's color to pass through, one-way walls, switches which open gates when depressed (which lead to the challenge of how to depress the switch and move your norb through the open gates; all at the same time), and chasms where your norb must be sufficiently sized to pass over.
The way to navigate through these top-level challenges is to "pinch" your nord apart and recombine it with other norbs to create either a different color or a different sized norb. You can also separate a norb into two or more smaller norbs to allow for a switch to be continually depressed while the other norb passes through an open gate.
Pinch is available for $.99 in the AppStore.
I want to start this review by stating one of my biases - I like my warfare games to be 'shoot 'em ups' where the only strategy needed is to "kill everything while avoiding being killed". As such, Future Fight just isn't my cup of tea as the game play is closer to Risk (the board game) than Roswell Fighter or Assault Squadron. That being said, Future Fight seems to offer a lot for the strategy gamer.
Future Fight was developed by the Bloober Team, who had previously released the blood and guts WiiWare game Last Flight, and this game is a battle-only spin-off from upcoming iPad game Gender Wars. Piotr Babieno, one of game producers, commented that “Future Fight will focus on battle and will exclusively have Operations mode in which player will focus only on tactical management of his armies and fighting battles, so we decided that it will be better to establish new branch of games for fans of gameplay over storyline”.
Future Fight offers a 'Quick Battle' mode along with the core 'Operations' mode. To keep things interesting, there is also a hot-seat multi-player mode. With each turn, you get to chose one action that one ship within your fleet can take. These actions range from moving to a new position, firing upon an enemy ship, repairing one of your ships or bribing one of the enemy ships. Both your action and your enemy's action are executed at the same time so there is never a guarantee that an intended target will remain in its position. Each level ends when one side defeats all of the opponent ships on the board.
Future Fight is available for $4.99 in the AppStore.
With Beware of the Bad Seed, realtech VR brings a 3-D twist to the classic whack-a-mole game. There are three different modes within the game - a timed mode where you need to score as many points as possible within sixty seconds, an arcade mode where you play until you lose five of your daisies and a straight-forward tic-tac-toe mode.
The game board is a 3 x 3 grid of flowerpots which you can rotate around by using the arrows at the bottom of the screen. The objective of the arcade and timed mode is to hit the carnivorous plants in the head as they pop out of flowerpots before they eat one of the daisies; all the while making sure that you don't hit one of the smiling, dancing daisies as you are tapping. There are different point values assigned to the different types of carnivorous plants and the higher value plants require multiple taps before they will drop back into the pot.
This is a fun game and it goes fairly quickly so you can easily play a round or two in a spare couple of minutes. Beware of the Bad Seed is available for $.99 cents in the AppSotre.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
DOWNLOAD: Mavis Staples - "We Shall Not Be Moved" (hosted on Anti.com)
Earlier this week, the Library of Congress selected the Staple Singers' seminal 1968 album Soul Folk in Action for preservation on its National Recording Registry. The album was the Staples' debut for Stax, and the Library of Congress calls it "the pivotal album of their career."
Now in her sixth decade as a performer, Mavis Staples is releasing her third album for Anti, You Are Not Alone, on Sept. 14th. This forthcoming disc was produced by Jeff Tweedy at Wilco's studio The Loft and includes two tracks penned by Tweedy along with unique interpretations of songs by Pops Staples, Randy Newman, Allen Toussaint, John Fogerty, Rev. Gary Davis and Little Milton.
"I have almost everything she's ever recorded, and I dug back through very thoroughly when I was given this job to do," says Tweedy. "I thought that if I refreshed myself about where she's been, it would help her figure out where she wanted to go. I wanted to be sure that we were making a record that she really wanted to make."
This summer Mavis Staples will play the Toronto Jazz Fest on June 30, Lollapalooza on August 6, and the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival at Mass MoCa on August 14, with additional US and European tour dates to be announced soon.
STREAM: Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere - "I Can't Stand It"
On June 15th, soul men Steve Cropper (Booker T. and the MGs) and Felix Cavaliere (the Rascals) released their second disc Midnight Flyer (Stax Recording via Concord Records) . This disc is a follow-up to the duo's critically acclaimed 2008 release Nudge It Up a Notch.
This new disc's twelve tracks combine the blue-eyed soul vocals of Felix Cavaliere with the 'traditional' Memphis soul/Stax guitar sound of Steve Cropper. The songs are a mix of 70's urban soul (with a funk flair) and Stax-sound R&B which places the band's sound somewhere between Booker T. & The M.G.'s and War. One of the stand-out tracks is "I Can't Stand It" which features Cavaliere in a duet with his daughter Aria and they trade off on a killer call-and-response chorus.
The majority of this disc is slow burning - Felix Cavaliere's voice sounds in perfect form and Steve Cropper throws in some subtly tasteful licks but there isn't enough fire across the disc as a whole to pull in non-fans. Some of the strongest track are the two cover tunes Ann Peebles’ “I Can’t Stand the Rain” and Smokey McAllister's "I Can't Stand It" and the predominately instrumental "Do It Like This" but the rest of the disc never seems to catch fire.
Midnight Flyer is a solid showing by two soul legends so ,if you can give the slower tunes the attention they need, you will likely sink into their slow-burn grooves.
Monday, June 28, 2010
San Francisco's Early Graves just released Goner (Ironclad Recordings / Metal Blade) as the follow-up to their 2008 debut We: The Guillotine. The band comes across like a runaway freight train as they thunder through ten tracks in twenty-six minutes with a sound that combines noise rock (Halo of Flies), hardcore (Poison Idea, Black Flag) and crust (Discharge). As such, it goes without saying that these guys are angry and pissed off. Tim Green's analog production adds to the grime and squalor of the disc, bringing both the dissonant guitar work and Makh Daniels’ hoarse growl to the front of the mix.
Lyrically, this is a rather dark album. Here is a quote from Makh Daniels on the new disc: "The last couple years have been kinda rough and for most of us, you hit times in your life when shit is basically spiraling out of control and you try to reign it in but it just doesn't ever seem to work so you drink it away. Basically you dig yourself further in the hole because you don't know any other way. A lot of the lyrics, while not being a concept record, have a lot of the same themes of loneliness and depression and substance abuse running through each song. I think us as a band getting together and writing these songs and writing these lyrics got out a lot of bad dark shit that has been under the surface for all of us. Like an exorcism of sorts. I hope maybe this record will connect with some people who are goin' through the same kinda shit."
Early Graves is touring throughout July with The Funeral Pyre and the tour stops at Union Pool on July 17th.
Here is the full set of tour dates:
July 1 – Dallas, TX @ Renos Chop Shop
July 2 – San Antonio, TX @ Zombies!!!
July 3 – Austin, TX @ Red 7
July 5 – Memphis, TN @ TBA
July 6 – Nashville, TN @ The Black Church
July 7 – Louisville, KY @ Skull Alley
July 8 – Columbus, OH @ 15th House (369 e. 15th ave)
July 9 – Columbus, OH @ the Cara Bar
July 10 – Gloversville, NY @ Limbos
July 11 – Jamaica Plain, MA @ The Midway Cafe
July 12 – Boston, MA @ Church Of Boston. 69 Killmarnock St.
July 13 – Dover, New Hampshire @ Dover Brickhouse
July 14 – Haverhill, MA @ Anchors Up
July 15 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
July 16 – Philadelphia, PA @ TBA
July 17 – Brooklyn, NY @The Union Pool
July 18 – Pittsburgh, PA @Belvedere’s
July 19 -Toledo, OH @ The Black Cherry
July 20 – Milwaukee WI @ the borg ward
July 21 – St Louis, MO @ Fubar
July 22 – Kansas City, MO @ Aftershock
July 23 – Lincoln, NE @The Manor
July 24 – Denver, CO @ Blastomat
July 25 – Cheyenne, WY @ Ernie November
July 26 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Outer Rim
July 27 – Garden City, ID @ Brawl Studios
July 28 – Spokane, WA @ Mootsy’s
July 29 – Seattle, Wa @ The Morgue
July 30 – Portland, OR @ Plan B
July 31 – Bellingham, WA @ JINX artspace
August 1 – Salem, OR @ TBA
August 2 – Reno, NV @ Ryans Saloon
August 3 – San Francisco, CA @ Submission Gallery
Italian thrash metal band Idols Are Dead were in town last month to make their NYC debut at Lit Lounge. Unfortunately though, the show never happened due to equipment logistics. I did have the chance to catch up with the band before they left town.
Idols Are Dead's debut disc Mean was released in 2008 (though it is just now getting US distribution) and the band is now currently finishing up their sophomore disc. In a previously posted CD review, I described Mean as falling somewhere between Testament's The Ritual, Metallica's The Black Album and Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion while retaining an underlying thrash-metal sound. Taking a page from the fore-mentioned bands, Mean combines fist-pumping riffs with melodic guitar shredding, singer Mana's "John Bush style" gruff vocals and melodic vocal harmonies on the choruses.
Idols Are Dead
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I'm probably in the minority as I still think this is a pretty good disc. This was the Cro-Mags third disc and the sound is firmly in the crossover thrash genre. While detractors moan about how the band had moved away from the NYHC sound of The Age of Quarrel, crossover thrash was red-hot at this time. Biohazard released Urban Discipline in 1992 and the sound reached the mainstream the following year with the Judgement Night soundtrack.
Divebomb Records has partnered up with Century Media Records to reissue one of the most overlooked crossover albums ever, CRO-MAGS’ Alpha Omega. Only 1000 CDs will be pressed up for this special reissue. Since the original release of Alpha Omega in 1992, its creative origins have been long argued amongst the band members, and with so many turbulent rumors floating about it’s no wonder this record has neither been properly understood nor – even worse – acknowledged by many Cro-Mags fans.
- New introduction by Andrew of Aversionline.com
- Contains bonus music video
- Out of print for years
- Limited Edition of 1,000 (CD ONLY)
- Remastered by Jamie King (May 2010)
01 See The Signs
02 Eyes Of Tomorrow
03 The Other Side Of Madness (Revenge)
04 Apocalypse Now
05 The Paths Of Perfection
+ The Paths Of Perfection (Music Video)
Divebomb Records has a pre-order going now till 7/13 which includes free shipping.
You can read both Harley and Paris' views on Alpha Omega at the sites below.
Cro-Mags (Harley's Website)
Cro-Mags (Paris' Website)
DOWNLOAD: Brock Enright - "Maybe" (from Torben)
Director Jody Lee Lipes’ critically acclaimed film Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be The Same is set for its DVD release via Factory 25 on June 29. The film earned critical acclaim at its SXSW premiere leading Paste Magazine to proclaim it, “A provocation and an enigma…a remarkably assured debut.” Earning a Special Jury Prize at the Sarasota Film Festival, the film screened at the prestigious Hot Docs film festival and had its New York City premiere at BAMcinemaFEST.
The DVD and Blu-Ray package of Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be The Same includes Blackgoat, a 69-minute film by Brock Enright, video loops used in his art installation, a conversation between Robert Longo & Brock Enright and an essay by artist Carroll Dunham. The limited edition package also includes a vinyl LP of music by Brock Enright and Kirsten Deirup titled Torben, a film poster and original artwork hand drawn on each record by Brock.
Lipes’ vérité film follows controversial emerging artist Brock Enright and his girlfriend, painter Kirsten Deirup, as Enright prepares a career-breaking exhibition for New York City’s prominent Perry Rubinstein Gallery. Having appeared on “The View,” “Good Morning America,” and in countless print publications after Rolling Stone profiled his company, Videogames Adventure Services (VAS), which provided “designer kidnapping services,” Enright began focusing exclusively on his artwork and was selected to participate in numerous acclaimed group exhibitions including PS1/MoMA’s Greater New York show. Shortly thereafter, Enright was approached by distinguished New York gallerist Perry Rubinstein to create a career-defining exhibition. Lipes’ film picks up here, presenting an intensely intimate look at Enright and his preparation. Lipes’ lens bypasses the art itself, locking into the struggle Enright and his girlfriend face as his graphic process and professional aspirations conflict with their relationship and financial well-being. Enright is forced to confront his own identity when his art tests the limits of family, collaborators and even the artist himself.
The DVD release of Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be The Same arrives on the heels of Lipes’ SXSW Audience Award-winning scripted adaptation of Jerome Robbins’ NY Export: Opus Jazz currently airing on PBS. Lipes has also been acclaimed for his work as director of photography for Lena Dunham’s 2010’s SXSW Jury Prize winner for Best Narritive Tiny Furniture and Antonio Campos’ Afterschool (Cannes 2008).
Directed and shot by Lipes, Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be The Same is produced by Lipes and Kyle Martin, and executive produced by Louis E. Della Penna and Andrew F. Renzi. All original music is by Brock Enright, and the film’s editor is Lance Edmands.
Brock Enright Film
Saturday, June 26, 2010
"The 11-track collection, penned by Danzig, is laced with Glenn's lycanthropic growls and blues-infected wailing. Tracks including "Black Candy," "The Revengeful," and the first single, "On A Wicked Night," emit a spectral glow to rival the highest points in Danzig's colossal discography. Part 1 of the exquisite two-part "Pyre of Souls" opens with acoustic guitar, haunting piano, Glenn's plainsong vocal, and an almost dirge-like feel; Part II explodes with electric guitars and a driving, mesmerizing cadence."
This new disc is being called Danzig's return to classic form and, while I have some reservations with this claim, Deth Red Sabaoth is the closest he has come in years to (re)capturing the sound of his first four discs.
Deth Red Sabaoth is what you would expect from a Danzig album – a dark and brooding disc with a mix of anthems with hooky choruses and world-weary blues songs. Danzig’s vocals are clear, strong and, aside for the occasional guitar squall, Tommy Victor’s guitar sounds remarkable like that of John Christ. The overall disc doesn’t quite have the hooks of Danzig’s early work but it is mature release that shows Danizg moving in a Jim Morrison/Johnny Cash direction.
"I think that fans will really dig this new album," said Glenn. "I've been told several times that the album has a cool vitality to it, it sounds energized, and I got that feeling when I was recording it. I wanted it to have an organic sound, bigger and thicker, so I went out and bought some 1970's Kustom tuck 'n roll bass amps to play some of the guitar parts through. You'll hear real reverb, real tremolo on this album, which sounds completely different than the stuff that's done with computer chips."
The instrumental interlude of “Incanticle” (which sounds like a return to Black Aria) which leads into the grinding “Seasons of Pain”, the pounding drums of “Black Candy” (I’m intentionally ignoring the silly lyrics), “Death Red Moon” and southern gothic rock vibe of “Ju Ju Bone” are some of the standout tracks. The stylistical jumps may be somewhat disconcerting to the listener but this is still a solid body of work.
Here is a live video for “On a Wicked Night”, which is the album’s first single:
It is great to see Danzig moving into the new decade with such a solid album. Danzig just finished a limited run of tour dates and will be back on the road this Fall for the 2010 edition of the Blackest of the Black tour.
The End Records
DOWNLOAD: Black Francis - "All In My Mind" (from New Tales To Tall - A Tribute to Love and Rockets)
Black Francis released Nonstoperotik (Cooking Vinyl) earlier this year and the BBC said that this disc was "[s]urely set to be one of the Pixies main man’s strongest solo albums."
The Pixies are out on the road in August and Black Francis is playing a few one-off solo shows between dates. He is playing solo acoustic sets two nights at Joe's Pub on Sept. 3rd and 4th which leads up to The Pixies show at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia on Sept. 7th. Tickets for the shows at Joe's Pub are $25 each and the shows are at 9:30PM each night.
Friday, June 25, 2010
I've been a bit suspicious of this release after having acquired a large number of 'lost' live shows and outtakes from Raw Power era of The Stooges over the last twenty years. After finally sitting down to give this 2CD a listen (and then a second listen), I was pleasantly surprised.
The first disc of this set restores the original David Bowie mix of Raw Power. While this may not be a big deal for long-time fans, the original mix has been hard to find since Columbia issued Iggy's red-lining, guitar-heavy remix in 1997. The original mix wasn't without its fault - it was trebly with Iggy and guitarist James Williamson grossly dominating the mix, leaving the Asheton brothers no where to be heard - but the '97 remix didn't solve any problems by turning the volume up to "11". Interestingly, both James Williamson and Ron Asheton individually stated in interviews over the years that they liked the Bowie mix better than Iggy's later version.
"Bowie's not my favorite guy, but I have to say that overall, I think he did a pretty good job." -- James Williamson
The real gem, and counterpoint to the Bowie mix of Raw Power, is on Disc 2 - which is a complete live show from the Raw Power tour recorded at Richard's in Atlanta, GA. The surprise with this show is that it captures The Stooges, both tight and coherent and James Williamson's guitar is buried in the mix so Ron Asheton's fluid bass playing and Scott Thurston's bar room piano rise to the top of the mix. The set list is pretty standard for this era/tour which consists of five tracks from Raw Power plus "Head On", "Cock In My Pocket" and "Open Up & Bleed".
The second disc wraps up with "Doojiman" which is an outtake from the session for Raw Power. The sound on this track is perfect (unlike some of the Bomp and Revenge releases) but this is a track that will only appeal to die-hard fans. While the band lays down a voodoo groove, Iggy scats and jabbers over the four minute track leaving him sounding somewhat like Gibby Haynes. The last track, "Head On", is from a rehearsal performance and sounds like something that could have (and may have?) been included in the massive series of outtakes and reissues that Bomp, Revenge and Easy Action have issued over the years.
Given the $13.99 price point for this set (new from Amazon), the live show on the second disc more than makes this set worthwhile.
Iggy and the Stooges
Oceano Head Into the Studio with Zuess to Record Second CD "Contagion" // Summer Tour with As Blood Runs Black
Chicago deathcore band Oceano are heading out on a July/August tour with As Blood Runs Black as part of the Over The Limit Tour. The tour will act as a prelude to the release of the band's forthcoming sophomore album, Contagion and the band will be debuting new material as part of their set.
Joining co-headliners Oceano and As Blood Runs Black on the bill will be Arsonists Get All The Girls, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, Thick As Blood, Burning the Masses, Circle of Contempt, and Blindwitness, with Son of Aurelius and This Or The Apocalypse on select dates
Oceano have also begun recording their sophomore disc, Contagion, with producer Zuess (Municipal Waster, The Acacia Strain, Hatebreed, Shadows Fall) which will mark the recording debut of the band's two new guitarists.
Oceano frontman, Adam Warren chimes in from the studio with a brief update:
"As of last night we finished up drum tracking! Danny's a little monster and flew through everything in a 2 1/2 days. Now we're onto guitars today. We're excited to begin and work with Zeuss as we are looking forward to getting his input on what we have come up with. We are all confident he's going to help further creation of Contagion to be even more infectious to all of your ears. LET IT SPREAD!"
To kick off the start of Contagion's recording process, Oceano have posted the premiere episode of OCEANO TV on their brand new official YouTube page. Styled similarly to a 90's-style multi-camera sitcom, this episode stars drummer, Daniel Terchin. Here, he gives fans a tour of his drum kit, pwns n00bs on Call of Duty and sneaks a peek at his tracking sessions.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
DOWNLOAD: Gene Priest & The Cardinal Sin - "Living to Die" EP
It can't be easy to be an agnostic when your last name is a religious title, but the world of Gene Priest's songs is not a very friendly place to begin with...
Gene Priest is ordinarily a sideman mainstay in the Knoxville, TN, music scene - manning the drum-kit for indie-rock acts HiLites and Cold Hands and the sludge-metal quartet, Hot Blood - but with equal doses of ego and humility, he has stepped into the footlights with his debut EP, "Living To Die," mixed in Knoxville by Scott Minor of Sparklehorse.
Melding the lo-fi sentimentality of Minor and Mark Linkous' Sparklehorse with the ethereal escapism of Radiohead, Priest and his ad-hoc backing band, The Cardinal Sin, deliver four songs intent on the exploration of the darkest corners of self-worth. The music crawls along through the dust on "Living To Die," not because it hasn't learned to walk; rather, it simply doesn't see a need to stand. It's with underlying confidence and defiance, rather than apathy and malaise when Priest sings, "No, I don't care if I ever see the light."
Here is the video for the title track, "Living to Die", which was edited together entirely out of public-domain film footage from the Prelinger Archive.
Gene Priest and The Cardinal Sin
"Ashton Nyte is a South African born singer, songwriter, producer, composer and front man of the South African alternative rock band The Awakening. Nyte has released five solo albums both as Ashton Nyte and Ashton Nyte and the Accused in addition to his numerous releases as The Awakening. He is considered to be a pioneer of alternative rock in South Africa and has been described as "something of a music[al] genius" for his typical method of composing, playing and recording each instrument himself on most of his releases. Nyte is widely known in South Africa for his chart-topping cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sounds of Silence" and several other top singles. His signature style combines baritone vocals akin to David Bowie and Johnny Cash, with instrumentation that ranges from Americana to alternative rock and even lo-fi indie rock. Themes of George Orwell's 1984 often infiltrate Nyte's work, along with numerous Christian references. Nyte has been based in the USA as of 2009." -– Wikipedia
Ashton Nyte just released his US debut, The Valley (on Intervention Arts Records), and he is playing a Best Buy in-store along with a release party (full band) show at Fontana's next Tuesday, June 29th. The Best Buy in-store is at the Union Square location (52 E. 14th Street) and Ashton is playing an acoustic set that starts at 4PM. The show at Fontana's is a full-band set which starts at 8:30PM. Both shows are free and there will be a pre-show open bar at the Fontana's show which starts at 7PM
Here is the video for "Jennifer", which is the first single from The Valley:
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Looking at some recent folk-metal releases, Swiss folk-metal band Eluveitie released Everything Remains as It Never Was (Nuclear Blast) earlier this year. This is the band’s fourth full-length and third album in three years after signing with Nuclear Blast in 2008.
I haven’t listened to enough folk/pagan metal bands to have a true sense for the genre but I’ve been left with the impression that a number of band in this space have a renaissance/operatic sounds that falls somewhere between Blackmore’s Night and recent releases on Cruz Del Sur. Eluveitie’s last disc Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion (2009) fell directly in line with this assumption as it was predominately an acoustic affair with vocals by hurdy gurdy player Anna Murphy.
Everything Remain as It Never Was breaks from this premise and has some real metal teeth. Chrigel Glanzmann handles most of the vocals with a death metal growl and there is some vocal interplay with clean vocalist Anna Murphy. Murphy contributes lead vocals on “Quoth The Raven” and, on this track, she adds a death metal growl to her range. There is a nice interplay between the vocals and the music which is complemented by Colin Richardson’s crisp production work.
The disc starts and ends with the spoken word intro and outro from Dannii Young, which sets the stage for the Celtic themes of this disc. Musically, the melodic metal blast beats are balanced by traditional folk instruments like hurdy gurdy, flute, bagpipes and whistles. In addition to the spoken word tracks, there are two acoustic instrumentals “Tsara” and “Setion”.
The first video from the new disc was for the song “Thousandfold”:
Eluveitie just finished a tour with fellow Swedes Amon Amarth and here is a video from the show at Irving Plaza:
DOWNLOAD: Windfaerer - "Glorybound" Demo
New Jersey folk metal horde Windfaerer -- M. Gonçalves [Vocals, Guitars, Bass], JP Andrade [Percussion] and Valèek [Violin] -- recently posted two new tracks to their official MySpace page.
"These Walls (Frozen In Time)" and "This Beautiful Death" (which features bagpipe work by Sevan Kirder, formerly of Eluveitie) come off the trio's debut full-length, Tribus. Tribus was recorded and mixed at Frightbox Recording (Clifton, NJ) by Bobby Torres and follows the band's two-song demo "Glorybound", released last year to mass underground accolades.
Said main songwriter Goncalves of the new tunes: "Tribus is in essence a collection of everyday themes set in a time of Iberian legend. The songs touch upon rebellion against Romans in ancient Hispania and Lusitania, expansion to new lands, as well as voyaging into the unknown. I'm excited about the way everything sounds and how it all came together. I've had this vision for a while and it's almost euphoric to be able to finally realize it!"
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
DOWNLOAD - The Acorn - "Restoration"
Ottawa band The Acorn will be performing three NYC dates in mid-July in support of their forthcoming Bella Union CD, No Ghost. There will also be a limited edition of 300 180-gram, red-pressed vinyl edition with hand-silkscreened covers.
Here are the local tour dates:
Tue. 7/13 at Maxwell's [Hoboken]
Wed. 7/14 at Mercury Lounge [NYC]
Thu. 7/15 at Littlefield [Brooklyn]
The band have been traveling the world for two years on headline runs in support of their concept album, Glory Hope Mountain, which is a concept album about front man Rolf Klausener's mother and her life story. After several dates with Phosphorescent, Calexico, and Bowerbirds among others, they retreated to an isolated cottage in northern Quebec earlier this year to work on No Ghost.
NPR calls The Acorn's music, "intimate and beautifully orchestrated," with Mojo saying it's "robust and kaleidoscopic." Pitchfork said Glory Hope Mountain was "epic and satisfying," SPIN made them an 'Artist of the Day,' calling their music "almost folkloric," and Billboard called the album,"an apt command for the listener."
The Acorn's MySpace Profile
DOWNLOAD: Keegan DeWitt - "Say La La"
DOWNLOAD: Keegan DeWitt - Daytrotter Session 9/16/09 (requires registration)
Nashville-based film composer / Roman Candle guitarist Keegan DeWitt is releasing a new EP, Nothing Shows, on July 13th via Daytrotter's Record Barn - the first exclusive release through the site. Keegan is an indie singer/songwriter who got his start composing film scores (his most recent work appears in upcoming release and recently-picked-up-by-IFC-Films movie Cold Weather, written up in the Village Voice and InterviewMagazine.com, among others). He released his debut, Islands, last year.
For 30 days in the early fall and winter of last year, Keegan crossed the Atlantic and holed up in a Parisian flat to finish work on what would become his stunning new 7-song EP, Nothing Shows (the title originating from the collected works of poet Philip Larkin). It was there that he’d meld the tender craftsmanship of his New York Times-heralded film scores together with the resonant lyricism found on the diverse Islands. And what emerged are seven songs steeped in specific moments, locations, and emotions. Whether on the sad steps of Rome, in an empty schoolyard in suburban Paris, wandering the wintry streets of New York City, or taking a rainy late night bike ride down the streets of Nashville, each track on Nothing Shows plays a short glimpse into a particular time, place, and feeling.
This affinity and skill for articulating moments of substance – both little and small, mundane and profound – is not surprising for someone who is quickly becoming an in-demand name in the world of independent film. In 2009, Keegan’s film score work was featured on the Sundance Channel, HDNet, and most notably, Cold Weather, a SXSW-standout that garnered attention on the cover of Variety magazine and in The Los Angeles Times following its premiere.
Early last year, Keegan toured as both an opener for and guitarist with his sister and brothers-in-law’s band Roman Candle. At their encouragement, he began recording his own material, which caught the ear of Chris Stamey (Whiskeytown, Alejandro Escovedo, Le Tigre), who shortly thereafter signed on to co-produce Islands. Keegan has since toured both the U.S. and Europe on his own.
The EP will be released on July 13th as an exclusive digital download via Daytrotter and will also include with purchase a free, brand new session in lossless format. A hand-designed digipak version of Nothing Shows will also be available at Keegan’s live shows and on www.KeeganDeWitt.com.
Monday, June 21, 2010
DOWNLOAD: Jenny & Johnny - "Scissor Runner" (requires registration on JennyandJohnnyMusic.com)
Jenny and Johnny first started working together in Los Angeles in 2005, after being introduced by Conor Oberst. Rice had traveled to Nebraska to make his first record before moving to L.A., where Lewis was beginning work with Mike Mogis on her solo debut Rabbit Fur Coat. They both ended up playing on each others recordings, and struck up a lasting creative relationship.
For this new disc, Jenny and Johnny locked out Mike Mogis’ world-class ARC studios for five weeks of tracking, vocals, and mixing during the worst Midwestern winter since the 1860’s. The front door of their guest house actually froze shut, so they used an alternate route to get to the studio every day. Cut off from the outside world in a blizzard’s haze, the record’s personality began to emerge. Gone were the vintage, classic-rock textures of their previous two albums, and in came a brand new sound which was tougher around the edges. The exuberance of love songs like Scissor Runner mask some of the record’s darkness, with Lewis chronicling the economic demise of her beloved California in Big Wave, Rice’s haunting vocal on Animal, and both songwriters raising a middle-finger kiss off in the acerbic My Pet Snakes.
Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice are kicking off their first US tour in September and the tour stops in Brooklyn on September 19th when the band opens for Pavement and the band is playing a headlining set at Maxwell's on September 21st.
Here are the complete tour dates:
9/1 Santa Cruz, CA @ Rio Theater (on sale Sat 6/26 @ 10a)
9/2 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall (on sale Sun 6/28 @ 10a)
9/3 Oakland, CA @ The New Parish (on sale Sat 6/26 @ 10a)
9/5 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge (on sale Sat 6/26 @ 10a)
9/6 Seattle, WA @ Bumbershoot Festival (on sale now)
9/8 Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room (on sale Fri 6/25 @ 10a)
9/11 Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room (on sale Sat 6/26 @ 10a)
9/12 Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center (on sale Fri 6/25 @ Noon)
9/13 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall (on sale Fri 6/25 @ Noon)
9/14 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom (on sale Fri 6/25 @ 10a)
9/16 Washington , DC @ Black Cat (on sale Fri 6/25 @ Noon)
9/18 Boston, MA @ Agganis Arena (opening for Pavement - on sale now)
9/19 Brooklyn, NY @ Williamsburg Waterfront (opening for Pavement - on sale now)
9/21 Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell's (on sale Sat 6/26 @ Noon)
9/22 Philadel phia, PA @ Trocadero Theater (w/ Superchunk - on sale now)
9/23 Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle (on sale Sat 6/26 @ 10a)
9/24 Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club (on sale Sat 6/26 @ 10a)
9/25 Nashville , TN @ Mercy Lounge (on sale Sat 6/26 @ 10a)
10/3 LA, CA @ Palladium (opening for Belle & Sebastian - on sale now)
Jenny and Johnny
DOWNLOAD: State Bird - "Good Vibes"
Ohio freak-folk band State Bird have taken a psychedelic turn with the release of their new EP "Holy Spirits". This 5-track, 20+ minute EP was recorded at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco under the guidance of Ian Pellicci (Deerhoof, Rogue Wave). Compared with Mostly Ghostly (State Bird's 2008 release), the band now has a big sound where Coby and Jared wield fuzz and feedback masterfully.
The band just released the first video from the new EP for the song "Wasting Away":
"Holy Spirits" is available as a $2 download from The Record Machine.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Idols Are Dead is a five-piece melodic, hard-rock band that just released their debut CD Mean. The band's sound falls somewhere between Testament's The Ritual, Metallica's The Black Album and Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion while retaining an underlying thrash-metal sound. Taking a page from the fore-mentioned bands, Mean combines fist-pumping riffs with melodic guitar shredding, singer Mana's "John Bush style" gruff vocals and melodic vocal harmonies on the choruses.
Idols Are Dead formed in Italy in 2006 and came out of the gate swinging. The band won the Heineken Jammin Festival Contest in 2007, beating the other 2273 bands, and shared the main stage with Slayer, Iron Maiden and Stone Sour.
(There is a video from the Heineken Jammin Festival on YouTube but it is just fair quality. This video from 2008 shows what the band really sounds like live.)
Idols Are Dead's music should strike a positive chord with fans of the "Big 4" and the band covers Guns N' Roses' "It's So Easy" midway through the new disc.
Idols Are Dead
Earlier today, Punk Island held its third festival on Governor's Island. As I hadn't made it out to any of the prior Punk Island shows, I was somewhat mentally expecting the chaos of the 'Rock Against Reagan' shows from the 80's but was pleasantly surprised. The festival was very well run and had a relaxed vibe. Even the pile-on/shout-along moments of Negative Approach's set didn't have the violent overtones that seemed to be part of the scene in the 80's.
The only off-putting moment to the day was a guy on the ferry over to Governor's Island who was openly playing with a big 'pig-sticker' knife. When people started looking at him, he put on blackout glasses and pulled a bandana over the lower part of his face. At this point, I was planning on jumping over the side of the boat if the guy was a psycho. The ferry operators came over, the knife was put away and the cops grabbed the guy when the boat docked.
I probably only saw only half of the 18 stages as they were scattered across all points of the island. It was a real DIY style performance where all the bands were playing through PAs in locations that ranged from the porch of a house (until the Parks people asked them to move to the front of the house), in various parking lots, in front of the old movie theater and in the middle of a field.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Brooklyn synth/funk space-rock band Chappo played a sweaty, high-energy set at a dance party at Dynasty Electric's loft earlier this month.
Chappo is playing one final local show next Saturday (June 26th) in support of their new EP "Plastique Universe" before heading out for a West Coast tour. The show is at House of Yes (342 Maujer St., Brooklyn, NY) and Chappo is playing with Tayisha Busay, Bad Brilliance and Planet Rump. This show is part of the Northside Festival and tickets are $10 (or $7 wearing glitter). The show flyer states "free Heineken & Southern Comfort while it lasts."
Here are Chappo's West Coast tour dates:
July 02, 2010 -- Cabin Tavern :: w/No-Fi Soul Rebellion, Camp Out, Boy Eats Drum Machine, Bellingham, WA
July 03, 2010 -- Winterland :: w/ Kindness Kind, Chyeah Chyeah, Zebra Mirrors, Bremerton, WA
July 04, 2010 -- Pablo's Sparkler Party, Moon City (PO), WA
July 06, 2010 -- TBA, Vancouver, BC, Canada
July 07, 2010 -- All Ages Hover Party-The Den at Urban Xchange Tacoma, Washington
July 08, 2010 -- Rendezvous-Jewelbox Theater :: w/ The Marrying Type, Low Places, Seattle, WA
July 09, 2010 -- Lunar Greek Party :: private - inquire within, Seattle, WA
July 10, 2010 -- Red Room :: w/Quintessentials, Fools Rush, Portland, OR
July 11, 2010 -- TBA, Portland, OR
July 13, 2010 -- Rotture w/ Very International Love and Serious Business, Portland, OR
July 15, 2010 -- TBA, Portland, OR
July 18, 2010 -- TBA, San Francisco, CA
July 21, 2010 -- Silverlake Lounge :: w/ Yellow Alex, Los Angeles, CA
July 22, 2010 -- The Tin Can :: w/TBA, San Diego, CA
July 24, 2010 -- Surfs Up Backyard Party, Los Angeles, CA
July 25, 2010 -- Gravity Echo Party, Los Angeles, CA
DOWNLOAD: The Organ Beats: "Shake A Leg" (AC/DC Cover) - Note: Requires Free Registration
The Organ Beats is the latest project from x-Damone guitarist/front-woman Noelle LeBlanc. The three piece band was formed in 2008 and consists of Noelle LeBlanc, her brother Danny and long-time friend Mikey C. The band's debut 9-track album Sleep When We Are Dead was recorded in the summer 2009 in their friends' small studio outside of Houston,TX over the course of 3 weeks.
Recently The Organ Beats released a cover of "Shake A Leg" by AC/DC in honor of the 30 year anniversary of Back in Black.
June 26th with Herra Terra @ Ralphs, Worcester, MA
July 9th with Herra Terra @ Matchless, Brooklyn, NY
July 16th with The Lights Out @ Middle East Upstairs, Boston, MA
July 23rd @ Tammany Hall, Worcester, MA
July 24th @ T.J.'s Pub, Manchester, NH
August 20th @ T.T. The Bear's Place, Boston, MA
The Organ Beats
Monday, June 14, 2010
"It smells like beer and children in here" -- Jenny Owens Young
Yesterday, American Laundromat Records hosted an all-ages benefit show for The Valerie Fund at Joe's Pub which featured Tanya Donelly, Jenny Owen Youngs and Julie Peel.
The Valerie Fund is a NYC-based charity that supports the comprehensive care of children with cancer and blood disorders. Established in 1976 in memory of nine-year-old Valerie Goldstein, The Valerie Fund Children’s Centers, located at 7 major hospitals, comprise one of the nation’s largest networks of health care facilities for children with cancer and blood disorders.
It was a great show for a great cause. It was also refreshing that none of the artists "dumbed down" their set to play to the kids in the audience. (Any adult who has every sat through a kid's show will know exactly what I mean.) Julie Peel kicked off the afternoon with a five song set that concluded with The Little Mermaid's "Under the Sea". After some face painting for the kids, Jenny Owens Young took the stage. She seemed a bit surprised to see so many small faces right at the edge of the stage looking up at her and made a crack about not playing songs about divorce and cancer. After her set, American Laundromat Records gave away prizes to all the kids. (It made my 6-year-old's day to get a pack of Silly Bands and a Webkinz Warthog.)
Tanya Donelly wrapped up the afternoon with a set that included duets with her daughter and friends and Julie Peel.
Here is the set list:
- Two songs that Tanya said she wrote for her kids (Titles unknown)
- Moon River
- Fly Me to the Moon
- Laluna The Loon
- Everythings Gonna Be Alright
- Heart of Gold (Neil Young cover with Julie Peel)
- Days of Grace
Jenny Owen Youngs
American Laundromat Records
DOWNLOAD: J Roddy Walston and The Business - "Don't Break The Needle"
DOWNLOAD: J Roddy Walston and The Business - "Brave Man's Death"
J Roddy Walston and The Business have a new digital EP out in advance of their self-titled full-length debut which is due out on July 27th (on Vagrant Records). The band will also be pressing limited edition 7” vinyl records with custom designed sleeves by J Roddy himself that will be available on their upcoming tour dates and on the Vagrant site in the coming weeks.
J Roddy Walston and The Business are playing a free summer party at The Bell House this Saturday. The show is sponsored by Rachael Ray and Snapple and includes The Detroit Cobras, Motel Motel and a slew of other bands. The show runs from 12PM - 5PM and J Roddy Walston is playing at 3PM.
J Roddy Walston and The Business
Sunday, June 13, 2010
PREMIERE: Bodega Girls - We Are Losers
Boston's Bodega Girls are releasing a new track tomorrow, "We Are Losers", as an exclusive free download via RcrdLbl.com. To mark the release, the band is playing a show on Thursday June 17 at Home Sweet Home (131 Chrystie Street) supporting Kid Sister.
BODEGA GIRLS, a band of tricksters, hedonists and good-for-nothings whose morals defy even the most perverted of human beings.
BODEGA GIRLS Only an audience so bloodthirsty and sex starved as they could take pleasure in the world of bra-busting, pants-dropping debauchery they have to offer.
BODEGA GIRLS A musical troupe performing acts of sexuality and persuasion with their own God-given instruments, turning on the already depraved, as well as the naive. ..
BODEGA GIRLS A sick cinematic slew of sweaty skimp and callous kink. An unadulterated penetration into the gaping hole of the sicko's soul...
BODEGA GIRLS The human id - illustrated in flesh and guitar strings. Hourglass figures and experienced fingers prance and wriggle their way across the stage, screen and into your psyche. An orgy of sleaze, desire, and rock and roll music - brought to life in bouncy, jiggly technicolor...
BODEGA GIRLS Hedonistic purveyors of Soul, too well endowed and too world renowned to be confined to lo rent clubs and white bred soundstages – look for their sonic ebony to explode at a party near you.
BODEGA GIRLS Dance. Fuck. Sweat. Dance some more
My Cousin, The Emperor Play the 'Ultimate Battle of the Boroughs' @ WNYC's The Greene Space on June 18th
DOWNLOAD: My Cousin, The Emperor - Live Acoustic Set @ Rockwood Music Hall, Jan. 5, 2010
DOWNLOAD: My Cousin, The Emperor - "Montevideo"
Brooklyn-based Americana band, My Cousin, The Emperor is playing WNYC's Battle of the Boroughs this Friday at The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street (on the corner of Charlton and Varick).
My Cousin, The Emperor is the latest project of North Carolina-to-Brooklyn transplant singer/songwriter Jason Reischel. Jason has joined forces with guitarist Terry Quire, bassist Chris Gogan and drummer Alex Wyatt and the band released their debut CD A Long Way From Home this past October. This new disc caught my ear right away as the band captures some musical styles that are atypical to indie alt-country. The disc starts with some 'Country R&B' tunes that are stylistically similar to work from Jools Holland and similar artists. From there, Jason Reischel takes the band into reverb-heavy melancholy that is very comparable to songs from artists like Chris Isaak and Roy Orbison. One of the real standout tracks on the disc is "Regalo La Flor" which is an old-school Sun Studio's style rockabilly rave-up.
Tickets for the show are $15 and the show starts at 7PM. The show is scheduled to run two hours and beer, wine and snacks are on the house.
My Cousin, The Emperor
Saturday, June 12, 2010
It is hard to let a Meshuggah CD slip through the cracks but I'm afraid that I did. This DVD/CD set came out in February on Nuclear Blast and documents the band's 2008-09 obZen World Tour.
I was only sent a copy of the CD for review so I can't comment on the DVD. The CD contains twelve of the twenty-three tracks on the DVD (strangely, in different order):
1. Begin (Outtakes)(DVD)
2. Perpetual Black Second (Tokyo)(CD/DVD)
3. Twenty Two Hours (Outtakes)(DVD)
4. Pravus (Tokyo)(CD/DVD)
5. Dissemination (Outtakes)(DVD)
6. Bleed (NYC)(CD/DVD)
7. Ritual (Outtakes)(DVD)
8. New Millennium Cyanide Christ (Montreal)(CD/DVD)
9. Cleanse (Outtakes)(DVD)
1. Stengah (Montreal)(CD/DVD)
11. The Mouth Licking What You ve Bled (Montreal)(CD/DVD)
12. Machine (Outtakes)(DVD)
13. Electric Red (Tokyo)(CD/DVD)
14. Solidarius (Outtakes)(DVD)
15. Rational Gaze (Tokyo)(CD/DVD)
16. Moment (Outtakes)(DVD)
17. Lethargica (Toronto)(CD/DVD)
18. Communicate (Outtakes)(DVD)
19. Combustion (Toronto)(CD/DVD)
2. Humiliative (Montreal)(CD/DVD)
21. Infinitum (Outtakes)(DVD)
22. Straws Pulled At Random (Toronto)(CD/DVD)
23. End (Outtakes)(DVD)
Meshuggah's strength has always been their live show so the CD doesn't disappoint. The performance on the disc comes from the band's show at the 2008 Loudpark Festival in Tokyo along with cuts from the band's North American run of shows last February. One of the tracks includes "Bleed" which was filmed at Irving Plaza.
Meshuggah is touring in Europe next month and here are the upcoming tour dates:
July 01, 2010 -- Peace & Love Festival, Borlänge, Sweden
July 02, 2010 -- Roskilde Festival, Roskilde, Denmark
July 09, 2010 -- Getaway Rock Festival, Gävle, The, Sweden
July 10, 2010 -- Sonisphere Festival, Madrid, Spain, Yes, Spain
July 16, 2010 -- Hegyalja Festival, Tokaj, Hungary, Same, Hungary
July 17, 2010 -- Zwarte Cross Festival, Lichtenvoorde, Netherlands, Guessing, Netherlands
July 30, 2010 -- Qstock Festival, Oulo, Finland
Order of Ennead - Video Interview with Guitarist Kevin Quirion // New Shows w/ Hate Eternal and Cannabis Corpse
Florida extreme metallers, Order of Ennead will be joining Hate Eternal and Cannabis Corpse for a limited run of the east coast this summer. Joining Order of Ennead on lead guitar at all dates will be the talented Shannon Hamm (Death, Control Denied).
Here are the dates:
6/12 Tampa, FL Brass Mug -- (no Hate Eternal, Cannabis Corpse)
** Note: Show features both John Li and Shannon on guitar
8/24 Atlanta, GA -- The Masquerade
8/25 Spartanburg, SC -- Ground Zero
8/26 Raleigh, NC Volume -- 11 Tavern
8/27 W. Springfield, VA -- Jaxx
8/28 Philadelphia, PA -- Polaris, Hostile City Death Fest (no Cannabis Corpse)
Order of Ennead is touring behind their second CD, An Examination of Being, which came out in April on Earache Records. The new disc was recorded at Audio Hammer Studios in Sanford, Florida with producer Mark Lewis (Trivium, Chimaira, All That Remains).
I had the opportunity to catch up with vocalist/guitarist Kevin Quirion when he was in town earlier in this spring to talk about the new album and this upcoming tour.
Order of Ennead
Friday, June 11, 2010
“This is a rare no-brainer tribute LP. Not only do the proceeds enrich the Valerie Fund, benefiting kids with cancer and rare blood disorders, but also musically it glows like a night-light.” – Jack Rabid (The Big Takeover)
Last night I had the pleasure of talking with one of my musical heroes - Tanya Donelly. She is coming to town on Sunday, June 13th to play a show at Joe's Pub which benefits the Valerie Fund. This show also marks the release of the CD Sing Me To Sleep; a disc of lullabies from a diverse range of artists that include Tanya Donelly, Julie Peel, Dean and Britta, Stars, The Leisure Society, Jenny Owen Youngs and more.
Here is a link to the MP3 of the interview with Tanya Donelly.
Please join us for a very special day of music to celebrate the release of Sing Me To Sleep on Sunday, June 13th (noon-2:30pm) at Joe’s Pub in NYC. During this child-friendly show, Tanya Donelly, Jenny Owen Youngs, and Julie Peel will perform their lullabies alongside many original favorites. We'll have special door prizes, and lots of fun stuff for everyone. All proceeds from this wonderful project are donated to The Valerie Fund, a non-profit organization that provides for the comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders. Buy tickets today! This is a rare musical experience for the whole family... and all for a very worthy cause. We hope to see you there!Links:
- American Laundromat Records
American Laundromat Records
DOWNLOAD: Chris Shiflett & the Dead Peasants - "Get Along" (CD out July 13th)
Long-time Foo Fighter guitarist Chris Shiflett is releasing his first solo CD (Le Coq Napoleon/RCA) on July 13th with his new side project The Dead Peasants.
Dialing back the arena rock sound of the Foo Fighters, Shiflett plays Americana-laced rock songs on his new disc. The album is chock-full of soulful pedal steel- and twang guitar-accented songs steeped in his longtime appreciation of classic country artists (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams), rockabilly (Gene Vincent, Elvis, Eddie Cochran), and deep-rooted rock bands (The Replacements, The Rolling Stones, X). This album also highlights his versatility and skill not only as a guitarist – showcasing his deft playing in an entirely new light – but also as a songwriter: the songs are some of the best, most realized that he’s written. Lyrically, the songs frequently deal with loss…Loss of love, as in the soulful, heavy, ballad-esque “God Damn”; in the chiming keys and buoyant, ringing guitars that belie the crestfallen relationship-gone-wrong of “Get Along”; and in the pedal steel, mandolin, and evocative guitar solo that underline the heartache on “Bandaged”…Or of life, as in the stirring, bluesy groove of “An Atheist’s Prayer”; the rueful slide guitar, country swing of “Death March”; and the spry, jaunty, Old 97s-ian “Baby, Let It Out”.
The album was recorded in December 2009/January 2010 at the Foo Fighters’ Studio 606 in Los Angeles, CA, with house engineer John Lousteau, who both engineered and handled the drums. Shiflett called upon friend Derek Silverman to play keyboards and the trio would become the core band for the recordings. Once the basic tracking was done, various instrumentation was added by a select group of esteemed players, including Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and The Imposters, Jenny Lewis, John Hiatt) on bass, Greg Leisz (Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Whiskeytown) on pedal steel, Stevie Blacke (Beck, Weezer, Colbie Caillat) on violin and mandolin, Eddie Perez (Dwight Yoakam) on guitar, and Audra Mae on backing vocals.
Chris is currently playing a few one-off shows in California prior to launching a full tour later this summer.
Monday, June 07, 2010
STREAM: Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere - "I Can't Stand It"
On June 15th soul men Steve Cropper (Booker T. and the MGs) and Felix Cavaliere (the Rascals) join forces for their second collaborative Stax Recording (via Concord Records) Midnight Flyer. Following up their critically acclaimed 2008 release Nudge It Up a Notch, guitarist Cropper and vocalist Cavaliere’s new album, Midnight Flyer, shows that the songwriting prowess of two titans of blue-eyed soul’s golden age is still going strong. Assisting with the songwriting throughout most of the album’s 12 tracks is drummer/percussionist/vocalist Tom Hambridge, who also lent a hand with the crafting of the previous album.
As part of Booker T. & the MGs — the house band for the Stax label in its original incarnation during the 1960s — Cropper co-wrote and produced classics by artists like Eddie Floyd (“Knock On Wood”), Wilson Pickett (“In the Midnight Hour”) and Otis Redding (“Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”). In subsequent decades, he lent his instrumental and production skills to a range of artists including Jeff Beck, the Blues Brothers, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and many others.
Cavaliere came to prominence in the mid-’60s as vocalist/keyboardist/songwriter for the Rascals (initially known as the Young Rascals). Cavaliere wrote and/or sang several of the band’s biggest hits, including “Good Lovin’” (1966), “Groovin’” (1967), “It’s a Beautiful Morning” (1968) and “People Got To Be Free” (1968). The phrase “blue-eyed soul” was coined during the Rascals’ heyday, due in large part to the group’s highly successful forays into R&B and soul — styles that had been developed and previously dominated by African-American artists.
Midnight Flyer, recorded in Nashville and mixed by producer David Z, is the follow-up to Nudge It Up a Notch, the 2008 debut release by Cropper and Cavaliere that scored critical acclaim from the music and mainstream press. The San Francisco Chronicle called Nudge It Up a Notch “an unexpected delight,” while Blues Wax heralded the project as “one of the great surprises of 2008, and further evidence of Concord’s genuine commitment to the revamped Stax imprint.”
Co-produced by Cropper, Cavaliere and Hambridge, Midnight Flyer captures and builds on the stylistic syngeries between Cropper and Cavaliere. The result is a range of styles and shades, from heartfelt ballads like “When You’re With Me” to the soul-charged “I Can’t Stand It,” a churning vocal duet featuring Cavaliere and his daughter Aria. “Sexy Lady” harkens back to the soul stylings of the ’70s, while the funky instrumental “Do It Like This” digs into a tight groove and makes plenty of room for Cropper’s tasty riff work to close out the set.
“The main thing we both take away from this record is how much fun we had making it,” says Cavaliere. “We may have used a lot of new technology that didn’t even exist when Steve and I were recording back in the day, but the songs themselves are still the most important part of the process, and we just had a blast writing and recording them. I think that spirit comes through on the record.”
1. You Give Me All I Need (3:35)
2. Midnight Flyer (2:47)
3. Now (3:23)
4. When You're With Me (3:07)
5. I Can't Stand It (2:30)
6. Chance with Me (3:23)
7. Move the House (3:28)
8. Sexy Lady (3:45)
9. Early Morning Riser (3:29)
10. All Night Long (2:56)
11. I Can't Stand the Rain (2:37)
12. Do It Like This (2:59)