Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
PR: Richard Wootton Publicity
This is another Ryan Adams & The Cardinals album, and the best yet. Clocking in around 40 minutes, it's also the shortest, but the most consistent. Some of the songs have been around for years. 'Off Broadway' first appeared on the unreleased 'Suicide Handbook' in 2001 and 'These Girls' used to be called 'Hey There Mrs. Lovely' and is even older.
The point is that while Adams has been a little short on quality control lately, with Easy Tiger it's as if he wants to show us that he can choose the right songs to create an album with a definite feel. The feel is of a comfortable, well-oiled band. 'Goodnight Rose' and 'Halloween Head' showcase the garage rock side of the Cardinals similar to 'Sweet Illusions' and it's a shame that side doesn't appear more. The rest of the album is all acoustic guitar and Adams reclaiming his crown as the 'Bummer King'. 'Two' is a beautiful lament with Sheryl Crow, 'Everybody Knows' has a great chorus about unrequited love and 'The Sun Also Sets' is a classic. While it's short on instantly gratifying hits, the songs reward repeated listens until you realise that this is his best album since Gold.
For fans of: Whiskeytown, Wilco, The Jayhawks
Stream Easy Tiger
Ryan Adams Didn’t Die. Now the Work Begins.
ONE afternoon, as Ryan Adams was recording his new album, “Easy Tiger” (Lost Highway), at Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village, the singer-songwriter Steve Earle dropped by to visit. Jimi Hendrix had built Electric Lady in the late 1960s, and Mr. Earle pointed out that “there are some good ghosts here.”
Read the rest of the artice
Thursday, June 21, 2007
(WARNER MUSIC TV)
I remember watching the Counting Crows live as Adam Duritz started into their breakthrough hit 'Mr Jones' he sang 'So you wanna be a rock'n'roll star, well listen now to what I say/ just get yourself and electric guitar and learn how to play'. I thought it was a pretty cool line but it was only
when I listened to California Dreaming that I realised he was singing the opening lines to The Byrds song of the same name. This feeling of familiarity and realisation happens constantly as you listen to this excellent compilation of the overlooked 'Larurel Canyon' era. The Grateful
Dead's "Truckin'" reveals where Ryan Adams stole his riffs, not to mention Gram Parsons and more obvious comparisons. In fact listening to the cream of L.A.'s seventies rock doesn't feel like an old CD because it is still echoing through bands like Wilco, Josh Rouse and much of the Americana scene. As an introduction to all the music you probably should have listened
to it's invaluable. 40 artists feature from Crazy Horse to little known genius of Judee Sill through Fleetwood Mac and some tracks never available before on compilations including James Taylor 'Fire & Rain', Eagles 'Witchy Woman' and Joni Mitchell 'Blue'. There are too many great songs to list but Buffalo Springfield, who are best remembered for giving Stephen Stills and Neil Young their first platform, stand out with their hit 'For What It's Worth' with its carefully calibrated understatement.
If you want a thorough education in an influential period of American music without buying
40 CDs then you needn't look any further than California Dreaming.
For fans of: Any modern singer-songwriter
|1. So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star - Byrds (1)|
|2. Creeque Alley - Mamas & The Papas|
|3. For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield|
|4. Love The One You're With - Stills, Stephen|
|5. I Don't Want To Talk About It - Crazy Horse|
|6. Fire And Rain - Taylor, James (1)|
|7. Blue - Mitchell, Joni|
|8. Sweet Surrender - Buckley, Tim|
|9. Mama Told Me Not To Come - Newman, Randy|
|10. Love Has No Pride - Raitt, Bonnie|
| See all 20 tracks on this disc |
|1. Take It Easy - Browne, Jackson|
|2. Witchy Woman - Eagles (1)|
|3. Sin City - Flying Burrito Brothers|
|4. Return Of The Grievous Angel - Parsons, Gram|
|5. Border Town - Souther-Hillman-Furay|
|6. Werewolves Of London - Zevon, Warren|
|7. When The Ship Comes In - Guthrie, Arlo|
|8. Road To Cairo - Ackles, David|
|9. Summer Breeze - Seals & Crofts|
|10. Long Train Runnin' - Doobie Brothers|
|See all 20 tracks on this disc|
ZEITGEIST (Martha's Music/Reprise) features the first single "Tarantula," now positioned at #3 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart and #10 on the publication's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart after arriving at radio only a few weeks ago. ZEITGEIST represents a powerful rebirth and reaffirmation of THE SMASHING PUMPKINS by two of its key members, main singer-songwriter and guitarist Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. But what about James Iha? I always thought he was the solid rock of the Pumpkins
Date: City: Venue:
6/23 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
6/24 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
6/26 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
6/27 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
6/29 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
6/30 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
7/02 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
7/03 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
7/05 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
7/07 - E. Rutherford, NJ - Live Earth, Giants Stadium
7/15 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
7/16 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
7/18 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
7/22 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
7/24 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
7/25 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
7/27 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
7/28 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
7/30 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
7/31 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
8/01 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
8/05 - Washington, DC - V Festival at Pimlico Park
8/17 - Hasselt, Belgium - Kempische Steenweg Kiewit
8/24 - Leeds, England - Leeds Festival
8/26 - Reading, England - Reading Festival
8/29 - Athens, Greece - Terra Vibe Park
9/01 - Istanbul, Turkey - Hezarfen Airfield
9/08 - Montreal, QC - V Festival
9/09 - Toronto, ON Toronto - Island Park
This Friday, June 22, tomorrow in fact, Queens of the Stone Age will be the featured artist on the Henry Rollins Show. At 11pm on 6/22, QOTSA will be performing "Misfit Love", so tune into IFC for that.
Watch the online exclusive performance of "Battery Acid":
As an added bonus, there's a video interview of Josh, Joey, and Taylor explaining the thinking behind naming the album Era Vulgaris, what it means to be serious, Black Flag, and other random topics:
Also, check it: more confirmed dates on the "Duluth" tour, including that coveted spot with Rage at Alpine Valley. Tickets on sale now:
July 23rd - Bakersfield, CA - The Dome
August 5th - Louisville, KY - Coyote's
(Tickets go on sale Saturday, June 23rd at 10am local time)
August 24th - East Troy, WI - Alpine Valley Music Theatre
(Appearing with Rage Against The Machine!)
The Duluth Tour
7/22 - Costa Mesa, CA - OC Fair
7/23 - Bakersfield, CA - The Dome
2/24 - Chico, CA - Senator Theater
7/25 - Eugene, OR - McDonald Theater
7/27 - Boise, ID - The Big Easy
7/28 - Missoula, MT - Wilma Theater
7/29 - Billings, MT - Shire Auditorium
7/31 - Fargo, ND - Playmaker's
8/01 - Duluth, MN - DECC Arena
8/04 - Indianapolis, IN - Egyptian Room
8/05 - Louisville, KY - Coyote's
8/07 - Memphis, TN - New Daisy Theater
8/08 - Little Rock, AR - The Village
8/10 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Bathroom
8/11 - Oklahoma City, OK - Diamond Ballroom
8/24 - East Troy, WI - Alpine Valley Music Theatre
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Ryan Adams: 2007-05-15, Glenside [mp3,ogg,flac]
"The Sun Also Sets" [mp3]
Ryan Adams: 2006-07-23, Charlottesville [mp3,ogg,flac]
"Love Satellite" [mp3]
Ryan Adams: 2005-06-05, Norfolk [mp3,ogg,flac]
"Magnolia Mountain" [mp3]
Ryan Adams: 2001-05-09, Leicester [mp3,ogg,flac]
"Dear Chicago" [mp3]
Ryan Adams: 2001-04-25, Stockholm [mp3,ogg,flac]
"Dreams of a Working Class Clown" [mp3]
other music blog posts: @lhb @hype @elbo.ws | @myspace
Plus, WXPN is streaming Ryan Adams' Friday June 15 World Cafe performance from Philidelphia.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
This morning I got my copy of Easy Tiger through the door. First impressions? Well Ryan has always threatened to make another great record, and this could be it. There are about two tracks (and one of those is a bonus track) that don't really grab me, but the rest seem great. A couple have appeared on unreleased demo recordings that you may have heard, like "Off Broadway" and "These Girls"
Anyway, stay tuned, more soon.
Friday, June 15, 2007
(ONE LITTLE INDIAN)
RELEASE: 4 JUNE 2007
Following up from her well-received 2004 debut "Scissors In My Pocket", Polly Paulusma continues where she left off delievering ten warm guitar pop songs with her signature husk of a voice. Fingers & Thumbs is the melancholic diary of a depressing and frustrating journey of miscarriages and false starts as Polly and her husband tried for a child. There is light at the end of the tunnel as baby Valentine was finally conceived during rehearsals and born at the final mixing. Production is uninventive but the songs are heartfelt with good melodies that makes for enjoyable, if not groundbreaking listening.
Download: Back To The Start, Where I'm Coming From
For fans of: Maria Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Gemma Hayes
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Check this out for a novel idea. The White Stripes have created 3,333 limited edition usb drives filled with their new album, Icky Thump.
You can order one here from The White Stripes web store :
There's also more limited edition shenanigans with pre-orders for Icky Thump in CD and LP format. For a limited time, orders for the CD will include a free set of 3 button badges. The LP is double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve and is pressed on 180 Gram vinyl and for a limited time will come with a custom peppermint turntable slip mat. There is also a very limited-edition pressing of the "Icky Thump" single on 12-inch 180 gram vinyl with an etching on the B-side. Only 300 were pressed. Limit one per order.
so if you're a fan get moving, if not, you could make a profit on e-bay.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Saturday June 9, 2007
Capricious as ever, Adams repays it tonight with a short, downbeat set devoid of his notorious pugnacity and, by extension, a sense of event. That's the effect of a year of sobriety - his extraordinarily expressive voice may be reaping the benefit in the form of greater clarity, but gone are the surreal asides and entertaining flightiness.
Adams's setlists are traditionally dissected on fan websites, which complain that he failed to play this or that favourite; tonight, he omits all of his UK chart singles in favour of a sedate preview of Easy Tiger and random catalogue picks. The clip-clopping slowness of everything except a tense I See Monsters and the sparkling newbie String of Pearls ultimately robs the show of impact, but doesn't for a moment hide his considerable talent.------------------------------
Oh My God, Whatever, Etc.
The Sun Also Sets
I Taught Myself How To Grow Old
Pearls On A String
Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd.
How Do You Keep Love Alive?
I See Monsters
My Winding Wheel
Down In A Hole
Saturday, June 09, 2007
OFFLINE LISTENING PARTIES:
For those folks living the urban life, check out these listening parties:
June 3rd, 2007
Starlight Drive-In (2000 Moreland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316)
Los Angeles, CA
Monday, June 11th, 2007
The Woods, 1533 La Brea, Hollywood, CA
Monday, June 11th, 2007
Fat City, 314 11th Street, San Francisco
Monday, June 11th, 2007
The Liars Club,1665 W. Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL
Monday, June 11th, 2007
Neumo's 925 E Pike St Seattle, WA 98122
Monday, June 11th, 2007
The Cavern,1914 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206
Monday, June 11th, 2007
Fletcher's Bar, 701 S. Bond St, Baltimore, MD 21231
New York, NY
Monday, June 11th, 2007
Retox Rock Bar, 511 W. 28th St, NY, NY 10001
Friday, June 08, 2007
Still, have a listen on their Myspace site.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I think the comparisons with Sigur Ros are due to the atmosphere A Fine Frenzy create in their songs, artful piano and reverb perfectly accompany Alison's strong melodious voice. The three tracks, Rangers (listen to it here) show off different sides of A Fine Frenzy. The single is a beautiful verse chorus affair, perhaps surpassed by the soulful "Almost Lover". Third track "The Well" features a hypnotic piano arrangement and works well as the closer to the mini mini album.
If this is anything to go by, I can't wait to hear the debut, One Cell In The Sea, out soon. She's touring with Rufus Wainwright, Magic Numbers, Neko Case and Sean Lennon - check her out.
EXCLUSIVE New video - "Almost Lover" live
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Check out these two Smashing Pumpkins videos. One is from the Smashing Pumpkins show in Paris on May 22nd, 2007 and the other is a great highlight reel of past and present. The live video features the song "Tarantula" from their forthcoming album, Zeitgeist.
LIVE IN PARIS:
higher res version
SMASHING PUMPKINS SIZZLE REEL:
Here's a big more info on the new album and an interview by David Wild conducted in Chicago, April 2007.
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS - 'ZEITGEIST'
This second coming of the Pumpkins is also one of those rare examples of actual truth in 21st Century Advertising. Two years ago-- on the release date of his first solo album--Corgan made headlines around the alternative rock universe by taking out ads in his hometown papers the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, an open letter publicly declaring his desire and intention to try "renewing and reviving" the Smashing Pumpkins. "I want my band back," he wrote, "and my songs, and my dreams."
More than two years later--much of it spent working closely together first in Scottsdale, Arizona and later in Los Angeles--Corgan and Chamberlin have managed to make good and then some on every line of Corgan's declaration of non-independence. Right from the thrilling yet apocalyptic opening notes of "Doomsday Clock" to the final resounding chords of "Pomp And Circumstances," Zeitgeist is quite clearly the sound of a rock group that has been emphatically renewed and revived and is now ready to embrace and further its musical legacy.
This return of the Smashing Pumpkins has been a meaningful if sometimes challenging easy trip from newspaper ad to musical reality. "Actually it's been a different journey than I had anticipated," Corgan admits. "You can intellectually figure what it's going to be like, but until you actually have the experience you don't know. For me, this has been an overwhelming experience."
"I had advance knowledge of Billy's ad, so I wasn't shocked," says Chamberlin. "But it was a real turning point in my life. It was an opportunity for Billy and I to re-solidify our relationship that never really went away. We were really always friends and partners through both our individual solo projects. So it really made musical sense and spiritual sense. It was a way to make a statement that we're not going to make excuses; we're just going to do what we do. If you like it, you like it. If not, we're still going to do it. It was a very freeing thing to read."
For Corgan, the decision to revive the Smashing Pumpkins one way or another was a way of reclaiming his musical birthright. "When I said 'I want my band back,' I realized that I'd taken the best, proudest thing that I'd ever done and chucked it out a window and tried to build a new castle to live in. And in doing so, I took away every advantage of the one that I had built. Fundamentally, I asked myself, 'Why build a new persona when Pumpkins was meant to include all the personas?' No matter what, I had to explain myself versus the Titanic symbol of what the band represented even if it wasn't realistic. So I just thought I want my Superman costume outfit back, my Zero outfit or whatever, and just going back to being that person that I'm at peace with."
As the record shows, the Smashing Pumpkins have created one of the most acclaimed bodies of work in music history. Formed in Chicago in 1988, they released Gish, their influential (and platinum) debut in 1991, which was followed by more platinum and multi-platinum albums including the nine-times platinum Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness and the four-times platinum Siamese Dream. The pivotal group's many hits include "Disarm," "Today," "Cherub Rock," "1979," "Tonight, Tonight" and "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"--songs that defined the alternative music era and continue to resonate on modern rock radio, influencing a whole new generation.
Despite overtures to the other longstanding members of the Smashing Pumpkins-D'Arcy Wretzky and James Iha--it soon became clear that Corgan and Chamberlin would have to go it alone together. In an attempt to get away and focus on this considerable challenge, the pair took up residence in Scottsdale to get down to work in November of 2005.
According to Chamberlin, "We immediately realized that Pumpkins wasn't something you just pick up and start recording again. We came to a lot of conclusions in the first three weeks of playing together including the fact that the sum total of Pumpkins is the result of lots and lots of work. We set about re-identifying what was great about the band, re-languaging some of the music of the past, inventing new ways to play new Pumpkins that still sounded like the Pumpkins, but didn't sound like old Pumpkins. It was very difficult at first. There was a lot of time when we were scratching our head, looking at each other, going 'Can we even do this?'"
The answer, ultimately, was that indeed they could. "At some point about a month and a half in, we started turning a corner and the songs really started reflecting how we were feeling as opposed to trying to go back and recapture some kind of fire, we were rekindling a new fire, " Chamberlin explains. "When that started happening it became a very joyous experience. We had a vision and we had a way to achieve the vision-and then we were off to the races."
Chamberlin and Corgan were joined for some days at the races by the two men who helped them produce the album. "We worked with Roy Thomas Baker of Queen, Cars and Foreigner fame and Terry Date of Pantera and Rob Zombie and other sundry metal," says Corgan. "Roy is somebody whose name we had bandied about before but we thought he might be out of touch, so it never came to fruition. We'd always heard these crazy rumors that he's out of his mind. Roy came to Scottsdale and he was great so we ended up working with him. It was the right time. Then we were working with another famed rock producer who ended up being a total flame-out. He didn't even last 48 hours in our little intense world. So we called Terry and he ended up helping. But ironically, even though Roy and Terry were involved, we ended up producing ourselves mostly because of our twin mentality."
"We took the long road and not everybody understands the long road nowadays," Corgan continues. "And with only the two of us, tracking took a lot longer. Roy was really the only person who really auteured the record in a way, almost just by his mere presence and that's because he's not intimidated by anything-he's seen it all, done it all. You say something about throwing a piano off a building to Roy, and he says 'Oh, I've tried that. Once. And the sad part is that it didn't sound that good'. That's Roy. It's mind-boggling what it takes to get him off."
Another significant contributor to Zeitgeist was artist Shepard Fairey--best known for his Andre The Giant street art--whose striking album cover suggests some of the simultaneously uplifting and sinking feelings of the modern world. "Like a great artist can do, Shepard had summed up very simply a lot of complex themes. He also used the type font from our very first single, and I asked him about it and he had no idea. He was just on point."
Corgan and Chamberlin are now on point to bring the band to life on the road. Their May 22 Paris show will be the first Smashing Pumpkins show since December 2, 2000. "We put a band together that's really amazing," Chamberlin says. "We went through a lot of growing pains finding musicians and people who had the same kind of musicianship. I did a lot of the auditions myself while Billy was doing the overdubs on the album, and what I gravitated to was even more spirit than talent. When I found the right two people, it was very obvious."
After the long haul of recording Zeitgeist, Corgan seems very at peace with the decision to proceed. "There have been different roads you could take. There's the much-vaunted reunion road where people do not speak, but because there's money to be made, they play but hate each other. We were very open to the idea of our former bandmates playing, but only under the circumstance of love of music, and love of playing new music. If those criteria weren't present, then they weren't going to be involved. Moving forward it really has to be about what the music asks of us."
For Corgan and Chamberlin, working as a duo on Zeitgeist has only brought more depth to a musical partnership-one that was tested by Chamberlin's past personal problems and his subsequent firing from the band in 1996. "It taught us a lot of deep, hard lessons about life and about what matters," Chamberlin says now. "Through our so-called estrangement I never felt a total disconnect with Billy. For us to have gone through what we've gone through--me personally and him personally...My publicized life aside, there were things we went through that people don't know about-Billy's mother's passing, my mother and father's passing, it's all really brought us together."
"I've been continually humbled by the relationship," Corgan adds. "You have this thing you do together that remotely sounds like what people identify as sounding like the Smashing Pumpkins. When you think of all the energy that's been created off that gift between us, that's a staggering thing. We could sit here and wax rhapsodic about why that is, but the truth is we have no clue why when we play together something seems to happen. And it doesn't mean we can't have great moments with other people, but we consistently seem to go to some other place together."
For now, both men express excitement to get to visit--and even reside--in that other place--that Pumpkins place--again.
"It's an absolute joy," says Corgan. "In all candor, there are some songs I haven't played in 13 years and I'm the kind of person who can't lie about it. If I hated playing those songs, I would tell you. I'm loving being in a great place to represent this music. We want to play this music, and we appreciate that you want to hear it. And even if you don't we can respect that. We've come out of the fire of it all, and we're tough enough to go from here."
"It's amazing," adds Chamberlin. "What's amazing is the pure physicality, the primal instinct behind what we did back then-how our conviction was so much stronger than our intuition. It gives me a deep appreciation of myself as a young man and Billy as a young man--and for how unashamedly we pursued our craft and continue to do so."
"It's surprisingly fun," Corgan says with a visible smile. "That's not a word you normally associate with us, but it's fun."
Friday, June 01, 2007
It's based on the Robert Graysmith books about the real life notorious Zodiac, a serial killer who terrorized San Francisco with a string of seemingly random murders during the 1960s and 1970s. It follows Jack Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko) as Graysmith, a cartoonist for the San Fransisco Chronicle who working in the news room becomes obsessed with the unsolved and cryptic murders of the Zodiac. As his obsession takes over, his relationships, children and everything else in his life gives way to the hunt for the killer.
At 158 mins, it takes the time needed to properly develop the story. The 70s period is reconstructed authentically, and some of the camera work is sublime. In all, a highly enjoyable, thrilling film. Go see it.