Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Stills

Candian rockers the Stills are this month's Ignition artists on the Zune Marketplace. Head to the Marketplace to download an exclusive free track of their original song demo "Snow in California [demo]", originally the B-side on the single "Being Here" from the band's latest 2008 release 'Oceans Will Rise'. In addition to the exclusive Ignition track, fans can discover what the Stills have in common with Wu Tang Clan (hint: has to do with GZA), and see the band's hand-picked Guestlist collection, which includes an eclectic mix of tunes from indie-rock cohorts Kings of Leon to metal legends Pantera to afrobeat Orchestra Baobab.

Download the free track "Snow In California [demo]" here:

Check out the Stills on here:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

U2 unseen photographs

The Guardian has a wonderful
collection of previously unseen U2 photographs
from the forthcoming book- U2: A Diary by Matt McGee. It charts the bands history from their first gig

to the Vertigo tour:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ryan Adams on BBC Radio 2

more Ryan Adams stuff - this time listen to their live performance on BBC Radio 2, Dermot O'Leary show. Listen to it here It's in the third hour so you can fastforward.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CD Review - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Cardinology

A little late, but here it is, my verdict on the new record. Is anyone going to the Cambridge Corn Exchange show this weekend, if so I'll see you there!



Cardinology, Ryan's fourth official band record is a statement of intent - full on classic rock. That the supporting tour is billed as The Cardinals featuring Ryan Adams is yet more evidence that Ryan wants to leave the solo efforts of "Heartbreaker" and "Gold" behind.

So how does it sound? Well first of all, this album is a grower. Don't expect another "New York New York" or "La Ciegna" here. The Cardinals are continuing the sound developed over previous albums but this time with a louder, more electric garage band feel.

It starts strong. On the opening three songs the Cardinals line up the hits and knock them down. "Born Into A Light" with it's catchy acoustic guitar riff, thedesperate love song "Go Easy" and the single "Fix It" are as good as anything Ryan has produced since "Gold".

After this the album moves onto rocky ground. "Magick" is a sad reminder of the dark, dumb days of Rock 'N' Roll and "Cobwebs" has that terrible over-used line "If I fall will you catch me?". But there are chinks of light - "Let us down easy" and "Crossed Out Name" find the Cardinals on fine form.

Cardinology is a missed opportunity. With a little more quality control it could have been a great album. The patchy second half spoils an album that promised so much. Yet after some repeated listensCardinology, despite it's flaws, is charming and a worthy addition to the Ryan Adams/Cardinals canon.

For fans of: The Grateful Dead, Drive By Truckers, Wilco
Download: Fix It, Go Easy, Let Us Down Easy
Rating: 7/10

Listen now (mp3)
Go Easy
Born Into A Light

Another Cardinology review

This time from the Guardian

Clean, sober and subdued, Adams is clearly behaving himself. He throws no infuriating/exhilarating curveballs on his 10th album, instead offering a tight collection of country-rock that is suffused with a vague spirituality. However, the smattering of pearls, notably 'Let Us Down Easy' and 'Crossed Out Name', can't disguise the general absence of sparkle.
Rating: 3/5

Justice - a documentary


The French DJ duo, Justice are releasing a documentary about their 3 week tour of America entitled "A Cross The Universe" The documentary will be released Decemeber 9th on Atlantic Records.

During the 18 months the Grammy-nominated French duo Justice spent touring following the release of their monumental debut LP, multi-award winning directors and intimate friends of the band, Romain Gavras ("Stress" director) and So-Me ("D.A.N.C.E.", "DVNO") taped every second of that 3 week tour that looks like it lasted 3 years. This documentary ain't about how cool Justice's live show is (the bonus CD is here for that), but is all about the extraordinary things that can happen when a bunch of frogs gets dropped in dreamy America.

This live CD + DVD release will include recordings of Justice's signature headbanging live sets along with show footage and various hijinks captured as the band toured the US in March 2008. Screenings of the film will be held in each city around the DJ sets late October.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cardinology reviews

Well Rolling Stone loves it, so does BBC 6 Music, but Pitchfork hates it, giving Cardinology a score of 4.7/10.

I have to disagree with the BBC 6 Music review though. Chiefly because the reviewer sites that he cannot tell whether it is a solo or a Cardinals record. Probably because Easy Tiger was a Cardinals record but that label wouldn't allow Ryan to put the Cardinals name on it. Cardinology is, as the name would suggest, definately a band record. There are big electric guitars, even some solos, lots of harmonies from the band and feels quite different to his solo work (granted Easy Tiger had a lot more solo songs on it than Cardinology).

I'm going to post my review tonight, but my one sentance synopsis is, first half great, second half not so great.

Born Into A Light

Sufjan Stevens - Welcome Wagon

So what is Sufjan doing with himself I wondered? It's been too long since 2005's Illinoise. Where are the other 48 states in his project?

Turns out he's been producing Asthmatic Kitty's new signing - the Welcome Wagon - whose debut, Welcome to the Welcome Wagon, is released December 9. Sufjan Stevens produced, arranged, and provided "extensive instrumentation" on the duo's new disc. Comprised of Presbyterian pastor the Reverend Thomas Vito Aiuto and his wife Monique, the Welcome Wagon craft what AK calls "a genre of gospel music that is refreshingly plain."

Welcome to the Welcome Wagon:

01 Up on a Mountain
02 Sold! To the Nice Rich Man
03 Unless the Lord the House Shall Build
04 He Never Said a Mumblin' Word
05 Hail to the Lord's Anointed
06 But for You Who Fear My Name
07 American Legion
08 You Made My Day
09 Half a Person
10 Jesus
11 I Am a Stranger
12 Deep Were His Wounds, and Red

MP3: The Welcome Wagon: Sold! To the Nice Rich Man [from the forthcoming Welcome to the Welcome Wagon LP]

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals Vinyl

That is the cover of the vinyl edition of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals' Cardinology, out now in the States from Lost Highway and due November 10 in the UK from Mercury Records Ltd. The first pressing of the wax finds the disc pressed into red translucent vinyl and accompanied by a download card (U.S. only), a bonus 7", 17 postcards from the current tour, and a lyric book and limited-edition t-shirt both designed by graphic novelist Leah Hayes (who also designed the alternate cover you see above.)
Also, reorders for Ryan's book, Infinity Blues, start shipping next month from Akashic Press, with the official publication date set at April 1 of next year. On the Akashic site, the collection of poetry and fiction is described as "the jewel of my life's work" by Adams.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


After months of procrastination I've finally got a wireless router. I went for the Apple AirPort Express, and I love it already. Why - well apart from being a superfast router, and super small, it has AirTunes out of the box. AirTunes is the ability to stream your music over your wireless network. So I sit here typing with my iTunes open, and it streams the music over to my big stereo on the other side of the room, without any wires. What prevents me from listening to the music on my iTunes library more is that I don't like the sound from my tinny laptop speakers, but now it's coming through the stero with as much richness and bass as an mp3 can muster. Plus Heather can now listen to all my music on her computer and educate herself. I can listen to her wide selection of Christmas music and vegetales songs. Great. It was a breeze to set up and works perfectly.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008



Breathe. At last, the right man has won. I just read this at Huffington Post

"we would die of grief if Barack Obama didn't win, and to make sure he did win we held our breaths.

We held our breaths through the conventional wisdom:

Hillary was a done deal. Barack Obama would have to raise his energy level or else. The country would never elect someone so professorial. The Bradley effect was alive and well. Obama was Michael Dukakis all over again. The Reverend Wright was a catastrophic mistake. Michelle Obama was too angry. There would be an October surprise. Israel would bomb Iran. Osama bin Laden would make a videotape. There would be a dirty bomb in a suitcase. Those women from PUMA might matter. The vice-presidential candidate never makes a difference. Obama should have picked Hillary instead. A pitbull in lipstick. Lipstick on a pig. Obama should never have gone to Berlin. Obama should never have gone on vacation to Hawaii. Twemty-seven per cent of the American people thought he was a Muslim. The Republicans would rig the voting machines in Ohio. Everything depended on Pennsylvania. America would never elect a black president.

By the end of the summer we were drained, we were spent, we were maxed out. Then the economy crashed. At that point it was over, but we didn't know it: we continued to hold our breaths through the debates. But the country had made up its mind and the debates didn't matter at all.

Tonight, at eleven o'clock, the endless election ended. It was divine. It was amazing. It was (depending on what commentator you were watching) either "an" historic event, or "a" historic event. And we can breathe again."

Read the full post here