Monday, December 27, 2010

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - III/IV

How did this pass me by? Did you know that there was a (or rather two) new Ryan Adams and The Cardinals album?

The double CD, III/IV is out now.

Will have more later

Friday, October 22, 2010

New U2 album this Spring?

Apparently the next U2 album, Songs Of Ascent may be coming sooner, rather than later. According to Paul McGuinness it could be before May, when the next North American tour starts.


You can get plenty of rumours about it here at @U2

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz - Review

Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
(Asthmatic Kitty - 2010)

So at long last a new Sufjan record. We feared it may never come. Sufjan had hinted before that he didn’t see the point in writing songs any more. He had moved into grand orchestral compositions (the BQE - a whole record about a road), and guesting and arranging on many albums (including The National - High Violet).

No, The Age of Adz is not another 50 states album. That was enough of a millstone to hang around one’s neck. He never intended to complete the project anyway, it was all for press.

So what is it? Well first the good news - it is songs in the usual sense of the word - verse chorus verse (almost). But the (perhaps) bad news is that it’s all electronic. Gone are the acoustic instruments and in are the drum loops, instead we are treated to verse, chorus, bridge, backbeat. Gated reverb. Autotune. Space echo.

It’s all inspired, not by an american state, but by the apocalyptic paintings of outsider artist Royal Robertson (1930-1997), whose work is used for the album cover and interior design. As such it features a song about snake-skinned aliens descending from the skies. Sufjan appropriately locks himself in the toilet before erupting in religious fervour: "I must do the right thing! Get right with the Lord!"

This reference is interesting. Sufjan is adored by evangelicals as he has in the past created beautiful songs depicting Abraham, the Transfiguration and death on a cross (To Be Alone With You). However on this album, (I Want To Be Well) full of his trademark sincerity he uses an expletive, screaming “I’m not f**king around”. I’m sure he’s not but it will be interesting to see what reaction this provokes amongst some quarters.

But the new record - The Age of Adz - is it good? Should you buy it? How does it compare to the timeless brilliance of Illinois?

Well the answers to those are probably:
1 - Yes, in places brilliant, in others not so much.
2 - It’s a Sufjan record. Of course.
3 - Different, at least at first glance.

It opens with “Futile Devices”, a delicate hushed guitar song which was just what the doctor ordered, nothing scary there. Next up is the standout track of the album - “Too Much”. Sufjan, reckoning that he’s got you to track 2 without too much issue decides to make a statement of intent. Drum loops roll, synth go, layer upon layer - check. It sounds different to the previous records since Enjoy Your Rabbit but it is simply painting the same painting with a different colour. At the heart of the song is a good melody, a catchy hook, and trademark backing vocals. It’s a great song.

The Age of Adz is characteristically a very clever album. As we have come to expect the tracks are full of great syncopation, rising layers and terrific melodies but it is intentionally challenging listening in places. Think of listened to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Wilco) it takes quite a few listens to get past the distracting beeps and bops and to find the songwriting at the centre. It ends with “Impossible Soul “ a 25-minute piece, that amalgamates elements of folk, hip hop and anything else Sufjan could find on the recording studio floor.

I Walked, is another example, it opens with a drum loop and keyboard, but proceeds to tell a delicate story. The whole album deals with the personal and primal: love, sex, death, disease, illness, anxiety and suicide conveyed not obliquely, but with urgency and immediacy. Perhaps it is easier to speak of such things with a loud drum loop over the top.

Good artists challenge you, to follow them, to move, not to rest on what is comfortable. Sufjan does this, and I’m glad he does but, am I the only one disappointed that there isn’t more banjo?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sufjan Stevens - Listen to the Age of Adz

Here is a Tuesday Treat for you all. For a limited time you can listen to the entirety of the forthcoming Sufjan Stevens record - the Age of Adz - for free.

To do so, courtesy of NPR click here:

And if you don't have time for that check out the Single - Too Much. This was the song that Sufjan has been airing on his recent tours. 
Too Much (Short Version)

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Due out Sept 28th and streaming in full here

Ben Folds used to be a great artist. Perhaps he still is, but somehow he seems to have lost his way for a bit. I remember when every college dorm seemed to be playing Whatever and Ever Amen.

He's back, this time with Lonely Avenue, a collaboration with English novelist Nick Hornby. Lonely Avenue will be released September 28 on Nonesuch Records. The album features music and vocals by Folds and lyrics by Hornby, with string arrangements by one of the most influential pop string arrangers of all time, Paul Buckmaster (David Bowie, Elton John, Leonard Cohen).

Apparently it's been made made specifically to be listened to on vinyl. It was recorded on 2-inch tape and will be available on audiophile-grade vinyl, cut with the Direct Metal Master process at Abbey Road Studios and pressed at Pallas Manufacturing in Diepholz, Germany. Don't worry you can still download it or get a CD.

The idea to create an album of Folds' unique pop songwriting sensibilities with Hornby's insightful prose was conceived during a dinner conversation between the two friends one night in 2009. After that, Hornby began regularly emailing lyrics to Folds, who then turned them into Lonely Avenue's 12 musical short stories. The songs touch on subject matter ranging from a mother with a child in the hospital over New Years Eve to the work of Doc Pomus, lyricist of countless `50s and `60s pop hits.

Ben Folds first found mainstream success as the leader of the critically acclaimed platinum selling Ben Folds Five. He has gone on to have a very successful solo career, recording three studio albums in addition to a pair of records documenting his renowned live performances and a remix record. Folds also recently released Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella!, a collection of his songs performed by college groups. In 2009 Folds was featured as a judge on NBC's a capella competition The Sing Off (a role he will reprise later this year on the show's second season), and earlier this year Folds' viral Chatroulette video became a YouTube sensation, garnering almost five million views when he joined a video chat with an unsuspecting online companion live during a show in Charlotte, NC. Folds previously collaborated with Hornby on a song for the Folds-produced William Shatner album, Has Been, which the Huffington Post called "one of the few records in recent memory that dared to tell the unvarnished truth about the human condition." In addition he has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, the Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart, and four sold out nights with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

John Lennon - Gimmie Some Truth

Click here to see the cover art


It's coming up to John Lennon's 70th birthday. Unfortunately he isn't with us to celebrate it but to mark the occassion Yoko Ono has overseen eight remastered John Lennon solo albums and new titles including Double Fantasy Stripped Down, Power To The People: The Hits, Gimme Some Truth, and the John Lennon Signature Box.

It's about a year since the Beatles remasters so just in time for the holiday season the deluxe 11CD and digital John Lennon Signature Box includes 13 previously unreleased home recordings, and Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, and Julian Lennon have each
written personal essays for the lavish collection.

there will be more coming on this shortly.

Official Website of John Lennon

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sufjan Stevens - Heirloom - Update - new song!

Heirloom, from the All Delighted People EP is named this week by Pitchfork amongst the Best New Music.

Read the review and listen to the track here

You can also listen to a whole host of Sufjan music for free at his Bandcamp site here


you can now grab The Age of Adz's fourth track, "I Walked", over at Sufjan's Bandcamp The five-minute-long tune is a beat-heavy, dub-leaning mid-tempo cut, complete with soaring vocals and some added guitar lines, as well as Sufjan's always-nimble vocals. Sufjan fans, go forth!

Bandcamp site
Get it on Pitchfork

New Sufjan Stevens record!!

At last! A new, song based record from Sufjan.

It's been way way too long since the wonderful Illinois record in 2005. After prancing around with intellectual side projects Sufjan Stevens has finally decided to bring us a proper new record.

In typical Sufjan 'I like to be different' Stevens style it is called The Age of Adz and features kind of ancient myan artwork depicting aliens on the cover. It is inspired by the apocalyptic paintings of outsider artist Royal Robertson (1930-1997), whose work is used for the album cover, interior design, and as general inspiration for the tone of the album.

There was a bit of worry that Sufjan really wouldn't record another album. He set off on his 50 states project making two breathtaking records for Michigan and Illinois and then nothing. Recently he was comissioned to write a sound track for a film about the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway motorway in new york. It was a long orchestral composition after which he said, to our dismay in a 2009 interview ""I definitely feel like, 'What is the point? What's the point of making music anymore?'" Stevens told Exclaim magazine. "I feel that the album no longer has a stronghold or has any real bearing any more."

But, fear not brave Sufjan fans he is back. The Age of Adz (pronounced Odds) will be released on Asthmatic Kitty records on October 12th (CD, MP3) with a double-LP following on November 9th.

Preorder it all right here.

And if that isn't enough for you, Sufjan has also released a little EP - All Delighted People. You can get it right now on iTunes.

Thursday, July 29, 2010



Here is a new artist for you. Her name is Brie Stoner...a Midwest girl that spent her early 20's making music with friends David Vandervelde, and the late great Jay Bennett...who instilled in her the beauty of analogue recording, and how to properly mic a guitar.

Drawing upon influences from everyone to Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Fleetwood Mac to Red House Painters and Hope Sandoval, the sound she's formed is one of a kind and one you must hear for yourself.

Now, she's on her own and releasing the Delicate Hour EP on August 3, 2010 including cover of Vixen's 80's classic Edge of A Broken Heart done with a twist only Brie Stoner could add.

Enjoy - let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

R.E.M. - Fables of the Reconstruction - full album stream

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the release of R.E.M.'s third album, Fables of the Reconstruction, MOG is now streaming the entire 2-CD reissue exclusively on their site one week prior to its July 13th release date.

The new edition features the digitally remastered original album, plus 14 previously unreleased demo recordings, cut prior to the album's studio sessions, including one long-sought track that has never been released. The album will also be released on 180g vinyl.


R.E.M.: Fables of the Reconstruction (25th Anniversary Edition) (2CD, digital)

Disc One: digitally remastered original album

1. Feeling Gravity's Pull
2. Maps and Legends
3. Driver 8
4. Life and How To Live It
5. Old Man Kensey
6. Can't Get There From Here
7. Green Grow The Rushes
8. Kohoutek
9. Auctioneer (Another Engine)
10. Good Advices
11. Wendell Gee
Disc Two: "The Athens Demos"

1. Auctioneer (Another Engine) [demo version]
2. Bandwagon [demo version] [final version was B-side to "Can't Get There From Here"]
3. Can't Get There From Here [demo version]
4. Driver 8 [demo version]
5. Feeling Gravity's Pull [demo version]
6. Good Advices [demo version]
7. Green Grow The Rushes [demo version]
8. Hyena [demo version] [album version appeared on Life's Rich Pageant]
9. Kohoutek [demo version]
10. Life and How To Live It [demo version]
11. Maps and Legends [demo version]
12. Old Man Kensey [demo version]
13. Throw Those Trolls Away [demo version] [previously unreleased]
14. Wendell Gee [demo version]

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Download exclusive new song by The Shins

As part of the Levis Pioneer Sessions download The Shins covering "Goodbye Girl". for Levi’s, Mercer is back in Shins’ mode re-crafting “Goodbye Girl,” a tightly-wound pop masterpiece written by Squeeze’s songwriting team of Chris Difford (smart lyrics) and Glenn Tilbrook (catchy melodies). One of the ’80s best pop bands, Squeeze included “Goodbye Girl” on its 1979 classic Cool for Cats, which undoubtedly found its way into the hands of a teenage Mercer when he was living in England. Pitting a reverbed guitar against an earthy acoustic strum he treats it reverently without undoing its big chorus.

Download here

Check out the other awesome artists on the Levis Pioneer Sessions here including The Kills, Jason Mraz,

Friday, May 28, 2010

Music Weekly: The National

The Guardian's music weekly podcast this week has an interview with the wonderful, The National.

You can listen to it here, or subscribe via iTunes

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Season Remake Candi Staton's "Young Hearts Run Free"

The Swell Season have remade the pop-disco hit, "Young Hearts Run Free" by Candi Staton.

Its all part of Levi's Pioneer Sessions: The Revival Recordings. Over the next couple of weeks, there will be various artists remaking hits from the past decade including, Nas, She & Him, Dirty Projectors, The Shins, Raphael Saadiq, John Legend and The Roots, Jason Mraz, and many more.

The first two songs in the series will be released this week - hip hop superstar, Nas, covering "Hey Young World" by hip hop trailblazer Slick Rick and folk rock duo, The Swell Season's rendition of the 70s disco hit, "Young Hearts Run Free" by Candi Staton. Both songs will be available for free download, May 24th and May 27th respectively, at


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Listen to Two New Arcade Fire Songs, "Month of May" and "The Suburbs"

Paste Magazine (my favourite music magazine) has got hold of 2 new Arcade Fire songs from their forthcoming album.

“Month of May” - it sounds very unlike Arcade Fire. Almost like early REM. Kind of punky and very edgy, with a live feel.

This Band and its new song by c20917

“The Suburbs”

Another song by c22113

Gorillaz replace U2 at Glastonbury

Gorillaz are stepping in for U2 at the Glastonbury Festival!

I have to say its a bit of a shame. I was really looking forward to U2 at Glastonbury. They even wrote a song specially for the festival. And I've never seen the fuss about Gorillaz. Still...

check out this live clip of Gorillaz (including Paul Simonon & Mick Jones) doing "Melancholy Hill" & "Clint Eastwood (ft. Tiny Tempah)" on Jonathan Ross. It's even embeddable!


The Band performs "Melancholy Hill" & "Clint Eastwood (ft. Tiny Tempah)"

(with Paul Simonon and Mick Jones from The Clash):

Friday, May 14, 2010

The National - High Violet reviews digested

A few reviews in for The National's new record - High Violet from people I trust.

Pitchforkgave it 8.7 - which is really high for them, saying "when they aim for powerful or poetic, they get there. High Violet is the sound of a band taking a mandate to be a meaningful rock band seriously", and "gorgeous, structurally sound vignettes."; and

Paste magazine gave 81/100 saying "the new album’s peaks absolutely rival Boxer’s best tracks" and "High Violet has the potential to elevate the band’s profile".

NB - also check out The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Get Portal, on a mac, for free!

To celebrate the launch of Steam on Macs, you can download the award winning game of the decade, Portal.

Portal used to cost money. Until May 24th, it's free. End of story.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Can you believe it?


Free album from Amazon MP3

   Click here
Amazon are giving away an album today. So Indie It Hurts: Roir Rocks Volume Two. What are you waiting for?
Open House Festival Lineup

The linup for Belfast's Open House Festival has now been confirmed and it's a real corker. For Americana fans, this is the gig of the year.

Kicking off will be The Dave Rawlings Machine, fronted by long-time musical partner of Americana singer songwriter Gillian Welch, playing an exclusive Irish debut on Saturday 11th September.

Sharing the stage will be musical compadres
, Old Crow Medicine Show, creating the perfect union of “old-time string music and punk swagger.”

But it doesn't stop there. Oh no. Did we mention:






Tickets are
just £20 online from and feature our recession-friendly booking policy - no booking fees, no transaction charges and no hidden costs.

Also, another exciting addition to the festival line-up is Lissie, the “guitar toting Americana lovechild”, marking her first visit to Belfast. She appears on Wednesday 8th September in the intimate surroundings of McHughs basement bar, with new local boys Napoleon.

The 12th annual Open House Festival will take place from 7th – 12th September 2010, throughout the arts & cultural flavoured Cathedral Quarter. The main festival venue will be the new 2,000 capacity festival marquee in Custom House Square – the biggest music marquee ever to be erected on the site.  

Ticket link:

Related Links:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bushmills Irish Whiskey: Celebrates Classic NY Friendships

I grew up a few miles from Bushmills, home of the oldest Whiskey in the world, and probably the best. Busmills Whiskey, with more than 400 years of distilling tradition behind it, is capturing the close friendship and camaraderie between individuals and their social circles in New York with its latest initiative, "Since Way Back".

A series of short films document and highlight the lives and brotherly relationships of artists and influencers including Chromeo; Kai Regan; DustLaRock, A-Trak, and Nick Catchdubs from Fool's Gold; Jonathan Galkin and Justin Miller of DFA; and Chris Isenberg of No Mas. These video shorts will be available online at

The new campaign captures the closeness between these individuals--these are groups of New York friends whose shared experiences and influences are now shaping pop culture, including the music they write, the art they create, and the businesses they begin. This mirrors the focus of Bushmills, and its dedication to shape its community.

The Bushmills initiative, "Since Way Back," will kick off with a private event in New York City, featuring The Rub. Bushmills reminds you to drink responsibly. When out with friends, make sure to drink in moderation and get home safe: designate a driver or take a taxi.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Get a free Ricky Gervais audiobook today!

Download a free copy of The Ricky Gervais Guide to The English to mark St George's Day. Gervais says: 'It's great to be back at the Guardian where it all started, on St. George's Day - the day that we all ignore in case someone thinks we're racist'

Download MP3

Friday, April 02, 2010

Mflow - Music is better shared

I could talk about music for hours. Getting together with trusted music advisors and asking them what are you listening to can be an illuminating insight that will leave me armed with names of albums and artists to discover, treasure and enjoy. In the past that meant scribbling a name on a napkin, shuffling to a record shop and buying perhaps one or two cds. Not any more.

This is the 21st century and this is web 2.0.

Now you can head over to Mflow, the music equivalent of twitter and discover all the music you like.

Still in beta Mflow opens up to the world on 15 April. Basically it works like this. Download the free software and you're presented with a generic iTunes like page. Here's the twist - follow other mflow users and they can follow you. If someone reccomends a track it will turn up in your inbox. There you can listen to it in full. Follow more people and the more you can listen to for free. Of course you can buy a track, and if someone buys a track you flowed to them, then you get credited with 20% of the cost of a new purchase.

Tim Lovejoy, NME and other tastemakers are already flowing, but I'm looking for a Paste Magazine style flower to point me in the right direction.

If you want in early try using these invite codes:

ZANE444 or CLASH0403

The Cave by Mumford and Sons is currently the most flowed track. My username is andrewwilliamson, follow me!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

One to watch - Joe Pug

Listen to "Nation of Heat" EP on Spotify.

And through spotify web link.

If, like us, you like Josh Ritter, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Ryan Adams or others who have a way with a voice and an acoustic guitar then you might like to check out Joe Pug.

He studied playwriting at the University of North Carolina and has just released his debut full length album, "the Messenger".

He sings with heart, empathy and emotion. His EP is on Spotify, check it out.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Good night Sparklehorse

Good night Sparklehorse

This weekend, we learned the sad news that Sparklehorse frontman Mark Linkous had taken his own life. The New York Times reports that Linkous shot himself in the heart in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was 47. His hushed beautiful music grew out of his habit of playing the piano at night and trying not to wake his wife. He enjoys an album with one of the longest titles in music history - Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot .

It was was "It's a Wonderful Life" that really drew me to Sparklehorse. A wonderful album packed full of interesting collaborations that abounded with optimism. Unfortunately for Mark Linkous it was not to be. We'll miss him.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fiction Fight - Jacob

Fiction Fight are an up and coming Coventry, UK-based band delivering a mixture of alternative and electronic music with strong lyrics and melodies.

Fiction Fight's latest EP, Jacob, is described by the band as a mixture of early TV on the Radio with the strings from Bjork. There are definitive hints of TV On The Radio but it sounds to me to be much more like the dark, brooding guitar of Mogwai or Boards of Canada with an electronic alter-ego.

The EP opens with "Broken Drum" and the sound of a looped, (broken?) drum beat and atmospheric guitar chords. The three members are Josiah Gillespie, a homegrown, heart-on-sleeve folkster from America and Cornwall, Chris Donald, post-hardcore kid fresh from the Yorkshire scene and Rachel Challis, drummer turned guitarist turned singer. Most tracks on the EP feature layered male and female vocals over electronic drums similar to Radiohead's Amnesiac era, especially (think Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors or Idioteque)

Clouds, the third and significantly strongest track, brightens things up with a pretty, Air- Moon Safari -like melody, a rising chorus and a wonderful grooving bass line ending wonderfully with reverb drenched vocals and horns.

To fill the expansive sound out live, the tour band includes Tim Pitt on drums, Matt Donald on bass and Nathan Leigh on keys. Luke Richardson (keys/trumpet) and Anna Brigham (violin/cello). They will shortly be touring the UK so keep your eyes peeled for some fresh new alternative electronica

Fiction Fight on MySpace

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Canon Logic release "Avenue Of Criminals" soon and you can stream the album above. They have now relocated to New York but the new album retains their their idiosyncratic indie sound from fantastical piano-driven pop songs like “Nights At Armor Mansion” to the bouncy, infectious “Avenue Of Criminals” (which brings to mind a more upbeat version of fellow New York transplants the National) and the stripped-down, lo-fi interlude “Last Day Of Man,” FM Arcade is literally the sound of this band discovering—and challenging—themselves.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Jamie Cullum - The Pursuit - album review

Jamie Cullum – The Pursuit

Jamie Cullum is smart. He's an exceptionally talented jazz vocalist and pianist but he knows that jazz doesn't sell big these days, pop does. But he also doesn't want to sell out. Sure he has to write tunes that will please the masses but to satisfy his own musical needs he can throw in an adapted Monk lick over Cole Porter's “Just One of Those Things” or deconstruct the Harry Secombe/Tony Bennett classic, “If I Ruled The World”.

But let's cut to the chase, The Pursuit has converted me. There is something to Cullum. I wish he was a bit more jazz and a bit less pop but I realise that the bank manager says he has to be. Instead he can take the best of pop and make it jazz. Here Cullum reimagines songs from Not While I’m Around, that sentimental ballad from Sweeney Todd, to Rihanna's pop favourite “Don't Stop The Music”. This is the the highlight of the album, he manages to retain the infectious hook of the chorus yet stripping down the song to the bare essentials, simple chords and brushed snare drums, until the verse builds to the familiar chorus. Cullum breaks off for some exceptional piano fills before returning to where he started.

The album features a variety of beats, production techniques and styles. He is clearly branching his wings and for the most part it works. He is clearly a talent and this is his most experimental album to date. It will be very interesting to see the direction he takes from here, but for now lets sit back and enjoy the music.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review - Josh Rouse - El Turista

Josh Rouse – El Turista
(Bedroom Classics) 22 February 2010

Five years ago Josh Rouse moved to Valencia, Spain with his new (Spanish) wife, Paz Suay. In 2005 he had just come off the back of the highlight of his musical career, a trilogy beginning with Under Cold Blue Stars, followed by '1972' (2003) and finally Nashville (2005). He met his new wife, left his longstanding relationship with Rykodisc and relocated to Spain, to release new recordings under his own label, Bedroom Classics.

The albums which have followed – Subtitulo (2007), Country House City Mouse, and She's Spanish I'm American EP (2008) are in truth, inferior to his previous output. While they are undoubtedly infused with Spanish sun and mediterranean rhythm, the melodies and hooks just aren't as good.

So by 2010 and the release of “El Turista” Josh has taken a different route. This time he is deliberately trying to be different. El Turista is a midwestern guy doing Brazilian songs in Spanish. Does it work? Well, a little.

El Turista is not going to please masses and gain five star reviews the way 1972 and Nashville did. It feels rather like an indulgence. We shouldn't expect an artist to stay still, especially not when they are surrounded by a new set of influences but nor should an artist expect to succeed at every style he turns his hand to. Josh showed that he can write a concept album (Under Cold Blue Stars), recreate the 70's (1972) and turn his hand to a great varieties of styles on Nashville so it is only natural to expect him to continue.

Taking a leaf from Paul Simon on Graceland he opens with the instrumental “Bienvenido”, before moving onto “Lemon Tree” and “I Will Live On Islands” with percolating Afro-Cuban grooves. The songs alternate between english and spanish.

The stand out track is probably “Sweet Elaine”, rather like an outtake from Nashville (think My Love Has Gone but with a double-time Latin beat and billowing strings. The record was inspired by a Bola de Nieve record which features Cubans signing in Spanish. If Cubans can do it, why not a Nebraskan?

Josh says “I've made records in the past and thought 'A lot of people might like this' but that never really happened during this record. I mean I want people to hear it but I really made it for myself'.

It sounds that way, fun, and I'm sure an artistic challenge, but I don't think a lot of people will really like this.

Rating: 3/5

Listen to Josh Rouse on Spotify

Monday, February 15, 2010

Elliot Smith

Ever since Elliot Smith tragically died on 21 October 2003 I have had this fear that people will forget about him. I'm currently listening to, rediscovering and enjoying his last proper studio album: Figure 8.

Check out this for a great Elliott Smith song

My friend Matt gave me a copy Figure 8 in the summer of 2000 when I was recording an album. He waxed lyrical as a producer does about how the vocals are double tracked and panned left/right. and how he put delay on a whole drum kit on "Everything Means Nothing To Me".

Not only did he play all the instruments but he constantly innovated with alternate tunings and effects to create multi-layerd sonic textures while always leaving a strong melody in place.

My iTunes classifies him as lo-fi alt. singer-songwriter but he turned to many styles throughout his brief career. To anyone out there who has missed Smith, do yourself a favour, give it a listen.

Essential Elliott Smith

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jamie Cullum - Valentines Day Ep titled Love Ain't Gonna Let You Down


Celebrate Valentine's Day with Jamie Cullum's Love Ain't Gonna Let You Down EP (Verve/UMe) released exclusively through iTunes on February 2, 2010. Featuring three songs of love from his upcoming album The Pursuit, out March 2, 2010, the EP highlights two Cullum originals "Love Ain't Gonna Let You Down" & "I Think, I Love," and his heartfelt take on the Stephen Sondheim standard "Not While I'm Around" from "Sweeney Todd."

U.S. tour with Verve labelmate Imelda May on March 4th in New York.

Tour Dates:
Mar 4 2010 The Town Hall, New York, NY
Mar 5 2010 The Keswick Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
Mar 6 2010 House Of Blues, Boston, MA
Mar 7 2010 9:30 Club, Washington. D.C.
Mar 9 2010 Massey Hall, Toronto, CANADA
Mar 12 2010 Cobb Energy Center, Atlanta, GA
Mar 13 2010 James K. Polk Theater, Nashville, TN
Mar 14 2010 Roberts Orpheum Theater, St. Louis, MO
Mar 16 2010 Park West, Chicago, IL
Mar 20 2010 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, CANADA
Mar 21 2010 The Moore Theatre, Seattle, CA
Mar 22 2010 Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR
Mar 23 2010 The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
Mar 25 2010 Avalon, Los Angeles, CA

I know that feeling.. what's her name?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Josh Rouse album - El Turista

I was dissappointed not to see any Josh Rouse records in the best of decade lists as I would rate "Under Cold Blue Stars" and/or "1972" as worthy inclusions in any top 25 albums of the decade.

Anyway, his next album, ‘El Turista’ (Bedroom Classics) will be released on Josh’s own label Bedroom Classics via a new distribution deal with ADA Global.

His PR says it is unexpected and utterly sublime, and El Turista’s sultry song cycle will shuffle seamlessly in tandem with Getz/Gilberto and Graceland, albums as boldly surprising in their eras as El Turista is in this one. The record marks a new direction for the critically acclaimed cult artist, while offering the musical sophistication and emotional depth Rouse’s devoted constituents have come to expect from him thanks to a consistently enthralling body of work highlighted by the modern-day landmarks1972 (2003) and Nashville (2005), both of which are generously sampled on the marvelous 2008 Rhino retrospective The Best of the Rykodisc years.

The new CD bears the distinct influence of Spain, as did the dissappointing Subtitulo, so here's hoping this one is better.

Thursday, January 07, 2010