You know you’ve got a drug problem when Courtney Love – circa the late ‘90s – is taking part in your intervention. Continue reading “Hit So Hard – A Memoir By Patty Schemel”
Over the decades, Sting has evolved from being at the forefront of the punk/New Wave movement as front man for The Police, to being a go-to for adult contemporary radio programmers thanks to his mid-career slide to much softer fare. And yes, the jokes at his pretentiousness and self-indulgence are certainly easy to make, thanks in part to his fondness for the lute. All that aside, it’s hard to argue that Sting can’t still retire the badass rocker persona after watching Sting: Live At The Olympia Paris.
Filmed in 2007, the 20-plus song set finds an energized Sting going back to classics like “Synchronicity II,” “Message In A Bottle” and “Spirits In A Material World” and melding them with his early solo work, and some of his later material. You can see a steady evolution from Police-era “Every Breath You Take” to some of his first solo songs like “Englishman in New York” and even the more complicated and oft polarizing “Dessert Rose.” Continue reading “Sting: Live At The Olympia Paris (DVD)”
Guided By Voices are nothing, if not prolific. Despite breaking up a few times between the late ‘80s and now, they’ve already turned in 25 albums, ranging from great to, well, so-so. With a spotty track record, it’s nice knowing you can easily dip into their catalogue thanks to this fantastic live collection from 2004. Recorded on the set of Austin City Limits as part of the band’s first farewell tour, this 30-song show is a virtual best of for fans of the band. Continue reading “Guided By Voices – Live From Austin, TX (2 CD/DVD combo and Vinyl)”
Wyclef Jean has released a video for “Turn Me Good”, his latest single. This slower jam showcases the sultry side of Jean, who is able to use horns, strings, and a blend of 1970s soul and more contemporary sort of beat to make for something that sparkles. Drawing back to an earlier reggae tradition (e.g. Bob Marley, Peter Tosh), Jean makes for a retro hit in Turn Me Good. The guitar on Turn Me Good is countered masterfully with a tautly-crafted backing beat. Sufficiently different from radio fare, we’re expecting to hear Turn Me Good on heavy rotation through the end of the year.
John Tracy’s “Silent Night” is a rare cover that both keeps the sound of the traditional composition sacrosanct while impressing his own spirit and inimitable sound onto the performance. The stretched out, slower tempo of Tracy’s take of Silent Night puts a certain gravity to each utterance. The thoughtful sound of this composition will stick with listeners, as does the strumming of the guitar. Set up over the course of six minutes, John Tracy’s Silent Night gets fans into the holiday spirit while providing something wholly new. Refreshing, technically proficient, and fun, this riff on Silent Night is a must-spin this year.
John Tracy “Silent Night”
Radiator King’s “The Guns You Pawned” provides fans with a rich narrative and an impassioned set of vocals. The track works well no matter whether one likes alternative-rock performers like the Counting Crows or the Goo Goo Dolls or country-styled acts like Henry Connick or Wilco. An intense guitar line matches Radiator King’s vocals, making the narrative of The Guns You Pawned shine that much brighter. With an epic sound, this song is something that will bounce around listeners’ ears long after the effort ceases to play. The Guns You Pawned is a truly timeless track. Continue reading “Radiator King “The Guns You Pawned””
On the surface, this appears to be just another standard music legend/world class orchestra collaboration; A gift to fans, but a collective shoulder shrug from everyone else. “A Love So Beautiful,” however, is so much more. Continue reading “Roy Orbison With the Royal Philharmonic – A Love So Beautiful”
Guitar legend Eric Johnson was made for live albums. The proof is all over the re-release of “Live From Austin, TX,” the latest in the partnership between the PBS show Austin City Limits and New West Records. This re-release, originally out in 2005, is finally on vinyl and also available in a CD/DVD combo. Continue reading “Eric Johnson – Live From Austin, TX (CD/DVD & Vinyl)”
Since leaving the V-Boys in the late ‘90s, Scott Miller has forged a career as a solo artist, making waves in the alt country scene, but managing to fly under the radar of most outside the genre. It’s a shame though, as his 10th effort, “Ladies Auxiliary” shows, Miller is a fantastic songwriter. Continue reading “Scott Miller – Ladies Auxiliary”
AKoVA’s “Headlights” is a tremendously close and touching track. Little more is needed during this single than a set of vocals and a softly strumming guitar. As the song continues to play, there is a bit of additional instrumentation entered in. The gradual shift into a more engrossing effort showcases the emotional complexity of the composition. Anyone that has been in love and lost, especially when the person that the previous significant other has left, will be able to understand quite well what is going on with this effort. We’re excited to hear more from AKoVA in the future.
AKoVA “Headlights” / https://www.facebook.com/AkovaMusic/