September 30, 2009

New album from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings!

Actually it's a David Rawlings album with Gillian on it. The website Broken Wave Music has the info (editor's note: It's acually a Billboard story I found on Broken Wave), and it looks like the first David Rawlings Machine album, titled "A Friend of a Friend," will be released Nov. 17. This is pretty exciting news since it's been 6 years since the duo's last album, the Gillian Welch album "Soul Journey."
Here's part of what Billboard reported:
"Rawlings produced 'A Friend of a Friend' himself, recording it earlier this year at RCA Studio B in Nashville. Welch appears on eight of the nine tracks (and co-wrote five of them), while other players include keyboardist Benmont Tench from Tom Petty's Heartbreakers, keyboardist Nathaniel Wilcott of Bright Eyes and members of Old Crowe Medicne Show, whose 2006 album 'Big Iron World' was produced by Rawlings."
Among the songs on the album, according to the report, "To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)" which Rawlings co-wrote with Ryan Adams, the Rawlings-Welch-penned "It's Too Easy" and the Bright Eyes song "Method Acting"/Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer" combo they've been playing in concert.
Click HERE to read the full story; it's got some great quotes.

September 29, 2009

Issue26, Sept. 2009

Far Out - Regina Spektor blows us away – on her album and live in concert
We were worried for Regina Spektor. Yes, worried.
We first experienced the World According to Regina when she was an opener along with Josh Ritter for Keane at an outdoor venue in Boston in 2005. (Guess who we were there to see!) Regina performed solo on the huge stage, and we remember thinking “who is this strange woman? What planet did she come from?” She was not any kind of singer-songwriter we had seen before and her songs and voice did not fit anything we’d heard before. She seemed a little lost up there, a lone figure sandwiched between the two massive video screens.
The next time she caught our attention was when she released the 2006 album “Begin to Hope.” This time we were blown away. Her tunes, a little less avant-garde and a little more pop, began to make sense to our ears. And her gorgeous, fluttering voice on songs such as “Fidelity,” “Better,” and “On the Radio” affected us like few others. And while commercial radio played these tunes occasionally, a fervent and devoted following grew, awaiting every video and interview she did.
Regina had seamlessly made the transition from quirky anti-folk outsider to quirky indie-pop darling. We loved it.
And that’s why we were worried. Would Regina, with her critical success, journey further into pop, leaving behind her wonderful quirkiness? Would she go all Tori Amos on us? Please no.
Well, our fears were for naught. Her new album, “Far,” picks up where “Begin to Hope” left off, and her live performance, which we caught recently was equally quirky and refreshing. You can read both the review of the album and the show beginning on Page 4.
And speaking of albums and live shows, we’ve noticed recently the trend by musicians and bands performing an entire album, start to finish, in concert. Bruce is playing “Born to Run,” Van Morrison did “Astral Weeks.” Whether you like the idea or not, it certainly makes one pause to think “Who would I like to see play one of their albums live in its entirety?”
We asked our readers what album would you like played in concert? Check out our readers’ poll results to see what others said.
No worries, Rich Kassirer, editor
To read the new issue, click HERE.
To read album reviews of Regina Spektor's "Far," The Avett Brothers' "I and Love and You," Erin McKeown's "Hundreds of Lions," and Thao's "Know Better Learn Faster," click HERE.

September 15, 2009

More Eilen Jewell, and other bits

I know I've blogged more about Eilen Jewell than about most bands... they may have to put me on the payroll soon! I can't help it. I think the band is great, and their new songs rock. Got a chance to see them a couple of weeks ago (that's how behind I am!) at Precinct in Somerville. I had not been there before. It's a small space under a restaurant that used to be a police station. As usual Eilen and the boys put on a fun show, running through a lot of the "Sea of Tears" album, a few from past albums and a great cover of the Yardbirds' "Putty (in Your Hands)" -- see the video below.
For more photos, click HERE

Another video is HERE

Another fun Eilen note: I recently downloaded the new iTunes 9. Afterward, when I was watching a quick tutorial on the new features, I noticed that "Sea of Tears" was one of the albums featured on the tutorial's playlist. Not bad pub for a small-label release!

A little shoutout to my friend Scott Duhaime and his band Tan Odyssey. The other night I ventured to Harvest Cafe in Hudson to hear the band in a stripped-down semi-acoustic performance. Now these guys all have regular jobs and don't get to practice, let alone play out, much. So this was a big deal and a fun night hearing their mix of originals and covers. A standout tune was their reworking of the Allman's "Whipping Post," done as a slow blues on acoustics. Pretty cool arrangement.

Finally, a couple of shows I'm definitely looking forward to: Regina Spektor next week at the House of Blues; the Avett Brothers also at HOB -- I've heard their new album, "I and Love and You," and it is a knockout. Look for a review of the album in my next mag issue (Late September); Grace Potter, also at HOB. Haven't seen her yet so I've gotta catch her...