songs

BROTHERS PAST ANNOUNCES SUMMER DATES

Indie-electronic act BROTHERS PAST has announced a round of summer tour dates, which includes a hometown show at the Electric Factory on Saturday, June 26. The band will also be performing at several festivals along the East Coast, including a high-profile slot at Camp Bisco.

Since returning from a one-year hiatus in early 2009, the band has spent the majority of its time working in the studio, crafting a follow-up to the 2005 release This Feeling’s Called Goodbye (SCI Fidelity Records.) “We’ve recorded a bunch of old songs and a bunch of new songs that Tommy Hamilton and I have written together.” keyboardist Tom McKee said. “All of it will eventually get released one way or another, but some of it probably won’t fit with the record. We’re definitely making progress though, and once we get it out there you’ll be seeing more of us on the road.”

Upon releasing This Feeling’s Called Goodbye, BROTHERS PAST received national attention from fans and critics alike. Morgan Wells of Urb Magazine described it as "...a glimpse into the future of pop music... Brothers Past offers a smooth and believable blend of electronica, rock and pop just original enough to place [This Feeling's Called Goodbye] at the top of a growing pile of genre-bending releases." Steven Rosen in HARP echoed the praise: "There's a future in this kind of music." The record’s catchy rock anthems, captivating arrangements and inspired lyrics received numerous "Top Ten" mentions and was nominated by the Jammy Awards for "Album of the Year." The release has established Brothers Past as innovative songwriters with a progressive vision towards future.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
06/18/10 THE WAREHOUSE, HARTFORD, CT
06/19/10 PUTNAM DEN, SARATOGA SPRINGS
06/25/10 BIG F’ing BOAT, NEW YORK, NY
06/26/10 THE ELECTRIC FACTORY, PHILADELPHIA, PA  (with the New Deal)
07/04/10 THE STONE PONY, ASBURY PARK (with Moe)
07/16/10 CAMP BISCO, MARIAHVILLE, NY
08/20/10 LIBERATE MUSIC & YOGA FESTIVAL, SHELDON, VT
08/21/10 BELLATERRA MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL, STEPHENTOWN, NY
09/10/10 DANKFEST, MINOT, ME
09/11/10 CATSKILL CHILL, HANCOCK, NY

Crowded House To Release "Intriguer"

Following up on their 2007 release, Time On Earth – their first studio recording in fourteen years – New Zealand dream-pop auteurs Crowded House deliver Intriguer, scheduled for release on July 13th, 2010, on Fantasy Records, a division of Concord Music Group.The internationally acclaimed group begins a nationwide tour of the U.S. and Canada in support of the new album on Monday, July 12th. Also available that day will be the 2-disc Intriguer Deluxe Edition, featuring a special bonus live DVD.
Produced by Jim Scott (Wilco), Intriguer once again brings together singer/guitarist and chief songwriter Neil Finn with original Crowded House bassist Nick Seymour and keyboardist/guitarist Mark Hart, who’d been with the band from 1989 until its last days. Also on board is drummer Mark Sherrod, the relative newcomer to the family, having joined the band for the making of the aforementioned Time On Earth. Recorded at Roundhead Studios in Auckland, New Zealand, in the spring and summer of 2009, the album includes songs that “have been worked over on the road and transformed a few times, some all the way back to square one,” says Finn. “It’s a good place to return to from time to time.” Intriguer opens with “Saturday Sun,” a track whose straightforward backbeat calls to mind the best elements of ‘60s pop. The follow-up track, “Archer’s Arrows,” takes a more ominous turn with the help of some carefully layered vocals and the violin work of Lisa Germano (who later reappears on the pensive “Even If”).
“Falling Dove” is both melancholy and defiant, while “Isolation” derives its dreamlike sensibility from a heavy dose of guitar tremolo and the dreamlike vocals of Finn’s wife, Sharon Dawn Johnson. Both of these tracks, positioned back-to-back in the sequence, benefit from the psychedelic guitar work of Liam Finn, Neil’s son and longtime collaborator in the studio and onstage.
“Twice If You’re Lucky” is a prime example of the aforementioned evolutionary process that left its mark on most of the songs on Intriguer. “We played an alternative version, more complex and mysterious on tour, then deconstructed back to the original, simple form in the last week of recording,” Finn explains. “I am inclined to circle songs, looking for any bit of advantage I can find – a verse, a chord or a word to change.”
“Elephants” is the wistful closer, driven by lush piano harmonies that seek to linger a while and take in the fleeting moment before the story comes to close. “Intriguer is exotic in parts, traditional in origin,” says Finn. “Through many a twist and turn we fashioned some drama and intrigue. You will find some threads that go back through all that history and some new discoveries as well that will need to be followed up. Its part of the continuum and it may just be the best thing we’ve done…until the next one.”
2007’s Time On Earth, turned the band on to what Finn calls “the scent of something new.” Thankfully, for the rest of us, Intriguer proves the Crowded House story in many ways, is just beginning.

TOUR DATES

Jul 12 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall
Jul 13 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
Jul 15 - Ottawa, ON - Lebreton Flats Park
Jul 16 - Buffalo, NY - Erie Canal Harbor
Jul 17 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
Jul 19 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Jul 20 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Jul 21 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Jul 23 - Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theatre
Jul 24 - Atlantic City, NJ - House of Blues
Jul 26 - Vienna, VA - Wolftrap
Jul 28 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
Jul 29 - Miami, FL - Fillmore Miami Beach
Jul 30 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live
Aug 1 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
Aug 2 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
Aug 4 - Austin, TX - Stubb’s Walker Creek
Aug 5 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
Aug 19 - Los Angeles, CA - Club Nokia
Aug 20 - Los Angeles, CA - Club Nokia
Aug 22 0 San Diego, CA - Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay
Aug 23 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield
Aug 24 - Saratoga, CA - Mountain Winery
Aug 26 - Troutdale, OR - Edgefield Amphitheater
Aug 28 - Seattle, WA - Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
Aug 29 - Vancouver, BC - Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Aug 30 - Victoria, BC - Royal Theatre
Sep 1 - Edmonton, AB - Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Sep 2 - Calgary, AB - Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Sep 4 - Apple Valley, MN - Zoo Amphitheater
Sep 5 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues Sep 6 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues

The Undertones reissued digitally in the U.S.

The Undertones emerged from Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1977, as part of the U.K. punk and new wave scene. Inspired by radio, records and the Ramones, five Derry teens (Feargal Sharkey, brothers John and Damian O’Neill, Billy Doherty and Mickey Bradley) had never been in bands before. Straight out of a local pub, The Casbah, the band recorded Teenage Kicks, their debut EP, which caught fire on John Peel’s BBC Radio One show and got them signed to Sire Records in the U.S.  “Less interested in fashion, anarchy, or politics than in the heady joys of a great pop song, they fused irresistible, hooky tunes with the fierce passion of teenage rock & roll believers, and came up with a handful of instant classics,” observed All Movie Guide’s Mark Deming.

On June 28, 2010, Union Square Music will make the Undertones’ four albums available digitally. Included will be The Undertones (1979), Hypnotised (1980), Positive Touch (1981) and The Sin of Pride (1983), the Teenage Kicks EP, as well as a never-before-released Best of the Undertones compilation.

The digital-only reissues will be available at iTunes.

The Undertones: Appearing in both the Q magazine list of the “100 Greatest British Albums Ever” and the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, The Undertones' debut LP is a bone fide pop-punk classic. The lead track “Teenage Kicks” has long been regarded as one of the purest expressions of teenage punk pop and has been covered by everyone from KT Tunstall to Green Day. It was also famously U.K. DJ John Peel's favorite record ever. Signed to Seymour Stein’s Sire records in 1978, the band had not originally planned to make an album but after seeing many of their contemporaries —The Sex Pistols, The Clash etc. — make successful albums, they decamped to Eden Studios in West London to record the songs they had been playing in their legendary Friday night gigs at the Casbah. As the bassist Michael Bradley says, there was “No plot, no theme, no parodies of any genre.” The Undertones’ 1979 debut is an off-the-cuff collection from five Londonderry kids with nothing to lose.

Hypnotised: As critically acclaimed and as commercially successful as the Undertones debut LP, Hypnotised featured both the classic three-minute pop punk of its predecessor (check “My Perfect Cousin,” “There Goes Norman” and “Whizz Kids”) while highlighting a newfound maturity and sensitivity with tracks like the plaintive “Wednesday Week” and stately “The Way Girls Talk.” Recording in the tranquil surroundings of the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum in the Netherlands (three band members would cycle to the studios every day) so relaxed the band that they weren’t overly concerned that they didn’t have enough songs for the album until the producer Roger Bechirian suggested that “I can ask that chap from the Rumour to write some for you.” Back in Londonderry, the O'Neill brothers came up with three more songs — “Wednesday Week,” “Tearproof” and “More Songs About Chocolate and Girls,” an homage to the Talking Heads’ More Songs About Buildings and Food. “More Songs . . .” would open the album and define the appeal of the band with its much-quoted line: “Sit down relax and cancel all other engagements, it's never too late to enjoy dumb entertainment.”

Positive Touch: Bassist Michael Bradley admits that despite the commercial success of Hypnotised, the Undertones were bored musically by the time they reconvened in the Wisseloord studios in Netherlands to record Positive Touch. Freed from their contract with Sire, they started recording without a record deal, enabling them to experiment without any executives breathing down their necks. If the band’s debut album was influenced by what they’d been listening to in O’Neill’s front room, then Positive Touch came out of what they’d been listening to since, with influences as diverse as the Stones, Motown, Orange Juice and Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Melody Maker declared the resulting 14 songs to be “one of the truly classic pop albums of all time.”   

The Sin of Pride: For the Undertones’ fourth and final album the band demoed the songs in a home-built studio in Londonderry. As bassist Michael Bradley recalls, “When I say ‘build,’ I mean we went out and bought the wood, and the nails, and cobbled together a small hut. Then we sent away to HHB for a Fostex 8-track and a bunch of microphones. Feargal, being the most technically minded, looked after the recording.” The band weren’t happy with the results and neither were their label EMI with the final album produced by Mike Hedges (of Cure and Wah fame). Lacking the pop punk of the band’s debut album, The Sin of Pride has its merits: NME described it as “an immaculate conception of pop” but the album was not a commercial success and tensions with Feargal soon lead him to leaving the band.   

Best of the Undertones: This never-before-released compilation contains the songs for which the Undertones are best noted: “Teenage Kicks,” “Get Over You,” “Here Comes the Summer,” “”You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It),” “My Perfect Cousin,” “Wednesday Week,” “It’s Going to Happen,” “Julie Ocean,” “Beautiful Friend” and “The Love Parade.”

Teenage Kicks EP: In a move to bring back the EP, quintessential to the development of punk and new wave, Union Square will offer the original Teenage Kicks EP from 1978 featuring the hit “Teenage Kicks” along with “Smarter Than U,” “True Confessions” and “Emergency Cases.”

Reverend Horton Heat @ Boulder Theater | 8/20

Recently, the Reverend Horton Heat, aka Jim Heath, had something along the lines of what he calls an epiphany. He's a little tired of being taken so seriously-well, maybe not seriously, exactly, but you get the idea-and lately he's noticed that some of his funnier, country-tinged songs were his biggest crowd pleasers. Besides, being entertaining is what this is all about, right?

So, ladies and gents, roll your smokes up in your sleeve and hold on to your cowboy hats, it's time to take a trip back to a time before slick, over-produced country became the norm-a time when outlaws wrote songs about being without a pot to piss in-or at least about psycho exboyfriends and deadbeat girlfriends that spend your paycheck faster than you can say Lone Star.

Without a doubt, the mighty Reverend has won a cult following around the world these past 20+ years with a nearly endless touring ethic and musical style that's equally as rooted in tradition as it is in breaking it. He's one of the lynchpins of the neoroots movement and responsible for moving the genre forward and garnering it a whole new generation of fans. Mix that with a mythic stage presence and you've got a live act that turns rock clubs into psychobilly tent revivals across the country 300 days a year. Heath, who personally loves good old, mid-20th century country music, cautions that the record was not born out of a desire to introduce his audience to a new set of influences-it's just meant to have a little fun.

Friday August 20, 9:00pm
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Tickets will be on sale through the Boulder Theater box office | Internet 24-7 at www.bouldertheater.com | Phone: During box office hours 303-786-7030

Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants: Debut Self-Titled Album Out 7/13/10

Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants is a new project from Shiflett, already known as the lead guitarist for Foo Fighters and the frontman for Jackson United. Steeped in his love for classic country artists (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings), rockabilly (Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran), and deep-rooted rock bands (The Rolling Stones, The Replacements), this new album is packed with soulful pedal steel- and twang guitar-accented songs. The album highlights his talent and versatility not only as a skillful guitarist, but also as a songwriter. These infectious Americana-laced rock songs are some of the best he's penned, from the chiming keys and buoyant, ringing guitars of "Get Along" to the pedal steel- and mandolin-lined heartache of "Bandaged," and from the spry, Old 97s-ian "Baby, Let It Out" to the rueful country swing of "Death March."

Shiflett wrote the songs on Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants over the course of 2008-9, inspiration first striking when a friend asked him to perform at Orange County's punk-rockabilly Hootenanny festival in 2008. After re-immersing himself in his Americana and old country music collection to prepare a short set - and then playing a brief acoustic tour with friend Joey Cape of Lagwagon - he began writing what eventually became the new album. Recorded at the Foo Fighters' Studio 606 in Los Angeles, CA, this past December and January, the core band on Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants is Shiflett (vocals, guitar), 606 house engineer John Lousteau (drums, in addition to engineering), and Derek Silverman (keyboards). The album's additional instrumentation was performed by an array of fine musicians, including Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and The Imposters, Jenny Lewis, John Hiatt) on bass, Greg Leisz (Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Whiskeytown) on pedal steel, Stevie Blacke (Beck, Weezer, Colbie Caillat) on violin and mandolin, and Audra Mae on backing vocals.

Track listing for Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants:

  1. Helsinki
  2. Get Along
  3. Bandaged
  4. God Damn
  5. Burning Lights (Joe Strummer cover)
  6. An Atheist's Player
  7. Not Going Down Alone
  8. Baby, Let It Out
  9. Death March

Summer touring news for Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants will be announced soon.

Judy Collins' Elektra albums to be reissued on Collectors' Choice

Collectors’ Choice Music will reissue nine albums by Judy Collins, one of the great interpretive folksingers of our time, representing a good portion of her Elektra Records years from 1966-97. Collins’ clear soprano, unerring taste and uncommon sensitivity to her material has enriched songs by everybody from Bob Dylan to Jacques Brel to Stephen Sondheim, and while she began her career by interpreting the work of others, she would become an acclaimed songwriter as well. Her fearless approach to trying new arrangements, instrumentation and repertoire has made her albums among the most absorbing and fulfilling of any singer-songwriter releases.

On July 27, 2010, Collectors’ Choice will issue digitally remastered CDs of nine of Collins’ Elektra titles: Fifth Album (1965), In My Life (1966), Whales & Nightingales (1970), True Stories & Other Dreams (1973), Bread & Roses (1976), Running for My Life (1980), Times of Our Lives (1982), Home Again (1984) and Christmas at the Biltmore (1997). The albums contain newly commissioned liner notes by Ritchie Unterberger that include interviews with Collins.

According to Collectors’ Choice Senior Vice President Gordon Anderson, “Judy Collins is one of those artists we always dreamed of reissuing, but never dreamed we would get the chance. We are thrilled to release these legendary albums on Collectors’ Choice with the love and respect they deserve.”

Fifth Album: This 1965 release, which charted #69 on the Billboard album chart, cemented Collins’ status as the foremost interpreter of the best 1960s songwriters to emerge from the folk revival. In addition to songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Phil Ochs, Eric Anderson, Tom Paxton, John Phillips and Richard Fariña, the album contains three Bob Dylan compositions, two of which (“Tomorrow Is a Long Time,” “Daddy You’ve Been on My Mind”) he didn’t release on his own records in the ’60s. The Mark Abramson-produced recording featured John Sebastian on harmonica, Danny Kalb and Eric Weissberg on guitars, and Fariña on dulcimer.

• In My Life: Collins’ 1966 album In My Life saw her make a bold leap from the folk-grounded arrangements and material of her previous work into a hybrid of folk, classical and pop that was dubbed “baroque folk.” Joshua Rifkin, fresh from the Baroque Beatles Book, arranged and conducted. In addition to the first appearances of Leonard Cohen songs on any release, this album, which reached #65 on the charts, includes compositions by Bob Dylan, Donovan, the Beatles, Richard Fariña, Jacues Brel (to whom she was turned on to by Elektra founder Jac Holzman) and a then-unknown Randy Newman.

• Whales & Nightingales: For Collins’ 1970 album Whales & Nightingales, producer Abramson left the confines of the studio to record at such locations as Carnegie Hall, the Manhattan Center and St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University. Holzman recalls in his book Follow the Music: “We decided to pick locations that matched the emotional ambience of the songs we were recording.” The album includes unusual treatments of traditional folk songs (the haunting “Farewell to Tarwathie” includes recordings of whales), as well as songs by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Jacques Brel. Collins’ hit version of “Amazing Grace,” featuring her then-boyfriend Stacy Keach, is on this release.

True Stories & Other Dreams:
Having exquisitely interpreted virtually every songwriter of note from the ’60s, Collins began including a few of her own songs on her albums (beginning with 1967’s Wildflowers). She brought her own songwriting to the fore on this 1973 release, contributing over half the material. In addition to five Collins originals, the album contains the Top 40 hit “Cook With Honey,” penned by Valerie Carter. Also featured is Tom Paxton’s “The Hostage,” written in the wake of the Attica prison riots and a 7 1/12-minute song titled “Che” about revolutionary Che Guevara. The album rose to #17 on the album chart.

• Bread & Roses: For the title track of this Top 30 1976 LP, Collins’ friend Mimi Fariña set to music the poem after which she’d named her humanitarian organization Bread & Roses. The album also features an eclectic group of composers including Leonard Cohen, Elton John, Duke Ellington and Chilean singer-songwriter-activist Victor Jara, with production by Arif Mardin and engineering by Phil Ramone. Players included Hugh McCracken, guitar; David Sanborn, sax; and Tony Levin, bass.

Running for My Life: This 1980 album marked the first occasion on which Judy Collins claimed sole production credit for one of her LPs. It was also notable for her spot-on performances of two songs from Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (she was no stranger to Sondheim’s work, having had a hit with “Send in the Clowns” in the mid-’70s). Songs also include a Jacques Brel composition (“Marieke,” which Collins had recorded previously but wanted to revisit), and one by Larry Gatlin (“I’ve Done Enough Dyin’ Today”).

• Times of Our Lives: This album, released in ’82, once again demonstrates that Collins is a singer capable of covering just about any kind of material as she deftly interprets three songs by country hit songwriter Hugh Prestwood (author of Randy Travis’ 1990 #1 hit “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Hearty”), a tune by Anna McGarrigle (“Sun Son”) and five of her own. Featuring musicians Hugh McCracken, Tony Levin and banjoist Bill Keith, Rolling Stone called this album her best since 1973’s True Stories & Other Dreams.

• Home Again: Collins’ final studio album for Elektra, released in 1984, features her own composition “Shoot First,” which benefited the National Alliance Against Violence. It also features a duet with country star T.G. Sheppard on the title track (with lyrics by Gerry Goffin) and a co-write with Elton John, “Sweetheart on Parade,” which John never recorded on his own albums. The album contains the Henry Gross composition “Everyone Works in China.” Producers were the jazz-steeped team of Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen.

Christmas at the Biltmore: Following albums on such labels as Geffen and Gold Castle, Collins returned to Elektra for the 1997 soundtrack to a holiday special on the A&E cable network. Recorded live in an intimate setting at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, this record proves once again that Collins’ powers of interpretation really know no time or season as she makes these familiar songs her own. Includes “Joy to the World,” “Silver Bells,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Jingle Bells” and even a version of “The Night Before Christmas” with new words penned by Collins.

Boulder Theater welcomes Angelique Kidjo

Angelique Kidjo digs into her roots with her new Razor & Tie release, Oyo. Roots that reach far beyond her West African homeland of Benin, because Grammy Award winning singer, dancer and songwriter Kidjo is a definitive 21st century world artist. Her art roves across boundaries, genres and ethnicities, finding the connections that link musical forms from every part of the world,while still bonding closely with her own traditions.

The songs on Oyo, embrace rhythm & blues, soul music, jazz,and Beniese melodies, as well as four of her own original works. Featuring her unique interpretations of songs from artists as diverse as James Brown, Otis Redding, Miriam Makeba, and Santana and including guests John Legend, Bono, Roy Hargrove and Dianne Reeves. Oyo is a truly diverse collection reflecting the music that inspired Angelique growing up.

Born in Benin (West Africa), Angelique Kidjo is a Grammy award-winning music recording artist deemed "Africa's premier diva" by Time Magazine. Kidjo's internationally acclaimed repertoire includes collaborations with various recording artists such as Carlos Santana, Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, Josh Groban, Branford Marsalis, Joss Stone, and many more. Known for her dynamic and uplifting music, she has translated her distinctive work in the arts to that of philanthropy; by promoting education for girls in Africa through her foundation, Batonga and as a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador Kidjo travels the world to inspire and empower.

Like Miriam Makeba was before her, Kidjo is the continent's most internationally celebrated female musical exponent. And yet, the GRAMMY-winning artist has lived outside Africa for more than two decades. She currently resides in New York City, where she is an exceptionally active member of the music scene, and she reaches people around the world with her recordings, tours and philanthropic work.
Friday June 18
97.3 KBCO & Westword present
Angelique Kidjo
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Tickets are on sale through the Boulder Theater box office | Internet 24-7 at www.bouldertheater.com | Phone: During box office hours 303-786-7030

Los Lobos Announces New Album, "Tin Can Trust"

Los Lobos, the Grammy-winning East L.A. band, announces the release of their brand new studio album, Tin Can Trust, to hit streets on August 3, 2010. With Tin Can TrustLos Lobos’ first release for Shout! Factory and first collection of new original material in four years— the venerable quintet once again redefines itself and expands its scope, while never losing sight of where they come from. And, like so much of Los Lobos’ previous work, Tin Can Trust is an album that speaks to the time and place in which it was conceived; the album’s title can be traced back more than a century, but for the band, it’s apt for the rickety state in which so many of us find ourselves—and our world—today.

The 11 tracks on Tin Can Trust offer the perfect balance of Los Lobos’ parts: the band’s lineup has remained uninterrupted since 1984, when saxophonist/keyboardist Steve Berlin joined original members Louie Pérez (guitar, drums, vocals), David Hidalgo (guitar, violin, accordion, percussion, vocals), Cesar Rosas (guitar, vocals) and Conrad Lozano (bass, vocals), each of whom had been there since the beginning in 1973.

Seven songs on the album are distinguished and genius Hidalgo-Pérez collaborations, including the opening track “I’ll Burn It Down,” which features a guest vocal harmony from blues-rocker Susan Tedeschi. Three others were written in whole or in part by Rosas - including the album’s two Spanish-language numbers: the cumbia “Yo Canto” and the norteño “Mujer Ingrata” - and display Los Lobos’ signature seamless infusion of Mexican folk songs into rock music. Also included in Tin Can Trust – a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway” – offering a nod to the bands’ shared history that extends back into the 1980s when the Angelenos befriended and opened shows for their northern peers.

As with every new recording Los Lobos makes, Tin Can Trust moves Los Lobos into yet another new dimension while simultaneously sounding like no one else in the world but Los Lobos. Los Lobos’ unified vision and strong work ethic are evident throughout the self-produced album, but so is something even greater: “an intuitiveness,” says Los Lobos songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Louie Pérez, “that happens only from being in a band for so long.” As Rolling Stone once wrote, “This is what happens when five guys create a magical sound, then stick together for 30 years to see how far it can take them.”

Look for Los Lobos on tour this summer in support of Tin Can Trust. Stay tuned to www.loslobos.org for up-to-minute information.

Thomas Dolby prepares first new album in 20 years

Thomas Dolby, the iconic ’80s star whose smash hits “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive” helped define the MTV generation/revolution, is preparing to break his 20-year silence with a new album later this year titled A Map of the Floating City. The album features appearances by special guest artists Mark Knopfler, Regina Spektor, Natalie MacMaster, Bruce Woolley and Imogen Heap. Leading up to the full-length, Dolby will release three digital-only EPs containing three or four songs apiece exclusively for signed-up members of his online fan community, The Flat Earth Society.

The five time Grammy™-nominated British artist quit the music business in the early ’90s and spent many years in Silicon Valley, where his tech company Beatnik Inc. created the ringtone synthesizer embedded in more than 3 billion mobile phones shipped by Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and others. Now retired from Beatnik, Dolby has returned to his native UK and is busy recording an album of brand new songs in a renewable energy-powered studio he built aboard a 1930s lifeboat in the garden of his beach house on England’s North Sea coast.

“The new songs are organic and very personal,” says Dolby. “This album is a travelogue across three imaginary continents. In Amerikana I’m reflecting with affection on the years I spent living in the USA, and my fascination with its roots music. Urbanoia is a dark place, a little unsettling . . . I’m not a city person. And in Oceanea I return to my natural home on the windswept coastline.

I marvel at the new landscape of the music business — distribution via the Internet and recording technologies I barely dreamed of when I started out,” he continues. “But this album does not sound electronic at all. I have zero desire to add to the myriad of machine-based, synth-driven grooves out there. The Net has made a music career approachable for thousands of bands — but I hear too few single-minded voices among them. What I do best is write songs, tell stories.”

To help tell his stories, Dolby has enlisted an impressive cast of guest musicians. Legendary guitarist Mark Knopfler helps drive the epic “17 Hills,” a song about a pair of hapless lovers and a jailbreak. Natalie MacMaster, the Cape Breton fiddler, adds spice to two songs. Scottish singer Eddi Reader takes a front seat on the ethereal “Oceanea.” Bruce Woolley (Camera Club) adds theremin. And Regina Spektor has a cameo as an East European waitress on “Evil Twin Brother.”

The first EP, Amerikana, will be available June 12 exclusively to signed-up members of The Flat Earth Society at www.thomasdolby.com. It includes the songs “Road to Reno,” “The Toad Lickers” and “17 Hills,” featuring Knopfler and MacMaster. Two additional EPs are to follow during 2010, culminating in a physical CD release that will add additional songs and complete the set. A multi-city live tour is likely for 2011.

Turbine and Mason Jar Records team up for live release Sounds in the Hall

Breaking through the proverbial glass ceiling of the improvisational rock scene proves no easy feat for young bands. Burgeoning musicians lumped in the dare we say it, jamband realm, need to successfully marry a deep high-quality catalog of material, whimsical stage presence, diverse writing chops, virtuoso instrumentation, and a calendar containing upwards of 200 shows per year. Correction, breaking through the glass ceiling of the improvisational rock scene is damn near impossible.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, and Brooklyn’s Turbine would like to submit their CV. On their first official live release, Sounds in the Hall, as they have over the course of 8 songs checked off every single one of the preceding prerequisites. Comprised of carefully hand-picked selections of both Turbine classics and newer material, Sounds in the Hall covers all the bases, but the clear differentiating factor that sets Turbine far above the masses is their amazing penchant for writing memorable and distinctive songs across a variety of sounds and genres.

Just running through the eight song track list, Turbine touches on a bonafide hit-single in waiting “Blackout Song,” the slow summer groove akin to the Grateful Dead “Eddy From the Sea,” a thick extended funk jam on “Behind These Walls” that stretches all way to cow funk-era 1997, blazing bluegrass chops on Maritime Rag, and a handful of tunes that highlight the remarkable vocals and smoking harmonica leads.

Having played a seemingly infinite number of shows over the past couple of years, the Turbine boys took a lot of time in selecting their finest renditions of the material on Sound from the Halls, as described by guitarist and harmonica player Ryan Rightmire.

“There were so many factors in selecting the songs. Being that this is our first official live album, we wanted to include songs from our two studio albums as well as feature some unreleased ones. In the end, half the album is made up of unreleased tracks. Listening back to the performances, it was hard to ignore the energy of the big shows. Bonnaroo and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival brought out some great moments, so they are well represented. As for a specific memory, at one point during “Stand Down” I played the harmonica with a balloon, and you can hear the crowd erupt mid-song. It’s those mid-song responses that always tell us things are going well.”

It bears highlighting that Turbine’s Ryan Rightmire incorporates the harmonica like it’s never been used in a rock context. Not only does he employ some trickery like playing with a balloon, but it’s not uncommon to hear him layer on some effects and turn his harp into a synth-laden rhythm instrument. Alternatively, he possesses to chops to play it clean and go toe-to-toe with John Popper and perhaps remain the last man standing. While it’s probably not wise for the bands’ publicity to start entering them into fights, these guys are pretty scrappy so keep your guard up, Popper.

Turbine is by no means any one trick pony either, guitarist Jeremy Hilliard plays law-running lead guitar and cranks out definitive melodies throughout  his lead playing as well as helping shape Turbine’s wide reaching sound with his song-writing talents. Bassist Justin Kimmel and drummer Octavio Salman hold down the low post like Abdul-Jabar, as both are trained musicians with the ability to run the offense and take over the game at any moment.

Sometimes these things just feel meant to be; when Turbine showed up to perform their show at Bonnaroo, from which three of these tracks were taken, they found a bit of encouraging irony. “There was a giant wind turbine spinning next to the stage. As of matter of fact, it powered our entire show including all of the recording equipment. We made the announcement that this was the first turbine-powered Turbine concert. I kept expecting the songs to speed up every time a gust of wind made it spin faster.”

Taking the name from the lyrics of one the album’s highlight tracks, “Behind These Walls,” Sounds in the Hall evokes a sense of the live experience the overall feel for this tour, which included some big venues. We can only hope that with the help of a successfully release, that the halls will keep growing and the sounds will just keep getting better.

In support of the album, Turbine will host a record release party on May 22nd at the Mercury Lounge in New York City (with the Brew).

Listen to Turbine sing "Blackout Song"

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Sounds in the Hall Tracklist:

Eddy the Sea – Telluride Bluegrass Festival, CO

War of 9161 (The Pledge) – Breckenridge, CO

Invited – Bonnaroo, TN

Behind These Walls – Boulder, CO

Doing to Me – Bonnaroo, TN

Stand Down – Bonnaroo, TN

Maritime Rag – Telluride Bluegrass Festival, CO

Blackout Song – Breckenridge, CO