My Morning Jacket Announce Erykah Badu & Rachel Dratch as Special Guests for "Unstaged"

My Morning Jacket’s upcoming performance  for American Express’ “Unstaged” music series – in partnership with VEVO and YouTube – is just around the corner, and the band has revealed new exciting details about the event.  The live-stream of the band’s 5/31 Louisville show, which airs at 9pm EDT, will feature Grammy award-winning singer Erykah Badu and actress Rachel Dratch.  The band has also released a series of trailers for show – click HERE to watch the latest one, a.k.a. “The My Morning Jacket Shower Scene.”  Other recent trailers include  a request for fans to send in artistic photos of their eyeballs, to be featured as a part of the live-stream, which is being directed by award-winning filmmaker Todd Haynes.  The guys have also requested attendees of the show to come dressed in fancy clothes to match the grandeur of the venue, the historic Louisville Palace Theater.

“We are incredibly honored that Todd Haynes has agreed to direct this show for us,” said lead singer Jim James. “We can’t wait to immerse ourselves in his creative vision and masterful take on this live-streamed performance. Fans will certainly be in for a magical and surreal ride.”

My Morning Jacket’s new album, Circuital, will be released on May 31st by ATO Records.  It was recorded in Louisville, KY and Nashville, TN, and was co-produced by frontman Jim James and Tucker Martine (R.E.M., Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists). Head over to their Facebook page to hear “Holdin on to Black Metal” and “Circuital,” two of the new songs that will appear on it.

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My Morning Jacket Tour Dates:

* = $1 from each ticket will be donated to a local charity
Go to www.mymorningjacket.com for more details

05/31:  Louisville, KY @ Louisville Palace Theater
06/02-06/05:  Ozark, AR @

Wakarusa Festival
06/05:  Hunter, NY @ Mountain Jam
06/09-06/12:  Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Festival
06/16:  Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater
06/17:  Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
06/22:  Los Angeles, CA @ Pantages Theatre
06/24: Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre
06/26:  Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
06/28:  Portland, OR @ Edgefield
06/29:  Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum
06/30-07/03:  Quincy, CA @ High Sierra Music Festival
7/2 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl
07/11:  Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
07/12:  Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
07/16: Southwold  @ Latitude Festival
07/17: London  @ Somerset House
8/2 St. Louis, MO The Pageant 
8/3 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theater 
08/04:  Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
08/05-08/13:  Bangor, ME @ The KahBang Festival

TOUR DATES W/ NEKO CASE:
8/7 Indianapolis, IN The Lawn at White River State Park 
8/8 Columbus, OH LC Pavilion 
8/10 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE 
8/12 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion 
8/14 Boston, MA Bank Of America Pavilion 
8/16 Rochester Hills, MI Meadow Brook 
8/17 Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center
8/20 Alpharetta, GA Verizon Wireless Amphitheater 
8/21 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheater

Sarabeth Tucek Streams New Album On AOL

Sarabeth Tucek is set to release her sophomore LP, Get Well Soon, on May 24th on Ungawa Records. It’s a stunning record that, although not a concept album as such, forms a narrative based around the death of Sarabeth’s father, or as she beautifully describes it “an impressionistic rendering of a time ruled by grief”. The 12 tracks were “sequenced and resequenced for weeks” in order for the story to emerge and the end result sees not one wasted word or unnecessary note; all we’re left with is “just pure feeling”.
Sarabeth was born to a psychiatrist and a psychologist in Miami, but grew up in New York. She was a latecomer to music, her first calling being acting. However, after a few years in Hollywood, her singing and songwriting was encouraged by people on the music scene she fell in with. She first made an impression singing backing vocals on Smog’s 2003 album Supper and then in the film ‘Dig!’, where she sings a song she had just written called "Something For You". The Brian Jonestown Massacre went on to cover the song (retitled "Seer"), but Sarabeth’s own version became her debut single, on Sonic Cathedral, back in February 2007.
This stark and simple song won her legions of fans and her self-titled debut album followed a few months later (on the Echo label) to rapturous reviews. Produced by Ethan Johns and Luther Russell, its understated style was an inspiration to a number of singer-songwriters who followed in Sarabeth’s wake, including Laura Marling, who approached Johns to produce I Speak Because I Can after hearing it.
However, despite everything seemingly going so right, at home everything was going wrong. “Some very bad things happened during the first record and after,” recalls Sarabeth. “It was as if all that had ever troubled me, hurt me, came back just as I was embarking on what should’ve been the happiest time of my life. It all came back and said, ‘Not so fast...’
“I don’t think my mind could handle all the good coming its way. It was unfamiliar terrain and I didn’t know how to traverse It. Predictably, my drinking got out of control and that led to a couple car accidents, jail and legal troubles.I wanted to leave LA anyway, but now I felt I sort of had to. I hoped that by coming back home to New York I would be able to forge some kind of redemptive break from the past. To forgive myself.”
The move has informed much of the music on Get Well Soon. The warmth of the West Coast has gone, replaced by a much rawer sound, all recorded over an intensive 15-day period in a basement in Southampton, Pennsylvania. “We recorded this record in a house where we also lived,” Sarabeth explains. “My friends Robert and Peter from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club recorded ‘Howl’ there. It’s owned by the Nicgorski family who are all very musical: Billy, who offered me the basement, and his brother have played in lots of bands, their sister Maria sings on ‘State I Am In’ and their father Wally spent his mornings on the front porch singing in his rocking chair. Making a record where I am singing to and about my father and seeing and hearing their dad out there every morning served up a pretty strong and bittersweet feeling for me.”
“I think we managed to capture a unique mood down in that basement,” adds producer Luther Russell. “As guests in someone’s home we got a feeling that might not have happened in a regular studio. Sarabeth wanted to be somewhere totally unfamiliar; the material was incredibly personal to her, so she had to feel right about where she did it. My job was to capture that feeling, and fast. The plan was to mix it in LA, but it turned out that all the magic was there in the rough mixes I did as we went along – so that is what you hear. I think that’s why it’s such an immediate record, because it really was completed in those two weeks... but with a lifetime of preparation, of course.”
The rawness of the recording reflects the subject matter and provides the perfect accompaniment to Sarabeth’s voice, which seems stronger, more confident and more crystalline than ever, like Karen Dalton or a less histrionic Cat Power, as she deftly conveys her grief with an eloquent, understated majesty. The musical reference points of the first album – Neil Young, Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Big Star – are still there, but somehow amplified, and Sarabeth is definitely not looking towards the current music scene for inspiration. “It’s odd how placid a lot of music seems now; so washed out in sound and feeling,” she says. “It’s like antidepressant music to take antidepressants to. I don’t really give a shit. I am more likely to buy a new book now than a new record.”
This would explain the number of literary references on Get Well Soon. The opening track "The Wound And The Bow" is named after a book of essays by Edmund Wilson, in which Sarabeth discovered and subsequently became obsessed with the myth of Philoctetes, a play by Sophocles in which the protagonist suffers a wound so grotesque that he is left alone on an island to live in a cave and tend to his injuries. The title of "Exit Ghost" was taken from the Philip Roth novel, but he appropriated it from ‘Hamlet’, where it is written as a stage direction. “The scene when Hamlet sees his father’s ghost became lodged in my head,” explains Sarabeth. “And his subsequent madness I understood in a more personal way.”
The narrative ends with the title track and a resolution of sorts. “I feel like I’m either the patient or the doctor, somebody always has an ache,” she says. “When I wrote the title track I had a friend of mine on my mind. She was so sad... just inconsolable and it was painful to see her like that. The title is a reminder to keep myself well. It’s hard to explain the ferocity of the grief I experienced when my father died. I really felt like it was going to kill me, so to be here... well, I just wanted to remind myself of what I survived.”

Suzanna Choffel To Release New Album, 'Steady Eye Shaky Bow,' May 24

Suzanna Choffel, whose dusky vocals are as intriguing as her indie-soul-pop originals and sultry stage presence, releases on Tuesday, May 24, her latest album, STEADY EYE SHAKY BOW, a collection of upbeat melodies and ballads that Choffel describes as “blues-colored dark grit” drawing from musical influences that include Stax-style jazz and Motown R&B.

Choffel and her band — Kyle Thompson on drums, Johnny Vogelsang on bass, Laura Scarborough on vibraphone and synthesizer, and Chris Gebhard on keys and guitar —will make numerous special appearances around the new release. The band recently performed at SXSW Music Festival, including a show at Auditorium Shores with Blue October.

Around the release of STEADY EYE SHAKY BOW, Choffel will tour in Texas in May and June, including an Album Release Show in Austin. The album has already yielded “Raincloud,” with its smart, witty lyrics and soulful syncopated sound that is more than pop, the song infused with the flavor of New Orleans with the backing by Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and a video viewed on YouTube more than half a million times.
Another song on the new album is “Archer,” from whence the album’s title comes, a song that exemplifies Choffel’s unique lyrical expression of the emotions inherent in relationships.
Multiple award-winner Choffel was named Indie Artist of the Year at the 2009 Austin Music Awards and won top honors in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
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Suzanna Choffel upcoming shows include:
May 13, Saxon Pub, Austin
May 19, The Shady Grove, Austin
May 20, Luna, San Antonio
May 24, Waterloo Records In-Store, Austin
May 28, One World Theatre, Austin (Album Release Show)
June 11, McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, Houston
June 16, Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock

'Definitive Chick Corea' Reissue on Concord

Since his earliest recordings in the 1960s, pianist, keyboardist, and composer Chick Corea has consistently taken the creative process to a level that transcends conventional musical doctrines. After spending his formative years with artists as diverse as Miles Davis, Herbie Mann, Stan Getz, and Sarah Vaughan, Corea helped redefine the boundaries of jazz as a founding member of the acclaimed Return To Forever, one of the most innovative and daring jazz fusion collectives of the last half-century. In more recent decades, as the leader of numerous projects that have explored various aspects of the musical landscape, he continues to be an influential force in modern jazz.

In celebration of Corea’s 70th birthday this summer, Concord Music Group provides a look back at three decades’ worth of brilliant recordings in The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord. The sweeping two-disc collection — the latest in CMG’s ongoing Definitive series — begins with some of Corea’s best sessions with Stretch in the early 1980s and follows him through the end of the century to his work on Concord up to 2009. The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord is set for release on June 7, 2011, just days ahead of the artist’s 70th birthday on June 12.

The collection is being released simultaneously with Forever, a new two-disc electric/acoustic set that Corea recorded live with Return To Forever bandmates Stanley Clarke and Lenny White — along with, on disc two, a few high-profile guests (Chaka Khan, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Bill Connors) — during a world tour in 2009. A previously unreleased version of Corea’s well-known “La Fiesta,” captured during this tour, is the closing track on The Definitive Chick Corea.

Even a quick glance at the range of material in this collection — 21 tracks in all — provides an impressive perspective on the breadth and depth of Corea’s imagination, according to veteran music journalist Don Heckman, who wrote the liner notes for the set.
“Start with the all-star collectives of the early ’80s that find him in the company of such jazz stalwarts as Michael Brecker, Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, and Gary Peacock, to name only a few,” says Heckman. “Add the musical encounters with old friend and frequent collaborator Gary Burton, the first Origin tracks and a glimpse of Chick’s insightful approach to standards. And, in the 2000s, more unusual musical encounters, this time with Bobby McFerrin, Béla Fleck, Hiromi, John McLaughlin, and again Burton, as well as the Elektric and Akoustic Bands.”
As to the divine nature of the creative process, Heckman recalls a quote from Corea himself about the higher channel that every artist eventually dials into: “Your tastes can change from day to day,” says Corea. “But the whole point of being an artist, with my groups, has always been spirituality, art as spirit. That’s our message, and translated into human rights terms, it’s freedom of expression. Freedom of thought, which is actually broader than freedom of religion . . . Freedom to think as you will. Which means freedom to pray, practice your own religion, play what music you want, say what opinions you have, communicate as you want. And that’s our premise.”
The music within The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord exemplifies Corea’s unwillingness to be restricted by artificial boundaries, says Nick Phillips, Concord Music Group’s Vice President of Catalog and Jazz A&R and co-producer — in collaboration with Corea — of this collection. “One of the many amazing things about Chick is just how restlessly creative he is — not only as an instrumentalist, but also as a composer,” says Phillips. “He’s a true artist who’s not driven by fickle trends, or some conventional norm about the way a jazz tune should be written or played. He’s driven purely by his own boundless creativity, and he has demonstrated that throughout his career. That’s what shines through on these tracks and that’s why each one is timeless.”
Heckman sums up the release as “a three-decade, double-disc album of selected musical scenes from a richly creative life. An album guaranteed to appeal to Chick’s dedicated fans, as well as the lucky listeners who will be experiencing the pleasures of first discovery.”
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TRACK LIST:

Disc 1

Tap Step
Quartet No. 1
Folk Song
Duende
Windows
Armando’s Rhumba
Bud Powell
Dreamless
Wigwam
Spain
It Could Happen To You
Disc 2
Blue Monk
Bessie’s Blues
Johnny’s Landing
North Africa
The Fool on the Hill
Señorita
Crystal Silence
The Disguise
La Fiesta [previously unreleased]
Fingerprints

Blues & Roots: Vieux Farka Toure w/ William Elliott Whitmore

It was a pretty quiet night on the hill in Boulder, CO at the Fox Theater, even though it was the beginning of the 1st annual Boulder Blues and Roots Summit Festival.  This festival featured early shows at the

Live Webcast of The 2011 Hangout Festival

The Hangout Music Festival, America’s only music festival located on white sandy beaches with ocean views, is excited to announce that highlights from the second annual Hangout Music Festival will be streamed live on SPIN.com this weekend, with video production and transmission by iClips.net.

Slightly Stoopid Announces Second Leg of Seedless Summer Tour

Today Slightly Stoopid announce the second leg of their Seedless Summer 2011 Tour, including shows at Governors Island (New York), Masquerade Music Park (Atlanta), Charter One Pavilion (Chicago) and many points in between. Pre-sale is happening now at www.slightlystoopid.com, with tickets available to the general public beginning Friday, May 20.

The Seedless Summer 2011 Tour, which unveiled the first leg of dates last week, brings Slightly Stoopid’s California-born music to sheds around the country this summer with Rebelution and Shwayze & Cisco Adler also on the bill.

Look for Seedless Summer 2011 Tour to make 25 stops in all, including some of the country’s best outdoor venues; Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO, The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA, and Cricket Amphitheater in their hometown of San Diego, CA. As The San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported, “Headlining Cricket for the third year in a row is a coup for the Ocean Beach-based group -- a feat unmatched by blink-182, Jason Mraz, Jewel, P.O.D. or any other nationally prominent San Diego act, past or present.” The complete list of Slightly Stoopid’s Seedless Summer 2011 Tour dates in included below.

Formed in 1995 in San Diego, CA’s Ocean Beach by childhood friends Miles Doughty (guitar, bass, vocals) and Kyle McDonald (guitar, bass, vocals), Slightly Stoopid has become one of the most influential and progressive improvisational musical outfits on the tour circuit. And as Amped Up Magazine points out, it’s for good reason,

“Slightly Stoopid have perfected one of the rarest and most valuable skills a band can develop: the art of the stealth groove.” Always a festival favorite, Slightly Stoopid has performed at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Outside Lands, Milwaukee Summerfest, Wakarusa, and many others. With their two most recent albums both debuting on Billboard and iTunes charts, the band has sold over 750,000 albums and now releases all material on Doughty and McDonald’s own record label, Stoopid Records.

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Slightly Stoopid Tour Dates

LEG ONE:

7/21 Missoula, MT - Big Sky Brewery
7/22 Boise, ID - Idaho Botanical Garden
7/23 Redmond, WA - Marymoor Amphitheatre
7/24 Eugene, OR - Cuthbert Amphitheatre
7/26 Jacksonville, OR - Britt Pavilion (on sale 5/19)
7/27 Lake Tahoe, CA - Harvey's Amphitheater
7/29 Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre
7/30 San Diego, CA - Cricket Amphitheatre (on sale 5/21)
8/04 Salt Lake City, UT - Gallivan Center
8/05 Aspen, CO - TBA
8/06 Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre

LEG TWO:

8/10 Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony Summer Stage
8/11 Gilford, NH - Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion
8/12 Philadelphia, PA - Penn's Landing (no pre-sale)
8/13 Boston, MA - Bank Of America Pavilion
8/14 New York, NY - Governors Island - Beach
8/17 Baltimore, MD - Pier Six Concert Pavilion
8/18 Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre
8/19 Cocoa Beach, FL - Cocoa Beach Pier
8/20 West Boca Raton, FL - Sunset Cove Amphitheatre
8/21 St. Augustine, FL - St. Augustine Amphitheatre
8/24 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade Music Park
8/25 Raleigh, NC - Raleigh Amphitheatre
8/26 TBA8/27 Chicago, IL - Charter One Pavilion

Amy Black Announces iPod Giveaway Contest

Singer/songwriter Amy Black released her sophomore album entitled One Time this spring and has been on the road supporting the record.  For fans who have not had a chance to catch one of her electric performances, Amy has release videos from her CD release show at Club Passim in Boston's Harvard Square.

In the album’s potent title track, "One Time," the plaintive lyric “Time for you to make a break/And show what you’re good for” could describe Black’s new release and her live performances. “I decided a few years back that it was now or never,” says Black. “I love music way too much to sit on the side lines. You only get one chance at this life, and I’m taking mine.”

"One Time" is the first single off the album and Amy rocked it at the release show. Fans who share the video with their friends will be entered in the "iPod 'One Time' Music Collection" Contest. The winner will receive a new Apple iPod Touch loaded with Amy Black’s music catalog and videos from the "One Time" CD Release Show.

In order to win, watch the video at www.amyblack.lotosnile-dev.com. Viewers of the video can enter to receive a personalized URL to share the video. They can post the link on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or email it to their friends.  The person who gets the most people to view Amy’s video by Thursday, June 2, 2011 through their personalized URL will win the iPod Touch with Amy Black’s music and videos.

For more information or to purchase the album visit www.amyblack.com.

Sarah Jarosz 2011 Summer Tour Dates

In case you haven't had a chance to listen, here's what folks are saying about Follow Me Down, the sophomore release from Sarah Jarosz out today!

-- Click here to listen to Sarah's NPR Feature on All Things Considered!

-- Click here to stream Sarah's cover of Radiohead's "The Tourist" featuring Punch Brothers.

-- Click here to watch the EPK.

“Widely regarded as one of acoustic music’s most promising young talents: a singer-songwriter and mandolin and banjo prodigy with the taste and poise to strike that rare balance of commercial and critical success.” – NEW YORK TIMES

*** ½ (out of four) – USA TODAY

"One of the fastest-rising stars in the roots music scene, and rapidly crossing over to the mainstream too.” – MSN MUSIC

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Sarah Jarosz Summer Tour Dates:

5-17     New York, NY - Rockwood Music Hall
5-18     New York, NY - Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
5-22     Austin, TX - One World Theatre - 2 shows
5-25     Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head Tavern
5-26     Vienna, VA - Jammin' Java
5-28     Nashville, TN - Grand Ole Opry
6-01     Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
6-02     Charleston, SC - Spoleto Festival
6-03     Tryon, NC - Tryon Fine Arts Center
6-05     Nashville, TN - 3rd and Lindsley
6-07     San Francisco, CA - Slim's
6-08     Chico, CA - Sierra Nevada Big Room
6-09     Ashland, OR - CultureWorks
6-10     Corvallis, OR - First Presbyterian Church
6-12     Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
6-13     Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
6-15-19  Telluride, CO - Telluride Bluegrass Festival
6-25     Owensboro, KY - ROMP Music Festival - IBMA Museum
6-26     Santa Monica, CA - McCabe's
6-28     Los Angeles, CA - Hotel Café
6-29     San Diego, CA - Anthology
7-08     Winnipeg, CAN - Winnipeg Folk Festival
7-14     Glasgow, Scotland - CCA Glasgow
7-16     Bedford, UK - Civic Theatre
7-17     Sheffield, UK - Greystones
7-18     Bristol, UK - St. Bonaventure's
7-19     Norwich, UK - Norwich Arts Centre
7-20     London, UK - Bush Hall - Part of a Communion Show
7-22     Nottingham, UK - The Glee Club
7-23     Gateshead, UK - Summertyne Festival
7-27     Teton Village, WY - Grand Teton Music Festival/Walk Festival Hall
7/29     Lyons, CO - Rockygrass

Frank Sinatra's inaugural Reprise album reissued on Concord

Concord Records marks the 50th anniversary of a pivotal transition in Frank Sinatra’s career with a digitally remastered version of Ring-A-Ding Ding. Under license from Frank Sinatra Enterprises (FSE), the album is set for release on June 7, 2011.

By the end of the 1950s, Sinatra had spent nearly ten years on Capitol, where he’d made some outstanding recordings. But at the dawn of a new decade, he was eager to establish a creative environment of his own making — one that would open up new territory to explore and take him a step closer to realizing his unique creative vision.

The result was the establishment of Reprise, his own record label and his primary base of operations for the remainder of his career. His initial recording on the new label was Ring-A-Ding Ding, a 1961 album that not only captured Sinatra at the top of his game with a self-confident swagger, but — with the help of songwriters like Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen, and arrangements by Johnny Mandel — also captured the optimistic tenor of the period.

In addition to the 12 songs from the original recording, the 50th anniversary reissue also features two bonus tracks — “Zing! Went The Strings of My Heart” and a previously unreleased version of “Have You Met Miss Jones?” The packaging also includes extensive new liner notes by Frank Sinatra Jr., who shares personal memories of his father during the founding of Reprise and the making of the album as well as annotations and insights for each track.

“As the new decade began, like Midas, everything Sinatra touched turned to gold,” says Frank Jr. “His movies were box office blockbusters, his records were gold, his concerts were standing room only, and with the help of his tireless efforts, he had been very instrumental in helping his friend John F. Kennedy become the 35th President of the United States. It was no wonder that for Frank Sinatra, the period of time in which he was living could only be referred to as ‘Ring-A-Ding Ding.’ The music in this premier Reprise recording reflected that state of mind in every note.”


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TRACK LIST
Ring-A-Ding Ding
Let’s Fall in Love
Be Careful, It’s My Heart
A Foggy Day
A Fine Romance
In The Still of the Night
The Coffee Song
When I Take My Sugar to Tea
Let’s Face the Music and Dance
You’d Be So Easy To Love
You and the Night and the Music
I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

BONUS TRACKS:
Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart