Archive for September 2010
Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and the English producer Atticus Ross have released five tracks off the upcoming soundtrack for “The Social Network” for free online.
Included are five tracks:
1) Pieces Form the Whole
2) Eventually We Find Our Way
3) On We March
4) The Gentle Hum of Anxiety
5) Soft Trees Break the Fall
The ambient tunes are part of a 19 track album available now for download or the physical album will be available in October.
“The Social Network,” which premiers Oct. 1, is the story of how Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg created the popular social networking site and the controversy surrounding his success.
Reznor included the following message with the free download:
“This is what Atticus and I have been working on for the last few months. We had a great time working with David Fincher on this and the film turned out excellent – something we’re very proud of. It opens in theatres Oct 1 and you should check it out.
Musically, this all came out of our secret laboratory – electronic in basis, but mostly organic sounding. Lots of experiments and emphasis on sound fraying around the edges while focusing on the proper emotional tone for the various scenes.
Regarding the purchase options, sorry about the “clunkiness” of not offering the full record digital download pre-sale (and having to visit Amazon). My agenda was to be able to offer this for the lowest possible price and this was the best way to achieve that. Amazon has been a great partner with past projects and I appreciate your understanding.”
Lil Wayne “I Am Not A Human Being”
Weezy F Baby may still be behind bars at Rikers, but that hasn’t stopped him from dropping a new album online before the Oct. 12 physical release date.
“I Am Not A Human Being” leaves Weezy’s rock and roll phase of “Rebirth” and flashes back to the genius of “Tha Carter III.”
Slick catchy beats combined with Wayne’s signature off the cuff lyrics makes for a solid album. Top tracks I’m Single, What’s Wrong With Them, Right Above It.
Eric Clapton “Clapton”
Eric Clapton drops 14 laid-back bluesy tracks on his latest self-titled album. This is signature Clapton, solid guitar work overlaid with Clapton’s smooth singing.
No major surprises here, but as always Clapton delivers the goods from the ol’ time blues number Rockin’ Chair where Clapton sings for his gin while kicked back in his rocking chair to the more up-tempo That’s No Way To Get Along.
It appears Clapton, like his gin, has mellowed with age.
Jimmy Eat World “Invented”
Jimmy Eat World seems to have found a niche in sugary pop songs that you just can’t shake once their in your head. But their latest effort on “Invented” is amazing.
The band seems to have really stepped to another level here. They still retain their signature sound, but the lyrics and composition of songs is a bit more complex and hits you on a deeper level than just humming along.
Top tracks: Heart is Hard to Find, Higher Devotion, Coffee and Cigarettes and Mixtape. There is also a bonus track version that includes an acoustic version of Coffee and Cigarettes that is worth a listen.
A blast from the past, Soundgarden drops a double disc here a mix of early material, live tracks and hits.
Aside from the usual suspects here: My Wave, Spoonman and Blackhole Sun there are some hidden gems on here such as Jesus Christ Pose live in Sturgis, South Dakota recorded in 1993 and Blow Up the Outside World (MTV Live N’ Loud).
A lot of the tracks are heavier and more metal-based than the more radio-friendly hits that Soundgarden is best known for.
Ben Folds “Lonely Avenue”
Ben Folds, frontman of Ben Folds Five, teams up with English author Nick Hornsby, author of “About a Boy” and “High Fidelity,” here to create a beautifully low-key album.
Folds doesn’t lose his sense of humor on this album, seen in songs such as Rockin’ the Suburbs. On the intro track A Working Day Folds sings “Some guy on the net thinks I suck and he should know he’s got his own blog.”
A bit of a departure from his previous stuff, “Lonely Avenue” is an interesting shift that may take a listen or two before it settles. Top tracks: Your Dogs, Practical Amanda and Password.
Weezer is getting nostalgic all of a sudden.
The group is hitting the road for its fall Memories Tour where they will perform the Blue Album and Pinkerton in their entirety. A surprising turn for frontman Rivers Cuomo who is notorious for loathing the Pinkerton Album, which he referred to as hideous and a huge mistake in 2001.
Nonetheless, Cuomo, now 40-years-old, has had a change of heart and Weezer has announced the first two stops for the tour: Los Angeles on Nov. 26 and 27 and San Francisco Nov. 29 and 30.
Each city will get two dates, according to Weezer’s website one Blue Album set plus greatest hits and a Pinkerton setlist with greatest hits. Thus to hear both albums performed live in their entirety you will need to buy two tickets to each show. Having seen Weezer live four times, I strongly recommend attending both shows if they add your city.
The tour comes on the release of Weezer’s 8th album “Hurley” and the group’s third release in three years. Most notable is the band’s departure from major label Geffen, DGC/Interscope for the first time. Turning to Epitaph for the release, there really is no radical change for the band.
“Hurley” named after the clothing company, not Jorge Garcia’s character on Lost who is featured on the album cover.
If anything Weezer shies away from the pop/hip-hop direction it took on “Raditude” and reverts back to its rock roots. “Hurley” has more parallels with the “Blue Album” than it does with the band’s latest efforts.
Notable tracks include: Memories, Trainwrecks, Unspoken and Brave New World.
Perhaps more impressive than the new album is the fact that Cuomo has already finished recording the band’s ninth album titled “Death to False Metal” and are currently in the process of recording their 10th album.
In a recent Q&A with Rolling Stone, Cuomo said he is working two albums ahead and that “Death to False Metal” is a collection of material that was too “either too poppy, too heavy-metal or to weird” to make it on any of the group’s seven Geffen records.
For their new music video for Memories Weezer teams up with MTV’s Jackass Crew. Jackass releases its new 3D movie on Oct. 15.
First and foremost my utmost apologies for the lag in posts over the last couple months. It has been an eventful summer. Thanks to all the readers who wrote in urging me to carry on. Rather than rehash each show I have been to this summer I figured I would just post the highlights. There were tons of good shows and festivals this season. Lots of good gigs I wanted to get to and was either unable to due to time or money. However, when it was all said and done I saw some banger shows. Here’s the highlights:
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
I’ve seen Tom Petty before, but he is one artist who I am willing to continue paying big bucks to see. Plus this show was at Red Rocks, which is amazing in and of itself. Petty played all the status quo hits here, but the real treat was the new material off of his Mojo album that came out weeks before this show, which was the opening night for the tour. Coming off his reunion with his original band Mudcrutch, which is a fabulous album too, he took the Heartbreakers into the studio and recorded one of their rawest albums to date. The tone reverts much more to blues and classic rock than the pop. Petty has conquered it all – from record executives to stalkers burning down his home – and he is at a point in his career where he can just play music from the gut. That came through in the show. The guys were just having fun, playing songs that are older than I am – “breakdown” – to banging out new material like “Jefferson Jericho Blues.” Head and shoulders above the rest this was the No. 1 show this summer.
Them Crooked Vultures
A close second to Petty was this Supergroup. Typically I am not a fan of these power bands that collaborate big name stars, but Dave Grohl (Scream, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Probot) Josh Homme (QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) are heavyweights in the world of rock and roll. I had previously seen Grohl with the Foo Fighters and Homme with the Eagles of Death Metal so Jones was on my hit list to see live. These guys go hard every song. While the Vultures material sounds like QOTSA to me, most likely because Homme takes the role of vocals, just seeing Jones on the bass and Grohl wail on the drums was surreal. The three really play off each other well and put on a heck of a show. “New Fang” was the high point for me, but “Mind Eraser no Chaser” was also a stellar song. Grohl took some breathtaking solos on the drum. Bair-back with sweat flying from his mass of black hair, Grohl would attack the kit in a massive assault reminiscent of his days in Nirvana and Scream. However, Jones flawless and seemingly effortless drive on the bass was worth the price of admission alone. Homme held down his staple role on guitar and vocals swinging vodka straight from the bottle with a drive that most musicians would kill for. Definitely a show for the ages.
Murder By Death
I have been a diehard Murder By Death fan since their 2003 “Who Will Survive, and what will be left of them?” album. Since then lead vocalist Adam Turla has vastly improved his voice, which in my opinion has hurt the music. Their recording efforts have stepped up in terms of quality as well. This show was to kick off their new album, just about to be released at the time, “Good Morning, Magpie.” The effort was great, and the band is truly talented. Cellist Sarah Balliet alone brings a diverse mix to the music that most alt-country groups can’t pull off. The show revolved around primarily new material, with some older hits thrown in. As much as I love MBD, the live show didn’t hit me as much as I hoped it would. Not to take anything away from the band, it was a quality show that included great sons such as “Devil in Mexico,” “Master in Reverse Psychology” and “Coming Home.” It just didn’t jump off the stage any different than the record player. As a side note, if you have not seen the film this band is named after go watch it now, it is hilarious.
This show was a pleasant surprise. I had been enjoying Blitzen Trapper’s new album “Destroyer of the Void” when a buddy from work told me he had a couple tickets and asked if I wanted to go to the show. With “Furr” being one of my favorite albums of recent years I jumped at the opportunity to see these guys live. The first thing that struck me about the show was how much was going on at once. They are a sextet and each guy plays multiple instruments and they all harmonize together. While they played a few older songs, much of the show focused on new material that I wasn’t as familiar with. For a folk rock band they managed a fine balance of slower paced songs with upbeat quicker tempo tunes. The highlight for me had to be “Black River Killer,” perhaps one of my favorite songs of the decade. Other great songs were “Below the Hurricane,” “Destroyer of the Void” and an acapella folk tune by drummer Brian Adrian Koch. This was an awesome unexpected show.
What better way to end the summer than with a bang, and Jucifer can bang. The husband wife duo out of Athens, Georgia can produce some noise. The group is best known for its wall of speakers that it assembles at each show. I counted more than 60 speakers in the amp setup that literally ran from the floor to ceiling. I rarely wear earplugs at shows, but I brought some heavy-duty Hearos for this one. Good thing because the sound produced by guitarist Amber Valentine was so loud it vibrated my bones. People were literally stepping back. My brother’s review of the show: “It was so loud it shook my insides, I thought I was going to throw up.” Aside from being the loudest show I had ever been to, Jucifer is really entertaining to watch. Valentine, rocking a Flying V guitar and a sort of Pocahontas outfit complete with moccasins and a feather in the hair, not only plucked out heavy metal riffs on the guitar, screeched on the mic, but changed all the lighting on stage with foot pedals. Ed Livengood was just as entertaining on the drums, which he beat on standing more than he did flopped back in an old ducked-tapped chair, not a drum seat, a standard chair. Livengood started the show beating on the kit with about five sticks in each hand and progressed to slamming his snare while dampening it with his foot at the same time. He also pulled double duty wailing out some vocals. The duo didn’t seem to care much to stick to their recorded material so much as jam for 12 minutes at a time, which was pretty awesome to watch. Bottom line these guys are loud, talented, but really really loud.