New RELEASES for the week of May 17
BAND OF HORSES cd/lp
BLACK KEYS cd/lp
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM cd/lp
ROLLING STONES-Exile On Main Street cd/lp
OTIS REDDING- Live On Sunset Strip
JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION
DAVID BAZAN -Live cd/lp
JAMIE LIDELL cd/lp
SOLEX vs CRISTINA MARTINEZ + JON SPENCER
SCOTT MORGAN cd/lp
DANIEL HIGGS cd/lp
JOSH ROUSE – El Turista, CD/LP (both get a FREE Bonus DVD while they last)
Josh Rouse plays here at 1:30 pm this Saturday
Unexpected and utterly sublime, El Turista’s sultry song cycle shuffle seamlessly in tandem with Getz/Gilberto and Paul Simon’s Graceland, albums as boldly surprising in their eras as El Turista is in this one. The record marks a new direction for the critically acclaimed artist, while offering the musical sophistication and emotional depth Rouse’s devoted constituents have come to expect. The new album bears the distinct influence of Spain, which the Nebraska native made his home five years ago with his Spanish wife Paz Suay; the couple and their first child now live in Valencia, on the Mediterranean coast. On El Turista, Spain serves as the point of origin for a globe-trotting musical journey that touches down in Cuba, Brazil and Africa, as well as Nashville, where the bulk of the tracks were recorded. I know it’s kind of funny, this Midwestern guy doing Brazilian songs in Spanish. I don’t know if it fits, but I like the way it feels.” Says Josh. So do we says Gene
JENNIE ARNAU – Chasing Giants CD
Jennie Arnau plays here at 3pm this Saturday
Jennie Arnau creates a unique blend of New York-nurtured South Carolina-born Grassroots rock. Her original blend of Americana, Alt-Country and rock along with her bold and bittersweet voice. It’s a sly underground sound that’s born of urban grit and rowdy southern sensibilities and perfectly suits this native South Carolina singer. No Depression raves “Jennie’s voice is strong without sacrificing its femininity.” Singer Magazines goes on to spotlight Jennie’s ability to “pierce your heart one moment, then turn right around and calm your spirit the next.”
GENE PICK: BLACK KEYS – Brothers, CD/LP
There’s no shortage of bluesy rock records, and I sure didn’t think I needed to rush out and hear another one – that is, until I heard The Black Keys’ new album, Brothers. Packed with great songs and devoid of throwaways, Brothers is the sixth album by the duo of singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney.
Like its predecessors, Brothers is remarkably, consistently strong stuff, though this one feels a bit tamer, with more of an R&B influence. The album was recorded mostly in a studio dripping with the sounds of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and The Rolling Stones (circa Sticky Fingers), and even finds The Black Keys covering soul singer Jerry Butler.
Exceptionally well-produced by Auerbach and Carney themselves – though “Tighten Up” is produced by Danger Mouse – Brothers was mixed by Tchad Blake, a genius in making sounds pop from the speakers while giving definition to the playing. —by Bob Boilen npr.org
RECENT STUFF PICK 1: BAND OF HORSES – Infinite Arms, CD/LP
After two albums on independent labels, South Carolina’s Band of Horses’ major label switch accompanies a similar musical shift towards reaching a wider audience. However, a much bigger, more spacious sound has been achieved without sacrificing intimacy or their old elemental sense of wonder. These are songs that reach for the sky yet speak to you personally, Ben Bridwell’s vocals finding new peaks of plaintive yearning; the hooks virtually tumbling over each other to capture perfect, dewy pop. It’s shot through with classic Americana, from the Beach Boys to My Morning Jacket, but is often as reminiscent of British tunesmiths from Teenage Fanclub to the Hollies. Sublime moments such as the waterfalling, descending chords of Laredo and Motown-esque NW Apt. have a similar headrushing feel to the Stone Roses’ debut. The songs deal with lost loves and shattered dreams, but also redemption and eternal youth — appropriate themes for a collection bursting with timeless melodies. —Dave Simpson, guardian.co.uk
RECENT STUFF PICK 2: MARY GAUTHIER – Foundling CD
It is said that the master songwriters — the “truth tellers,” as Mary refers to the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and Patti Smith – always put a piece of themselves into every song and first shined light on the truth and lies of her world before she began to put pen to paper herself. It’s up to the listener to imagine what is real and what is a dream. This sense of autobiography has always loomed large in the work of Mary Gauthier. On her newest album, The Foundling, her first concept album, Mary opens the door on the defining circumstance of her life, the emotional journey and aftermath of finding the mother who surrendered her in New Orleans after her birth in March 1962 (the month Bob Dylan released his first album, to put a perspective on it).
On The Foundling, Mary explains via her website (www.marygauthier.com), “the songs tell the story of a kid abandoned at birth who spent a year in an orphanage and was adopted, who ran way from the adopted home and ended up in show business, who searched for birth parents late in life and found one and was rejected, and who came through the other side of all of this still believing in love.” Mary’s “compass” was Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger, his classic concept album of 1975 (with “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”).
Written and recorded over the course of two years, The Foundling was produced in Toronto by Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies, using local musicians and his sister Margo Timmins on vocal harmonies. “Margo added another layer of emotional punch in the right places,” says Mary. She praises Mike’s ability “to capture my story and create moods around it, a dream soundscape. The musicians breathed their hearts and souls into my songs, and they brought them to life. I am pleased beyond my wildest dreams at how the record came out.” >>>READ MORE
RECENT STUFF PICK 3: ROLLING STONES – Exile On Main Street CD/LP
‘Exile on Main Street,’ the 1972 double-album masterpiece from The Rolling Stones, receives the deluxe reissue treatment, adding 10 previously unreleased songs from the album’s original recording sessions. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards worked with producer Don Was to add new vocals and guitar parts to some of the unfinished songs, including the current single ‘Plundered My Soul.’ The album is available in CD and LP versions: the original 18-track set as a CD, a deluxe version including the 10 bonus tracks, and the super deluxe package including vinyl, the new documentary DVD and a collector’s book.
The album was originally recorded under chaotic circumstances, to say the least. The Stones had just been forced to leave their home country of England due to tax problems, so guitarist Richards set up both recording and living quarters at the Nellcôte villa, a former Nazi headquarters in the south of France. Problem is, the drug problems of various band members were in full bloom, and the house quickly became overrun with all-hours parties. This reportedly alienated the more sober bandmates and caused the album to be recorded in fits and starts, with varying musician lineups participating on different songs.
When it was first released in ’72, critics had mixed, often lukewarm views on the album’s merits, but over time, Exile’s muddy, ragged blend of soul, country and R&B influences has come to be regarded, miraculously, as perhaps their most cohesive and influential statement ever. Songs like ‘Tumbling Dice’ and Keith’s vocal showcase ‘Happy’ have become Stones concert favorites.