Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sample three tracks from My Flame Burns Blue

Just a reminder that Elvis Costello's new live album, My Flame Burns Blue, releases next Tuesday. And, as luck would have it, The Elvis Costello Home Page has full-length audio streams of three of the album's songs-- "Almost Blue," "Watching the Detectives," and "God Give Me Strength."

Gosh, who knew "Watching the Detectives" could ever be such a swingin' good time? Can't wait for Tuesday!


Suddenly, I have a new #1 entry on my list of Most Anticipated Albums of 2006.

After what seems like ages of griping about a lack of new material from one Mr. Robert Zimmerman, Rolling Stone just broke what may be the best music news of the year: Bob Dylan is back in the studio, with plans to release a new record this year.

On January 31st, Dylan arrived at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie, New York, with his current touring band. For the next four days, according to Bardavon's executive director, Chris Silva, the band rehearsed new material. "It was experimental, all kinds of different licks," Silva told the Poughkeepsie Journal. "They would get into one thing, and they would go over it and over it. Then they would change gears."

Dylan -- whose first announced tour date of 2006 is a performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in late April -- then moved the operation to Manhattan to lay down his new tunes. His previous studio album, 2001's acclaimed Love and Theft, was also cut in New York, in just two and a half weeks at Sony Music Studios, with Dylan producing under the name Jack Frost.

Oh, and there's something in there about a new Springsteen record, but c'mon... does anybody really care about that guy when Bob Dylan is in the studio?!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sufjan meets Christina?

Oh my.

You've, uh, just gotta hear this one for yourself.

Thanks to opus for the link.

Rosanne Cash, Black Cadillac: My review is up!

FYI, my review of Rosanne Cash's excellent new album, Black Cadillac, is up at the newly remodeled Reveal music page.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Radiohead goes nude?!?

Okay, this isn't nearly as disturbing as the title suggests. But because anything and everything that Thom Yorke says or does is newsworthy, I feel compelled to mention this story from Billboard, which reveals that the band in revisiting an old OK Computer-era tune, "Nude," for their new album, recording it here with a full string section.

Aside from that, nothing new in terms of album release dates, titles, tour dates, or record label signings.

As you were.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Fiery Furnaces finish brewing Bitter Tea

The Fiery Furnaces are one of those bands who have yet to make an album I really and truly enjoy, but their creative muse is so unpredictable, and their talent so undeniable, that I just can't help but be interested in what they're doing next. If nothing else it's bound to be bizarre, and who knows-- some day they just might make their masterpiece.

Their new disc, Bitter Tea, comes out April 18, and this morning Pitchfork unveiled the tracklisting:

01 In My Little Thatched Hut
02 I'm in No Mood
03 Black-hearted Boy
04 Bitter Tea
05 Teach Me Sweetheart
06 Waiting to Know You
07 The Vietnamese Telephone Ministry
08 Oh Sweet Woods
09 Borneo
10 Police Sweater Blood Vow
11 Nevers
12 Benton Harbor Blues
13 Whistle Rhapsody?
14 Benton Harbor Blues Again

The article also gives a brief description of what to expect from the album's sound:

Bitter Tea is said to be poppier and more straightforward than the Furnaces' last effort, Rehearsing My Choir, but then again, so is my toenail focus. The album, recorded in Benton Harbour, Michigan, last year, was written and produced by Mr. Friedberger while Eleanor handled the vocals and some percussion.

"Bitter Tea is a very girly record. The granddaughter record, as opposed to the grandmother record," Matt Friedberger said in a press release. The Furnaces also described the album’s sound as "Sissy Psychedelic Satanism".

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Joseph Arthur pulls a Ryan Adams

Holy oversaturation, Batman! Joseph Arthur's done pulled a Ryan Adams! In addition to a showcase of his paintings, Arthur's got three new albums slated to release this year. Billboard has the details:

One new album, dubbed "Invisible Parade," is already finished, having been recorded in 10 days in Berlin. "I had a bunch of songs I was writing on the road," Arthur tells of the 11-track set. "I'd been working on a bigger production record in Los Angeles for awhile, but I just wanted to do something really minimal. I've never done that before; something totally stripped-down. I decided to go to Berlin and find a studio and self-produce it."

Arthur says he plans to finish the L.A. sessions in March, all the while juggling work on a separate, entirely instrumental album. The only problem? The artist is currently without a label in the United States, having parted ways with Vector after the release of 2004's "Our Shadows Will Remain." Arthur was previously signed to Peter Gabriel's Real World imprint as well as Universal's Enjoy label.

"There's a couple of indies we're talking to, but I'm thinking about just going completely indie and putting [new music] out myself," Arthur says of finding a new label home. "I don't really see why not."

Live Eels!

Looks like you Eels fans are going to be getting a belated Valentine-- one week from today, E and the gang will be unveiling a pair of new live recordings, one CD and one DVD. Each format will have a few songs that the other doesn't, so completists are going to have to shell out some serious dough.

The CD draws largely from last year's Blinking Lights and Other Revelations, with several classic Eels cuts and one oddball Dylan cover thrown in for good measure. The full tracklisting:

01 Blinking Lights (For Me)
02 Bride of Theme From Blinking Lights
03 Bus Stop Boxer
04 Dirty Girl
05 Trouble With Dreams
06 The Only Thing I Care About
07 My Beloved Monster
08 Pretty Ballerina
09 It's a Motherfucker
10 Flyswatter
11 Novocaine for the Soul
12 Girl From the North Country
13 Railroad Man
14 I Like Birds
15 If You See Natalie
16 Poor Side of Town
17 Spunky
18 I'm Going to Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart
19 Suicide Life
20 Losing Streak
21 Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)
22 Things the Grandchildren Should Know

For more details, head over to Pitchfork's newswire.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

New single alert: Prince's "Black Sweat"

A big thanks to Jess for alerting me to the fact that the first single/video from the upcoming Prince album is now out. I couldn't get the thing to play at, but I found a fairly good version of it here.

The new album comes out at the end of April, by the way.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Some things you shouldn't get too good at...

You know, even those of us who hate awards shows know that, as much as we hate to admit it, they really do matter. I mean, let's face it... do the Oscars actually celebrate artistry or excellence? Heck no. But if you win an Oscar, your film is going to get a lot more exposure and respect than it would have otherwise. Period.

Same goes for the Grammy Awards-- which are really even more absurd than the Oscars, but man, it still feels nice when they get it right. And this year, they got it right. Bono and the boys were the big winners last night-- even winning Album of the Year for the first time since The Joshua Tree. And sure, they've made at least three albums since that time that were more deserving of a Grammy than Atomic Bomb, but still... it's awfully nice to see them getting kudos from the musical community.

Here's a quick recap of last night's awards.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Musical Graffiti, 2/8-- Flaming Lips! Prince!

So have ya heard about the new Flaming Lips album?

It seems like rumors have been speading about the thing for multiple years now, and, since I've never been a huge Lips fan to begin with, it hasn't exactly been at the top of my must-hear list. But after reading this song-by-song description of At War with the Mystics-- written by the Lips' own Wayne Coyone-- I gotta admit that I'm growing rather intrigued.

Oh, and the first single, available on the most recent Paste sampler, is a lot of fun.

Thanks to opus for the link!

And speaking of fun... did you catch Prince's performance on SNL last weekend? DADGUM! The man's on fire! See for yourself here.

Have you ordered YOUR Taft CD?

Have you ordered YOUR special edition live album from Over the Rhine, recorded just this past December at the Taft Theater?

If not... you should.

If so... boy are you in for a treat. Just get a load of this tracklisting:

1. Faithfully Dangerous
2. Spark
3. Born
4. Lookin' Forward
5. Drunkard's Prayer
6. White Horse
7. Etcetera Whatever
8. Fever
9. Son of a Preacher Man
10. Moondance
11. My Love is a Fever
12. Paper Moon
(and a hidden track - from Sunday at St. Elizabeth's, just a taste...)

I heard the band play "Moondance" when I saw them back in October, and rest assured that, if the recorded version is half as good as the one I heard, it alone will be worth the price of admission.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Return of the Belfast Cowboy

Aha! Van Morrison's upcoming album of country/Western songs, Pay the Devil, now has a cover. It's a good idea, but my goodness... he sure looks pale, doesn't he?

Pay the Devil lands on March 7 on Lost Highway Records.