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ha’fway 2017

4th Jul 17 (Tue) Leave a comment

Happy 241st birthday, United States!

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Ah, the annual halfway through the year music recap where I rarely post an end of year recap. *eyeroll* Eh… I don’t blog much anymore… regardless, here goes for my Top 10 of 2017 so far…



Artist Album (style)

  1. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Mulhy & James McAlisterPlanetarium (indie rock)
  2. Burning GhostsReclamation (jazz metal)
  3. KXM (Doug Pinnick / George Lynch / Ray Luzier) – Scatterbrain (hard rock)
  4. Peter MulveyAre You Listening? (singer-songwriter)
  5. SexmobCultural Capital (jazz)
  6. David BazanCare (indie rock)
  7. Ani DiFrancoBinary (singer-songwriter)
  8. Future IslandsThe Far Field (indie pop)
  9. Mostly Other People Do the Killing (with Steven Bernstein of Sexmob) – Loafer’s Hollow (jazz)
  10. Incubus8 (rock)

Honorable mentions…

  • Albums by Lydia Ainsworth, Alt-J, Brian Marsella Trio’s Masada Book Two, Aimee Mann, Dave Douglas’ Riverside, and Throttle Elevator Music (Kamasi Washington).
  • EP – ANOHNI’s Paradise
  • Live – ISIS’ Live VII: 2.25.2010
  • Re-issues – Pink Floyd early years boxset(s), the Beatles Srgt. Pepper’s 50th, U2 The Joshua Tree 30th, Radiohead OK Computer 20th
  • Novelty – A**l Trump’s If You Thought ********* **** Was a Lot of People, You Should Have Seen My Inauguration 5″ vinyl (in “Seth Putnam form,” shall we say).

What’s still to come in 2017…

Claypool-Lennon Delirium 12″ (RSD wider-issue), Spotlights, Antibalas, Steven Wilson, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Mogwai, Radiohead OKNOTOK (physical), Failure live vinyl, Lo Tom (David Bazan, TW Walsh & Starflyer 59 folks), Celldweller, The National, Secret Chiefs 3, Weird Al boxset, plus much more, I’m sure.

Will I continue with blogs in the future? I don’t know. :P

Dan – np: Critters BugginMuti -EP-

ha’fway 2016

4th Jul 16 (Mon) Leave a comment

Happy 240th birthday, United States!

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Ah, the annual halfway through the year music recap where I never post an end of year recap. *eyeroll* Eh… I don’t blog much anymore… regardless, here goes for my Top 10 of 2016 so far…

Sia - This is Acting81toq1nqrhl-_sx522_71526zlzvzl-_sx522_
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Artist Album (style)

  1. SiaThis Is Acting (pop)
  2. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool (rock)
  3. WussyForever Sounds (indie rock)
  4. Holy FuckCONGRATS (live electronic)
  5. Elliott SmithHeaven Adores You (soundtrack) (indie rock)
  6. Steve Taylor & the Danielson FoilWOW to the Deadness -EP- (indie rock)
  7. David BazanBlanco (indie rock)
  8. Allison Miller’s Boom Tic BoomOtis Was a Polar Bear (jazz)
  9. The Claypool-Lennon DeliriumMonolith of Phobos (rock)
  10. Damien JuradoVisions of Us on the Land (indie rock)

What’s still to come in 2016…

Chevelle, Peter Mulvey (it’s in the can), Alex Somers’ score for Captain Fantastic, John Zorn (about every month), TOOL (music done, lyrics nearing completion?), Sigur Rós (maybe 2017), Charlie Hunter, and based on kickstarters/pledgemusic that I’ve supported: Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate, Derek Webb‘s Mockingbird Remixed and Fleming & John, plus much more, I’m sure.

Will I continue with blogs in the future? I don’t know. :P

Dan – np: AuragamiFormation (single)
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New music coming from Jude!

26th Jan 13 (Sat) Leave a comment

Jude ChristodalCall it intuition, call it luck, call it the power of the letter “J” – but I haven’t thought of Jude (Christodal) in forever.  After spinning some Jurassic 5 on my iPod yesterday afternoon and flipped on over to Jude’s lovely No One Is Really Beautiful shortly after that.

Then I thought… what the hell has Jude been up to lately?

Time to hop on over to www.judemusic.com, and what do you know… he had posted this bit of news only a day before…

Thurs, Jan 24th, 2012: (bold by me)

I’ve decided to cobble together some unfinished records and make some new recordings as well. I’m past the point of pain from the writing, past the preciousness that keeps me from finishing songs, and past the point of thinking each track can change my life. So, with that remarkably confident build-up, in case anyone is still out there reading this, I love you for listening, and I hope to please you with this next work.

All I can do is try to be truthful in the songs. My instrument (vox) ain’t exactly what it used to be, but I’ll try to hide that from you with magical over-tracking, just like all the cool kids do now :)

Peace be with you. I expect to take a month, and then maybe get it out this Spring or something, no need to wait, right?

Now be patient and kind or I’ll crawl back into my hole! Oh, and Happy 2012. Peace be with us all.

His last post prior to Thursday’s post was March 17th… 2010.  Yay!  New Jude music on the very near horizon!

In other news… sorry for my own lack of posts lately.  Crazy busy time for me lately.  I still plan to have my “Best of 2012” post out soon, too.  WTF is wrong with me?!

~Dan – np: JudeNo One Is Really Beautiful
Jude - No One Is Really Beautiful

2012 mix

24th Dec 12 (Mon) 3 comments

Time for this year’s mix CD, except I decided to go CD-free again (like 2011’s mix). It’s still formatted to stay contained on one CD (21 tracks ~79 mins); so if you want to download the whole shebang and burn to a CD – go for it!

Check out prior year-based mixes: 2009 (CD) and 2010 (CD) and 2011 (digital). No major theme this time like some of my prior mixes (4 Elements & A-to-Z mixes)… the only rule I placed before myself was that everything is current (i.e.- released in 2012).  A few of the songs were technically released in 2012, but the album will hit in 2013.

This year’s mix ended up poppier and/or melancholier than prior mixes.  Sometimes that’s just how things shake out. I hope you enjoy.

The following songs were put on the mix from mostly lossless sources where possible and for promotional purposes only (read: free direct market advertising to people who decidedly love music). Most of the artists on this compilation are independent (put out the music themselves) or signed to smaller, independent labels. If you like what you hear, check out their music / support them with your wallet if you are able. The artists’ Webpage, Facebook, and Amazon links are available for each song below. I’ve also included concert review links if I’ve seen the artist recently.

Download the ZIP File (140M) available *HERE*, extract then drag & drop the mp3 files to your iTunes (or other playback software).

All Songs Streaming Playlist (click arrows to skip back & forth… for individual songs find them below.)

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01 Brian Borcherdt / Dusted(Into The) Atmosphere” from Total Dust

Brian Borcherdt from Canadian live-electronic band Holy Fuck has done some singer-songwriter-y solo projects in the past, but this album in-between HF albums still held on to some electronics and keys versus the standard acoustic guitar fare.  This lo-fi, melodic, and haunting affair hit me well this rainy Oregon fall.

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02 O.S.I.Wind Won’t Howl” from Fire Make Thunder

The fourth album in the O.S.I. partnership of Kevin Moore (Chroma Key) and Jim Matheos (Fates Warning) isn’t a metal heavy as the other albums.  I love how there’s a bit of rock in this track to offset the melancholy delivery of Kevin’s vocals.  Guest drummer on the entire album is Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree.  The album fits in with what I’d call “glitch prog,” to which Kevin liked my moniker.  Organic/real drums cut up electronically alongside with prog rock keys & guitars.  This album is easily one of my favorites of 2012.

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03 Peter MulveyEgg Radio (instrumental)” from The Good Stuff

04 Peter MulveyGreen Grass” from The Good Stuff

Peter Mulvey is an American treasure. His lyrical storytelling, guitar prowess, and overall charm and earnestness make him a favorite artists of mine, period.  With his recent album, he put together a band and re-purposed others’ music… “new standards” if you will.  The instrumental “Egg Radio” is originally penned by jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and “Green Grass” is from Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan.

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05 Levi WeaverTalk Me Down” from I Am Only A Tiny Noise [EP]

Less than a year ago, I had no idea who Levi Weaver was.  I joined a fantasy baseball league online (uncharacteristic of me) and met Levi via that.  I had no idea he was a travelling musician until he mentioned on twitter something about a documentary being shot about him (String Theory).  Then the cards fell in place for him to play a show at my house, and then I bought and fell in love with all of his records.  Such is my musical addiction.  Sometimes I luck into gems.  Levi put out the Tiny Noise EP in 2012, but I also strongly urge you to check out his earlier work.

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06 Emily WellsInstrumental (Lolo Remix)” from Mama Remixed

08 Emily WellsFire Song (Doctor Rosen Rosen Remix)” from Mama Remixed

Emily spans indie rock, chamber music, and hip-hop near flawlessly (check her cover of the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy“).  With her latest album, Mama, she has continued in that vein… and then also released a remix album for free on Soundcloud.

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 Kim Taylor - Love's A Dog07 Kim TaylorSave My Life (demo)” from the forthcoming album Love’s A Dog

Heartfelt Cincinnati singer-songwriter Kim Taylor successfully Kickstarted her forthcoming album.  I loved this song so much; so here’s a glimpse in what is to come.  Since the Kickstarter is officially done, keep in the loop via her webpage and Facebook for when it’ll hit regular retail outlets in 2013.  Also, take a listen to her back catalog… her music has a special place in my heart.

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09 Sufjan StevensAlphabet St.” from Silver & Gold: Christmas Infinity Voyage [EP]

Five EPs of Christmas music released this year, and I find a non-holiday-forward Prince cover to break things up on this mix.  This song is more indicative of things on The Age of Adz versus the rest of the Christmas EPs.  Enjoy!  Skip below for the other Sufjan track on my 2012 mix for something different…

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10 Digital Noise AcademyMelting Inside” from the forthcoming album DNA

Way back in 2006, the Los Angeles Digital Noise Academy (LADNA) did a couple of shared tracks… passing around pieces via the internet as they’re all busy musicians in their own rights.  Back in those days, there was mention of releasing an album, but nothing ever materialized.  Well, in 2012, they changed things up to just DNA and finally had enough momentum to get a Kickstarter going – which succeeded on its 2nd try.  The album will come out in 2013.  DNA is the cooperative of Ken Andrews (Failure, On, producer/mixer of tons of rock bands), Charlotte Martin (pop singer-songwriter), Sharky Laguana (Creeper Lagoon), Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck & NIN), Fernando Sanchez (popular hired gun), and Jordan Zadorozny (Blinker the Star).

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11 Aimee MannLabrador” from Charmer

I don’t have much to say about this song outside of that I love Aimee Mann, and the video for it was a shot-for-shot remake of the “Voices Carry” video from her ‘Til Tuesday days.  Wacky and fun!

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12 The Album LeafStretched Home” from Forward/Return [EP]

The Album Leaf is Jimmy LaValle, and he’s had some good success making some great keyboard-driven, organic post-rock.  This EP almost escaped me, though, as the word on the street was faint.  Jimmy has an upcoming project with Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon); so I guess I’ll have to keep my eyes & ears peeled better!

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13 Damien JuradoMuseum of Flight” from Maraqopa

Damien Jurado is one of those pure songwriters that hits me hard with his lyrics.  This song has impacted me a lot this year, and I think I’ve listened to it more than 100 times, which knowing the amount of music I go through each year is saying something.  Maraqopa is a gorgeous record, and it will end up high on my list for 2012.

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14 Glen PhillipsStill Carrying You” from Coyote Sessions

Glen Phillips (the voice behind Toad the Wet Sprocket) can bend my ear no matter what he’s doing.  His latest self-release, Coyote Sessions (via bandcamp), is full of some old favorites that he’s done for a while in a live setting, but have never made their way onto formal releases.  A must purchase for the pop singer-songwriter in me.

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15 Charlie Hunter & Scott AmendolaNot Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead” from album of the same name

The ease at which Charlie Hunter plays both the guitar and bass parts on his 8-string guitar makes witnessing him in concert confounding. Fuck that guy! He’s too damn good to be an actual human being.  He’s been working with drummer Scott Amendola in several incarnations in the past (trios, quartets).  For this recent album and tour, it was just the two of them.  Stripped down, yet full of sound.  Highly recommended guitar jazz.

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16 Ben Folds FiveAway When You Were Here” from The Sound of the Life of the Mind

One of the saddest days was when I heard that Ben Folds Five broke up.  I kind of always hoped they’d get back together, but Ben Folds kept chugging away on his solo stuff… which was excellent, but not… you know, not “the same.”  There was a glint of hope a handful of years ago when Darren Jessee and Robert Sledge joined forces with their pianist brother for some live shows.  This year, they got back together for real in the studio!  They’ll hit the road in early Winter 2013.  I’ll be lucky to see them in Portland in February.  When I saw them back in the late 90s/early 2000s, they blew me away.  Truly a fun band to see live!

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17 Bad VeinsIf Then” from The Mess We’ve Made

Cincinnati rock duo Bad Veins should own the world.  Their 2nd full length is lush, hooky, and a perfect follow-up to their 2009 debut.  With the lushness on this record, Ben & Sebastien are probably giving “Irene,” their reel-to-reel band member, a good workout.  Hopefully they buy her new cords and oil her joints in between gigs.

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18 John ZornPathway of Fire” from The Concealed

One of nine releases from John Zorn this year, this album is a jauntier, more accessible jazz compared to some of his other work.  I desperately wanted to put on some screeching, grating stuff from Music & Its Double, but I spared you all.  I was *that* close to doing it, too.  You’re welcome!  Anyway, The Concealed album features some excellent packaging – embossed white inks on white digipack with die-cut shapes in the front.  Kudos to Tzadik’s designer Chippy for her always stunning work.  The music was written by Zorn and performed by the usual suspects in his arsenal – the stellar cast of NYC jazz cats: Joey Baron on drums, Trevor Dunn on bass, Mark Feldman on violin, Erik Friedlander on cello, John Medeski on piano, and Kenny Wollesen on vibes.

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19 Fiona AppleWerewolf” from The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

It’s Fiona.  What can I say? Great standout track on her stupendous new album. There’s “nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key.”

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20 Sufjan StevensJustice Delivers Its Death” from Silver & Gold: Christmas Unicorn [EP]

Sparse acoustic guitar and Sufjan’s angelic voice thrust this song into my head and heart like no other.  I take its lyrics as disappointment in the temporary, which can also be a call to do more fruitful things while we’re here.  Which I think is good advice for everyone.  This song is also not too indicative of most of what you’ll find on the Christmas EPs. I don’t really like Christmas music, but I think Sufjan makes some wonderful art.  And, whoa, his concert tour this year was amazing (see review with photos of the Portland/Aladdin show)!!!

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21 Au4So Just Hang On, Beautiful One” from the forthcoming album …And Down Goes the Sky

These Canadian soundscapers haven’t released music since 2006. I found them in the halcyon “MySpace days,” if that tells you anything.  Their first album (On: Audio) is amazing and textured.  Their 2nd album from which this song is from is out now (digitally) with an official release date in 2013.  It’s also textured and gorgeous, with a little mixing up on the vocal duties.  I’m still digesting it, but I can still very much recommend it!

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Let me know what you think… If you enjoyed what you heard, please support the music. Definitely feel free to pass the link the mix along:

http://tinyurl.com/MixyD2012

~Dan – np: Au4On: Audio

there are no torrents, free mp3 or other downloads available

REVIEW: Over the Rhine @ the Triple Door (Seattle, WA – 11/17/12)

21st Nov 12 (Wed) 1 comment

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

How many times can you see a band and finally get tired of them?  I honestly can’t answer that question. After 50+ times seeing Over the Rhine over more than a decade, in various venues and cities and states, I’ll still drive 10 hours over a 30 hour period to go see them because they’re not playing anywhere closer.

I had seen Jeffrey Foucault in September at the Triple Door in downtown Seattle.  At that time, I had never been there, and after seeing the set-up, tasting the menu, and witnessing their light-show, I viewed their calendar and noted that they had the sole Over the Rhine show in the PacNW this fall.  I bought my OTR tickets via my iPhone during the Jeffrey Foucault intermission.

This show was billed as “An Acoustic Evening with Over the Rhine,” and it featured the husband-wife duo of Linford Detweiler (piano, guitars, vocals) and Karin Bergquist (vocals, guitars) with drums/percussive support from Nick Radina.

The set was heavily from The Long Surrender (the album from late 2010/early 2011, depending on how you got it).  That record is a gem; so I didn’t mind its heavy presence on Saturday.  They also threw in some new songs that should make their way onto their upcoming album, The Farm (GO HERE for more on how to support that 2013 album)…

Setlist: ~1 hr 45 mins

  • Born
  • All My Favorite People
  • The Laugh Of Recognition
  • Undamned
  • Sacred Ground [new song]
  • Earthbound Love Song (aka Johnny & June)
  • Gonna Let My Soul Catch My Body [new song]
  • The King Knows How
  • Suitcase
  • Blue Jean Sky [new song]
  • Favorite Time of Light
  • Let It Fall [new song]
  • Little Did I Know
  • Trouble
  • All I Need Is Everything
  • Encore: Rave On
  • Watching the Wheels [John Lennon]
  • Drunkard’s Prayer
  • Latter Days

As far as the new songs, “Sacred Ground” seems like a classic favorite already.  They debuted it last fall, and I loved it immediately.  The chorus doesn’t seem like a “tradition OTR song,” but it really works well with both Karin & Linford singing.  “Blue Jean Sky” had some nice imagery, as well as a repeated line of “kick ass beauty.”  The main set and encore cappers from Good Dog Bad Dog made me happy as well… all in all, another gorgeous evening by two of my favorite musical friends.

more photos below
they’re a bit grainy when
you blow them up (sorry…
we were mid-crowd)

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band at the Rose Garden (Portland 11/28).

~Dan – np: IsisTemporal

OVER THE RHINE PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Ashley Peacock… help him make a new solo record in 2013!

16th Nov 12 (Fri) Leave a comment

My good-good friend from the Cincinnati area, Ashley Peacock, is breaking his 9 year silence as a solo musical artist.  His last solo album was 2003’s Precursor EP, which led into his brit-pop band The Times’ 2005 album Begin (link w/ audio samples).  His last album with a group was 2012’s Growing Concern (link w/ audio samples) under the Chance Brothers moniker.

He is long overdue for a solo album, and he’s trying to raise $1,750 via Kickstarter to put the finishing touches on the record.

Ashley Peacock Kickstarter

I’m not sure where he’ll go with his new record.  I love a lot of music, but I know when he’s working on something I need to support it.  I hope you’ll listen to some of his past stuff and give him your attention for what’s to come.

Odds weigh heavily that you’ll like it!  Go to the Kickstarter HERE.

~Dan – np: Over the RhineThe Long Surrender

October 2012 Oregon concert recap

12th Nov 12 (Mon) 1 comment

I feel so bad for not blogging as much this past month or so… busy at work and in real life.  I have still gone to quite a bit of shows, especially in October – Aimee Mann, Nellie McKay twice, Peter Mulvey & Kris Delmhorst three times, and Dan Deacon, I snapped a few iPhone shots (sorry for lower quality).  I tracked most of the setlists, too.  So, here’s a quick run-down.

Aimee Mann @ the Aladdin Theater, Portland, Oregon (Tu 10/2)

Aimee Mann put on a great show, a good mix of old tunes and ones from her brand new album, Charmer.  Here’s what she played – 10/2 setlist. This was my second time seeing her, and I was not disappointed.  She’s charming, smiles much more than her songs lead on, and is quite the jokester.

Nellie McKay @ the Shedd, Eugene, Oregon (Wed 10/10)
Nellie McKay @ the Alberta Rose Theatre, Portland, Oregon (Th 10/11)

Two shows, back-to-back seems to be a habit for me when Nellie McKay swings through Oregon. The shows were fairly similar (Eugene setlist / Portland setlist) save for a few changes in songs.  Both shows were great.  She seemed for relaxed and vocally on-point in Eugene. In Portland, she had a few lyrical miss-steps, but she was as charming as ever. Any time she comes through, I’m excited to see her.  No news on another album, yet (her last was 2010’s Home Sweet Mobile Home).

Peter Mulvey & Kris Delmhorst @ the Majestic Theatre, Corvallis, Oregon (Wed 10/17)
Peter Mulvey & Kris Delmhorst @ the Alberta Rose Theatre, Portland, Oregon (Th 10/18)
Peter Mulvey & Kris Delmhorst @ Tsunami Books, Eugene, Oregon (Fri 10/19)

Three shows, not one the same. Another artist I see every time he comes through, Peter Mulvey, brought his long-time musical friend Kris Delmhorst (wife of another singer-songwriter Jeffrey Foucault).  The three of them are in a band Redbird with guitarist David Goodrich.  Well, this Fall 2012 west coast jaunt was just Peter & Kris, doing a switch-off storyteller-type show.  All of the shows were two sets, split with a short intermission.  Peter changed up his set fairly well, and Kris mixed hers up some as well (Corvallis setlist / Portland setlist / Eugene setlist).  I only had a few of her albums before this tour, but at the final show, I had to rectify that and pick up the rest of the catalog.  It seemed based on their new material and various discussions that they were both working on new albums… for 2013?

Dan Deacon @ Hawthorne Theatre, Portland, Oregon (Th 10/25)

The openers were also odd (TEDtalk-styled humor from Alan Resnick), bombastic (two-piece rock powerhouse Chester Endersby), and truly enlightening (rock/rap from Height with Friends).  For Dan Deacon‘s set, he played a lot from his latest album, America.  This show was intense and amazing.  He has an amazing way of getting people to step out of their shells.  At one point, Dan was going to have us do a arm tunnel outside the venue (something he does at most of his shows).  The bouncer and club management wouldn’t let him… so he complied and said,” we’ll just do something far more dangerous.”  With a wide circle, he started with one guy running around, and with every revolution, he would bring one more person in to run around… 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, … after a very short time the entire audience was running in a circle… I had to pull myself out of it and grab some water… It was a very sweaty, dancey, fun-as-hell show. Truly inspiring how the seeming group of outcasts becomes a group of like-minded lovers of life.

I’ll try to do a better job of consistent concert reviews going forward, time permitting.  A couple shows for me this week: The Dead Kenny G’s (Skerik, Matt Dillon etc) on 11/15 @ Sam Bond’s Garage (Eugene) and Over the Rhine on 11/17 @ the Triple Door (Seattle).

~Dan – np: Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold (Songs For Christmas) Vol. VI: Gloria!

Sufjan Stevens’ Silver & Gold (Xmas EP #’s 6-10)

2nd Oct 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

Update: the stop-motion Lego video is at the bottom.

Pre-order his upcoming Silver and Gold (Christmas EP boxset #2) on 5 CDs or 58 mp3.  The 5-vinyl set appears to be sold out (via bandcamp).

“Happy Holidays! On November 13, 2012, Asthmatic Kitty Records will release (another!) Christmas box-set extravaganza by the implacable singer/songwriter Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10, a compilation of 5 EPs recorded between 2006 and 2010.

Expanding on the tradition of the first box-set (Songs for Christmas, Vols. 1-5 from 2006), Silver & Gold is a generous document of five more years of holly-jolly jubilee — Christmas caroling, sleigh-bell-ringing, collaborative songwriting — undertaken by Sufjan and his various musical cohorts. Originally intended as gifts for family and friends, these musical snapshots have been re-mixed and re-assembled for the public in an exquisitely-designed gift box containing all the Yuletide pleasures money can buy: Christmas stickers, temporary tattoos, lyric sheets and chord charts, a paper ornament, an apocalyptic pull-out poster, photos, illustrations, and extensive liner notes—a veritable Christmas feast for the eyes and ears.

The album features collaborations with a running line-up of friends and musical peers, including Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Cat Martino (Sufjan’s right-hand woman on all things Age of Adz), Sebastian Krueger (Inlets), Gabriel Kahane, Vesper Stamper, and members of Danielson (Daniel, Elin, Lilly, and Ida). Sufjan’s own indelible aesthetic and his tireless oblique strategies (in vain pursuit of the perfect Christmas song) maintain the album’s center of gravity, resulting in an abundant compilation (nearly 60 tracks) that investigates the canon of devotional hymns and holiday pop songs with reckless abandon (totaling nearly three hours of music).

Silver & Gold surpasses its predecessor both in style and scope by taking a wider stance and embracing a more liberal ethos. The box-set sails through musical fashions as various as ornaments on a Christmas tree (covering songs from John Dowland to Johnny Marks). The folksy old-world renaissance of Gloria (Vol. 6) gives way to bi-polar impertinence on I Am Santa’s Helper (Vol. 7). Christmas Infinity Voyage (Vol. 8) looks to the cosmos (and the drum machine) for inspiration, while Let It Snow (Vol. 9) and Christmas Unicorn (Vol.10) show a giddy return to form, unselfconsciously reveling in all the bubble-gum show tunes from the 1950s and 60s (“A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” to name a few).

There are also 18 original songs intermixed throughout (some of them co-written or wholly composed by guest collaborators). Sufjan’s contribution to the Christmas canon exhibits an ever-expanding canopy of approaches: there’s the moody and affectionate Christmas ballad (“Happy Karma Christmas”), an ecclesiastical take on the Burl Ives classic “Silver & Gold” (re-titled here as “Justice Delivers Its Gift”), the rowdy, garage-rock, rumble-in-the-snow-bank (“Mr. Frosty Man”) and the psychedelic pop-anthem (“Christmas Unicorn”) that attempts to reconcile new age magic, fantasy fiction, and the commodification of Christmas with expository deftness.

Silver & Gold is more than just another Christmas album, but an ongoing exercise in theme and variation, an annual tradition that offers this songwriter a chance to experiment with fashion and technique without taking himself too seriously. Sufjan’s playful (yet purposeful) expedition through the superficial landscape of sugar plum fairies and marshmallow fluff has produced an exuberant musical account of “all things Christmas” in the pursuit of the sublime. What distinguishes this project from the glut of Christmas albums saturating the market today are Sufjan’s unguarded enthusiasm for the genre itself (the sense of freedom he shows in celebrating with reverence and rebellion) and the belief that Christmas music contains a multiplicity of sacred and secular significance (from Baby Jesus to Babes in Toyland) that is ultimately ours for the taking. It’s safe to say that no one has taken it further than Sufjan, for better and for worse.

Thanks for listening and may all your Christmas dreams come true.

Silver & Gold will be available in digital download, a CD box-set available November 13th, with a limited edition of 2000 vinyl box-sets available later this year or early 2013.

A special edition of the vinyl boxset, which will include some extra surprises, is available to US/Canada/EU for pre-order:

http://sufjanstevens.bandcamp.com/album/silver-gold

The CD Boxset includes: (price not listed yet)

1. Five CD EPs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos  (non-toxic & safe for children)

4. A paper ornament (self-assembly with directions)

5. An apocalyptic pull-out poster

6. Song lyrics and chord charts (sing along with your friends and enemies)

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design (by Sufjan Stevens, drug-free since 1975)

8. Extensive liner notes (introductory salutations and an essay on the Christmas tree by Sufjan Stevens, and a few theological words on the End Times by Pastor Vito Aiuto)

The vinyl boxset includes: ($120 + S/H)

1. Five EPs on 6 vinyl discs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos

4. A paper ornament

5. A 40-page Christmas songbook with vocal and piano reductions

6. A Christmas coloring book

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design

8. Extensive liner notes

Whoa!

Sufjan Stevens Lego Movie

~Dan – np: Carla Kihlstedt & Matthias BossiNiagara Falling: Tales for the Stage, III

REVIEW: My Brightest Diamond @ Pantages Theater (Tacoma, WA – 9/22/12)

24th Sep 12 (Mon) 3 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Outside of a college football traffic-filled I-5 and a rainbow roll sushi before the show, there was no opener for My Brightest Diamond this weekend for me.  She was the first after “dinner break” act for Tacoma’s 9/22-9/23 weekend Broadway Center Free For All.  A free one-off show in the Pacific Northwest by one of my absolute favorite artists!!  Well, free outside of the time and gas money… I wasn’t going to pass this up.

Dressed in colorful balls, spikes, and pipe cleaner, My Brightest Diamond (Shara Worden) started the show by coming out in a mask and dumping two large trash bags full of bright orange balloons on the stage.

She played a short set, but hit some great high-points from her three album catalog and switched around a lot on various instruments: ukulele, keyboards, mbira, electric guitar…

Product Details Product Details Product Details

Setlist:

  • We Added It Up
  • Golden Star
  • Escape Routes
  • Be Brave
  • Apples
  • High Low Middle
  • I Have Never Loved Someone
  • Inside A Boy

Her quirkiness and fun-loving vibe shone through.  This being a free show, I’m hoping she attracted some new followers with her charms.  As far as what’s next for her?  Well, she’s bound to show up on someone’s record here, or a collaborative single there, or a remix album over there, or a new album in a bit.  She’s currently not specifically touring; so any chance she comes through your parts for a one-off show – check her out.  You shan’t be disappointed!

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Chevelle at Crystal Ballroom on 9/25.

~Dan – np: ChevelleThis Type Of Thinking (Could Do Us In)

My Brightest Diamond PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Tori Amos “Flavor” (from the forthcoming ‘Gold Dust’)

31st Aug 12 (Fri) Leave a comment

Tori Amos is turning into too serious of an artist.  I still love her, though… here’s the premiere video for “Flavor” from the forthcoming album Gold Dust, out on Deutsche Grammophon on October 2nd, 2012.

~Dan – np: dredgThe Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion

Levi Weaver “Rogue Boat” (video)

22nd Aug 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

It seems like just weeks ago that singer-songwriter Levi Weaver was playing my living room… oh wait, it was (Eugene house show review here).  His latest music video just came out.  Check out “Rogue Boat” here:

“Rogue Boat” is from his latest EP, I Am Only A Tiny Noise.  Listen and buy that one over at Bandcamp or over at the Amazons!

~Dan – np: Levi WeaverI Am Only A Tiny Noise

REVIEW: Fiona Apple @ the Schnitz (Portland, OR – 7/26/12)

30th Jul 12 (Mon) 1 comment

Fiona Apple in Minnesota (July 2012)

Poetic and pop-forward, yet jazzy on record, Fiona Apple turned out a full force band show at Portland’s Schnitzer last Thursday.  She bounced around her back catalogue, only playing a handful from the new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do.

What to like about what she played?

Just about everything.  The pain & hurt in “Shadowboxer,” the disappointment in “Paper Bag,” the anger in “Get Gone,” the positivity and whimsy in “Extraordinary Machine.”  I would have loved to hear a live rendition (with vocal loops) of “Hot Knife” from The Idler Wheel, but overall, I was pleased with what she gave us…

Setlist: about 90 mins

  • Fast As You Can
  • On the Bound
  • Shadowboxer
  • Paper Bag
  • Anything We Want
  • Get Gone
  • Sleep To Dream
  • Extraordinary Machine
  • Werewolf
  • Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)
  • Daredevil
  • I Know
  • Every Single Night
  • Criminal
  • Carrion
  • Not About Love
  • Encore: It’s Only Make Believe [Conway Twitty]

Fiona’s rocking band was helmed by Blake Mills on guitar (the show opener as well), and rounded out by Sebastian Steinberg on bass, Amy Wood on drums, and Zac Rae on keys.

Fiona is on the top of her game, and I just hope that it’s not another 7 years before we hear something new.  But even if it is, I know it’ll be a delight.

The Appropriate Linkage:

She just ended her 2012 summer tour (dates below), but check out her TOUR PAGE for Fall dates that start in September.

Next show for me… Sigur Rós @ Edgefield (Portland) on Aug 9th.

~Dan – np: CelldwellerSoundtrack for the Voices in My Head, Volume 2

Fiona Apple — 2012 Tour Dates
6/19 – Ithaca, NY – State Theatre
6/20 – Baltimore, MD – Lyric Opera House
6/22 – Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods
6/23 – Holyoke, MA – Mountain Park
6/24 – New York, NY – Governors Ball at Randall’s Island
6/26 – Washington DC – Warner Theatre
6/27 – Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theatre
6/29 – Danbury, CT – Ives Concert Park
6/30 – Boston, MA – Citi Performing Arts Center
7/1 – Portland, ME – State Theatre
7/3 – Montreal, QC – Olympia Theatre
7/4 – Toronto, Ontario – The Sound Academy
7/6 – Cleveland Heights, OH – Cain Park
7/7 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
7/10 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre
7/11 – Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theatre
7/13 – Nashville, TN – The Ryman Auditorium
7/14 – St. Louis, MO – Peabody Opera House
7/16 – Minneapolis, MN – Orpheum Theatre
7/17 – Kansas City, MO – The Midland by AMC
7/20 – Denver, CO – Paramount Theatre
7/21 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kingsbury Hall at University of Utah
7/24 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum
7/25 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
7/26 – Portland, OR – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
7/28 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
7/29 – Hollywood, CA – Hollywood Palladium

REVIEW: Levi Weaver @ House Show (Eugene, OR – 7/16/12)

19th Jul 12 (Thu) 2 comments

How did I get into Nashville-based singer-songwriter Levi Weaver?

Well, um… is “Yahoo! fantasy baseball league via twitter” a valid explanation?  Well, it’s how it went down.  After following him, he had posted something about his documentary String Theory, then I sent him a “hey next time you’re in Oregon let me know” message, and then he sent me a “well actually” message… and the rest is history.

This was only my 3rd house show to host and/or coordinate (Susan Enan & Peter Mulvey being the other two), but it went smoothly.  Levi is a delight to work with, and he’s a true professional.  He’s still in the midst of shooting the String Theory doc; so he had a two-person crew with him.

A little sparser attendance than I was going for due to being the Monday right after Oregon Country Fair, we still had a decent turnout for Levi’s lovely set.  I’m still getting familiar with his music, but from his hour-long set he started with “String Theory” (on mandolin) then Radiohead’sIdioteque” (with plenty of loops, bowed guitar and effects).

After my post-show delving into his music, other tunes played were: You Are Home, Which Drink?, Good From Evil, We’re Tornadoes When We Dance, Spirit First (I think?) and a few more.  Here are some shots from the show… I had front row couch seats… (click for larger)

He has tons of fantastic music out there.  Check it out on bandcamp (links below), support indie music, check him out when he swings by your town, and enjoy!

Civil War Between My Heart and Mind cover art You Are Never Close To Home, You Are Never Far From Home cover art The Letters of Dr. Kurt Gödel cover art
Twenty Thousand Miles cover art I Am Only a Tiny Noise cover art

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Bad Mitten Orchestre at WOW Hall on 7/21.

~Dan – np: Tin Hat & e.e. cummingsthe rain is a handsome animal

Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind (album art)

14th Jul 12 (Sat) Leave a comment

The new Ben Folds Five record had a name and album art*… the art for The Sound of the Life of the Mind was posted on the PledgeMusic page yesterday:

Go to the PledgeMusic page to support:

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/benfoldsfive

7/17 update: The CD & vinyl is available for pre-order on Amazon now!!

*– “alleged album art & name.  If you remember what Ben Folds did for Way To Normal by leaking a nearly full “fake” album ahead of the regular album… well, take things with a grain of salt. :)

~Dan – np: CelldwellerFirst Person Shooter

Double-REVIEW: Beck @ Les Schwab (Bend, OR – 5/27/12) and Jack White @ the Hult (Eugene, OR – 5/28/12)

30th May 12 (Wed) 7 comments

It was a long Memorial Day weekend.  But it was a musically fruitful weekend.  I could have made it more fruitful by adding The Shins / Blind Pilot / Head and the Heart as well as the Tenacious D shows on Friday and Saturday in Bend, respectively; alas, I needed to save some time and energy for Beck in Bend on Sunday and Jack White in Eugene on Monday.  It was still quite a great full weekend for my ears!

 

I had never seen either Beck or Jack White in concert.  I was familiar with Beck’s music fairly well… having all of his stuff.  I was completely unfamiliar with Jack White’s music – outside of some of the White Stripes and Raconteurs that I’d heard.  Needless to say, I was equally excited about both shows.

Beck in Bend was the tail-end of a nice “Bend Ale Trail” weekend for me… sampling some new places for me: 10 Barrel Brewing & Good Life Brewing.  Both highly recommended for their beer and their food!  Bend also had some lovely weather and some odd rainbows in the clouds…

(not photoshopped… photo taken near Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR)

Metric was Beck’s opener… the Toronto indie rock quartet ripped through a dancey hour-long set.  Their fifth album, Synthetica, comes out on June 12, 2012.  If the way they had the Bend audience going is any indication, the new album should be a crowd pleaser as well.

Beck went on after a short set break… kicking the show off right with some Odelay goodness by way of “Devil’s Haircut.”

Among his two-hour long set, he bounced around his back and “recent” catalog (2008’s Modern Guilt) fairly well.  Every era got some great representation.  As mentioned, I had never seen him live before.  I was pleasantly surprised with the great mix, especially the songs off of Sea Change

Beck’s Setlist: about 2 hours

  • Devil’s Haircut
  • Loser
  • Black Tambourine
  • Soul of a Man
  • Hotwax
  • Sissyneck
  • The Golden Age
  • Lost Cause
  • Sunday Sun
  • Think I’m In Love
  • The New Pollution
  • Modern Guilt
  • Paper Tiger
  • “Song for Bend” [Improv]
  • End of the Day
  • Tropicalia [partial]
  • Jack-Ass
  • Gamma Ray
  • Minus
  • Girl
  • Where It’s At
  • Encore: Soldier Jane
  • Looking Back
  • Mutherfuker
  • E-Pro

Next, on to Eugene…

I missed Jack White’s opener, Quasi.  I’d heard of them before, and would have liked to have seen the show (I like Sam Coomes work with Elliott Smith).  Alas, driving back from Bend and personal commitments made it so we skated into the venue right as Quasi was ending their set… d’oh!

Jack White’s show… what to say, what to say?  Professional, yet muddy.  Loud, yet not necessary.  Thoroughly energetic, yet confusing.  Quite enjoyable, yet painful.

The man writes hooky songs, and plays guitar and piano very well… yet, the sound was cranked through the roof.  It lost so many of the lushness and subtlety that I think would have been suited for this show at the Hult Center.

Another thing that can’t go without mentioning, the “III” imagery abounding.  Sure, rockstars should have iconic imagery.  But a suffix namesake seems like an odd thing to so vehemently brand… unless you’re branding your ego or something.

Several times it seemed as if Eugene wasn’t stroking his ego enough… he quipped that if we didn’t want, they didn’t have to come back out (after their 45 minute initial set).  He tried to get the crowd to do a sing-a-long on one song, but it seemed as if the song had ended already, and it was more of a confusing thing (or so it seemed to me).

The loudness, was, again… unnecessary.  Fantastic musicianship and seemingly intricate things going on with fantastic players… completely lost in the brash, feedback-induced sound cloud.  So many subtleties lost.  So many subtleties lost.

Jack White’s Setlist: two sets, ~45 mins & ~35 mins

  • Set 1: Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground [The White Stripes]
  • Missing Pieces
  • Sixteen Saltines
  • Love Interruption
  • Cannon/300 Pounds of Joy [Howlin’ Wolf]
  • You Know That I Know [Hank Williams]
  • Hotel Yorba [The White Stripes]
  • Weep Themselves to Sleep
  • We’re Going to Be Friends [The White Stripes]
  • Blunderbuss
  • I Cut Like A Buffalo [The Dead Weather]
  • Steady as She Goes [The Raconteurs]
  • Set 2: Freedom At 21
  • Trash Tongue Talker
  • I’m Slowly Turning Into You [The White Stripes]
  • Carolina Drama [The Raconteurs]
  • Seven Nation Army [The White Stripes]
  • Goodnight, Irene [Lead Belly]

(pro photos from Eugene will be posted at jwiii.com)

The bottom line… I really enjoyed the Jack White show.  The flaws that I saw in the show are totally fixable.  Who am I to say what he should do anyhow? :)  I’m just thinking that something that shows off his musical chops, his writing prowess, his voice, his players, and his songs at the forefront – not clouded by sheer volume – could have been far, far, FAR more enjoyable… and probably far, far, far more enjoyable to more to others (not just me).

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Emily Wells @ WOW Hall on 6/3.

~Dan – np: Sigur RósValtari

REVIEW: Glen Phillips @ Alberta Rose (Portland, OR – 4/12/12)

16th Apr 12 (Mon) Leave a comment

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

I got to the venue just in the nick of time as Jonathan Kingham was starting his opening set.  I had seen him about four years ago in Eugene with Glen Phillips.  I thought he was great last time, and he held up to that memory quite well on Thursday night.  I think he’s matured a little bit in his songwriting, and still quite the charmer on-stage.  Funny, witty, smooth voice, and slow jams.  He played some new tunes, some tunes about food, a tune called “Satisfied” (about a poodle?), a cover of Bobby Brown’s “Every Little Stepwith an impressive improv rap, and ended the 45 minute set with “Grace” with Glen on backing vocals.

After a short break, Glen Phillips came out and dug right in.  He played the first handful of tunes unaccompanied, then Jonathan joined him on guitar and backing vocals for the classic Toad song “Walk On the Ocean.”  Jonathan stayed with him for the rest of the set, switching to piano partway through.

The things that draws me in to Glen are his voice and his poetic lyricism.  Whether it be with his solo stuff, his side-projects, or with his first band Toad – his humor, wit and joy for life shines through.  He played a great mix of songs throughout his career and even treated us to a couple brand new songs.  No word on if these new songs will show up on an upcoming solo album, collaboration album, or the rumored upcoming Toad the Wet Sprocket album.

Setlist: ~90 mins

  • The Next Day
  • Crowing [Toad the Wet Sprocket]
  • Thankful
  • End This Now
  • Return to Me
  • Blood Pressurize [RemoteTreeChildren]
  • Walk on the Ocean* [Toad]
  • The One Who Got Away
  • Always Have My Love
  • Released
  • Whatever I Fear [Toad]
  • True
  • Finally Fading
  • Windmills [Toad]
  • Golden Age [new song]
  • Solar Flare
  • Fred Meyers
  • All I Want [Toad]
  • Rise Up
  • Encore: Rare Bird (new song)
  • Brothers on a Hotel Bed [Death Cab for Cutie]
    *J. Kingham guest on guitar for “Walk On the Ocean” through
    “Whatever I Fear” & on piano from “True” through “Rise Up.”

A great show from two fantastic, silken-voiced singer-songwriters.

GLEN PHILLIPS PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Dan Deacon at the University of Oregon on 4/17.

~Dan – np: Boards of CanadaTwoism

Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel… (album art/details)

3rd Apr 12 (Tue) 1 comment

As previously reported, Fiona Apple’s upcoming album The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw, And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do is due out in late June.  The official release date is now June 26, 2012.  We now have the album art and tracklist…

TRACKLIST:
01″Every Single Night”
02 “Daredevil”
03 “Valentine”
04 “Jonathan”
05 “Left Alone”
06 “Werewolf”
07 “Periphery”
08 “Regret”
09 “Anything We Want”
10 “Hot Knife”
(via Fiona’s FB page)

~Dan – np: Radiohead OK Computer

new music from Nellie McKay & My Brightest Diamond

22nd Mar 12 (Thu) Leave a comment

Jazzy, piano-pop songstress Nellie McKay just got done with a stint of tour dates for her death-row musical review I Want To Live! (double Oregon show review here).

Now she’s off with a new show entitled SILENT SPRING – It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature, a tribute to trailblazing environmentalist, Rachel Carson (Nellie made up as Rachel to the right).

She is currently amidst her Silent Spring residency at Feinstein’s in NYC.  The show runs March 20 to 31, 2012.  No word on if Silent Spring will make it out of NYC for a tour, but this seems similar to the path that I Want To Live! took… so, who knows, maybe we’ll see Silent Spring out West in late 2012/early 2013?

Listen to Nellie’s version of the song “Rio de Lua (Moon River)” below:

Shara Worden / My Brightest Diamond has recorded a guitar-based version of “I Have Never Loved Someone” for a limited release (1000 hand-numbered copies) as a 7″ through Holland-based Nowhere Fast Records.  For the B-side, Shara has sung Leonard Cohen’sBird On A Wire” with guitar accompaniment by Marc Ribot.  The album is set for release on Record Store Day (21 April 2012), and it will be available in Europe, the UK and the US markets.

~Dan – np: Boards of CanadaMusic Has the Right to Children

Guano Padano’s 2 featuring Mike Patton

13th Mar 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

No word on when this will hit the US market, but Italian band Guano Padano is releasing their 2nd album, 2, on March 13, 2012 (today!).  It doesn’t show up in the US Amazon store (yet), but the whole album is streaming on Rolling Stone Italy.  The track “Prairie Fire” features Mike Patton on vocals…

~Dan – np: John Zorn & Bobby PreviteEuclid’s Nightmare

Peter Mulvey – new streams from ‘The Good Stuff’

10th Mar 12 (Sat) Leave a comment

Each day or so, until presumably they’ve all been streamed, Midwest singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey is releasing tracks from his upcoming album, The Good Stuff.

Here’s the first one – “But I Do” a standard written by Bobby Charles & Clarence Henry:

(notice: this is linked from PM’s site & may only be available for a short time)

For further streams, visit: http://www.petermulvey.com/

Pre-ordering of the album will be live the week of March 20th (and it comes out March 27th).  He’s in my “buy every time without question” club… a perpetual favorite.  Do yourself a solid and add him to your collection!

~Dan – np: John ZornIpsissimus

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