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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

* Favorite Vocal Albums of 2011 *

29th Dec 11 (Thu) 6 comments

I’ve been buying less music… or, at least a lot less mainstream (major label) music. This is also my fourth year now that I bought more instrumental CDs than vocal CDs. I think as I get older, I am drawn more towards jazz and other instrumental forms of expression. For that reason, the favorite vocal albums list goes first this go ’round. Hopefully my spilling out of music that I like finds interest with someone else. But if not, thanks for stopping by… check out the artists’ webpages, Facebox pages, yadda yadda yadda. A lot of these also made it on to my 2011 Mix CD (free streaming/download).

OK, now on to the best of what’s hit my ears this year…

Honorable Mentions: Iron & WineKiss Each Other Clean, Tres MtsThree Mountains, PomplamooseThe Album You Bought At Our Show (Thanks for That), MC FrontalotSolved and The RootsUndun.

BjörkBiophilia :: It started with an iPhone / iPad app… I was skeptical, but it turned out to be a really cool app and a really cool album.  I don’t think the actual music broke any new ground for Bjork, but her willingness to approach technology and manifest an album initially with a new format is what will keep her in the forefront for me.
Elysian FieldsLast Night on Earth :: Brooklyn-based sultry art rockers Elysian Fields don’t really tour outside of NYC often.  Jennifer Charles and Oren Bloedow find their way to Europe on occasion, but most U.S. fans only really have their studio albums to sate their musical desires.  This is their sixth full-length album in their near 16-year career.  Well crafted, well produced, lush vocals and folk meets dusky jazz.
BlackfieldWelcome to My DNA :: I was disappointed that I couldn’t make it out for this tour.  The album is good, albeit a little disjointed compared to their other two albums (probably due to Aviv Geffen doing more of the writing versus Steven Wilson who was busy with his solo album – see #9 below).  Nice orchestration and a solid offering from Blackfield.
Dream TheaterA Dramatic Turn of Events :: I almost didn’t buy this album.  I’m glad I did, but I’m still pretty pissed at the band for choosing to continue without founder/drummer Mike Portnoy after he expressed an interest in a short hiatus/breather.  They picked up a drummer I like (Mike Mangini, who i saw play with Extreme in 1995), but a BIG piece of what I loved about DT (after Kevin Moore left in 1994) was Mike Portnoy’s energy.  With his absence, I’m liking them less and less.  The album is good, but it’s way more bitter than sweet to me.
Foo FightersWasting Light :: Dave Grohl is a modern rock genius.  He rocks, he hooks, he continues to put out great music.
Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory OrchestraMTO Plays Sly :: A trumpet-led tribute to Sly and the Family Stone with guests vocalists.  This superb collection is less funk, but still quite enjoyable.  My favorite is the Antony-sung “Family Affair.”
Florence + the MachineCeremonials :: Soulful baroque-rock chanteuse won me over with their first album Lungs, even though I didn’t pick it up this year.  Her second album solidifies her as more than a fluke.  The album is dancey and dark.  Great for fans of Tori Amos & Kate Bush!
IncubusIf Not Now, When? :: Incubus took some time off so guitarist Mike Einziger could work on his degree at Harvard and singer Brandon Boyd could put out some art as well as his solo album.  They regrouped and put out an album that had a similar vibe to the ocean-groove Morning View.  They aren’t breaking new ground, but they still have a solid position in my ears.
The Jelly JamShall We Descend :: The supergroup of Ty Tabor (King’s X), John Myung (Dream Theater) and Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs) finally found some time to hit the studio!  The result is an excellent rock album…
ChevelleHats Off to the Bull :: Chevelle are a sleeper in my collection.  I almost write them off and then with each album, I think how stupid it’d be to write them off.  Great hard rock with a vocalist that reminds me of Maynard (Tool, etc).  I really need to see this band live – I’ve yet to have a the chance…
My Brightest Diamond & Murat EyubogluLetters to Distant Cities :: A short spoken word album, featuring the words of Mustafa Ziyalan.  Words spoken by Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), backing music by Murat Eyubolu, with two songs sandwiching the poetry – one by MBD and one by Clare & the Reasons.  A great arty piece.
 
Jason LudwigTanglings :: Jason Ludwig returns to the Cincinnati music scene after his 2010 band break up (Noctaluca) with two full-length albums (Tanglings and Lost in Love).  Tanglings is my favorite of the two, but they’re both quite excellent.  Well-produced, well-arranged, creative singer-songwriter that reminds me of a cross between the pop of Glen Hansard (of the Swell Season and the Frames) and the creative of Daniel Johns (of Silverchair). If you don’t like these albums, I’d be surprised.
Hotel LightsGirl Graffiti :: Darren Jesse was the drummer for Ben Folds Five, and wrote one of my absolute favorite songs for them – “Magic” from The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.  He puts down the sticks and picks up the guitar and vocal duties for Hotel Lights.  This is HL’s 3rd album, and he continues to impress me with his versatile skills.  Poppy indie rock.
EisleyThe Valley :: The long gap between The Valley and their last album was trying for the band.  After many contract dispute with their former label (Warner), they were finally set free.  Many bands don’t make it out of contract disputes alive – it’s easier to break up sometimes.  Well, thankfully it’s difficult for Eisley to break-up, as they’d still see each other at holidays and family get-togethers (the band consists of 3 sisters, a brother, and a cousin).  The Valley picks up where 2007’s Combinations left off.  Alt-pop-rock goodness.  Vocal duties traded off between sisters Sherri & Stacy…
Tori AmosNight of the Hunters :: This was Tori’s first album on classical label Deutsche Grammophon.  I was skeptical at first, not because of the classical bent.  I knew she could handle that… I was skeptical due to the first artwork that looked plastic (which sadly stayed) and her last studio album was a lackluster (IMO) holiday album (blech).  Tori enlists her daughter Natashya on some vocals, and delivers one of my favorite Tori albums since 2002’s Scarlet’s Walk.
David BazanStrange Negotiations :: Continuing in his solo expressions after the official ceasing of Pedro the Lion, David Bazan manifests wit, a sharp tongue, and a questioning mind into his DIY-indie rock.  This year, he toured quite a bit, solo and with a band.  An album last year (Curse Your Branches), an album this year, and another on the way.  He’s slogging away, trekking all over the country, and making some great music on the way.
Steven WilsonGrace for Drowning :: Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson is a hard worker.  Whether he’s producing albums for others or making albums & touring with PT, Blackfield, No-Man, Storm Corrosion, or solo – he’s always busy each and every year.  This year brought his second solo album and a small tour.  The album is a bit more stripped down from his other projects.  It is reminiscent of Pink Floyd in spots – specifically this song “Home in Negative.”  He also rocks out a bit in the almost two hour double album… check out the video for “Track One” here (it’s a bit bleak then startling).  Gorgeous work.
WussyStrawberry :: Well, I was super happy when I found out that Wussy was putting out their fourth full-length studio album this year. They’re a fantastic rock quartet made up of Chuck Cleaver, Lisa Walker, Mark Messerly, and Joe Klug. They write catchy, poppy choruses and meld it perfectly with Midwest Americana-meets-indie-rock grit (or “Midwestern drone” as their press says).   Vocal duties are traded off with Chuck (of Ass Ponys) and Lisa (of Magic Words).
RadioheadThe King of Limbs :: I could probably put an “indie” icon next to Radiohead… I think technically they put TKOL out by themselves.  But they’re a huge superpower of a band.  I like this record, but I’ll admit that it’s still sinking in… I need to give it some more spins.  This album spawned a seven 7″ vinyl remix set.  The video for “Lotus Flower” also spawned a silly “Thom Yorke dancing” meme… one of my favorites being the tennis/fish and the “Single Ladies” editions.
Jeffrey FoucaultHorse Latitudes :: Jeffrey Foucault is a favorite Americana artist that I got turned on to by singer-songwriter/storyteller Peter Mulvey.  Jeffrey and Peter work together in the band Redbird (with David Goodrich and Jeffrey’s wife Kris Delmhorst).  I didn’t pick up Jeffrey’s albums until the past year and a half.  He’s definitely more on the cusp of country than I tend to traverse, but I dig his authenticity, poetic wit and charm.  He’s a delight on stage and a fantastic John Prine-esque songwriter for the new generation.
OpethHeritage :: Mikael Åkerfeldt hangs up the cookie monster vocals and “Swedish death metal” rattle and puts out a solid heavy metal album that is a tribute to his progressive metal ancestors.  I’ll admit, I miss the heavier side, but it’s still good to see Mikael evolve.
Over the RhineThe Long Surrender :: For those that don’t know Over the Rhine, they started out as a four piece in Cincinnati in 1989 and put out their “post-nuclear, pseudo-alternative, folk-tinged art-pop” indie debut ‘Til We Have Faces in 1991. After about a decade as a four-piece, Ric Hordinski (guitars) & Brian Kelley (drums) left.  Karin Bergquist (vocals) & Linford Detweiler (keys) carried on the Over the Rhine flame throughout the years… moving away from a rockier feel to a more folky-pop-Americana thing. What I like about Over the Rhine is they continually change and evolve into a different band with each album and each outing. I’ve seen them rock out, I’ve seen them jazz it up, I’ve seen them happy, I’ve seen them somber, I’ve seen them celebratory, and I’ve seen them tell stories that will make you laugh and cry.
dredgChuckles and Mr. Squeezy :: I love this band.  I hate the album title, but I love the band.  Modern progressive rock, tons of talent, thoughtful lyrics, none of that “prog wankery” that is generally detestable.  While it’s hard for them to follow-up the stunning The Pariah The Parrot The Delusion (from 2009), this new album does a hearty job of maintaining their quality rock standards.
My Brightest DiamondAll Things Will Unwind :: Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) took some time off since her last album – 2008′s A Thousand Shark’s Teeth.  She put out some stunning collaborations in the past three years (see #15 above) including her first kiddo; so the lapse in studio work was a-OK.  On this album, Shara teams up with NYC-based ensemble yMusic to create a lush backdrop for her gorgeous voice.  I can’t praise this album enough!
PusciferConditions of My Parole :: Tool / A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan makes wine and makes other music in his time off from Tool and APC.  I loved Puscifer’s debut and the subsequent EP, but this album tops it all.  It’s a brilliant record, recorded in one of his wine cellars with his friends – featuring backing vocals from Carina Round.  It’s self-released by Puscifer music with a small distribution partner (available in indie shops, primarily).  The tour this year was great (I caught Seattle), and I’m glad they’re heading out in the spring again (I’ll be at Portland).

Check out the 2011 Mix for some samples, click the Amazon buttons for other samples, and support the music if you like what you hear!

My Other Favorites of 2011 Recaps:

~Dan – np: Trent Reznor & Atticus RossThe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Tori Amos “Carry” video + pre-order + tour updates

18th Aug 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

The first track to get video treatment for Tori Amos’ upcoming Night of Hunters album is the final track, “Carry.”  Sonically, it’s a lush stringy ballad – quite fitting for Tori’s move to classical label Deutsche Grammophon.

I’m curious how the rest of the album is, but I guess I’ll have to wait until it hits on September 20th.  The CD, CD/DVD deluxe and vinyl versions are currently up for pre-order on the Amazons (digital/mp3 download version to follow).  Tori’s Fall tour dates are below as well.  I’m still bummed about no Oregon date, but hope there’s a 2nd leg added at some point…

Night of Hunters tracklist:
01. Shattering Sea
02. SnowBlind
03. Battle of Trees
04. Fearlessness
05. Cactus Practice
06. Star Whisperer
07. Job’s Coffin
08. Nautical Twilight
09. Your Ghost
10. Edge of the Moon
11. The Chase
12. Night of Hunters
13. Seven Sisters
14. Carry

Tori Amos 2011 Tour Dates:

09/28 – Helsinki, FI @ Ice Hall
09/30 – St. Petersburg, RU @ Oktyabrsky Hall
10/02 – Moscow, RU @ Crocus Hall
10/04 – Luxembourg, LU @ Den Atelier
10/05 – Paris, FR @ Le Grand Rex
10/07 – Milan, IT @ Teatro Arcimboldi
10/08 – Rome, IT @ Auditorium Parco della Musica
10/10 – Hamburg, DE @ Laieszhalle
10/11 – Berlin, DE @ Tempodrom
10/13 – Warsaw, PL @ Sala Kongresowa
10/15 – Eindoven, NL @ Muziekgebouw
10/17 – Amsterdam, NL @ Carre
10/18 – Amsterdam, NL @ Carre
10/20 – Oslo, NO @ Sentrum Scene
10/21 – Copenhagen, DK @ The Royal Theatre
10/22 – Copenhagen, DK @ The Royal Theatre
10/24 – Lucerne, CH @ KKL
10/25 – Vienna, AT @ Stadhalle F
10/26 – Frankfurt, DE @ Alte Oper
10/28 – Antwerp, BE @ QEH
10/29 – Brussels, BE @ Bozar
10/31 – Essen, DE @ Philharmonie
11/02 – London, UK @ Royal Albert Hall
11/03 – London, UK @ Hammersmith Apollo
11/04 – Manchester, UK @ Apollo
11/06 – Glasgow, UK @ Royal Concert Hall
11/08 – Belfast, UK @ Waterfront
11/09 – Dublin, UK @ Grand Canal Theatre
11/29 – Atlanta, GA @ Cobb Energy Performance Arts Center
12/01 – Philadelphia, PA @ Academy of Music
12/02 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
12/03 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
12/05 – Washington, DC @ Constitution Hall
12/06 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theater
12/08 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
12/10 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
12/13 – Vancouver, BC @ Orpehum Theater
12/14 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
12/16 – Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre
12/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre
12/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre
12/21 – Austin, TX @ Bass Concert Hall
12/22 – Dallas, TX @ Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie

~Dan – np: The Swell SeasonStrict Joy

Tori Amos – Night of Hunters (Sept ’11)

4th May 11 (Wed) 3 comments

Tori Amos is a chameleon – changing her musical style (slightly) and her outward appearance (usually more than slightly).  Trouble is lately she’s been putting out long-ass albums of mostly mediocre work, as far as I’m concerned.  Oh for the heydeys of the 90s and early 2000s.

Well, she has a new one in the can entitled Night of Hunters, and it’s coming out in September 2011 on Deutsche Grammophon, a German classical label.  Behold the art for her upcoming tour (and presumably the album)…

update 6/22 album art

Um, is she human?  Is she plastic?  As far as the album, here’s the press’ slant…

“It’s a 21st century song cycle inspired by classical music themes spanning over 400 years. I have used the structure of a song cycle to tell an ongoing, modern story. The protagonist is a woman who finds herself in the dying embers of a relationship. In the course of one night she goes through an initiation of sorts that leads her to reinvent herself allowing the listener to follow her on a journey to explore complex musical and emotional subject matter. One of the main themes explored on this album is the hunter and the hunted and how both exist within us.”

I’ll get it.  I mean, I’ve signed a contract with my 20 year old self to buy anything Tori Amos ever puts out.  I just hope to Talula that it’s good.

~Dan – np: Celldweller2011 Groupees EP

My Brightest Diamond with Blind Boys of Alabama

12th Jun 10 (Sat) Leave a comment

If you head over to the Asthmatic Kitty website, they have a streaming video of My Brightest Diamond (aka Shara Worden) singing “Jesus” with the Blind Boys of Alabama on Australian TV…


http://asthmatickitty.com/news.php?newsID=588

As you can see from the video, she’s about to pop… so, I guess the next project she has been working on is about to come out.  I don’t know if the album… um… er… child is a boy or a girl, but here’s hoping it’s a healthy and happy baby diamond.

Other news snippet… Tori Amos is releasing a live DVD from her 2009 Artist’s Den performance in NYC.  It’s available for pre-order via Barnes & Noble at this time… not elsewhere (yet).

~Dan – np: Imogen HeapEllipse

Artists of the Decade – 2000s (#21 to 25)

1st Jan 10 (Fri) 5 comments

So, I can’t / won’t do a Top XX Albums of the Decade… it’s probably more “can’t” than “won’t.” There are so many great albums from the past 10 years… but, what I can do is recount the artists that have been my chief form of musical pleasure for the past 10 years.

But first…

Artist of the Decade – Special Mention

Dweezil Zappa only had a couple albums in the 2000s, but he gets a special call out for carrying on Frank Zappa‘s music since 2006. Dweezil & Co have toured for the past three and a half plus years, playing Frank’s music in a new setting each year. I hope this continues. It’s a fantastic tour, every time I’ve seen it.

~*~*~*~*~

Artists of the Decade – Honorable Mentions

Tori Amos ~ In the 1990s, she ruled. I still love what she does, and she’s very important in the foundation of my musical interests. The fact that she’s still active with albums and touring all throughout the decade gets her an honorable mention.

Her best albums of the decade…

Celldweller ~ He’s only released one regular album in the entire decade… had he done more, he’d probably make the proper 25 list. Despite the one album, he has released a mostly instrumental soundtrack, a handful of internet-only singles and Eps and a skad of remix CDs and EPs. He’s been far from lazy. I look forward to the 2nd full length Celldweller release sometime in the 2010s.

His most excellent debut and instrumental “score” release…

Iron & Wine ~ I got into Iron & Wine mid-decade, but immediately fell in love with Sam’s flourishing vocals and interesting guitar work. He has a beautiful whispy voice, a penchant for storytelling, and a great eye for videos (prior to music, he taught film down in Florida, and the videos he’s produced for his band and other bands have been fantastic).

My favorite release of his this decade…

King’s X (and related solo & side projects) ~ Between the regular band albums, all three solo members’ albums, the side projects, the live albums, and the indie demo issues – there are probably close 30 releases in the 2000s. Prolificity abounds. This is one band that keeps on ticking, and for that, I am grateful.

A few gems from this decade…

Derek Webb ~ Creative and exploratory since leaving his first band, Caedmon’s Call, Derek continues to push the boundaries of what a singer-songwriter is supposed to do. His latest, Stockholm Syndrome, is a fantastic exit from the 2000s and entrance into the 2010s. Rumor is that he’s working on one (or multiple) Caedmon’s Call-related releases with his old band, too… should be interesting.

My faves from this decade…

~*~*~*~*~

Artists of the Decade

25 ~ Ben Folds (solo)

The Five were no longer at the turn of the decade / century / millennium, which left the name sake on his own. Ben Folds was one of the first to ditch the full length and rapidly release several EPs all in one year. He saw the writing on the wall for the eventual, slow death of the CD format… and his solo albums (all in the 2000s) were generally fantastic – yeah, they are always a few tunes on each one that are doozies. He ended the decade with a cute (and enjoyable) acappella tribute album to himself from various college singing clubs. I was skeptical, but once I got it, I was very pleased with the covers.

~*~*~

24 ~ Peter Mulvey

Peter Mulvey is one of my favorite singer-songwriters around. He’s a hard worker, touring all around from Alaska, the entire U.S. (including Alaska) and Europe.  He’s put out more albums to count on two hands in the past 15 years.  He started off the decade with the stunning The Trouble with Poets and ended the decade with the fantastic Letters from a Flying Machine.  He’s a truly wonderful storyteller, and if he comes near your town… GO!

~*~*~

23 ~ Opeth

From singer-songwriter to Swedish death metal… roar!  Opeth came along with the “getting into prog band Porcupine Tree” period of the decade for me (check in later for Porcupine Tree’s position).  The string of three Opeth albums produced by PT’s Steven Wilson rank among the BEST metal out there… ranging from melodic rock to sweeping progressive movements to the in your face “cookie monster” vocals.  The first in the series, Blackwater Park, may be my favorite metal album of all-time (sorry, Dave Mustaine, you’ve been trumped).

~*~*~

22 ~ dredg

I showed up early to a Coheed & Cambria show and was blown away by the opener… once I dug into dredg’s music, I really fell in love.  They run a tight ship of well-crafted, melodic neo-progressive rock music.  Gavin’s vocals and lyrics are a major selling point, too.  Their latest album (The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion) is my favorite album of 2009 – hands down.

~*~*~

21 ~ Holy Fuck

Starting out as a more experimental “live electronic” noise-jazz band and evolving into a more groove-oriented electronic jam band, Holy Fuck shot up on my hot list quickly.  Their 2nd full length is superb, and their live show is not to be missed.  Raw energy, dual keyboards, groovy rhythm section, crazy film-reel instrumentation, and uncanny dance-ability.  They’ve also embraced the vinyl comeback… score!

~*~*~

The rest of the decade recap to follow in the next few days… more musical variety awaits…

My Other Favorites of 2009 Recaps:

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid

Oh, and for those who say that the decade ends at the end of 2010… meh. I’m starting with 0 and ending with 9 (like a LOT of people). Rationale: the 80s, the 90s… you don’t say the 80s went from 1/1/1981 to 12/31/1990 or the 90s from 1/1/1991 to 12/31/2000.

Derek Webb – Democracy Vol 1

21st Dec 09 (Mon) 5 comments

Before I get started… happy birthday, Frank Zappa!  Ya hozna!

OK, now on to the music news…

Derek Webb, whose Stockholm Syndrome is seriously gonna rank well in my soon-comingBest of / Favorite CDs of 2009” list, is doing something new for 2010.  He’s going to have a subscription music deal where he digitally releases cover songs each month… and subscribers get to pick the songs.  People who bought/buy a limited edition of Stockholm Syndrome over at the DW store got first crack at selections.

I already put in my votes a couple days ago… Chroma Key‘s “Colorblind” (longshot due to obscurity), Tori Amos‘ “Crucify” (that would pwn), and I think jokingly I put Opeth‘s “Blackwater Park” (even more of a longshot) – but I forget if I recanted and switched at the last minute to something else.  I’m pulling for a “Crucify” cover by Derek – I think he’d do it justice.

The cover songs will likely be a more stripped down, singer-songwriter style when compared to his 2009 record… but those are his roots and how I first got into him; so I’m stoked.  Plus… ya know, if he does Tori Amos’ “Crucify,” I’ll have his babies.

Derek Webb’s “What Matters More” video
{from Stockholm Syndrome}

http://www.derekwebb.com/

~Dan – np: Borah Bergman TrioLuminescence

David Byrne’s Here Lies Love

17th Dec 09 (Thu) Leave a comment


What do Tori Amos, Nellie McKay, Sia, St Vincent, Steve Earle, Natalie Merchant, Cyndi Lauper and more all have in common?

They are all featured vocalists on the upcoming 2CD/1DVD concept album by David Byrne and Fatboy SlimHere Lies Love (due out 23 Feb 2010).  They had me at Tori Amos and Nellie McKay… then the list kept going.  My dad claims that “crap isn’t holy,” but quite frankly, I beg to differ.  “Holy crap” is a primo utterance afforded upon this new album.

The concept… “Here Lies Love presents Imelda Marcos meditating on events in her life, from her childhood spent in poverty and her rise to power to her ultimate departure from the palace. In particular, the production looks at the relationship between Imelda and a servant from her childhood, Estrella Cumpas, who appeared at key moments in Imelda’s life.

Read more over at David Byrne’s site.

~Dan – np: Porcupine TreeThe Incident

Tori Amos on Daytrotter

10th Dec 09 (Thu) 5 comments

Um… wow… Tori Amos stopped by the Daytrotter Studios…

The few websites that aren’t RSS feed-able that made it to my “must check every day” list… Daytrotter is great, and they hit us today with a live in the studio session with Tori Amos…she plays a couple of songs from Midwinter Graces and a couple from Abnormally Attracted to Sin

Go here for the free music:
http://tinyurl.com/daytrotter-toriamos

1) Lady in Blue 2) Ophelia 3) Pink and Glitter 4) A Silent Night with You

Past Daytrotter Sessions I’ve blogged about and dug (links and free music not guaranteed on these old blogs): The Swell Season, David Bazan #2, Copeland, Bad Veins, Nellie McKay, Clare and the Reasons, My Brightest Diamond #2, Damien Jurado, Talkdemonic, Aimee Mann, Ani DiFranco, Bad Veins #1, Kaki King, Holy Fuck… and David Bazan, My Brightest Diamond, Erin McKeown.

~Dan – np: Jars of ClayThe Long Fall Back to Earth

Tori Amos – Midwinter Graces

20th Sep 09 (Sun) 2 comments

OK, so Tori Amos is putting out a holiday album.  I really don’t like holiday albums.  I can count on one finger-based peace sign how many contemporary artists’ holiday album that I like (Over the Rhine‘s Darkest Night of the Year & Monk‘s How Like a Winter).  I say “contemporary artists’ holiday album” because I think Vince Guaraldi‘s falls into a different category whatsoever.  With other artists I like, they tend to end up crap (Aimee Mann’s was dreadful) or bordering on boredom (Sufjan Stevens’ was passable and original but not something I’m pulling out a lot, Nellie McKay’s was in a similar bucket… the list could go on…).  But it’s usually not the artist’s fault, it’s usually the material.  Christmas music is just so laaaaaame most of the time.  I don’t know…

With Tori Amos, I think it has the potential to go either way.  I think she could maybe write some great original pieces, a la Over the Rhine, but she could also pile on the schlock a la Aimee Mann.  My guess is that it’ll be middle of the road a la Sufjan & Nellie.  The cover art looks cheesy as hell (see press release below).

Release date is November 10th.  It’s available for pre-order over on the Amazons.  So, we shall see soon enough…

Here’s the Official Press Release…

After nearly two decades writing and recording some of her generation’s most emotionally powerful music, Tori Amos will release her first seasonal album, Midwinter Graces, on November 10 via Universal Republic. A follow up to Tori’s critically acclaimed studio album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin, Midwinter Graces will find Tori reworking and expanding on classic carols as well as developing some of her very own seasonal tracks.

Midwinter Graces is an album that has been in the making for the past 40 years. Raised in the Baltimore area under the watchful eye of her Methodist minister father, Tori grew up playing holiday carols at Sunday services and Christmas Day celebrations in her father’s church. These were the songs that gave a young Tori her first taste of music, and now almost 40 years later Tori gets her own chance to reimagine the classics.

Tracklist:
What Child, Nowell
Star of Wonder
A Silent Night with You
Candle: Coventry Carol
Holly, Ivy, and Rose
Harps of Gold
Snow Angel
Jeanette, Isabella
Pink and Glitter
Emmanuel
Winter’s Carol
Our New Year

(click for larger)

So, yeah… we’ll see, eh?

~Dan – np: Soulsavers with Mike PattonBroken

REVIEW: Tori Amos @ Arlene Schnitzer Hall (Portland, OR – 7/11/09)

12th Jul 09 (Sun) 9 comments

Tori Amos has been a big part of my musical fanaticism for a long time.  I first heard of her my freshman year of college, got Little Earthquakes & Under the Pink from BMG, got Boys for Pele right when it came out, and I’ve been a fan ever since.  There was a period of time where, if I could, I’d drive all over the Midwest to go see her.  This show was going on the 6 year mark since I’d seen her, and let’s just say that I was itching for some classic Tori live… but first up, the opener:

One Eskimo hit the stage right about 8pm, and played 4-5 songs (about a half hour’s worth of material).  I liked their sound… sort of a singer-songwriter blown up into a pop group (sort of if Maroon 5 had more interesting musicians).  Their drummer had a nice style, sitting on a box-type drum and using that as the kick drum.  Their guitarist and bassist/trumpet player were also fun to watch.  They played “Kandi,” “UFO,” and “Astronauts” for sure, as those songs are on the EP that I picked up for only $5.  They’re working on wrapping up their full-length debut now…

I was too far away to take any good concert photos;
so the marquee is all you get this time.

Tori hit the stage with her band (Matt Chamberlain on drums & John Evans on bass) at around 8:50pm and played for a solid two hours without much stopping. I forget how much I love her live shows.  Great lights, great mix of tunes from her whole career, fun stage presence, pretty energetic crowd… she played a lot more older songs than I would have thought, and only four songs from her latest record.

Setlist:

  • Give (a fave of the night)
  • Caught a Lite Sneeze (a fave of the night)
  • Welcome to England John’s bass intro was very Tool-y… as if Justin Chancellor was in a pop band
  • Graveyard
  • Cornflake Girl (a fave of the night)
  • Icicle (a fave of the night)
  • Little Amsterdam
  • Siren
  • Starling
  • Black Dove (January)
  • 1,000 Oceans
  • Joni Mitchell’s River (solo – Lizard Lounge)
  • Winter (solo – Lizard Lounge)
  • Playboy Mommy
  • Little Earthquakes (a fave of the night)
  • Fast Horse (a fave of the night)
  • Take to the Sky (a mega fave of the night)
  • Carbon
  • Honey
  • Precious Things (a fave of the night)
  • Strong Black Vine – crowd floods front part of theatre, much to the “oh crap, what do I do?” of the security guys
  • Encore: Big Wheel (a fave of the night)
  • Tombigbee

Fantastic show… prior to this show, I was kind of in a “cooling” phase with Tori.  I hadn’t seen her since the Scarlet’s Walk tour (2003), and I’d only been slightly fond of The Beekeeper and American Doll Posse albums.  Forcing myself recently to dig into her newest one, Abnormally Attracted to Sin, and then seeing it live was great.  It was a much warranted end to the break from being a big time Tori fan.  Sure, Abnormally isn’t going back to the Little Earthquake through Boys of Pele days, but it’s still good music and she still puts on a great show, full of songs from her vast catalogue.

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Riceboys SleepsAll Animals -EP-
no torrent or free download available

The rest of the Abnormally Attracted to Sin tour dates (as of now)

  • Mon 07/13/09 Oakland, CA – Paramount Theatre
  • Tue 07/14/09 Oakland, CA – Paramount Theatre
  • Thu 07/16/09 San Diego, CA – Humphrey’s Concerts By The Bay
  • Fri 07/17/09 Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre
  • Sat 07/18/09 Phoenix, AZ – Dodge Theatre
  • Mon 07/20/09 Salt Lake City, UT – Abravanel Hall
  • Tue 07/21/09 Denver, CO – Paramount Theatre
  • Thu 07/23/09 Kansas City, MO – Starlight Theatre
  • Fri 07/24/09 Grand Prairie, TX – Nokia Theatre At Grand Prairie
  • Sat 07/25/09 Austin, TX – The Long Center For The Performing Arts
  • Mon 07/27/09 Atlanta, GA – Chastain Park Amphitheatre
  • Tue 07/28/09 Orlando, FL – Bob Carr Perf. Arts Centre
  • Wed 07/29/09 Miami Beach, FL – Fillmore Miami Beach At Jackie Gleason Theater
  • Fri 07/31/09 Durham, NC – Durham Performing Arts Center
  • Sat 08/01/09 Washington, DC DAR – Constitution Hall
  • Mon 08/03/09 Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre
  • Tue 08/04/09 Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theatre
  • Wed 08/05/09 Minneapolis, MN – The State Theatre
  • Fri 08/07/09 Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theatre
  • Sat 08/08/09 Detroit, MI – Detroit Opera House
  • Mon 08/10/09 Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
  • Tue 08/11/09 Montreal, QC – St. Denis Theatre
  • Thu 08/13/09 New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
  • Fri 08/14/09 Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre
  • Sat 08/15/09 Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theatre
  • Mon 08/17/09 Boston, MA – Bank Of America Pavilion
  • Sun 09/06/09 Manchester, United Kingdom – Apollo Manchester
  • Mon 09/07/09 Birmingham, United Kingdom – Symphony Hall
  • Tue 09/08/09 Glasgow, United Kingdom – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
  • Thu 09/10/09 London, United Kingdom – Apollo Hammersmith
  • Fri 09/11/09 London, United Kingdom – Apollo Hammersmith
  • Sun 09/13/09 Basel, Switzerland – Festsaal Messe Basel
  • Mon 09/14/09 Munich, Germany – Circus Krone Bau
  • Tue 09/15/09 Zurich, Switzerland – Kongresshaus Zurich
  • Thu 09/17/09 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Heineken Music Hall
  • Sun 09/20/09 Copenhagen, Denmark – Royal Theatre
  • Mon 09/21/09 Oslo, Norway – Sentrum Scene
  • Thu 09/24/09 Prague, Czech Republic – Prague Congress Centre
  • Fri 09/25/09 Vienna, Austria – Wiener Stadthalle
  • Sun 09/27/09 Hamburg, Germany – Laeiszhalle

Music Videos x 3

9th May 09 (Sat) Leave a comment

Tori AmosFire to Your Plain” from Abnormally Attracted to Sin

(click pic for video)

Dream TheaterA Rite of Passage” from Black Clouds & Silver Linings

(click pic for video)

IncubusBlack Heart Inertia” from Monuments and Melodies

So… yeah, the Tori Amos video is OK.  Hard to distinguish anything great here, doesn’t seem unlike Tori, but doesn’t seem like great Tori either.  I suppose we shall see when the full album arrives (May 19th).

The Dream Theater video is, well, good except when James LaBrie is singing John Petrucci’s inane lyrics.  They’re so inane, I thought they were Mike Portnoy lyrics. ::rolleyes::  The only thing missing from the lyrics were mentions of dragons or doves (they’re interchangeable in the realm of prog rock lyrics).  I love 3/5ths of this band (guitar: John Petrucci/bass: John Myung/drums: Mike Portnoy), but about only 1/5ths of its lyricists (John Myung).  Ack… best part of this video is about 3/4ths in when Petrucci shreds it up… before LaBrie comes back in with more singing.  No offense, but this video wreaks of prog metal gone… well… as planned, I suppose.  It is comforting that the special edition of BC&SL (June 23rd) has a 3rd disc of the instrumental mixes of the entire album.  Trust me… it’ll get the most spins from me.

The Incubus video is cheesy, too-O.C.-y.  The song is actually pretty good, and I dig Brandon Boyd’s vocals.  It’s part of a greatest hits release (June 16th) as the bonus song or what have you.  IMO, it’s promising for the future album, assuming they’re working on one.  At this point, I could go for guitarist Mike Einziger’s side project end>vacuum on album.

~Dan – np: WussyWussy (2009)

Yann Tiersen, SXSW, Nellie McKay

17th Feb 09 (Tue) Leave a comment

Well… triple threat news again. This time it’s all about a touring Tiersen, a festival in Austin that every-indie-body loves, and my favorite Nellie (rhymes with McPie).  In order of recency…

OK… so 3 hours ago I found out that French musician Yann Tiersen was touring.  Touring the U.S.  Touring through Portland… holy crap.  For those who don’t know Yann Tiersen, click his name above or know that he makes great French music that got a lot more prominence with the Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie Amélie.  I never thought he’d play any semblance of a decent North American tour… Anyway, here are the tour dates:

Apr 15 – Maison Française WASHINGTON
Apr 16 – Irving Plaza NEW YORK
Apr 17 – Club Soda MONTREAL
Apr 18 – Club Soda MONTREAL
Apr 19 – Mod Club Theatre TORONTO
Apr 21 – Logan Theatre CHICAGO
Apr 22 – Triple Rock Social MINNEAPOLIS
Apr 24 – Blue Bird DENVER
Apr 25 – Urban Lounge SALT LAKE CITY
Apr 27 – Richards VANCOUVER
Apr 28 – Neumo’s SEATTLE
Apr 29 – Wonder Ballroom PORTLAND
May 1 – Great American SAN FRANCISCO
May 2 – El Rey LOS ANGELES
May 8 – Queens Hall EDINBURG
May 9 – ABC 1 GLASGOW
May 10 – Duchess YORK
May 11 – Academy II BIRMINGHAM
May 13 – Junction CAMBRIDGE
May 14 – Electric Ballroom LONDON
May 15 – ATP fest “The Breeders” MINEHEAD
May 17 – Pheonix EXETER
May 18 – Komedia BATH
May 19 – Concorde II BRIGHTON
Jul 4 – Centro de artes e do espectaculos FIGUEIRA DA FOZ
Jul 5 – Casa das artes VILA NOVA DE FAMALICAO
Jul 6 – Centro cultural de Belem LISBOA

I just got my tickets (the Portland show is available from TicketBastard).  I’m. so. excited.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The SXSW music festival is a’going on again.  I don’t really have a desire (or time off during busy season) to go to it this year.  If I had time off in March, I’d be in San Francisco anyway.  This year’s SXSW schedule is out (http://www.sxsw.com/).

If I went, I’d totally check out Peter Mulvey (he’s awesome) on the Signature Sounds stage, and Fol Chen on the Asthmatic Kitty stage… OK, and maybe Tori Amos, but she’s far from indie (she’s got a new one coming out in the spring, titled Abnormally Attracted to Sin).

Oh, and I’d probably also check out Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head on whatever stage they’re playing at SXSW… as you can’t argue with a band name like that (though I will say I’ve never ever heard the band).  Hot!

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The live taping of Nellie McKay and Mia Doi Todd on Mountain Stage was recently posted.  It was taped March 2008 but recently posted on NPR.org on January 27, 2009.  Go here for the streaming link hook-upNellie played: Real Life, Long and Lazy River, Mother of Pearl, Testify, Buttons & Bows, and Zombie; and Mia Doi Todd played: River of Life and Esperar Es Caro.

~Dan – np: The RutlesArchaelogy

The 4 Elements (Mix CD)

10th Jun 06 (Sat) 3 comments

Posty‘s Not-All-That-Quarterly Compilation
The 4 Elements

It’s thematic, obviously. Some of it is new music, yet most of it is just music I’ve always liked that seemed to fit the compilation’s schema. The liners are not completed, yet. Hell, a test pressing hasn’t even been completed; so the track order might change some. I’m just drumming up interest before I decide how much energy to expend… email me if interested. It’ll likely go out sometime in mid-to-late July ’06

Thieved Art represented by Storm Thorgerson (earth), Karen Kristin (sky),
Julian Stanczak (water), and Dale Chihuly (fire)…
/
/

Music Shared without permission, but without ill-intent either, from these artists…

EARTH
1 On “Avalanche” (from the album Shifting Skin )
2 El Douje “Colision De Mundos” (from the album Worlds Collide )
3 Celldweller “Own Little World” (from the album Celldweller )
4 John Zorn “La Flor del Barrio” (from the album Music Romance, Vol. III: The Gift )
5 Porcupine Tree “Collapse the Light into Earth” (from the album In Absentia )

SKY
6 Tristeza “Stumble On Air” (from the album A Colores )
7 Dredg “Ode to the Sun” (from the album Catch Without Arms )
8 Pearl Jam “Thin Air” (from the album Binaural )
9 The Tango Saloon “The Little Plane That Could” (from the album The Tango Saloon )
10 Nick Drake “Pink Moon” (from the album Pink Moon )

WATER
11 O.S.I. “Bigger Wave” (from the album Free )
12 Au4 “An Ocean’s Measure of Sorrow” (from the album On: Audio )
13 Chroma Key “Even the Waves” (from the album Dead Air For Radios )
14 The Squirts “Lobster” (from the album Resquirted )

FIRE
15 Tori Amos “Spark” (from the album From the Choirgirl Hotel )
16 The Times “Laser Beams” (from the album Begin )
17 Heatmiser (early Elliott Smith) “Flame!” (from the album Cop and Speeder )
18 Fantômas “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” (from the album The Director’s Cut )
19 Angeldust “Firestorm” (from the album System 3 )

Think of it as a stroll through a museum installation. The headsets are free this weekend.

And since we’re germophobes… um… go on and keep those there headphones…

~Dan – np: electric masadajohn zorn’s 50th birthday month, vol. 4

Liner info, for those that care-o (fuzzy due to not having a proper Adobe P-Shop install on my new work laptop, had to do this via screencaps & MSPaint… oy…).




TRIPLE-REVIEW: Tori Amos, Radiohead, Over the Rhine (3 cities in Ohio – – Aug 2003)

23rd Aug 03 (Sat) Leave a comment

(originally posted to the old Over the Rhine Actwin list)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ohio is great for concerts… triple show review (8/24/2003)

Not every week do you get to see 3 of your Top 5 Artists.  This was one of those weeks for me…
Tori Amos, Radiohead, and Over the Rhine.

Here’s a triple review of OHIO shows this past week…

I. Tori Amos
II. Radiohead
III. Over the Rhine (bookstore show)

I. TORI AMOS & Marc Broussard
PromoWest Pavilion, Columbus, OH (just barely outside of downtown)
Wednesday, August 20th, 2003

HIGHLIGHTS: The opener was good.  Strong voice.  Tori was great… there were some technical problems partway through the set, but she handled it well.  Her dress ripped, too… the resulting song that came out of that one was great. :)  Song highlights were: Sweet Dreams (a Winter b-side), Mr Zebra, Caught a Lite Sneeze, Mary (another b-side), I Can’t See New York, Hey Jupiter, Bliss, A Sorta Fairytale, China, Liquid Diamonds, Girl, Precious Things, Space Dog, and Cornflake Girl… a lot of great tunes.  Plus a birthday number was fun, too… apparently this was her last show before turning 40.  She seems to be cool with that. :)  Hanging out in Columbus’ Short North was great the next day, too.  Magnolia Thunderpussy (awesome music selection), Monkeys Retreat (cool Simpsons collector stuff), and coffee for me; jewelry and art shops for Margarita… lots of glass in the Cow Town.  Seemed like the shops fancied it.  We some some excellent Chihuly pieces… my credit card wouldn’t handle purchasing them ($32k to start).  Oh, maybe next time.

BUMMER: Ben Folds not being there was the biggest bummer.  This was one of the two shows that he wasn’t going to co-headline.  I didn’t find that out until *after* I bought my tickets and booked the hotel.  Another bummer… she seemed to play too much from To Venus and Back (4-5 songs, ugh).  Oh well, she played enough other material to make up for it… :)

OVERALL: Great show… my 8th time seeing Tori, and the setlist was been vastly different every time.  That’s what I love about her touring… from day-to-day, it’s a different show.

II. RADIOHEAD & Steve Malkmus and the Jicks
Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH (just outside of Akron)
Thursday, August 21st, 2003

HIGHLIGHTS: There There (with Ed on mini-drums and Jonny on mini-drums, keys, and guitar), Paranoid Android, Exit Music (For a Film), Lucky, Idioteque, Morning Bell, 2+2=5, Punchup at a Wedding, Wolf at the Door.  They seemed to stick with the newer stuff, which is fine.  But it seemed when they played any older stuff (Paranoid or Exit Music), that they were phenomenally tighter, and/or those songs lent themselves better to the live show.  The Kid A stuff didn’t seem to lend itself as well (it did last time – 2 years ago).  My favorite played was probably Paranoid Android.  We moved up to the right side of the lawn, away from the crowd, after about 5 songs.  We could see and hear (and breathe) way better.  A nice breeze cooling us off, comfy grass to sit on, a beauty on my arm, and a great band flaoting through the air… ’twas a good time.  Oh, and finally finding the only Indian restaurant in the Akron/Cuyahoga phone book was a blessing.
Different korma than our usual haunts (yummy as hell), and Strawberry Lassi (yum).

BUMMER: No My Iron Lung, Fake Plastic Trees, or Street Spirit (unless they had a 2nd encore that we missed)… also, the song “Kid A” was icky in the live performance (with a side of ICK sauce).  Steve Malkmus & the Jicks were quite boring and lame.  There were 2 or 3 Jicks’ songs near the middle-end that were *decent*.  That’s about it.  Oh, another bummer… Blossom’s parking is, like, miles and miles and miles from the venue.  A 30 minute walk post-show is a drain.   Oh, plus when we tried to check-in to our B&B at 3pm *no one* was there.  We walked in, and *no one*.  We eventually found a room with an A/C and napped until 5:30 until the proprietor finally showed up.  It was surreal, at best.  Quite disorganized B&B, but a KILLER house (O’Neill House in Akron) and a killer breakfast… yum.

OVERALL: Great lights, Thom’s a spaz, Jonny hates his guitar, Radiohead put on a great show again.

III. OVER THE RHINE and tons of books
Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH (just outside of Kentucky)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2003

HIGHLIGHTS: Hometown (Norwood) Boy, Suitcase, Anything At All, Show Me, Fever, Ohio, trivia break (Drew Vogel, aka D.V., won a framed poster), The Seahorse, and Summertime.  They also had What I’ll Remember Most, Changes Come, and Bothered on the setlist, but didn’t play them.  Suitcase was great.
Show Me was better than what I’d heard prior, and Fever was stunningly sexy (as usual).

BUMMER: I didn’t have my OHIO CDs from Paste yet.  I didn’t even have them by the time I got home late Saturday night.   I had K&L sign my Paste Order Confirmation email instead.  I crack myself up sometimes.

OVERALL: Great set, sound was a bit off, but it was a really fun time.  Song highlights were… all of ’em.  It was good to see them in a nice intimate bookstore venue.

My wife (Margarita) somehow puts up with all of the driving to concerts… yay, I picked a winner!  :)

Ohio traveller,
Dan

written in parts throughout the day, so…
pp: bela fleck & the flecktones – ten from little
worlds
pp: living sacrifice – reborn
pp: madonna – ray of light
pp: the magnolia soundtrack
np: sarah masen – carry us through

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