Thursday, April 16, 2009

Music News

Cub Country Announce New Album

Cub Country have announced the upcoming release of their new full-length "Stretch The Skull Cover and Smile" on July 7th on Future Farmer Records. The new album marks a slight departure from the Americana/Alt country sound of the band's earlier recordings all the while staying true to the sound Cub Country has developed over the last nine years.

It's been a long time since the release of 2004's "Stay Poor Stay Happy," the last full-length album from Cub Country and a lot has changed for front man Jeremy Chatelain. The past four years have taken Chatelain and his music from the tree-filled skyline of Chapel Hill, NC to the ocean expanses of Seattle, WA and finally back to the mountain-town of Salt Lake City, UT; each town painting the latest Cub Country long-player, "Stretch That Skull Cover and Smile" with its image.


KILLSWITCH ENGAGE: New Album Artwork Unveiled

Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE have unveiled the cover artwork (see below) for their new album, due on June 23 via Roadrunner Records. The CD will follow 2006's "As Daylight Dies", which is approaching gold status in the United States (signifying 500,000 copies shipped).

For the first time in its career, the band worked with an outside producer — Brendan O'Brien, who has previously helmed recordings for AC/DC, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, PEARL JAM and STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, to name a few. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, a noted producer in his own right who has recorded all of the band's previous albums, took a co-producer role on this record alongside O'Brien.

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Mr. Music

I am continuing our new feature: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 23rd year of syndication (1986-2008), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on. Be sure to stop by Jerry's site ( for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. I thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.


DEAR JERRY: As you may know, one of the tracks on Ray LaMontagne's “Trouble” LP is titled “Hannah.”

Only recently did I notice that “Hannah” is a palindrome.

Now I'm wondering if you know of any other palindrome song titles that exist, especially any that actually became Pop hits.
—Mel Henderson, West Allis, Wisc.

DEAR MEL: Impressive challenge you've provided. Now let's look at the results of this investigation.

But before we look at the results, let's remind everyone that a palindrome is a word, phrase, number, or any other sequence of units that are read the same forward or backward, character for character without regard for punctuation.

I have found and personally verified 20 palindrome song titles, all listed below in alphabetical order by title followed by the artist's name and year of issue.

Though only one artist is named here, some of these tunes exist by more than one person or group:

“Aha Aha” (Serk, She-Raw, Bass Sultan Hengzt, Panik45, Godsilla) 2009
“Bob” (Weird Al Yankovic) 2003
“Flee to Me, Remote Elf” (Badger King) 2003
“Hannah” (Ray LaMontagne) 2004
“If I Had a Hi-Fi” (William Bottin) 2004
“Level” (Shootyz Groove) 1994
“Madam, I'm Adam” (Dan Crow) 2000
“Malayalam” (Rudresh Mahanthappa) 2004
“No Lemon No Melon” (William Bottin) 2004
“Party Trap” (William Bottin) (2004)
“Pull Up” (Mr. Vegas) 2004
“Racecar” (Addictions) 2007
“Radar” (Morphine) 1995
“Rats Live on No Evil Star” (Ookla the Mok) 2009
“Rotator” (Stickleback) 2007
“Rotor” (Phasers) 2003
“SOS” (Abba) 1976 (Both title and artist are palindromes)
“Solos” (Yuri) 2008
“Somos” (Julio Iglesias) 1992
“UFO Tofu” (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones) 1996
“Xanax” (Not Breathing) 1997

Most intriguing is that all but six are from the 2000s.

There must be others, and if you have one to add to the list please send the info. It will remain a work in progress.

Other palindromic observations:

William Bottin is the only performer with more than one title, and he provides three. All are instrumentals taken from the same album, “I Love Me, Vol. 1” (Tudor B000CA8302).

Other instrumentals on the list: “Malayalam” (Rudresh Mahanthappa), Jazz from India; “UFO Tofu” (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), traditional Bluegrass; and “Xanax” (Not Breathing), a New Age track.

A dreary vocal of “Xanax” exists, by a group named Elephant Parade (2008). “Rotator” (Stickleback) is mostly instrumental, but includes a few scattered vocal interludes. Oh yes, a Stickleback is a fish.

The lyrics of “Bob” (Weird Al Yankovic) and “Madam, I'm Adam” (Dan Crow) are made up of other palindromes.

“Flee to Me, Remote Elf” (Badger King) and “Solos” (Yuri) are the only ones by female singers.

“Solos” (Yuri) and “Somos” (Julio Iglesias) are both sung in Spanish, with “Solos” being my favorite of these palindrome titles.

While none of these specific tracks, most of which are album cuts, reached anything close to Pop hit status, Ray LaMontagne's “Trouble” album is approaching 500,000 units sold. Ray is a singer-songwriter, who accompanies himself on acoustic guitar and evokes flattering comparisons to guys like Van Morrison and Stephen Stills.

DEAR JERRY: Around the same time as “Indian Reservation” became a huge hit there was another song I liked very much, the latter being one no one else but me seems to know.

Other than the approximate time of release, the only other clue I have is a girl's name: Eydie. She is mentioned in a sad way (i.e., “you're so right for me, Eydie, but I'm all wrong for you”).

Can you identify this record with so little info?
—Gigi Lister, New Orleans

DEAR GIGI: You've provided just enough, but you're not the only one on the trail of Eydie … or is it Evie?

Wayne A. Lela, of Woodridge, Ill., thinks it might be:

“A song about a woman named Evie received some air play in the early '70s. I remember only the melody, but no one I ask knows the title or and artist.

Do you?”

Evie and Eydie sound very much alike, but Wayne is correct. The lady's name, as well as the title, is indeed “Evie.” It is a May 1971 45 rpm release by Johnny Mathis (Columbia 45371).

“Evie” is backed with “Think About Things,” though neither side charted nationally.

That very month, Paul Revere and the Raiders' “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indians)” entered the Top 40 en route to No. 1.

IZ ZAT SO? While researching palindromes in preparation for this week's column, I came across 10 that could easily be picked as song titles — especially since instrumentals can have any moniker:

“Dammit, I'm Mad”; “Dennis and Edna Sinned”; “No Stetson”; “Oh No, Don Ho” “Sex at Noon Taxes”; “So Many Dynamos”; “Solo Gigolos”; “Too Hot to Hoot”; “Top Spot”; and “We Few.”


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Sales of vinyl growing


Despite economic gloom sales of vinyl records have almost doubled in the United States.

And record companies are not just selling old records to devoted fans, vinyl appears to be as popular with the younger generation as with the old rockers.

'People are realising that vinyl is the collectors' format,' says Chris Carmino, manager of the huge Amoeba records in Hollywood, which many say is the biggest music store in the world.

'CDs are becoming just vessels of information, something to throw into your computer for the purpose of getting that music into your iPod.'

Amoeba has just extended its vinyl selection, eating away at the nearby CD's floorspace.

'There are two types of music fan,' Chris explains, 'the casual fan that is satisfied with having music on their hard drive, and the collectors. And for them vinyl is the ultimate format.'

Overall though comparative sales still put CDs millions of units ahead of vinyl.

In the United Kingdom sales of records last year stayed the same, although there has been a rush over recent years for limited edition vinyl singles.

But it's the changing demographic that is interesting to analysts.

The top-selling LP in the US was Radiohead's In Rainbows.

In the UK it was Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago.

Both albums that have had appeal to both the young and old.

Record companies see small benefits re-releasing older albums on vinyl. They may not sell many, but they do retail for about A$ 40.00 or more.

Just West of London is the Vinyl Factory, a pressing plant thriving on the revived interest.

They also run a busy record shop called Phonica in the heart of the West End.

Tough times have seen a quarter of small music shops close down last year but the owners here say diversity is the key to survival.

'There's never been the same collectablilty about CDs,' says creative director Sean Bidder, who predicts the end may be nigh for the poor little compact disc.

'It will come down to digital music, easy access very cheap, plus something you can collect, and that will be vinyl.

'The boom we've noticed here has been within the vinyl album market, the limited edition release of new albums like Morrissey, The Pet Shop Boys and Damon Albarn and the old classic releases that have been repackaged. That's a growing change in the market place really.'

Phonica has t-shirts stating proudly 'Vinyl Kills The MP3 Industry'.

It's obviously an exaggeration, but even amongst artists we've interviewed recently, you can sense a love of the good old black spinning disc.

'Music sounds better on vinyl, Pet Shop Boy Chris Lowe told me. 'It's just a fact isn't it? And also it's the process of getting it out, putting it on.'

'I actually really love the physical copy, I love the artwork,' said Annie Lennox. 'Although I listen to CDs in my car - I like to listen when I'm travelling.'

'I predicted it! laughed Roger Daltrey when we told him that vinyl is back.

'They're idiots, those record company people - they swapped those wonderful records for those silly little pieces of plastic!'

Next Saturday is National Record Shop Day - a new creation, intended to encourage sales of physical music, both vinyl and CD in stores across the UK.

But somehow, just like the records themselves, the argument about how you listen to yours is bound to go round and round and round and round.


Record Store Day News You Can Use

Still very busy with my relocation but have found a few moments tyo tell you about some great news features on the net. The Prefix Guide is very complete and the others are stories of why this is such an important day for music and of course, vinyl records. Enjoy:

Prefix's Guide to Record Store Day 2009
Read their informative guide here:

Record Store Day celebrates an addiction to vinyl
Austin is full of smart, adventurous record stores

My name is Joe, and I am a record store addict. (Hi, Joe!) I love record stores the way some people love baseball stadiums or certain bars.

Saturday is Record Store Day, so it seems like a good time to get that confession out of the way.

Read the rest here:

Store to celebrate Record Store Day

Move over CDs, outta the way iPods.

Big and heavy, with vivid artwork and reader-friendly lyrics: vinyl records are back.
Read the article here:
local story

The return of vinyl

The compact disc is out. It’s ugly, fragile and its music comes wrapped, sealed in a plastic prison, where its shiny, reflective neon coating waits to blind your eyes. The CD is a symbol of the ‘90s. Read the article here:

Record Store Day marks second annual celebration

There's something to be said for convenient music. You can click "Buy" on your laptop in the confines of your white-walled bedroom to download your favorite song of the minute. Or browse for albums in your local big box store in the midst of vacuums and blenders. But come on, forget about all of that. Read the article here:

For the record, vinyl is alive and kickin'Thursday, April 16, 2009

Long live the record store.

And to honor the sellers of those large, black discs, there's Record Store Day.

Record Store Day celebrates 'cool places to go'

They're out there and if you want to be cool you'll go find one on Record Store Day, April 18.

Record Store Day is a celebration of the independent record stores that still exist in this digital download age when more people are going to their computers to get songs off the Internet or going to big box chain retailers to buy a compact disc.