Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

rolling stones - jumping jack flash

Bird and Animal Names In Rock And Roll History- part twenty-six

Let’s continue our ongoing series about “bird” and “animal” group names and individuals in rock and roll history, this time, let’s devote some time to some of the ‘indie’ bands that are making a name for themselves.

After an eight-year run with the band Carissa’a Weird, multi-instrumentalists Ben Bridwell and Mat Brooke founded the indie rock outfit Band Of Horses in 2004.

The band received attention and critical acclaim after a tour opening for another indie band Iron & Wine. In 2005, the native Northwesterners released an EP that was sold exclusively at their shows and at their record label’s website, Sub Pop. Their full length debut “Everything All The Time” was released in March of 2006 to positive reviews.

However, Brooke did not tour in support of the releases and ultimately quit the band to form another Sub Poop act, Grand Archives. Bridwell recruited two new bandmates, Rob Hampton (bass) and Creighton Barrett (drums) to tour and the pair became permanent members; although the full lineup has changed and is listed below.

After relocating to South Carolina to be closer to his family, Bidwell and his band cut their second LP “Cease To Begin” in October of 2007. It was voted as one of the best ten albums of 2007 by Paste magazine and featured the cuts “The General Specific” and “Detlef Schrempf.”

Amazingly, you have probably heard their music, but not know who the artist was. Their song, “The Funeral” appeared in the television commercials for SUVs, in the trailer for the movie Penelope and in the television series’ CSI, Criminal Minds, One Tree Hill and Numb3rs. In 2008, the band stated that they planned on entering the studio to begin recording their third LP, with Bridwell claiming to have twenty seven songs already written.

Hailing from London is a post-punk band called Dogs. The band acquired a loyal fan base by touring with Paul Weller, Razorlight and The Enemy and is consistently ranked as one of Britain’s best live bands.

Their first album "Turn Against This Land," was released on in September of 2005 and was recorded at Sawmills Studio in Cornwall and was produced by John Cornfield. It was released via Island Records. The LP contains the singles “London Bridge/End Of An Era” (double A-side), “Tuned to a Different Station” and “Selfish Ways."

The Dogs returned in 2007, this time under Weekender Records, with three singles: “Soldier On," followed by “This Stone Is A Bullet” and thirdly “Dirty Little Shop”, released on June 18, 2007. The song "Chained to No-One" was released at the end of 2007 as a download only single. The band released its second album, "Tall Stories from Under the Table" on June 25, 2007.

Their music may remind some of the peppy pop sounds of the Talking Heads or XTC, but Scotland’s Dogs Die In Hot Cars cut their teeth absorbing the music of stalwarts such as Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The band, vocalists/guitarists Craig Macintosh and Gary Smith, bassist Lee Worrall, keyboardist/vocalist Ruth Quigley, and drummer Laurence Davey was formed while all were in high school. Playing cover songs at local pubs, the group started sprinkling in a few of their own songs into the set list. After a few years of saving money, upgrading their equipment and sound and writing songs, they relocated to Glasgow to focus on their music. In summer 2003, the band released their first single on Radiate, "I Love You Cause I Have To," and the mix of ska rhythms and new wave pop won the band critical and commercial acclaim.

In early 2004, the group released the EP “Man Bites Man” and their debut album was released in July of that same year. The LP, “Please Describe Yourself” included the tracks "I Love You 'Cause I Have To,” "Godhopping" and "Lounger.” "Godhopping" peaked at #24 on the UK Singles Chart and remains the band's biggest hit. "I Love You 'Cause I Have To" peaked at #32 on the UK Singles Chart and narrowly missed the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in the United States.

On September 18, 2007 the band posted a blog on their MySpace website indicating that they had decided to end all work on a new album. With this news they also said that they are going their separate ways and may or may not reunite. In April 2008 the band began to release their second album demos along with their individual track files, free for all to download from their website. Visitors could these songs to make their own versions of the songs and then send those versions back to the band. The band would then later announce a closing date (closing date was announced for May 1, 2009), and then the band would compile the second album using ideas from the submitted versions from their fans, and share 50% of the royalties that come from its release with everyone who has contributed towards making it. The project is called "Dogs Die In Hot Cars is making Pop Nonsense” and is certainly a novel concept and the submissions and finished songs are now available on the band’s Facebook page.

The Golden Dogs are a pop-rock band from Toronto, Ontario, Canada that formed in 2000. Dave Azzolini is the songwriting force, supported by Jessica Grassia on keyboards, vocals, and percussion, and Taylor Knox (musician) on drums. The group released their debut, “Everything in 3 Parts,” and the single "Can't Get Your Face Out of My Head" was very popular in the indie music scene. The band enjoyed even more success with the release of their follow-up single "Yeah!" In 2006 the band followed up with “Big Eye Little Eye” with the single "Never Meant Any Harm" proving to be quite popular.

In 2008, the band had a busy year in the USA, touring with the likes of Feist, Sloan and Electric Six. As of late 2008, the Golden Dogs were currently recording their third studio album in Toronto. Expect great things from this band and more infectious music in the near future.

In part twenty-seven, we will continue our look at some of the indie bands that have made and are making a name for themselves in the music industry.

Band Of Horses Tidbits:

The band often draws comparisons to My Morning Jacket, largely due to the vocal similarities between Bridwell and My Morning Jacket lead singer Jim James, the occasional Southern rock tendencies that the two groups have in common and a penchant for glimmering reverb.

The band's current lineup includes Ben Bridwell, Creighton Barrett, Ryan Monroe and Tyler Ramsey, who also provides opening performances on tour, as well as bassist Bill Reynolds and guitarist Blake Mills.

In 2007, the band's song "No One's Gonna Love You" was played in the first season of Chuck, in the season 1 finale of 90210, and in the season 5 finale of Numb3rs. In 2008, they appeared in a Ford commercial for the company's new SYNC voice recognition audio control system.

Buy Band Of Horses Music

Dogs Tidbits:

Dogs are: Johnny Cooke (vocals), Luciano Vargas (vocals, guitar), Rikki Mehta (guitar), Duncan Timms (bass guitar) and Paul Warren (drums).

Dogs Die In Hot Cars Tidbits:

The band's name comes from a RSPCA campaign to advise dog owners not to leave their pets in hot cars and has often been a strong talking point of polarized views.

In an interview with U.S. Rolling Stone magazine, singer/guitarist Craig Macintosh mentioned that "Rolling Stone in Australia said it was the best band name in the history of rock & roll. But then the NME said it was the worst.”

Buy Dogs Die In Hot Cars Music

KISS: Behind The 'Sonic Boom' Album Cover Art

The cover art for the new KISS album, "Sonic Boom," was created by Michael Doret, who also designed the band's classic "Rock And Roll Over" album cover.

Doret explains the process of how the new artwork came to be and writes on his blog:

"When Paul Stanley [KISS guitarist/vocalist] came by my studio to discuss how to proceed on the art for the cover of their upcoming CD/DVD package, 'Sonic Boom', I had no idea what to expect. I hadn't met with him since working on 'Rock And Roll Over', and had very little memory of what that had been like.

"Any anxiety I had melted away when we started talking. Paul is a 'gentlemen's gentleman' and I immediately felt at ease talking with him — as if all those years had not intervened since the last time we had spoken.

"After some small talk, he explained what he was after with the new cover art. His vision for this album was to make it as vital and raw as it had been when they did 'Rock And Roll Over'. He felt that that had been some of the best work that they had ever done, and wanted the new album to recreate that energy both musically and visually. While he didn't want me to reprise what I had done with my art for the earlier cover, he did want me to try to capture some of the same spirit, attitude, energy, and look that I had instilled in that piece. Also, one of his stipulations was that unlike 'Rock And Roll Over' (where I had created abstract, graphic versions of the KISS personas), this time he wanted photographic representations of the four group members in full makeup.

"When I did 'Rock And Roll Over', I had a 12" canvas to work on. Now with CD covers and digital booklets, that canvas had been reduced to less than 40% of its original size. Designing in a 4¾" space poses some very different problems from what I faced while working on covers for vinyl releases. In fact, the older cover design would not have worked at that size; its many elements would have felt crowded into a small space. So the elements of 'Sonic Boom' had to be bigger, bolder — and fewer. I made the decision to make the title the main focus of the graphics, moving the other elements (faces, KISS logo) into prominent — but subordinate—roles.

"So I set about putting pencil to paper and trying to solve this the way I solve any other design problem. I did not want to get psyched-out by thinking too much about how the new design would compare with 'Rock And Roll Over'. That cover had taken on a life of its own and had become a pop culture icon. Creating an iconic cover could not have been one of my goals. All I was capable of doing was to try to create the most compelling graphics possible within the parameters and limitations that had been set out for me. So I started out at the core of this design by creating what I call a 'word constellation' out of the title. I tried to make it communicate its meaning visually by not only making it angular and 'explosive,' but also by creating a shape that was somewhat suggestive of flight — a 'flying wing,' if you will. Bearing in mind the symmetrical, mandala-like layout of 'Rock And Roll Over', I started designing the new piece as a field growing out of the center of the square, with the four members faces moving outwards from the center, and capped with my version of the ubiquitous KISS logo.

"It took about a week for me to develop my sketch to the point where I felt confident in what I had come up with. As I had done with 'Rock And Roll Over', I felt so strongly about this cover design that I decided to not present any other options — I wanted this to be the ONE.

"This is the rough pencil [see below] I first presented to Paul. I held my breath as he first took it in, and then was able to exhale when I saw a big smile appear on his face."

Music News & Notes

Details of Beatles Remasters summarized in Chicago

by David Haber, Beatles News Editor

On August 15 at the 2009 Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago, respected journalist and Beatles historian Matt Hurwitz and Beatles author Bruce Spizer gave a presentation to the large audience of Beatles fans about the remastering of the Beatles catalogue, which will be released this September 9th, 09-09-09. Both Mr. Hurwitz and Mr. Spizer have had the privilege of hearing some of the remasters. Below is a summary of what we know about the 09-09-09 Beatles remasters.

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Bouncing Souls Stick Together for '20th Anniversary Series'

New Jersey punk band the Bouncing Souls are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. To celebrate the milestone, the New Brunswick-based band decided to release a new album in an unconventional way. Beginning in January, they began digitally releasing songs from their '20th Anniversary Series' on a monthly basis, collecting them quarterly on 7" vinyl EPs via their record label, Chunksaah.

"It seemed like it would be fun because, without having any money for marketing or advertising, we would be able to expand the awareness of the record coming out," frontman Greg Attonito says. "When a record came out, it used to be an event. Nowadays, when you release one, it's on everyone's iPod mixed up with all the old songs within a week. So this has helped us."

As for the band's ability to stick together, Attonito says it hasn't always been easy -- especially when the band split with original drummer Shal Khichi in 2000 -- but they've figured out how to cope.

"There's the drive, the music, the uplifting feeling that we get from performing, creating and sharing the music with the audience," he says. "All the relationships we've developed drive us through all the financial crap and long hours of travel and being uncomfortable and away from people we want to be with. It's what we do. It's what we were born to do. It truly is great."


Les Paul Coming Home

Les Paul, who passed away last Thursday at the age of 94, will be buried on Friday in his hometown of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

A private funeral service will be held in New York on Wednesday followed by a reception at the Gibson Showroom. On Friday from 10 to 2 (CDT), there will be a public viewing at the Discovery World Museum in Milwaukee followed by a private family service at the Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha. I live about 100 miles from the city, I may go pay my respects to this guitar and music icon.


The Happy Hollows Announce October Release Of Debut Full Length

Acclaimed Los Angeles trio The Happy Hollows have announced the release of their debut full length on October 6th. The album, "Spells" is a culmination of their work with producer and former Mighty Lemon Drops guitarist David Newton (The Little Ones, The Blood Arm), who also produced the group's 2008 EP "Imaginary."

The rock outfit has been getting rave reviews of late with the BBC picking them as a band to watch for 2009, the Los Angeles Times has described the group's sound as a "pugilistic mix of stinging guitars, turbulent rhythms, and shouted vocals" that "alternates between childlike experimentation and ferocious firestorm." AllMusic wrote that the band's "appeal is immediate" and LAist has labeled them "a must see!"


SOIL 'Wanted To Move In More Of A Clean, Classic-Rock Style' For New Album Artwork

Stephen Jensen, the art director, photographer, and graphic designer and founder of F3 Studios in Crystal Lake, Illinois, created the cover artwork for "Picture Perfect", the new album from Chicago heavy rockers SOIL.

Regarding how the design for the new CD was conceived, a posting on the F3 web site reads: "[SOIL] wanted to take a different direction with their artwork. The band returned to Stephen and F3 Studios, who also created their last album, 'True Self', to help take them in a new direction. They were growing tired of the typical dark, edgy design styles in metal music lately and wanted to move in more of a clean, classic-rock style and more photography-driven for the album cover. Stephen was excited about the idea because it's much more of the style that he was influenced by early in his career and was certainly down for the challenge."

"Picture Perfect" will be released in the U.S. on October 20 via Bieler Bros. Records and three days later in Europe through AFM Records/Soulfood.

Looks like a 'squeaky clean' album cover to me.....


R.E.M. Reveal Live Album Details

“R.E.M. Live At The Olympia,” is a two-CD set featuring 39 songs from their acclaimed 2007 working rehearsals in Dublin, Ireland. R.E.M. set up camp at the venerable Olympia Theatre in Ireland’s capital city and tested new material over five nights before passionate, capacity crowds. This live album was produced by Dublin native Jacknife Lee who, along with R.E.M., co-produced Accelerate, the album which emerged from these shows. “Live At The Olympia” gives fans an opportunity to hear those songs at their earliest stages of development. In addition to the new material, the band also served up twenty-nine other songs, spanning their entire career, all of which can be found on this album.

A special edition 2 CD & DVD set will contain a film of the Dublin shows by Vincent Moon and Jeremiah, who previously worked with R.E.M. on Ninetynights, Six Days and the Supernatural Superserious Video.

This may disappoint some casual fans who insist that every R.E.M. concert have their most popular songs (i.e. "Man On The Moon" "Losing My Religion" "Orange Crush" among others) rehashed again - but for me, I love it, a chance to hear and see some new music. And, coming from R.E.M., I already know it is great!

1 Living Well is the Best Revenge
2 Second Guessing
3 Letter Never Sent
4 Staring Down the Barrel of the Middle Distance
5 Disturbance at the Heron House
6 Mr. Richards
7 Houston
8 New Test Leper
9 Cuyahoga
10 Electrolite
11 Man-Sized Wreath
12 So. Central Rain
13 On The Fly
14 Maps and Legends
15 Sitting Still
16 Driver 8
17 Horse to Water
18 I'm Gonna DJ
19 Circus Envy
20 These Days
21 Drive
22 Feeling Gravitys Pull
23 Until the Day is Done
24 Accelerate
25 Auctioneer
26 Little America
27 1,000,000
28 Disguised
29 The Worst Joke Ever
30 Welcome to the Occupation
31 Carnival of Sorts
32 Harborcoat
33 Wolves, Lower
34 I've Been High
35 Kohoutek
36 West of the Fields
37 Pretty Persuasion
38 Romance
39 Gardening at Night


You Go George!

George Strait will have the number one album when the charts are released on Friday with Twang. Hits Daily Double estimates it will have sold about 157,000 copies.

Strait's isn't the only big debut for the week. Neil Diamond's Hot August Night/NYC looks to move around 60,000 which is good for number three on the week.

In between the two is Michael Jackson's Number Ones with sales of around 80,000 with his Essential moving an additional 42,000 (number 6).


No Go For Alice

Alice Cooper's new live show, "Theatre of Death," has been banned from playing in Tampere, Finland due to a lack of "Christian values." A letter was sent to Cooper stating:

“Performances including representation of false gods, demons, evilness and forces of darkness and all these kind of symbols, words or markings are highly prohibited. These rules are valid also in all of the advertisement and material related to the concert. Breaking this rule causes immediate cancellation of the contract, and a 100,000 € penalty fee.”

Cooper's management expressed their disappointment to the fans in Tampere and said they hoped they could make it to Helsinki where the show would still go on.

Dream sleeves: How a 40-year-old idea could save the music industry

I found this write up very interesting, but the writer seems to omit the most important element of why people bought vinyl then, and now. As we all know it is about the sound quality, but hte article makes some great points about the status of owning a certain copy of a record.

By Rob Sharp

Digital downloads and free streaming have changed the music industry for ever. Now record labels have hatched a plan to revive the album format with 1960s-influenced, art-laden packaging. John Walsh thinks the idea rocks.

Remember the days when you bought a record not only because you wanted to hear the music but also because you wanted to own the packaging? Those days may be coming back.

The music market is in dire trouble. Album sales here (UK) and in the USA were down by 14 per cent last year, while digital downloads, perversely, went up. No matter how much record companies discount brand-new CDs, they remain on the shelves of HMV; potential buyers prefer to select a few tracks of a new album and download them from iTunes, rather than shell out on the whole work. Young listeners, the companies claim, have lost the acquisitive impulse that makes you want to own a record album, or build up a collection of the things in your wobbling CD tower.

So how does the industry plan to persuade music fans to buy albums again? By changing the packaging to echo the design of albums from 35-40 years ago.

Apple, creator of the iPod and the iTunes store – the sworn enemies of commercially-packaged music – is getting into bed with the four largest record labels, to help them stimulate album sales. They're working with EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group on something called "Project Cocktail" that will produce all manner of extras to go with albums: interactive booklets, sleeve notes, photographs, lyric sheets, even video clips. Buyers will be able to call up album tracks through the interactive booklet, while leafing through pictures of the band and trying to make sense of the lyrics.

Does this remind you of anything? Of course it does – it describes the experience, among slightly older rock 'n' roll fans, of Owning An LP Record. The people at Apple, to their credit, recognise this as a calculated piece of applied nostalgia. "It's all about recreating the heyday of the album," said one (unnamed) Apple executive, "when you could sit around with your friends looking at the artwork while you listened to the music."

Yes yes – but it was about so much more than that. To a generation that grew up and went to university in the 1960s and 1970s, the long-playing album was a thing of wonder: a thin but substantial 12in square package of cultural signifiers and quirky allusions, a window onto a world of psychedelic weirdness and fey romanticism, rock posturing and folkie dreaminess. It was, even more than the clothes you wore, the main signifier of your identity. The album you were currently digging, in 1967 or 1971 or 1976, said more about you than money, uniform or Ben Sherman shirt ever could.

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