Black Sabbath Vol. 4 is 45

October 14, 2017 Leave a comment

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by Raul

In September of 1972 Black Sabbath’s Vol. 4, originally intended to be titled Snowblind, didn’t hit the mark with critics, but still managed to go gold within a month of being released. 45 years later it’s still holds up with the band’s dedicated fans as well as newcomers.

Recording for the album began in June of 1972 in Los Angeles California. With the band three recordings deep in gold records and a severe cocaine habit, many problems haunted the members. Some say it was the beginning of the end of the classic lineup, but all that aside Black Sabbath produced their most experimental album to date.

Bringing in an orchestra to back “Iommi on Laguna Sunrise,” which was written after being up all night and watching the sunrise at Laguna Beach, was outside of the band’s usual heavy sound.

Other out of the ordinary recordings came with “Changes.” Adding mellotron to the piano lead song was a change musically, but they stuck to their dark side with heartbreaking lyrics of lost love by Geezer Butler.

From it’s Iconic cover to the classic songs such as “Supernaut,” “Changes,” and “SnowBlind,” Vol. 4 will forever hold its own.

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Sunny & the Sunliners: Mr. Brown Eyed Soul

October 14, 2017 Leave a comment

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by Raul

This month Big Crown Records brings a Sunday evening dedication from a homeboy to his ruca (ol’ lady/girlfriend) with a collection of singles from Sunny Ozuna.

Mr. Brown Eyed Soul contains 17 tracks chosen with the cooperation of Sunny himself, to satisfy the most dedicated fan as well as newcomers.

Gaining popularity straight out of high school, Ozuna has not slowed down. Even now, over 50 years later, he is still bringing crowds to their feet at Lowrider shows and Latin oldie themed concerts with classics like “Smile Now Cry Later” and “Put In Jail.”

Aside from this, Sunny has also left another mark in music history by being the first Chicano/Latino artist to perform on American Bandstand.

Mr. Brown Eyed Soul is available on CD and LP and contains informative liner notes and plenty of rare photos. Listen to the following tracks and imagine cruising the boulevard.

Fresh Stuff from Big Boi

July 24, 2017 Leave a comment

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One-half of the legendary hip-hop duo OutKast, Big Boi is back with a new album titled Boomiverse.

While his counterpart Andre 3000 is often credited with being one of the best of all time, Big Boi is still, as XXL reports, “flying the Atlanta lyricist flag in an era of mumble rap repetition.”

The instinctive balance he applies to his music straddles the fine line between cunning wordsmith and strategic songwriter, both of which have appeared while alone and as part of that iconic pair. It’s a skill that is incredibly unique to Big and since OutKast’s musical disbandment; it has been taken horrendously for granted. But Mr. Patton is now on his third solo album (four if you count the Phantogram collaborative album, Big Grams) and realistically has nothing left to prove to anyone yet on Boomiverse he sounds as hungry as he did back in the day when he was rocking shoulder-length braids and all-white velour tracksuits.

Although this album is considered a solo album, Big brings along a slew of different friends and flavors with him in attempts to create his own booming universe. In many instances, it sounds like you are listening to a playlist of Big’s favorite music, just with his own verses spread throughout.

 

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Beach House B-Sides and Rarities

July 24, 2017 Leave a comment

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After releasing six albums, dream-pop duo Beach House recently dropped a collection titled B-Sides and Rarities.

Comprising Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, Beach House has never been a typical pop band with singles, so a b-sides collection is a bit unexpected. But, as the band explains on the Sub Pop website, the goal with this project was to put all the non-album tracks, of which there are quite a few, into one place.

When we announced that we were releasing a B-sides and rarities album, someone on Twitter asked, “B-sides record? Why would Beach House put out a B-sides record? Their A-sides are like B-sides.” This random person has a point. Our goal has never been to make music that is explicitly commercial. Over the years, as we have worked on our 6 LPs, it wasn’t the “best” or most catchy songs that made the records, just the ones that fit together to make a cohesive work. Accordingly, our B-sides are not songs that we didn’t like as much, just ones that didn’t have a place on the records we were making.

The idea for a B-sides record came when we realized just how many non-album songs had been made over the years, and how hard it was to find and hear many of them. This compilation contains every song we have ever made that does not exist on one of our records. There are 14 songs in total.

As NPR reports, “B-Sides And Rarities is upfront about being an exercise for enthusiasts, completists and other loving obsessives. But more casual fans shouldn’t shrug it off, either. Beach House has mounted a marvelous career on its ability to set a gloomy electro-pop mood without losing touch with its brighter side — and that gift stays on full display throughout this shaggily appealing assortment of orphaned gems.”

A Joyful Celebration of Mavis Staples

July 17, 2017 Leave a comment

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To celebrate Mavis Staples’ 75 birthday, a who’s who of musicians gathered to sing and honor the legendary artist. The result is I’ll Take You There: an All-Star Concert Celebration, now available on cd and dvd.

Staples, who is now 77, has made a massive impact on gospel, soul, rock and roots music. The album reflects her multi-faceted abilities, as well as her inimitable, indomitable spirit. As American Songwriter reports:

“The show, recorded at Chicago’s Auditorium Theater Nov. 19, 2014…came on the heels of two successful Jeff Tweedy produced albums. Not surprisingly, Tweedy appears to perform the title track of 2010’s You Are Not Alone. It’s one of 21 songs on the double CD (the DVD adds two more) in a concert that reflects all the exuberance, positivity and vibrancy you’d expect from Staples who has exuded those tendencies over the course of her 65 and counting year career (she started singing professionally with her Staple Singers family in 1950, when she was just 11).

Although not a songwriter herself, Staples is a master interpreter, owning much of the material she sings. That makes this a set of covers of covers. They run the gamut from fairly recent material like Emmylou Harris’ sparkling take on the Nick Lowe penned “Far Celestial Shore” to Staples Singers’ era classics such as a rousing “Freedom Highway” from Michael McDonald, Widespread Panic’s animated version of Pops Staples’ “Hope in a Hopeless World” and a closing, all-in “The Weight,” first sung by the Staples in 1968 and famously revived in The Last Waltz, which connect on every level.”

Tracklist:

Disc 1
1. Joan Osborne – You’re Driving Me
2. Keb’ Mo’ – Heavy Makes You Happy
3. Otis Clay – I Ain’t Raisin’ No Sand
4. Buddy Miller – Woke Up This Morning
5. Patty Griffin – Waiting For My Child To Come Home
6. Emmylou Harris – Far Celestial Shore
7. Michael McDonald – Freedom Highway
8. Glen Hansard – People Get Ready
9. Mavis & Aaron Neville – Respect Yourself
10. Widespread Panic – Hope In A Hopeless World
11. Ryan Bingham – If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)
12. Grace Potter – Grandma’s Hands
13. Eric Church – Eyes On The Prize

Disc 2
1. Taj Mahal – Wade In The Water
2. Gregg Allman – Have A Little Faith
3. Mavis & Bonnie Raitt – Turn Me Around
4. Gregg Allman, Taj Mahal, Aaron Neville, Bonnie Raitt, & Mavis Staples – Will The Circle Be Unbroken
5. Mavis, Win Butler & Régine Chassagne – Slippery People
6. Mavis & Jeff Tweedy – You Are Not Alone
7. Mavis Staples – I’ll Take You There
8. Mavis & everybody: Encore: The Weight

Dan Auerbach Takes a Turn

July 13, 2017 Leave a comment

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If you thought Black Keys guitarist and vocalist Dan Auerbach was a one-trick pony limited to blues-inspired rock, you’re in for a surprise.

Auerbach recently dropped his second solo album, dubbed Waiting on a Song, and it not what longtime listeners expected. It’s a catchy, Nashville-inspired, country-soul throwback that showcases several dimensions of Auerbach’s musical skillset.

As Rolling Stone reports:

“[Auerbach has] taken the right tack, tapping great talent to grow his retro style without just playing dress-up, creating a Seventies country-soul-rock palette part Lee Hazelwood, part Jim Ford, plus spare parts. The title track is a zen-like meditation on craft co-written with master John Prine; “Cherry Bomb” boasts Duane Eddy’s signature twang; “Undertow” conjures the Spinners with Philly soul strings and a “Games People Play” quote, while “Stand By My Girl” mirrors the piano riff off Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You.” It’s a “Nashville Sound” the town could use more of.”

Fresh Stuff from Fleet Foxes

July 10, 2017 Leave a comment

 

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After four years, the band Fleet Foxes is back with Crack-Up, a lush album full of harmonies, rich orchestration and…lots of literary and historical references—perhaps to frontman Robin Pecknold’s stint at Columbia University.

The album is a welcome listen for fans and a much-needed release after a stretch that has seen significant changes for the band members. As the Guardian reports:

“The album was recorded after a four-year hiatus, during which Pecknold studied at Columbia University and Fleet Foxes’ former drummer Josh Tillman unexpectedly became one of alt-rock’s most intriguing stars. Understandably, some critics have been keen to contrast Crack-Up with Pure Comedy, Tillmans’ latest album as Father John Misty, but it seems to bear more comparison to Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, another wilfully abstruse record made by an American alt-rocker who is disproportionately unsettled by a modicum of fame. On Crack-Up’s predecessor, Helplessness Blues, Pecknold spent a lot of time fantasising about jacking it all in to live on a deserted island, or to run an orchard. Now, he seems to have decided he can continue – but only if the music he makes takes a determined left turn.”