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Archive for the ‘In the Spotlight’ Category

ICYMI: Lady Gaga’s Superbowl Performance

February 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Happy 40th to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours

February 4, 2017 Leave a comment

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by Raul

Rumours is Fleetwood Mac’s 11th studio album, but only the second with the Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

Recorded in California, the album contains memorable singles, “Go Your Own Way” “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop,” and “You Make Loving Fun.”

Rumours also topped both the U.S and U.K. charts as well as winning a GRAMMY for Album of the Year.

Jack White Goes Acoustic

October 7, 2016 Leave a comment

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Jack White, one of today’s highest profile rockstars, stepped away from the arena-rock sound he’s become famous for and went acoustic on his latest collection, Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016.

Spotlighting White’s songwriting and storytelling abilities, the record strips away all the glitz and showmanship, revealing a solid roots-rock singer-songwriter whose music stands easily on its own. It also brings to the surface a side of White that roots enthusiasts have seen glimpses of over the years and pulls the veil on all of the seemingly contradictory aspects of White and his music. As Pitchfork reports:

“Over the years, White has gamely pit bluesy authenticity against bullshit artistry; virtuosity against amateurism; punk credibility against Hollywood celebrity; small-business boosterism against Coca-Cola shilling. He’s a garage-rocker who’d rather chill on the front porch, a man who can write songs that fill football stadiums even though sports might just make him miserable.

Those paradoxical qualities have ultimately elevated White’s songbook above mere blues-rock revivalism. That tension is baked right into his music, where the scorching six-string pyrotechnics have routinely been hosed down by soothing sing-alongs. He’s an electric warrior and eccentric warbler, a Page and Plant in one perfect rock-star package. If he didn’t exist, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction committee would have to will him into existence.”

Led Zeppelin: BBC Complete

October 5, 2016 Leave a comment

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Nearly 50 years after its original release, Led Zeppelin’s BBC Sessions gets a royal reissue treatment in the form of a box set with a book, a numbered print, unreleased tracks and more.

Here’s the tracklist:

1. “Communication Breakdown” *
2. “What Is and What Should Never Be” *
3. “Dazed and Confused” *
4. “White Summer”
5. “What Is and What Should Never Be” *
6. “Communication Breakdown” *
7. “I Can’t Quit You Baby” *
8. “You Shook Me” *
9. “Sunshine Woman” *

* Previously Unreleased

 

 

Stephen Marley’s Fruit of Life

September 10, 2016 Leave a comment

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Revolution II: the Fruit of Life, the latest album from Stephen Marley, is a star-studded collaborative effort featuring over 12 guest artists, including Waka Flocka, DJ Khaled, Iggy Azalea, Busta Rhymes, Konshens, Junior Reid, Dead Prez, Jo Mersa Marley, Rakim and Kardinal Offishall. The son of reggae legend Bob Marley also samples jazz vocal legend Nina Simone on the track “Father of the Man.”

Boasting more of an electronic and hip-hop feel than earlier roots-reggae-inspired records, including 2013’s Revolution I: The Root of Life, this record takes on social justice issues, love, righteousness and good times.

Finding his own place in the Marley family musical legacy, Stephen gives nod to his roots and continues to forge new musical territory. As the New York Times puts it,

Being Bob Marley’s son has given Stephen Marley a voice with archetypal familiarity, some instant brand recognition and a cultural responsibility. Like his musical brothers Ziggy, Damian and Ky-Mani, he’s determined to uphold their legacy and to give it a personalized update. “The son of the legend, and the message is the same,” raps Rick Ross on one of the album’s many collaborations.

The Monkees are Back…with Some New Friends

September 6, 2016 Leave a comment

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The Monkees are back with a new album. Yes, it’s true. We haven’t heard from them in 20 years, since the 1996 album, Justus, and since the passing of founding member Davy Jones, but the band dropped a new record, titled Good Times! and the three surviving members—Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork—teamed up with an unexpected bunch of artists to bring new songs to life.

Produced by Adam Schlesinger from the Fountains of Wayne, Good Times! features Monkees originals as well as songs written by an all-star roster of rock singer-songwriters, including Andy Partridge, Ben Gibbard, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller and Rivers Cuomo.

A celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary, the album is a continuation of the Monkees’ well-established approach to tap songwriter friends for them to record. As the band’s website states:

Much like The Monkees’ early albums, Good Times! features tracks written specifically for the band by some of the music world’s most gifted songwriters…To help bring the 50th anniversary full circle, The Monkees completed songs that were originally recorded and written for the group during the ’60s, including “Love To Love” by Neil Diamond and Harry Nilsson’s “Good Times.”

Tracklisting

1. “Good Times” (Harry Nilsson)
2. “You Bring The Summer” (Andy Partridge)
3. “She Makes Me Laugh” (Rivers Cuomo)
4. “Our Own World” (Adam Schlesinger)
5. “Gotta Give It Time” (Jeff Barry/Joey Levine)
6. “Me & Magdalena” (Ben Gibbard)
7. “Whatever’s Right” (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
8. “Love To Love” (Neil Diamond)
9. “Little Girl” (Peter Tork)
10. “Birth Of An Accidental Hipster” (Noel Gallagher/Paul Weller)
11. “I Wasn’t Born To Follow” (Carole King/Gerry Goffin)
12. “I Know What I Know” (Michael Nesmith)
13. “I Was There (And I’m Told I Had A Good Time)” (Micky Dolenz/Adam Schlesinger)

Fresh Stuff from Atmosphere

September 6, 2016 Leave a comment

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Underground hip-hop outfit Atmosphere, comprising Ant and Slug, recently dropped its 7th studio album, Fishing Blues.

The record, which marks 20 years of making music for the Minneapolis-based duo,  features 18 new songs and appearances from DOOM, Aesop Rock, Kool Keith, The Grouch, deM atlaS, and more.

This one sees the duo a little older and a little wiser—perhaps changing their ways, practicing some humility, and embracing the move into middle-age. As Consequence of Sound reports,

“At 43 years old, Slug has spent the past two decades on a pedestal as an indie hip-hop god. Coupled with the indisputable success of Rhymesayers Entertainment, the record label he co-founded, it’s not surprising he had an ego. But based on the lyrical content of Fishing Blues, he’s no longer the cocky 20-something, self-described “asshole” he once was. Aging has clearly given him the opportunity to become a new and improved version of himself. Consequently, Fishing Blues is a more mature variant of Atmosphere. The album addresses fishing in every sense of the word, fishing for compliments, validation, food, love, money, and everything in between.”

Check it out: