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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.

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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.”

Gary Clark Jr. Live

April 7, 2017 Leave a comment
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Gary Clark Jr. kind of has to be seen to be appreciated. His studio albums are impressive, but until you’ve experienced his showmanship and impressive guitar chops live —even via YouTube videos— it’s hard to appreciate his immense talent.

 

Clark’s latest offering, Gary Clark Jr. Live North America 2016, showcases the artist at his finest, pulling emotion and masterful guitar work together into a raw and revealing collection of original material and cover songs, including Jimmy Reed’s “Honest I do” and Elmore James’ “My Baby’s Gone.” As All About Jazz reports:

 

“In its pure unadulterated emotional and sonic form, sans overdubs of any kind, the honest power of Clark and his band’s musicianship sheds a discernibly different light on the polished likes of the…studio work. [T]he guitarist/vocalist depicts how forcefully he can parlay this music in practiced, natural collaboration with guitarist Eric ‘King’ Zapata, bassist Johnny Bradley and drummer Johnny Radelat. And while the cacophonous closer, “Numb,” is a carryover from the prior double live release, it still sounds so close to the artist’s heart and soul; as such, it will be sure to satiate the appetites of the most ravenous guitar hero-worshipers.”

 

Tracklist
01. Grinder
02. The Healing
03. Our Love
04. Cold Blooded
05. When My Train Pulls In
06. Down To Ride
07. You Saved Me
08. Shake
09. Church
10. Honest I Do
11. My Baby’s Gone
12. Numb

Happy 45th, Thick As a Brick

March 27, 2017 Leave a comment

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by Raul

Released on March 10th, 1972, Thick As A Brick was the fifth release for British rock band Jethro Tull.

After the success of Aqualung, frontman Ian Anderson decided to go with another concept album.

Though it was received to mixed reviews by the critics, Thick As a Brick reached the top of the charts and earned Jethro Tull another gold album.

Happy 40th Foreigner

March 9, 2017 Leave a comment

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by Raul

On March 8, 1977 the British-American band Foreigner released its self-titled debut on Atlantic records.

With two top ten singles, “Feels Like The First Time” and “Cold As Ice,” Foreigner’s debut was a huge success. It stayed in the top 20 for a year after it’s release and is going on four times platinum.

On the strength of their singles Foreigner was a headlining arena rock band months after the release of the debut.

Fresh (Blue) Stuff from Son Volt

March 6, 2017 Leave a comment

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Pioneer alt-country band Son Volt is back with a new album draws inspiration from legendary bluesmen Skip James and Mississippi Fred McDowell, as well as British singer-songwriter Nick Drake.

Notes of Blue sees Son Volt frontman Jay Farrar digging into both the blues and the fingerpicking beauty of Drake’s folk-pop songs to create something familiar and fresh.

As Farrar told Rolling Stone, “Over the years I’ve done a couple blues-oriented songs here and there, but this time around there was an opportunity to focus a bit more on it all the way through.”

The album is the eighth from Farrar and company and the first in recent memory to feature electric guitar alongside acoustic strummers.

Kate Bush Live, at Last

January 12, 2017 Leave a comment

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In 2014, Kate Bush embarked on a 22-date tour, her first in 35 years. Bush’s latest release, Before the Dawn is a three-disc, 155 minute documentary of that tour.

The album provides a long-awaited, no-frills overview of the singer’s creativity and music. As Pitchfork reports:

“There are no retakes or overdubs bar a few atmospheric FX. No apps, no virtual reality, no interactivity. [Bush has] also said there won’t be a DVD, which is surprising given the show’s spectacular theatrics, conceived by the former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a host of designers, puppeteers, and illusionists. The show, and this release, aren’t credited to Kate Bush but the KT Fellowship, in recognition of the vast ensemble effort. Yet in shucking off half the production, this set…is also the best way that Before the Dawn could have been preserved, allowing it to tell its own story uninhibited by the busy staging.”