RECORD CRACK: New titles from Warner being prepared for Record Store Day

Warner Bros. Records is very active in making sure each Record Store Day is as festive as previous years, not only in attendance but in getting new items out in stores. As always, many of these items are made exclusively for and meant to be sold on that day only. Here are some the titles the Warner family have ready to go:

  • Bad Brains-God Of Love + bonus 7” (vinyl LP + two song 7” single)
  • The Belle Brigade-The Belle Brigade (vinyl LP)
  • Built To Spill-Ripple (7” picture disc) (this one is a 1-sided picture disc and will feature a previously unreleased live cover of the Grateful Dead song, which BTS recorded in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 11, 2010.)
  • Eric Clapton-Unplugged (Two-disc set on 180-gram vinyl; mastered by Bernie Grundman)
  • Deftones-Covers (vinyl LP)
  • The Flaming Lips-Heady Nuggs: The First 5 Warner Bros. Records 1992-2002 (this one is a 5 LP box set, indivudually numbered, of the first five albums the band did for Warner Bros. each of which has been remastered by Bernie Grundman. They include:
    Hit To Death In The Future Head (Single Disc)
    Transmissions From The Satellite Heart (Single Disc)
    Clouds Taste Metallic (Single Disc)
    The Soft Bulletin (Two Disc)
    Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Single Disc)

  • Fleetwood Mac-Rumours (Standard and Deluxe Editions, both mastered by Bernie Grundman)
    Even if you have this album (and really, with sales of over 10,000,000, you know someone who does), you may want to pick up these editions. One will be a standard pressing at 33 1/3 rpm, while the other is for the audiophiles: a 2 LP 45rpm edition pressed at Pallas in Germany. Yes, the thick stuff.

  • Mastodon-Live At The Aragon (Deluxe 2-disc set on 180-gram vinyl + DVD; Bernie Grundman Mastering)
  • My Chemical Romance-Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) (7” picture disc)
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-self-titled debut (two limited edition pressings, one on white vinyl, one on blue, both mastered by Bernie Grundman)
  • R.E.M.-Three (3 – 7” single 45 RPM discs, first three singles from their new album, Collapse Into Now, each with non-LP B-sides, each record in individual art gatefold sleeves. Bernie Grundman on this one as well.:
    Disc 1. Mine Smell Like Honey/ Supernatural Superserious (live in Raleigh , NC )
    Disc 2. Oh My Heart/ Harborcoat (live in Riga , Latvia )
    Disc 3. ÜBerlin/ What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? (live in Oslo , Norway) )

  • Regina Spektor-Four From Far (Limited Edition 7” 33 1/3 RPM EP on powder-blue vinyl)

    Want even more limited edition craziness that will no doubt bring up the old Poison Idea title Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes? Warner Bros. are also introducing a series of records called Side By Side, limited edition 45’s where a Warner-related artist of today covers a classic Warner-related song of the past. In the works:

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers covering The Ramones‘ “Havana Affair”
  • Green Day covering Hüsker Dü‘s incredible “Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely”
  • Mastodon covering ZZ Top‘s “Just Got Paid” (probably no chance of Mastodon including a brief passage of Johnny Kemp‘s “Just Got Paid”, but you never know)
  • Jenny & Johnny getting Americana on us with their cover of Gram Parsons‘ “Love Hurts”

    Obviously, many of these releases are in-house, if not down right incestuous, but with luck this will spark the noggins in other artists and labels to do the same not only for this Record Store Day, but for releases throughout the year, across the board.

    If you have any soda or wine bottles lying around, or know of parks with many empties, I suggest geting some bags and making the rounds, as this will definitely cause a dent in your pocket.

  • SOME STUFFS: Lineup announced for Roots Picnic 4

    The legendary Roots crew have been hard at work, and unless you’re under the much mentioned rock, they have been everywhere in the last few years. They recently won three Grammy’s, you can see them every weeknight on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and each of them are either doing recording sessions, club dates, DJ sets, and on and on and on. Four years ago they started out what they wanted to make an annual event, and the Roots Picnic will happen again with a big show happening in their hometown of Philadelphia on June 4th.

    Some of the people scheduled to appear include Nas, Esperanza Spalding, Wiz Khalifa, Little Dragon, Mac Miller, and of course The Roots. I have a funny feeling a few more guests will be announced, but for now, these artists are set in stone. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10am Eastern through LiveNation.

    To see a bigger version of the poster, click here.

    REVIEW: Carpenter’s “Sea To Sky”

    Photobucket Carpenter play tight, pop-friendly indie rock that has the structure of a pop song but does so in an aggressive manner. It could be borderline pop, but it’s pop appreciation from afar without tipping into the scariness of piercings and stereotypes non-punks just don’t understand. Sea To Sky (Gold Stockk) is a 10-song album that’s a little over 33 minutes, but one that packs a lot of punch. They are a part of a bold and strong indie scene up in Vancouver, BC, and I feel they have the kind of lasting power that a lot of jaded American bands tend to admire, because there’s less of the attitude of wanting to be, and more of a confidence in just doing.

    In fact, all of these songs have the kind of confidence and lasting power that would make this last on the charts if the charts were based on fan support and not on fixed rates. I think their shows sound like the crowd chants heard in “Common Law”, and if these guys are able to tour their asses off and spread the word about who they are, they may be able to make the 10’s their decade.

    REVIEW: Bob Gluck’s “Something Quiet”

    Photobucket It’s hard to determine what makes music “enticing”, but Something Quiet (FMR) is something at is very enticing but far from being a whisper. Bob Gluck (piano), along with Chrisopher Dean Sullivan (bass), and Joe Giardullo (soprano saxophone), play in a way that almost sounds like they are creating their own secret code, only known amongst themselves. Or at least the pace of the 11:40 “Waterway” almost establishes a key for the listener that says this: either you take us on as we are, or you are free to leave at any given time. The song at times sounds like there is no tempo, but rather they are adding in colors at the pace of a slow rainfall, and the hope is that by the time the song ends, you will see the initial parts of an illustrated picture. In this case, that picture is the music.

    Then it gets fun.

    The shortest song on this album is 7:13, so nothing here that is meant to be instant gratification. These are audio paintings and it’s great to hear how drawn out they are, how the playing takes you from one place to another, or basically they’re flirting with your brain to create the kind of vivid imagery that comes from playing this type of music. I love it.

    REVIEW: The Chris Crocco Fluid Trio +’s self titled album

    Photobucket Guitarist Chris Crocco is the leader of his own trio, or in this case Trio+, as it is his trio with an additional musician. Regardless of the lineup or who takes lead at any given time, you are always aware (or should be) that Crocco’s laid back jazz vibe is in your presence with the kind of playing that puts you in a nightclub with the sexiest women around, waiting for you to make the initiative until they wrap their fishnet-clad legs around your head. Yes, this is that kind of jazz, and you’re welcome to smell its aroma.

    Along with Crocco, there’s George Garzone on sax, Peter Slavov on bass, and Francisco Mela on drums. Together, they create the blood, sweat, and tears that is their music as a unit, but also allow each other to breathe so they can each have their moments, as they all do throughout the albums 10 songs. While this is jazz that could take place anywhere, it has a New York feel where things move as they will, opportunities come and go, and things linger with their own characteristics, just like the musicians who create the mental scenarios. Whether you put this on with a red light in the room or as potential lullabies, this is jazz you never want to keep far away from you.

    (Personal favorites; “Heaven”, “Spiec Mine”, “My Own Personak Wake”, and “Avenge”.)

    REVIEW: Heavy Tin’s “reFUSED”

    Photobucket reFUSED (Concinnity) by Heavy Tin is almost deceiving. I guess with a name like Heavy Tin, I’m expecting some jazz heaviness, maybe some cool fusion or something completely out of the ordinary. Well, it is heavy but not in a left-of-center manner. In fact, this is more along the lines of a Dave Brubeck heavy, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

    Heavy Tin are a trio consisting of BR Pearson on piano, Izzie Reel on bass, and Viktor Lorak on drums, and their jazz is very stylized, almost to the point where each of these musicians sound like a one-man band project. Not sure what it is, but it’s the kind of jazz you’d find yourself returning to when you’ve come across a lot of bad music, this becomes your default selection to unwind. Pearson’s playing is one that is sharp and precise, like those trusted people you’ve traveled miles for just to hear… that… sound.

    Overall, quite an impressive recording.

    REVIEW: Mary Jenson’s “Beyond”

    Photobucket It didn’t seem that long ago that I had reviewed Mary Jenson, in fact I still have her CD very close by as I still play it from time to time. When this CD arrived, I wasn’t aware that this was the same lady I had reviewed about 22 months ago until I saw the biography and said “wait, that’s her?” However, that was two years ago and I guess because Jenson’s music has always been close, it just surprised me. Nonetheless, it was a pleasant surprise and I eagerly put this into the player.

    Beyond (self-released) has a much greater pop sheen than her last album, but it’s one that works perfectly with her voice and range. I am reminded of the great soul and pop albums of the 70’s and 80’s that I would hear on a regular basis, either from my parents or relatives, and this is that kind of album that feels “at home”, if that makes sense. In other words, Jenson is a vocalist who is able to cover a wide range of styles and she shows this in great tracks like “Say Your Name”, “Flying, Falling”, and “Things My Mother Said”, each of which would sound quite well in radio rotation, or in television shows and films, or of course on stage. I am someone who does single out cover versions, but these songs show what Jenson is able to do with her songwriting talents, and I like it because it allows me to be more in tune with who she is.

    Her cover of The Beatles‘ “Come Together” immediately brings to mind Nikka Costa and Norah Jones. In a song that is generally gibberish that leads to sexual innuendo, either artists pull this song off beautifully or come off awkward. Jenson is able to add her own finesse to it and make each line a lure to the inevitable moral. The guitar work from Jose Pires de Almeida Neto is also quite nice too and compliments Jenson’s approach. The song ends with a slight Latin touch, as if throughout the entire song she walks on a leisurely pace to a beach with the sun setting and now it’s time for everyone to come together.

    The title track has an Indian influence, where Jenson starts to sing about wanting and demanding better than what exists in the world. Or perhaps it’s a more metaphysical way of saying “let’s look forward to better tomorrows”.

    Beyond is the album I had hoped to hear from her when I reviewed Close Your Eyes in 2009, and here it is. To make a long story short, I like it when someone who has a good voice is able to push themselves with the type of material they write, perform, and cover. I also hope that with this album she may be able to do a lot of background work for others, as it would be a greater pathway to her own music, which I hope to hear more of throughout this decade.


    REVIEW: Dean Magraw’s Red Planet’s “Space Dust”

    Photobucket Jazz guitarists, there are many, but they are usually divided between the completely mundane (if not embarrassing) and very-close-to-brilliant. I’d like to think Dean Magraw is on that upper level of musicians who understands his talent, pushes himself, and is willing to flirt with the kind of music he wants to present. He does so with a bit of distortion not common in jazz, but one that certainly fits <i"Space Dust (Gone Jazz), one that has Magraw playing with a group he calls Red Planet, which features Chris Bates (bass) and Jay Epstein (drums).

    I’m a huge fan of jazz trios, and upon looking at the track listing, with such songs as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, Jimi Hendrix Experience‘s “Little Wing”, and two John Coltrane pieces (“Saturn” and “Africa”), I thought cool, this will definitely be some nice and hopefully-respectable playing. But then to hear these familiar songs sound unfamiliar, as if all of them went to Saturn looking for Sun Ra while Magraw dipped his amps in fuzz and sweat… this is jazz? Very much so, or at least Magraw has an appreciation for harder, more abrasive styles of guitar work and playing. The original material here (six tracks total) definitely stand up on their own and I can easily see other trios and groups taking and expanding on them too. To sum it up in a simple way, these guys sound like they know and respect each other, play with each other as if it’s some game of basketball with the same kind of passion they may have had when they were in the 3rd grade. In this case they’re a jazz band, and it’s the kind of playground time any musicians would love to be a part of, it not witness.


    VIDEO: “9 Weeks” looks at the Olympia, Washington punk scene

    Two years ago, a few movie and music festivals on the West Coast presented a film created by Stefan Simikich & Kanako Wynkoop called 9 Weeks, which was a look at the diversity of the Olympia, Washington punk, artist, and creative scene. The angle? “Individuals fighting to keep their community alive: performers, radicals, and artists barely getting by.” While Oly has has great music for years, it is not a metropolitan area like L.A., San Francisco, or NYC, but its independent spirit, and support for one another to keep things active, is what has kept it going.

    While documentaries like these used to be difficult to find if they were only screened for a limited time, the digital world makes it possible to see it at any time. The movie can now be accessed via Amazon Instant Video, where you are able to rent it (you have 7 days to view it before the file expires and is automatically deleted from your hard drive) or purchase it. It can play in a number of ways and platforms, so click for more information and take a look.

    VIDEO: Piñata Protest’s “Jackeee”

    This is a really cool video directed by Iggy Ogard by a San Antonio band calling themselves Piñata Protest, and the track is called “Jackeee”. If the lady in the video looks familiar, she would be model/artist/illustrator Satine Phoenix.

    You can find out more about Piñata Protest by checking out their Facebook page, MySpage Page, or getting regular updates via Twitter.