I consider Sundance a nice warm-up to SXSW. In doing some research about what’s playing and who/what we’ll be hearing about in the next week I found something that has fascinated me. It’s a documentary called “Google and The World Brain.”
There are several layers to the filmmaker’s synopsis: copyrights for authors (can’t help but compare this to musicians) as well as the right to access of information vs. the monopoly of information. I’ve long been a Google fan, but with the latest change to their search algorithm their stock has plummeted (in my book). If the trailer intrigues you, definitely make a point to read a Q&A with the filmmaker over on IndieWire. Ben Lewis has had a pretty broad view of the world throughout his career. He claims the message of his film is ’Down with technoutopianism!’” Huh. I think I just added a new word to my vocabulary!
Now I’m off to search for a copy of H. G. Wells’ “World Brain.”
Ran across this article and had to share it as it’s a little amusing. At first I was concerned Dave was making a major wardrobe change, but alas, that’s not the case. Whew! The MSN blurb says it all:
The Megadeth frontman thrashes the retailer’s customer service, but the store’s response makes him sound like the old guy at the show.
When I read this statement I knew I had to check out this band: “Our record reminds us of Bobby Gillespie and Joe Strummer in a fist fight.”
Not quite sure where the Joe Strummer part comes in, but this LA-area band definitely digs Primal Scream. Think dirty, LA signature sound with a hint of the ‘Scream mixed in. I listened to the full album (titled “Near & Undear”) tonight. There are clear UK influences yet it contains more hard-edged rock than one would expect. The band takes notes from their influences and makes them their own.
A couple of things worth noting -1) I really like several songs deep into the tracklisting. In fact, I would recommend “Waking Up The World” (via Spotify) and “Want It All” if you only listen to 2 tracks. 2) Solid songwriting. I think there’s some promise here.
If their vibe is a little too hard for your taste, give the track “Sister Anne” a try.
The Bixby Knolls on SoundCloud
Got a bright new background to bring into the new year and doing a little housecleaning. I’m currently re-listening to music for my YE list. The problem I keep running into, though, is distraction from other folks’ lists and albums I either didn’t get around to checking out or something new to me that sounds interesting.
I need to focus!
While I was roaming around the net checking out missed releases I came across a release from Starship’s Mickey Thomas from 2011. Marauder is a wide-ranging collection of cover songs; originals from such artists as The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, Snow Patrol and even AC/DC. Yes, it’s scattered, but who doesn’t enjoy the odd cover now and then? You can listen to samples at AllMusic.com or Spotify.
I have to say Thomas still has his chops (check the video below). But you really should at least track through the samples – I just don’t see where a Beatles’ track, Muse and AC/DC fit together. You gotta check it out!
Gimme Shelter – Bluesy rendition of the Stones’ tune
I ran across a gig review earlier this month for a show in Scotland featuring Mike Peters of the Alarm. It’s a quick read and makes you feel like you heard an account of the show from a friend vs. a reviewer. That could also sum up the performer himself. Mike Peters has been “all in” from the beginning. He’s all about the music and fans – even before social media!
This fact again hit home with me reading the review and recalling a rare show he played in Lawrence, KS, in the 90′s. It was one of those shows where my friends weren’t around or interested to check it out. He played a very intimate venue, too, the Jazzhaus which would become one of my favorite spots, but at that point I hadn’t been there but maybe one time.
I can honestly say it’s one of very few shows in my adult life I regret missing. Granted it would not have been quite the show as described in the review linked above, but I know it would have been fun.
And something you may not be aware of is the story of Peters releasing music under the guise of younger musicians in 2004 has been turned into a movie named, “Vinyl“. It has a good cast lineup. As far as I know it’s making the festival circuit and no immediate plans of US release. (Much same as “California Solo” unfortunately – another music-related UK indie film that is on my Must See list!)
Lately I’ve been getting excited about some rock and roll books and biographies. A friend reminded me that today is the anniversary of Buddy Holly’s tragic plane crash. So, of course, I search Google news to see what’s being written about the event this week. And what do I come across but an article featuring a new Buddy Holly book. The Chicago Sun-Times reviewed a book by Illinois author, Gary W. Moore, Hey Buddy: In Pursuit of Buddy Holly, My New Buddy John and My Lost Decade of Music.
And just as the author hadn’t been interested in Holly before last year, I wasn’t exactly interested in reading a Holly-related book. That is, until I read the backstory. The author explains taking his mother-in-law to a Buddy Holly impersonator show in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and how the story actually came to him. It’s makes for a great read even if you decide the book isn’t for you [click here]. I think I’ll add this to my growing list (below). If you have read any recent rock stories, feel free to recommend them. And put on some Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper or Holly music today if you have time!
Rock ‘n’ roll book list:
- Soul Mining – Daniel Lanois
- Route 19 Revisited – The Clash
- A Very Irregular Head – Syd Barrett
- Life – Keith Richards
- A Riot Of Our Own – The Clash
- The Hacienda – Peter Hook
- Just Kids – Patti Smith
You know what happens at the end of the calendar year for geeky music fans – we try to finalize our year end list of best/fav albums. While I was on a bit of a scavenger hunt last night, I happened across the name of Jo Stance and thought it worthy of a mention. This one is for those of us who appreciate early soul sounds. This is really done right.
So much so that I wanted to learn more about the artist. Quickly turning to an internet search I found that one of my favorite blogs, Fire Escape Talking featured this in July. One of the things I hate about not keeping up with my blogroll weekely! At any rate, I read up more and plan to find the entire album.
Here’s a new band I’ve been listening to lately. Hailing from Glasgow, they have supported top acts such as Glasvegas and Frightened Rabbit. From the handful of blog posts I’ve read Three Blind Wolves have been compared to My Morning Jacket and Mumford & Sons among others.
After giving their 6-track album (released in March), The Sound of the Storm, further listens I am going to throw in my own “sound alike” comparison. Normally I hate to do that when writing about a new band. But this has been bugging me. I think because the album’s vibe reminds me of a local artist, Arthur Dodge. We used to catch Arthur along with his band, The Horsefeathers, pretty often. I guess because of all the great memories I have of hanging out listening to them I’ve painted them brighter in my mind. Recently I got out a couple of his albums and the just don’t sound like I remember the tracks sounding in person.
Guess that’s bound to happen sometimes. Anyway I think the singer’s voice (of Three Blind Wolves) reminds me more of Noah and the Whale. Take a listen for yourself and leave a comment what artist you hear when you check out the band.
Listen to tracks via:
I’ve been browsing the interwebs reading about upcoming releases and was struck by a couple of headlines by artists who’ve been around the block more than once. Both stake claims about their upcoming albums. And both take liberties with the word ‘Pop” – see for yourself.
The Modfather himself releases new material early this summer. ‘Wake Up The Nation’ has a good ring to it. Weller says the inspiration revolved around wanting to make the type of music he feels is lacking in the current climate.
Expect more noise than his last. He explained he “wanted it to have a more metallic and harder sound.” From the Spinner article it sounds as though he’s listening to more American music these days like Kings of Leon and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Also note who makes an appearance on the album…one Kevin Shields. Release date is June 1.
Then we have the Pop Princess, Kylie Minogue, whose umpteenth album ‘Aphrodite’ hits stores late July. She mentions in this short article how she’s hit her stride and I’m sure she’s right.
What I found amusing was the artist calling the new album “emotional pop” or in other words, “girls getting ready to go out, putting their make-up on.” Now, I know Kylie is brilliant for her type of music and I’ll probably enjoy the new album, but this just made me giggle.
Helping with songwriting and producing will be Calvin Harris and Scissor Sisters (did Jake just give up recording himself?)