Saturday, April 6, 2013


Recent Releases of Note

  • The Beach Boys - 12 catalog albums remastered/reissued (10 of them with both mono and stereo mixes)
  • The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour [movie reissue, first time on BluRay]
  • The Beatles - Box set of the 2009 remasters on vinyl
  • Beck - Song Reader [new album released only in sheet music form]
  • Joe Brown - The Ukelele Album
  • Johnny Cash - The Complete Columbia Album Collection [63 CD box set]
  • Eric Clapton - Slowhand [2-CD 35th Anniversary reissue]
  • Eric Clapton - Old Sock
  • Crimson Projekct - Official Bootleg Live 2012
  • Donovan - The Sensual Donovan [unreleased 1970 album w/ modern overdubs]
  • The Eagles - The Studio Albums 1972-1979 [6-CD box set]
  • Dave Edmunds - Subtle as a Flying Mallet [reissue w/ 8 bonus tracks]
  • Fleetwood Mac - Rumours [3-CD reissue]
  • Justin Hayward - Spirits of the Western Sky
  • Billy Joel - She's Got a Way: Love Songs [compilation]
  • Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day
  • Jeff Lynne - Long Wave
  • Jeff Lynne - Mr. Blue Sky - The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra
  • Paul McCartney - Live Kisses [concert DVD]
  • Paul McCartney - Complete Kisses [reissue of 'Kisses on the Bottom' with bonus tracks]
  • Paul McCartney - Christmas Kisses [7" vinyl of "The Christmas Song" b/w "Wonderful Christmastime"
  • Willie Nelson - Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die [autobiography]
  • Rilo Kiley - Rkives [rare and unreleased tracks]
  • Son Volt - Honky Tonk
  • Ringo Starr - Ringo at the Ryman [concert DVD]
  • They Might Be Giants - Nanobots
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill
  • various - Sound City: Real to Reel [includes Stevie Nicks, Paul McCartney & Jim Keltner]
  • various - Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection [15-CD box set]
  • various - The Music is You: A Tribute to John Denver
  • various - 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief [includes Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel & Paul McCartney]

Upcoming Releases
  • ELO - Electric Light Orchestra Live [4/23]
  • ELO - Zoom [reissue w/ bonus tracks] [4/23]
  • Tom Jones - Spirit in the Room [4/23]
  • Julian Lennon - Someday [single] [4/8]
  • Jeff Lynne - Armchair Theatre [reissue w/ bonus tracks] [4/23]
  • Paul McCartney - Wings Over America [reissue] [5/28]
  • Willie Nelson and Family - Let's Face the Music and Dance [4/14]
  • She & Him - Volume 3 [5/7]

On Tour in the Tri-State
  • Paul Anka - Indianapolis [5/11]; Louisville [5/12]
  • Aziz Ansari - Cleveland [5/12]
  • Iris Dement - Muncie [7/20]
  • Bob Dylan - Akron [4/19]; Louisville [4/28]
  • Eagles - Cleveland [7/9]
  • Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart - New Harmony [5/17]; Madison [5/18]
  • Fleetwood Mac - Louisville [4/11]; Cleveland [6/15]
  • Colin Hay - Indianapolis [9/8]
  • Herman's Hermits - Louisville [5/26]; Kokomo [7/20]; Columbus [8/10]
  • Elton John - Dayton [4/3]
  • B.B. King - Evansville [6/5]; Akron [6/7]
  • Huey Lewis & the News - Hoosier Park [6/8]; Cincinnati [6/9]
  • Gordon Lightfoot - Carmel [5/2]
  • Gary Louris - Valparaiso [4/23]
  • Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers - Indianapolis [7/27]; Dayton [7/28]
  • Dennis Miller - Louisville [4/27]
  • Steve Miller Band - Louisville [7/16]; Columbus [8/1]
  • Willie Nelson - Evansville [5/6]; Wabash [5/7]; Hoosier Park [7/12]; Sylvania [7/18]; Cincinnati [7/19]; Somerset [7/20]
  • Tom Petty - Evansville [5/16]; Noblesville [6/15]; Dreamville [7/14]
  • Son Volt - Indianapolis [6/8]; Newport [6/22]; Louisville [6/23]
  • Styx - Evansville [5/15]; Columbus [7/28]
  • They Might Be Giants - Indianapolis [5/30]
  • Brian Wilson w/ Al Jardine - Dayton [7/25]
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic - Sylvania [6/14]

Doubleheader - Dan Bern
review by Jim Bates

Sometimes it's hard to be a Cleveland Indians fan...blown World Series games, poor quality product on the field, and general apathy of ownership (hopefully all to change this year).  But then Dan Bern goes ahead and releases a baseball album and he leaves off “Bobby Feller.”  Damn.  I know Dan has always had issues with song selection and sequence, but this time it hurts us Indians fans more than usual (and no, the song “Rincon” is not about the Tribe’s former reliever).  

Outside of this fatal flaw, “Doubleheader” is a damn good album.  It is both about baseball and uses baseball as a metaphor for life, be it dislocation (“The Golden Voice of Vin Scully”), avoidance of mistakes in public (“When My Buckner Moment Comes”), missed opportunities (“Seven Miles An Hour”, and “This Side of the White Lines”), Carpe diem (“Sunday Never Comes”), and Mr. Bern’s usual twisted take on idols and mythology (“Johnny Sylvester Comes Back To Visit The Babe”).  In fact, I had no idea until I listened to the album that so many of the happenings in world history were because Merkle didn’t touch second base (“Merkle”).  If Merkle is responsible for Hitler, just what can be blamed on Buckner and the Billy Goat?  And if the zombie apocalypse happens, is that Rocky Colavito’s fault?

Highlights include the previously mentioned  “When My Buckner Moment Comes” and "The Golden Voice of Vin Scully" (both featuring members of the Common Rotation on vocals), a re-recorded version of “Gamblin' With My Love (Pete Rose)” (How can you not love a song with Bart Giamatti as a character?), the catchy country rock of “42”, and the vaguely gypsy sounding “Joyce and Gallarraga”  (ok, Dan didn’t leave out all Indians references).  I also appreciated the “and Christopher Columbus came looking for the spice isle” lyric in “Rincon” and, honestly, I can’t tell if “The Year-By-Year Home Run Totals of Barry Bonds” is either lazy songwriting or utter genius.

If I had to complain, and, well, I’m an Cleveland sports fan so, of course, I have to complain, Mr. Bern focuses too much on the Giants and Barry Bonds.  Though to be fair, I’m sure he thinks this review focuses too much on the Indians.  Not to mention I’m not over Pluto’s revoked planet status... (“Lou Gehrig's Disease”)  But I guess all is fair in love and war and a baseball game (“Love, War and a Baseball Game”).

A must listen for the folkie baseball fan, but it deserves an asterisk in the record book for overlooking “Bobby Feller,” not actually having a lyric about an asterisk, and there is no clear proof that Mr. Bern wasn’t on the juice when he recorded these songs.

Push the Sky Away - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
review by Lucas Hardwick

From the very start, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds’ “Push The Sky Away” album quivers and trembles as if the whole thing would fall apart were it not for Cave’s baritone voice and haunting lyrics holding it all together. 

The group’s 15th studio effort is certainly a step in the opposite direction that the prior “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!” left us with.  After Nick and the gang got all that cum-filled energy, cynicism and machismo out of their system, the group has mellowed and Mr. Cave is keen to simply observe the world around him via his high-windowed Brighton home (bedroom and wife featured on the cover art), “Googled curiosities,” and Wikipedia -- which gets name-dropped in the track “We Real Cool.”

“We No Who U R” -- the title texted to us it seems, commenting on current day communication -- is so simple one can easily over-complicate the message.  It is very simply expressing how things happen in the world around us without much regard to one another:  “Tree don’t care what the little bird sings / We go down with the dew in the morning light.”  And it perfectly sets the theme of observing that is laced throughout the album.

“Wide Lovely Eyes” is a swaying tribute to Cave’s wife as he watches her go down to the beach.  He catalogues and personifies her every move.  The tune is the most poppy and one of the most catchy songs on the entire album.

Other highlights include a prostitute classic in “Jubilee Street” and cryptic and apocalyptic “Higgs Boson Blues” -- a strange and macabre chronicle of mythical, historical, and speculated events (which may or may not suggest the death of Miley Cyrus) -- almost a “Sympathy For The Devil” in Bad Seeds’ style.

Cave goes meta with “Finishing Jubilee Street.”  Yes, it’s exactly what the title says, and the most haunting track on the album, as he searches for a child “bride called Mary Stanford” from a dream conjured after finishing the tune in question.

Mellow as it is, the entire album throbs with a chilling energy laid down by unconventional loops from Bad Seed Warren Ellis.  Most of said loops aren’t in regular time, which adds to the haunting nature of Cave’s lyrics (and provides for a challenging live performance).  The February release of the album seems appropriate given the overall chill of the music that very rarely includes guitar and only occasional light piano throughout.

Quick Hits from Matt

Justin Hayward - Spirits of the Western Sky - It doesn't feel like Justin Hayward has changed his musical style/taste in 25 years.  While some may call that stale, on this new album it feels welcome and comforting.  Easygoing pop from the aged Moodies front man who's still in great voice.

Jeff Lynne - Long Wave - After waiting two decades for a solo album, I'd hoped for more than a covers record.  However, Lynne enthusiasm and musicianship make this an infectious and fun, though too quick, trip through his childhood songbook.  A bright album that belies the dreary cover photo.

Jeff Lynne - Mr. Blue Sky - The Very Best of Electric LIght Orchestra - Why remake some of the greatest music of all time?  I'm still not sure, but it's a great listen.  Lynne takes advantage of modern technology to redo his classics as he hears them in his head.  Not quite Lucas mucking with the original Star Wars.  More like an exercise where he did one and was having too much fun to stop.  We benefit from his mania, and his voice sounds as good as it did 35 years ago!

Son Volt - Honky Tonk - Like the first couple of Son Volt albums, the songs sort of blend together and you feel like you're just getting into it only to be surprised that you're on song 8.  This is a very twangy set, with pedal steel dominating the sound.  Lazily chugging along is sometimes ok, but this threatens to put you to sleep.  I'm also disappointed in the pedestrian lyrics from the normally cryptic Jay Farrar. 

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