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By Andy Argyrakis
Weekend Report: Blast with Bayside, LCD launch
Friday, March 2, 2007
Following a whirlwind week of touring including a slot on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," Big Apple boys Bayside are blowing into the Windy City today for a flurry of activities. The morning kicks off with a Q101 morning drive interview and performance followed by an afternoon in-store at Metro's merch shop. But don't expect to just show up and waltz on in for free because only those who buy the group's latest CD The Walking Wounded (Victory) at Rolling Stone records will score a ticketed invitation. Unfortunately, tuning in bright and early or picking up a copy will be the only chance to check out the gang since a show with Anberlin later that night at Metro is completely sold out. Other weekend dates include Saturday at Station 4 in St. Paul and Sunday at Creepy Crawl in St. Louis.
For those hoping to extend the weekend one extra day, they can celebrate with LCD Soundsystem on Monday. The band's thrashy disco ball returns to the road in support of Sound of Silver (Capitol) at Cargo in London followed by a 16-city U.K. and European tour. North American appreciators can tap into a limited run kicking off on March 30 at New York's Bowery Ballroom, wrapping up at Coachella on April 28. Co-founder James Murphy also doubles as a producer and remixer, whose credits include Gorillaz and Nine Inch Nails.
Speaking of Trent Reznor and company, stay at home music supporters can also ring in the weekend by picking up the band's brand new concert DVD Beside You In Time (Nothing). The project culls together twenty-four tunes from last year's marathon With Teeth (Interscope) tour including the electronica/industrial staples "Closer," "Head Like a Hole," "Hurt" and "The Hand That Feeds." Bonuses include rehearsal footage, plus music videos for "The Hand That Feeds" and "Only." Stay tuned for to this site for an extensive review of the highly anticipated project coming later this month on Livewire.
Martin, Medeski minus Wood?
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Jazz fusion players Medeski, Martin & Wood have always shared split audiences, playing one night at a jam band festival and then the next at an opera house or symphony center. Though the group has almost always appeared as a trio, keyboard player John Medeski and drummer Billy Martin are splitting off for a side project hitting stores this May, minus bassist Chris Wood. Titled Mago (Amulet), the album was recorded over a two day marathon session in 2006 when on break in between shows. But fans need not fear a split-up between the highly engaging entity as this is a mere break for the instrumental pair amidst the trio's tumultuous tour schedule.
In fellow trio news, progressive rock supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer are also earning some extra attention thanks to an extensive Shout! Factory remaster series. The token reissue label looks to the original master tapes of Emerson Lake & Palmer and Tarkus, supplemented by liner notes from Los Angeles Times journalist Steve Hochman. The eponymously titled album originally hit stores in 1970 and boasted the mammoth single "Lucky Man," while the later disc from 1971 included the twenty-minute epic opener "Tarkus Medley." Shout! Factory will continue releasing the band's classic albums as the year goes on, wrapping up the series in 2008.
With Audioslave's recent dissolve, Tom Morello heads back into the solo spectrum with the Nightwatchman for a new CD and spring tour. One Man Revolution (Epic) hits stores on April 24 featuring Morello's singing debut, along with a stripped down but dark acoustic offering. Members of Audioslave's fan club the Audiophiles are being offered free tickets to select shows on the upcoming itinerary, though the break from band activity won't last long. Morello will be rejoining his Rage Against the Machine mates in one of the most anticipated reunion jaunts (outside of The Police) this year.
The Bravery rebounds, Brown arrested again
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Now that the grudge between dance rockers The Killers and The Bravery has simmered, both bands can focus on what they do best- recording, touring and even more touring. Though The Bravery has yet to reach the level of fame as its feud-mates, the gang has always been the most artistically satisfying of the two, incorporating touches of New Order, Duran Duran and The Cure into its synth-based sounds. The guys spent the last eight months locked in the studio to complete The Sun and the Moon, which hits streets May 22 on Island. But rather going for an all out retro feel, the band linked up with two time Grammy Award winning producer Brendan O'Brien, whose logged studio sessions with the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam and Rage Against the Machine. Those wanting a preview of the new tunes "Believe," "This Is Not The End" and the lead single "Time Won't Let Me Go" can check out www.TheBravery.com.
Speaking of being back in action, ex-New Edition singer turned solo rapper Bobby Brown was up to his usual law breaking ways yet again. The former Mr. Houston was trying to watch one of his daughter's cheerleading competitions in Boston, but was picked up by cops after a warrant was put out for his failure to attend a child support hearing late last year. Unlike past legal run ins, Brown had a peaceful transition into custody and didn't have to spend the night in jail. Hopefully for his sake, the singer will shape up in the future, otherwise he'll be needing "Mr. Telephone Man" to dial an outside line- from the slammer.
Even though Wilco is almost always on the road, members Pat Sansone and John Stirratt have finally found a break in the schedule to tour throughout the entire month of March behind their side project The Autumn Defense. The leading pair- with the rhythm section of drummer Greg Wieczorek, producer/session man Brad Jones, pedal steel player John Pirruccello and horn player Steve Tyska in tow- released a self-titled CD on Broadmoor in January. The project parleys Wilco's organic disposition with a love for 70s AM radio (think America), along with newly incorporated Philly soul influences.
Street Date: Cale offers new concert collection
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Avant-garde rock has never sounded so sweet since John Cale went solo from the Velvet Underground, which his latest release captures in current contexts. Circus Live (EMI) traces highlights from his 2006 European trek in support of the critically acclaimed Black Acetate(Astralwerks), along with samplings of the group's greatest hits. Cuts from that most recent record abound, along with a career spanning set list including the group's "Femme Fatale" and "Zen" from 2003's comeback album Hobosapiens (EMI). The double disc collection comes bundled with a companion DVD boasting live clips, acoustic tracks and rehearsal footage.
After touring incessantly with the likes of Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers, Jamie Cullum, Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson, acoustic troubadour Matt Wertz scores national distribution with Nettwerk. His full-length disc Everything in Between was previously available during 2006 tour dates, but this marks its first official release in stores and a wider variety of online outlets. The tunes switch between causal coffeehouse pop to cozy folk to blue eyed soul.
Long before that fresh face came around, tunesmith David Bromberg was a sideman for Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton and Jerry Jeff Walker. Though it's been nearly twenty years since he released a proper studio album, the session player turned solo artist returns to his roots with Try Me One More Time (Appleseed Recordings). However, only one original is on tap, in favor of acoustic blues and folk covers from the likes of Dylan, Robert Johnson and Elizabeth Cotton, plus several standards.
Switching from string strummers to piano pounders is Billy Joel, another artist who has waited ages since releasing his last pop album. Though the product train has been rolling with multiple hits collection, a rarities box set and last year's concert recording 12 Gardens Live (Columbia), today marks his first major original release since 1993. "All My Life" hits stores in Sony's long lost CD single format with a bonus live rendition of "You're My Home." But rather than returning to the upbeat formulas of his "River of Dreams" or "All About Soul" era, the Piano Man submits to an adult contemporary sound cut from the same cloth as something from the great American songbook, though not nearly as compelling in execution.
Injured Tool takes a time out
Monday, February 26, 2007
The worse possible problem for a drummer would be limited arm mobility, but that's the exact predicament Tool's Danny Carey finds himself in after tearing a bicep. Though he went for surgery last week, the group was forced to temporarily shelve its spring dates in support of last year's 10,000 Days (Volcano). The journey was slated to kick off in Las Vegas mid-March and hit several other cities that weren't covered on the band's previous route, but for now they're off the books while the beat keeper recovers. New dates are coming soon, but the medical emergency will not affect a headlining slot at Tennessee's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in June.
Ohio's Lovedrug will also be unplugging this month, but that doesn't mean the beloved indie darlings will be resting at home. Instead The Militia Group act strips down for an acoustic outing this week to preview the March 6 release Everything Starts Where It Ends. But by the time street date hits, the guys plug back in for a full electric outing with the Plain White T's. Highlights include several shows at SxSW, the House of Blues' chain, New York's Irving Plaza and a finale date at Chicago's Metro on May 2.
Though she's no longer as much a subject of tabloid trash-talking following a divorce from former Beatle Paul McCartney, Heather Mills is still making headlines as a participant in season four's "Dancing With the Stars" (kicking off March 19 on ABC). Aside from jokes about Sir Paul songs probably not scoring time on the show's set list, the appearance marks the first time a dancer with an artificial limb has entered. As for the other music-related contestants? Pure pointlessness in the form of "Achy Breaky Heart" throb Billy Ray Cyrus and ex-'N Sync singer Joey Fatone (no, he's not the one who recently came out of the closet). With that unfortunate casting, the program has no prayer of bringing sexy back, though Cyrus' mullet may resurface.