MUSIC MILLENNIUM - OUTSIDE THE HEARD - NOVEMBER 2013

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Joe Bonamassa
Tour De Force: Live In London - Shepherd's Bush Empire
J&R Adventures
 
The Tour De Force - Live In London series chronicles guitarist Joe Bonamassa in four of London’s most amazing venues: Shepherd’s Bush Empire, The Borderline, Hammersmith Apollo, and the Royal Albert Hall. Each individual evening was marked by a unique theme with different setlists, arrangements and ensembles providing the viewer with four unique performances. Tour De Force – Live In London will be available in four separate discs, offering over nine hours of concert footage and over four hours of bonus footage. Not only will each disc be individually released as a double DVD or Blu-ray, but there will also be a special collector's box set with all four DVDs or Blu-Rays along with an exclusive hardcover photobook showcasing iconic images captured during that legendary week in London — all packaged together inside a box designed as a miniature vintage Marshall amp. These will be on sale through January, so you have plenty of time to collect ‘em all.
 
Various Artists
NCIS : Benchmark
Artists Addiction Records

 
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the “Future of Music” it’s that learning about new music from television shows, commercials, and movies truly has replaced what MTV – even in its limited scope – had done. So collections like NCIS: Benchmark are helpful in that they can save you a lot of needless pointing and clicking. Now you can celebrate your favorite show and get those awesome songs you’ve been meaning to check out all in one place. NCIS: Benchmark also treats fans to a special twist: Both Pauley Perrette (who plays Abby Sciuto) and Michael Weatherly (Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo) have contributed original songs to the collection, which also features artists such as Lady Antebellum, Neon Trees, Patty Griffin, and Hank Williams.
Anouska Shankar
Traces of You
Deutsche Grammophon

 
The daughter and disciple of maestro Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar is the only artist to be comprehensively trained by her father, playing and studying the sitar with him since she from the age of nine. At the age of 13 she made her performing debut in New Delhi — she then entered the studio for the first time to play on her father’s recording, In Celebration. After the great success of her last album, Traveller, which spent 6 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboards World Music chart and received a Grammy nomination, Shankar returns with another outstanding recording, Traces of You, featuring three new songs with her half-sister, Norah Jones. Traces of You draws on Indian classical ragas, Western classical string arrangements, mid-20th century-style lyrics of extended poetry and modern soundscapes. Lovely, unique, and original, every spin Traces of You is a trip to somewhere beautiful.
 
Nightmares on Wax
Feelin' Good
Warp

 
Sonically rich with orchestration and strings created in Berlin by Jazzanova arranger Sebastian Studnitzky, keyboards by long-term collaborator Robin Taylor-Firth, drums by virtuoso German jazz percussionist Wolfgang Haffner and bass from Paul Powell, percussion from Shovell - The Drum Warrior and vocals from Mozez of Zero 7 fame, Feelin’ Good is Nightmares On Wax’s most musically opulent work yet. NOW's own club night, Wax Da Jam, plays a major role in the sound of both Feelin’ Good  and his forthcoming live show. Here he soundtracks a night of groove, experimentation, percussion and improvisation, alongside guests such as DJ Shadow and Roots Manuva. It’s all about Feelin’ Good... “It’s been pivotal to my music making,” he says, “I’ve done the full band thing and the sound system thing and now I really want to marry the two and to do so with a real live percussive edge.”
Jon Batiste and Stay Human
Social Music
Razor & Tie
 
Peerless artistry combined with the uplifting pleasure of entertainment exists squarely at the heart of Jon Batiste’s musical vision – one that he calls Social Music. With his soulful voice, virtuosic piano chops and dapper sense of style, Batiste, transcends music genres with his modern take on American music. Jon has absorbed a musical language that disregards genre distinctions - reviving the roots of jazz, blues and other American music yet playing it in a way that is fresh, accessible and engaging. Produced by Jeff Jones “The Jedi Master” with Jon Batiste, Social Music features Batiste on piano, vocals and melodica, (which he has renamed the harmonaboard) and his Julliard trained band Stay Human. Prince, Cassandra Wilson, Lauryn Hill, Spike Lee, Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Buffet, Eve, Lenny Kravitz, ?uestlove, and Asher Roth count among Batiste’s fans… And you might join their ranks.
 
Aaron Parks
Arborescence
ECM

 
Arborescence is the word for the way something grows, seeking and adaptive, like a tree its roots and branches moving under and around things wherever they need to go toward water, toward the sun. Pianist Aaron Parks titled his ECM debut Arborescence because the album’s music is the fruit of a session of solo studio improvisation in which little was predetermined — the pieces developed in the moment like living things. It's possible to hear fleeting echoes in this music of Arvo Part and Paul Bley, Erik Satie and Kenny Wheeler; but Arborescence is ultimately something deeply individual and intimate, recorded with the lights down low in the warm, clear acoustics of Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts. Listen close and one can hear Parks whispering part of a melody along with the piano, as if he were playing at home alone, for himself. This is contemplative instrumental poetry that often felt less like conscious intention, he says, and more like something half-dreamed, half-remembered.
TOWNER/
MUTHSPIEL/GRIGORYAN

Travel Guide
ECM
 
An international summit meeting, Travel Guide features US guitarist Ralph Towner, Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, and Kazakhstan-born and Australia-raised guitarist Slava Grigoryan. The three musicians first came together in 2005, initially for concerts in Australia, and have since toured widely. Towner has been a key ECM recording artist for more than 40 years, while Muthspiel and Grigoryan make label debuts here. Grigoryan is well known as the preeminent Australian classical guitarist of his generation, while Muthspiel’s been an important figure on the transatlantic jazz scene for two decades with his own bands and as a contributor to groups of Gary Burton, Paul Motian and many others. What all three guitarists share is a strong feeling for structure, a sense for lyrical improvisation and a feeling for space, harnessing instrumental technique to very graceful musical ends. Travel Guide is the map… The trip you take is all your own.
 
DE VITO/COUTURIER/
LECHNER/RABBIA

Il Pergolese
ECM
 
Il Pergolese pays tribute to 18th century composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736), and considers his relationship to the art music and the popular music of Naples from a highly contemporary perspective. The text of the Stabat Mater, translated into Neapolitan by Maria Pia De Vito, and the accompanying arias have been transformed into songs and vivid narratives -- providing a key to reinterpreting Pergolesi. François Couturiers arrangements widen Pergolesi’s structures, offering space for improvisational interaction… But, really, this is a group project -- a discourse among acoustic sounds, electronics, and the rhythms of drums and metals. Sound textures grow dense with the richness of instrumental counterpoint or are set free in electronic soundscapes and along coloristic, percussive lines, as cello becomes voice or voice becomes an instrument. Leave it to the ECM label to truly bring opera into the 21st Century. Check it out.
J Roddy Walston and the Business
Essential Tremors
ATO
 
J. Roddy Walston & The Business’ new album, Essential Tremors, borrows its name from a nervous-system disorder that’s long plagued the band’s frontman. “It’s this condition where my hands shake,” singer/pianist/guitarist Walston. “I’ve referenced it throughout all our records in some way, but it made sense to be more open about it on this album, which is partly about owning and embracing your weirdness instead of letting it hold you captive.” For J. Roddy Walston & The Business embracing weirdness means a mumble-out-loud celebration of that great and terrible burden of being human. Forcing the oft-clashing worlds of art and rock-and-roll to make nice, the band deals in a scrappy yet sublime sound that honors both their Southern roots and punk spirit. On Essential Tremors, J. Roddy Walston & The Business builds off that formula with a mix of heavy hooks and elegant melodies revealing their affinity for artists as disparate as Led Zeppelin, pre-disco-era Bee Gees, The Replacements, and Southern R&B. Essential Tremors will shake your booty and soul.
 
Joanna Gruesome
Weird Sister
Slumberland Records

 
Brimming with irresistible pop melodies and spiked with dissonant fuzzy jangle, the songs Cardiff-based noise pop five-piece Joanna Gruesome are shot through with loud discordant feedback and super-fast, hardcore punk drumbeats -- drawing inspiration from Riot Grrrl, K Records, the post-hardcore of Drive Like Jehu and Converge, and the art rock of The Velvet Underground, Swirlies and My Bloody Valentine. Weird Sister is littered with references to the devil or zombies and allusions to comic books. Take first single ''Secret Surprise,'' in which mental illness takes a physical form and is fought using razor blades. Or ''Anti-Parent Cowboy Killers,'' which is about stealing a scooter and driving it into the ocean when you should be in school. Or ''Sugarcrush'’ which is about spending a summer burning knitwear. Slotting in with contemporaries like Swearin’ and Speedy Ortiz, Joanna Gruesome offer a staggeringly diverse album -- unexpectedly quiet and surprisingly loud.
Okkervil River
The Silver Gymasium
ATO
 
The Silver Gymnasium takes place in 1986 in the small town of Meriden, NH. Okkervil River bandleader Will Sheff grew up in this isolated hamlet of fewer than 500 residents. But when he went away to college, his father accepted a new job in Worcester, MA. Will had no reason to return to Meriden again, yet it held sway over his imagination. The more he saw of the world, the more Meriden, NH seemed like someplace he'd conjured in his head. That overlap between the ordinary and the otherworldly resonates throughout The Silver Gymnasium. Referring to how an emerging adolescent consciousness reconciles the familiar with the unexpected, Sheff likens the spirit of The Silver Gymnasium to "an action figure you found in the woods… New Hampshire is the woods, the '80s is the action figure, but neither of them is interesting to me on their own; it's the way they go together." To synthesize these ideas, Sheff enlisted John Agnello – the man behind recent albums by The Hold Steady and Sonic Youth as well as 80’s classics by Cyndi Lauper and John Cougar Mellencamp -- to produce. Brilliant.
 
Said the Whale
hawaiii
Hidden Pony
 
Hawaii finds Vancouver-based, JUNO-winning rockers, Said The Whale, continuing to break down doors by releasing its most adventurous and hook-filled batch of songs yet. “I went into the writing process with mindset of ‘Fuck everything, I’m just going to write what makes me happy,’” says Tyler Bancroft, explaining that the songs were written with a clean slate and no expectations. Ironically, what resulted are some of Said The Whale’s catchiest, most accessible songs yet. The singer observes, “It turns out I just like pop music.” This affection for melody shines on “I Love You,” which is led by a surge of post-punk guitars and careens between spiky choruses and a sunny, sock hop-inspired bridge. Other fine example include “Mother” – a synth-heavy, new wave banger -- and the outdoorsy “Narrows,” which begins with gentle acoustic strumming before exploding into hard-hitting rock.
Humble Pie
Complete Performance - Rockin the Fillmore
Omnivore
 
Humble Pie recorded four albums and several singles before achieving its U.S. breakthrough with its 1971 the double-live set Performance: Rockin' The Fillmore. Drawn from four shows played over two consecutive nights at Bill Graham's legendary Fillmore East, Performance captured a red-hot band firing on all cylinders (including an up-and-coming guitarist named Peter Frampton) — distilling the crowd-pleasing heavy blues-rock style that had come to dominate the Brit foursome's repertoire and help to lay the foundation for heavy metal. Performance caught on in a big way with American listeners, becoming Humble Pie’s first Gold album. Now, for the first time, Performance: Rockin' The Fillmore is presented in its entirety with this lovingly packaged four-CD box set. No editing or re-sequencing just the four sets as they were played on May 28 and 29, 1971. Not only is this a piece of history, it’s a rock and roll master class. Listen and learn, kiddies.
 
Iron Chic
The Constant One
Bridge 9

 
Iron Chic's long-awaited sophomore full-length, The Constant One, ups the band's ante with nearly 40 minutes of their heartfelt, signature melodic punk, with big buildups, warm harmonies, and gripping climaxes. The band tackle somewhat altered subject matter from 2010's Not Like This with deeply embedded metaphors hinting at themes of communication, perseverance, and self-worth, making The Constant One no mere sequel, but rather its own set of cleverly cloaked ideas soundtracked by a bed of driving riffs and life-affirming, tremendous melodies. It’s a positive jam.
Poets of Rhythm
Anthology 1992-2003
Daptone
 
Raw and spectral, heartbroken yet jubilant, Tall Tall Shadow tells the story of a very hard year in the life of Basia Bulat, and all the love that helped her through it. To get to this place, Bulat co-produced the album with The Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury and Mark Lawson. Whereas the singer's past two LPs were made in Montreal's all-analogue Hotel 2 Tango studio, Tall Tall Shadow is a more modern thing. This is a record with echo and reverb, electronic flutters and electric autoharp, voices that charge and incandesce around buzzing guitars, lonely piano and rattling percussion. Bulat's goal was to keep challenging herself. "Promise Not to Think About Love," with shimmying bass and dancing handclaps, is the poppiest track she has ever released. "It Can't Be You," played on an Andean charango, is one of the simplest. "Never Let Me Go" is all crescendo, a woman in a storm, and the title track reaches soaring for another day. "Two months before I was due to begin recording, I suffered a deep loss," Bulat says. "I kind of started over." Yes… But she didn’t stop.
 
Various Artists
CBGBs- Motion Picture Soundtrack
Omnivore Recordings

 
Electronic / World fusion dance trio Beats Antique brings you their new album and multi-media touring show, A Thousand Faces -- a journey beyond the sonic realm that’s part odyssey, part genre-warping rock opera. The album is an epic two-volume adventure that follows every stage of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey with sweeping and lushly textured new compositions. A Thousand Faces – Act 1 represents just the first half of the monomyth, with the second volume due out next spring. For help in lacing together so many eclectic sounds and influences — from Indian classical music to Balinese fusion to EDM — Beats Antique recruited guest musicians like baritone sax and clarinet player Sylvain Carton and violinist Lila Sklar, in addition to Les Claypool and singer/songwriter/beat-boxer LYNX. From the serpentine splendor of “Pandora’s Box” to the heady intensity of “Veil of Tears,” A Thousand Faces – Act 1 is epic in scope yet intimate in its emotionalism.
Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. While the two summers of love were birthed from burdening times, Vietnam and 10 years of Thatcher’s reign, they were one hell of a party. Unprecedented explosions of youth culture which tore down the walls of perception through communal elation and celebration. Cut Copy’s Free Your Mind creates a fantasy of the next youth revolution, binding the two epochs without the negative baggage. An event told in three dimensions. The embryonic stage of Free Your Mind saw frontman Dan Whitford take a new approach to songwriting, roughly sketching a song per day for a 4 month period before presenting the fruits to the band and realizing their full potential together. While the album’s themes are at the foreground of the completed work, it was never intended as a concept record; rather ideas buried deep beneath the mind’s eye, unlocked by the collective consciousness of Whitford, Tim Hoey, Ben Browning and Mitchell Scott. Unity in effect. When it came time to properly lay Free Your Mind down, the band kept things in house, but utilized wizard Dave Fridmann for the mix – a perfect choice given his long tenure with psychedelic masterminds The Flaming Lips and, more recently, Tame Impala. It’s a trip worth taking.

Cut Copy -
Free Your Mind

Loma Vista / Republic
ZZ Ward is doing something all her own. She calls it “dirty shine”: the bone-deep wail of old-fashioned blues crossed with the big-city gloss of cutting-edge hip-hop. Ward forged her one-of-a-kind sound growing up in small-town Oregon—“out in the sticks in the middle of nowhere,” as she puts it. “There was nothing to do, so that gave me a whole lot of time to play around with music.” Her dad owned a pair of Hammond B-3 organs, and she learned to play those; guitar came a little later, as did the remarkable vocals she first honed singing with a blues band at the age of 12. Then, at 16, Ward entered the world of rap in a scene that sounds like something out of 8 Mile: She drove an hour and a half to Eugene, walked into a hip-hop club, found the dude in charge and proceeded to tell him she should sing his choruses. Til the Casket Drops is the “dirty shine” writ large. You can hear Big Mama Thorton and Tina Turner in her voice and large names like DJ Premier and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest) – among others – in her beats (literally). And if you doubt her Hip Hop chops, then don’t: Guest star Kendrick Lamar doesn’t. And her free mixtape featuring covers of Tyler the Creator and Childish Gambino doesn’t slouch. Don’t be afraid: This is pretty dope.

ZZ Ward -
Til The Casket Drops

Hollywood Records
moremusic

The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America. CIMS was founded in 1995; its current membership is made up of 29 accounts that handle 47 stores in 21 states. Many of the accounts have been recognized by the music industry and their local communities for their outstanding dedication to customer service and developing artist support.

Each member is bound by its shared love of music, a reputation for great selection and customer service in its community, yet each CIMS account is as unique as the market it represents. Most importantly, CIMS member stores continually seek to challenge the jaded, color-by-numbers advertising and marketing of other retailers.

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