Thursday, August 31, 2006
I have an immense backlog of things to pass along, from new stuff to "in case you missed it" links, so I'll skip the pre-post small talk...
I've been sitting on this news for a couple months, and it hasn't been easy. Now that's it's public, I can finally say... the Afghan Whigs are going back into the studio. When their upcoming (and now delayed until '07) Rhino 'best of' retrospective, 'Unbreakable', was announced, I hoped-against-hope that they'd get together and record a few new songs for it, as the Replacements did the same for their Rhino collection. Like the 'Mats, the Whigs will be using a different drummer for their tracks, and my fingers are crossed that it'll be ascot-master Bobby Macintyre of Dulli's touring Twilight Singers. That guy's amazing. Proof: Stream some Twilight Singers live sets.
I've got a special little spot in my musical heart for the Housemartins, a band I completely obsessed over back in the day (although my fixation didn't follow singer Paul Heaton to his post-Housemartins band, the Beautiful South). Anyway, Hull's fourth best band is also resurfacing, although not to the studio... they're just returning to the new release shelves with a compilation of all their old BBC recordings, including songs from a 1987 Nottingham concert. The full tracklisting...
The HousemartinsAccording to the press release, it'll be out on September 18th in the UK. Not sure about a U.S. release, but it's still worth import prices. Thanks for the heads up, for the records.
From UK radio sessions to US radio sessions: NPR has had a fairly impressive summer of in-studio artists and live broadcasts, so many that I haven't had time to listen to 'em all. To link just a few: Sleater-Kinney, Camera Obscura, the Long Winters, Mates of State, the Stills, and the Essex Green. Whoever's in charge of audio scheduling over there, give 'em a raise. Especially if they also picked Midlake's 'Roscoe' as a recent 'song of the day'.
Speaking of Sleater-Kinney, it's worth checking out Superchunk/Portastatic/Merge main-man Mac McCaughan's brief goodbye to them over on his blog. Grab mp3s from S-K's very last show at RySpace while you're at it.
Another artist featured on NPR over the summer was the where-you-been World Party. I've been a Karl Wallinger admirer since the first time I saw him sitting at a piano in the Waterboy's 'The Whole of the Moon' video in 1986, and was saddened to read about the aneurysm he had back in 2001. That was in the wake of being fairly screwed over by his backing band and record label (who, behind his back, recorded and released one of his songs with Robbie Williams), and even worse, his longtime manager passing away. It took him awhile to recover from the physical and mental hardship, but he reemerged earlier this year to put out the long-finished album 'Dumbing Up' in the U.S. (which was out years ago in the UK), released on his own Seaview Records imprint, as well as remastered versions of the World Party back catalogue. While 'Dumbing Up' didn't do much for me, now that Wallinger's back in the game (the band played Bonnaroo this summer), I'd imagine he'll be spending lots more time in his home studio.
Stream: �What Does it Mean Now?� (wma hi / wma med)
Another swell Essex Green studio session, this one on KEXP. Songs played: 'This Isn't Farm Life', 'Penny & Jack', 'Rue de Lis', 'Cardinal Points', 'Sin City', and 'Don't Know Why (You Stay)'.
My favorite part?...
Chris: 'It's too early in the day for rock and roll'.
Jeff: 'But is it too early for "60s retro-pop"?'.
Check out a bunch of nice photos (and autographs... rockstars!) from that previously mentioned Essex Green NPR broadcast (which was live at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, over at Hugh Shows. Hugh's also got some great shots of Cat Power & the Memphis Rhythm Band in Pittsburgh from back in July.
Here, lemme rapid-fire some new music links at you...
I'm planning on writing more about this, but for now: Go check out the excellent Band in Boston podcast. We've needed something like that around here for a long time, and I'm very glad that it not only exists, but is being done so well. Cheers to that.
I'm not even halfway through the things I want to write about, but I think it's time to let this one fly. I'll end with free stuff...
I've got an extra copy of ex-Pedro the Lion and current-Headphones/solo guy David Bazan's super-fine 10-track EP, 'Fewer Moving Parts' for giveaway, so drop me an email (link at lower left) with a subject line of 'Gimme Bazan!' before the end of the day Monday. Include your mailing address (U.S. or Canada only), and I'll randomly pick a winner on Tuesday morning. Easy enough.
Not familiar with Mr. Bazan? Shame on you. Get yourself over to BrooklynVegan and read a recent interview with the man himself.
Oh, and if you discovered the Almanac thanks to that recent Boston Globe online feature on area audioblogs, I welcome you. If you're here because of the print version of said article, well then, I'm sorry you had to see that way-too-close-up photo of me on a Saturday morning. Hey, at least it didn't go digital.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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