The first single off Matt & Kim’s third studio album Sidewalks was officially released today, and we’ve included the stream of the song below. Matt & Kim posted the following on their website:
“I checked today’s weather: It’s supposed to be 95 in Brooklyn, 99 in Phoenix, and 90 in Kalamazoo, MI. So do me a favor. Open all your windows, cut off your sleeves, and stand up on some furniture… THEN put this song on. I think we can extend this summer right through the fall.”
Sidewalks is slated to be released in November (per the duo’s Twitter announcement), so until then you can grab the download of “Cameras”HERE, as well as enjoy some live Matt & Kim, as the band will be out on tour. We’ve posted their September dates below, and for a full tour schedule, click here.
09/15/2010 Syracuse – The Westcott Theater
09/16/2010 Cleveland – The Beachland Ballroom
09/17/2010 Columbus – Newport Music Hall
09/18/2010 Detroit – Majestic Theater
09/19/2010 Chicago – Metro
09/21/2010 Madison – Majestic Theater
09/22/2010 Minneapolis – First Avenue
09/23/2010 Lawrence – The Granada Theatre
09/24/2010 Denver – Ogden Theater
09/25/2010 Columbia – Virgin Mobile FreeFest – Merriweather Post Pavilion
09/27/2010 Vancouver – The Rickshaw Theatre
09/28/2010 Seattle – Showbox
09/29/2010 Portland – Roseland Theater
09/30/2010 San Francisco – The Fillmore
I’ll always remember when I first heard Little Big Town… I was sitting nervously in the ASCAP building lobby in Nashville… I had an important meeting and was oblivious to the world until I saw the video for LBT’s “Boondocks.” That song is SO well done. It kept me riveted to the the television until my name was called to go upstairs. I picked up their sophomore album, The Road To Here, immediately following the meeting (it went well, in case you were wondering) and spun it religiously for about 10,000 years.
I thought The Road To Here was the best album of 2005, and even told LBT that when I met them backstage at a show. I remember telling them that The Road To Here is where country music SHOULD be headed, and that they needed to stay on that vibe because it was so unique at the time. I then went on for about 10 minutes on the finer points. Yeah, I was a bit buzzed at the time, but they listened politely and even autographed my CD. Nice folk, that LBT.
How does this new one stand up? Did Little Big Town find their footing again? Did they take my advice? Will Jack ever see Janet or Terri naked (I thought Terri was SO much sexier than Chrissy)? Will Mr. Furley ever get Lana in the sack? Read on and all your questions will be answered…
For those that aren’t familiar with The Road To Here, let me explain what I loved about it, for it’ll help you understand this review. The Road To Here had character and contained songs that had everything I think a good song should have: good lyrics, singable melodies, catchy hooks… but the music itself had distinct grooves, riffs, and attitude. I love it when I can tell which song it is just by hearing the song’s riff. I thought, at the time, country music was missing that quality. There were way too many strumming songs and not enough riffs. Don’t judge me… I’m a riff kind of guy.
Well, The Reason Why is a slight return to that winning combination. The first single, “Little White Church,” was released back in March and hit the top 20. It’s a fun little ditty… nothing spectacular to me… I remember I actually said, “Awwwww, s**t!” when I discovered that LBT sang it. But I’ll give “Little White Church” this much… it had the riff (kinda), it had a groove (kinda), and those big harmonies LBT’s known for.
“What?” you ask? How can this be? How can I sum up an entire album so simply? Well, you see, it’s easy when an album doesn’t really take an artist anywhere. It’s easy when an album is just THERE. It doesn’t “wow,” it doesn’t “yowza,” it doesn’t even really go past “cool.” It’s just THERE.
The Reason Why starts off on a HUGE miss for me because the first chord progression I hear is that of “Louie, Louie,” perhaps the most overused chord progression in the history of music. The song is pleasant to hear, but nothing that is anything different than what you could hear at any time of the day on any country music station.
“What?” you ask? How can this be? How can I sum up an entire album so simply? Well, you see, it’s easy when… wait… didn’t we just do this?
The Reason Why will probably sell well. It doesn’t have any annoying songs on it, but it also doesn’t have any amazing ones, either. I can liken this record to vanilla ice cream… it gets the job done but it would be SO much better with toppings.
What I think the problem with LBT is that although they sound good, there’s nothing distinct about them anymore. They’ve been compared to Fleetwood Mac, which was a sound comparison back in 2005, but doesn’t stand in 2010. The Mac had personalities that you could hear IN the songs. Each songwriter wrote in their own way, and had a singular voice within the group. With LBT, it doesn’t really matter who sings which songs anymore… they’ll have the same meaning.
Without this personality, The Reason Why doesn’t really stand out from the pack… and sadly enough, even the album artwork reflects this. I mean, LOOK at that cover… I could have taken that picture. It’s insulting when artists don’t pay attention to the artwork because it IS an integral part of the whole experience, no matter what people may say.
What I’d love to hear is for them to build on the sound they discovered back in 2005. I’m not saying that they should return to that sound, but what I’d love to hear is for them to see how far they could have TAKEN that sound… stretch themselves and discover the individual characteristics of the members… The Reason Why sounds like a weak copy of themselves rather than a step forward. It’s just not an essential album for LBT or for country music. You can skip this one and not miss a thing.
Sure, I’ll probably spin The Reason Why every now and then because the songs aren’t bad, but it won’t be the first one I reach for. If you’re unfamiliar with LBT, it’s a good place to start… but keep in mind that there was so much promise 5 years ago, and I’d say that’s where you should start looking.
It’s Tuesday, which means it’s new release day, and once again we’ve got a bunch of new music to share with you. There are some great releases this week… as always, if you like what you hear, stop by your local record store or your favorite online music shop, and support the artists we’ve featured below.
The Weepies – Be My Thrill
The Weepies started out as an indie duo playing house concerts and have since progressed into a duo that ranks on the Billboard charts. And while the band has kept a low profile recently, not touring at all since 2006, they were kept in the spotlight by the use of their songs in TV shows and movies, as well as in a prominent campaign ad for Barack Obama.
The band is back with their new album, Be My Thrill, the third in a trilogy for Nettwerk Records. This is what the duo had to say about the making of the record: “”This is the most fun we’ve had making a record,” says Deb. “We took as much time as we needed at every step, and taking that pressure off made the whole thing a little lighter.”
“It took a year,” adds Steve. “We wrote something like 70 tunes, and were able to experiment quite a bit before these 14 songs emerged as the record.”
The Weepies have a 36 city Fall tour coming up in October. To see if they’ll be playing a venue near you, click here.
Your Dig-It But Can’t Download:
Be My Thrill – From Be My Thrill
The album was recorded in various Los Angeles studios and at the band’s Buffalo studio. Of the songs on the album, John Rzeznik says, “I wanted some of the material on this album to address the disillusionment of the difficult period we live in; I wanted to give a voice to the emotional uncertainty that accompanies hard times. So many people are struggling to keep it together through tough economic conditions and two wars that seem to have no end in sight. The ones who bear the brunt of these burdens are everyday people. That’s who I want to speak to.”
Friend of the site, Jeff Giles, recently reviewed Something for the Rest of Us for esdmusic.com. Check out what he had to say about the record here.
The Goo Goo Dolls will be participating in a live ustream session today (8/31) at 12:00pm PT. Fans will be able to chat live with the band and ask them questions about the new album and tour. Go here to join in. Also, tune in to NBC on September 1st to see the Goo Goo Dolls appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Your Dig-It But Can’t Download
Home – From Something for the Rest of Us
Heart the band has gone through many line up changes over the years, but one thing hasn’t changed… the presence of Ann and Nancy Wilson, who have been a part of the band for over 36 years. Over the years Heart has sold more than 30 million records and has had 21 Top 40 hits, including “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On,” “Even It Up,” “Kick It Out”, “These Dreams,” “Alone,” “What About Love,” “If Looks Could Kill,” “Never,” and so many more. The band is now releasing their 13th studio album, Red Velvet Car, the first release for Heart in six years.
I haven’t heard the record yet, but the LA Times gave it a 3.5/4 stars, saying that “Thirty-four years after the band’s debut, Heart’s dreamboat sails on.”
Your Dig-It But Can’t Download:
Sand – From Red Velvet Car
Get this song as a FREE download on Amazon.com by clicking HERE.
We talked about Jenny and Johnny‘s latest release, I’m Having Fun Now, earlier this month. Just to remind you… Jenny and Johnny is a duo created by Rilo Kiley‘s Jenny Lewis and singer-songwriter Johnathan Rice. The two became a team both personally and professionally, and after collaborating together over the years, are now releasing their debut album as Jenny and Johnny.
In describing their debut, they say, “Gone were the vintage, classic-rock textures of their previous two albums, and in came a brand new sound which was tougher around the edges. The exuberance of love songs like Scissor Runner mask some of the record’s darkness, with Lewis chronicling the economic demise of her beloved California in Big Wave, Rice’s haunting vocal on Animal, and both songwriters raising a middle-finger kiss off in the acerbic My Pet Snakes. The overall result is genuine and original pop music for Right Now. This is not a Rilo Kiley record, a Jenny Lewis record, or a Johnathan Rice record. This is Jenny and Johnny. They’re having fun now, and they want you to, too.”
I don’t know much about Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses, but what I’ve heard so far, I am digging. Their new album, Junky Star is the third release from Bingham and his bandmates. The first major label debut, Roadhouse Sun, was released in 2009 (both via Lost Highway Records).
Bingham performed two songs for the soundtrack of the movie Crazy Heart, including “I Don’t Know,” and the theme song, “The Weary Kind.” In 2010 Bingham received the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for “The Weary Kind”, and the song was chosen as Best Original Song at the 2010 Academy Awards.
From Amazon.com: “When there are a lot of people around saying ‘look, you have to capitalize on this and do something really commercial,’ you might think about it for a second,” admits the LA-based singer-songwriter. “But at the end of the day, there’s not a chance in hell I could do that. It made me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. I couldn’t get up in front of people and play a bunch of stuff that didn’t mean anything to me.”
Bingham puts that philosophy to the test in a big way on Junky Star, his third album on Lost Highway, which was recorded in a matter of days with producer T Bone Burnett, his collaborator on the Crazy Heart soundtrack. The disc delivers a bracing fusion of pensive, gravelly ballads – like “Hallelujah,” which is not a Leonard Cohen cover, but his own take on mortality, delivered from the other side of the veil – and raw, rock’n’roll cuts that showcase Bingham’s incisive, darkly compelling lyrical bent.”
Take a listen to a live performance of “Hallelujah” below. Junky Star is currently on sale in the Amazon.com MP3 store for $3.99. Click HEREto pick it up.
Those are just a few of the new releases for this week. Make sure to stop back regularly to see what new music is popping up on the site, or even better, subscribe to stay updated on all the latest happenings.
It’s always fun when artists first try out new material in front of a live audience. Two things can happen:
1) There’s polite applause at the end of the song and then someone yells out, “FREEBIRD!!!!”
2) People go nuts over it because they long for anything new from the artist
Well, it appears that Lady Gaga tried out a new song titled “Living on the Radio” on Monday night in St. Paul, MN. and got result #2. “Living on the Radio” is a piano ballad and she’s performing it in what appears to be her underwear… something I wish all sexy female pianists would do… the video below actually contains decent audio…
… you know, just hit “play” and then we’ll discuss afterwards.
That’s a nice song. It’s good to hear her voice without all the effects. From what I’ve read, Gaga isn’t sure if the song will end up on an album… so we might have to settle for either better recordings of it or this video for proof that the song exists.
And seeing as I have no more info on this song, I’ll just let The Dude take it away…
Waitaminute… what’s even MORE unbelievable than THAT is that the name Justin Bieber actually appeared on this site!!!!
Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.
So the story goes that Kanye tweeted something about what he was listening to, and one of those songs happened to be Bieber’s “Runaway Love.”
Bieber then tweeted back with, “@kanyewest it’s not a so what moment for me. I’m 16 and a fan. I’m kinda hyped u are listening to my stuff. Thank u. Nice sunday morning.”
To which Kanye replied with, “An I’m honored that you like my Music @JustinBieber!!! You gotta hear the album. Maybe we can do something together. Me, You and Raekwon.”
It was then that Bieber answered with, “@kanyewest me, u, and the chef 2gether on a song = EPIC. haha. might sound crazy 2 u but even having this convo is living the dream. thanks.”
And then I interrupted with, “@kanyewest and @JustinBieber, sittin’ in a tree… T-W-E-E-T-I-N-G!!!!”
I never got a reply from them… that made me sad.
Anyhow, the remix is done for the whole world to hear. I’ve never heard “Runaway Love” before, so I’m unable to speak about this with any authority… but I do know that my buddy Quinn probably let me hear Wu-Tang Clan’s “”Wu Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit” at some point in my life… oh, in case you didn’t know, that Wu-Tang Clan track is used in this remix.
This remix will undoubtedly be a huge hit because of how far and wide the artists’ fanbases are… I bet you even Xin Long Hua of the Zhuang Jia Shan village in China will know it.
I’m wondering if this collaboration is part of Kanye’s attempt to reinvent himself… to get away from the pompous, arrogant, and self-serving Kanye we’ve all grown to love. It doesn’t seem like it since the whole thing stemmed from a casual tweet, but you never know…
The music blog We Listen For You came up with a fun and unique video that not only highlights the band The Pass and the track, “Vultures,” off their new album, Burst (out September 21st), but it also has some hidden and not-so-hidden references to over 30 music blogs & sites in the video.
To make it all even more exciting, WLFY is having a contest seeing who can identify the most music blog/music site references… and you know how much we love contests here at TheFrontloader.com. So, we wanted to help spread the word to all of our readers and give you a chance to join in on the fun. We’ve been watching the video off and on for the past hour or so, and we’ve got our list started… so far we can see that TheFrontloader.com has been referenced approximately 163 times… which is pretty cool!
Watch the video… and time to start your list!
You can read all the details about the inception and making of the video and how to enter the contest here. The winner will receive a 50 dollar gift certificate to Insound and a cd copy of The Pass‘ debut Burst.
What is The Wilderness Downtown, you ask? Well, Google calls it a “Chrome Experiment.” Arcade Fire calls it an “Interactive Film.” I call it “Pretty Frikkin’ Cool!”
Basically what it is is an interactive HTML 5 music video created by Chris Milk that features Arcade Fire’s song “We Used To Wait” off their latest release, The Suburbs. The project was built with the latest web technologies and includes HTML5, Google Maps, an integrated drawing tool, as well as multiple browser windows that move around the screen.
Sounds pretty frikkin’ cool, doesn’t it?
When you get to The Wilderness Downtown website, it will tell you that it was designed with Google Chrome in mind, so if you don’t have Google Chrome yet, you’ll need to download it “for the best viewing experience.” Might as well join all the other cool people, right? No better time than the present.
Once you’re all set, you’ll be asked to enter the address of the home where you grew up, and off you go.
You can read all about the details of how the video was created here on Google’s official blog.
Check it out and play along here. And of course, once you create your own custom video, you can share it with your friends. The future of music videos, perhaps? What are your thoughts?
I don’t know about you, but it seems that music is getting more and more eclectic… and when I say “eclectic,” I mean “selecting or choosing from various sources” (Dictionary.com). Take Arcade Fire for example. Aside from the expected guitars, drums, bass, and keyboards, this band also uses violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard, French horn, accordion, harp, mandolin and hurdy-gurdy. Hurdy-gurdy??? To all those musicians out there – when was the last time you listened to a track and said, “Not bad, but the song would be KILLER with a shredding hurdy-gurdy solo. Quick, somebody get Loibner Matthias on the line STAT!!!!”
Well, this eclecticism has breathed new life into bands and to the direction of music. Ra Ra Riot can attest to this, and the listeners can only sit back and be grateful for it. Ra Ra Riot includes violin and cello as an integral part of their sound, not merely as pads… their music has been described as BaroqueChamber pop, a style that brings classical music characteristics into the song structure. I guess one can trace this style back to The Beatles‘ “Eleanor Rigby,” but in all honesty it probably found its legs before that classic recording.
So keeping that in mind, Ra Ra Riot‘s latest album, The Orchard, is quite an experience. I won’t say that you’ll find another “Eleanor Rigby” on it, but what you will find are 10 tracks that will leave you with a unique taste in your mouth… whether you will like it or not depends on how committed you want to be to the music.
Before I go on, I must point out how much I enjoyed the musicianship on this record. The rhythm section of bassist Mathieu Santos and drummer Gabriel Duquette creates such a solid and fluid foundation that everything else on top of it feels like pure gravy. Santos’ basslines sound at times random, but when put into context, they leave enough space for the guitars and especially work of violinist Rebecca Zeller and cellist Alexandra Lawn. Milo Bonocci’s guitar takes unexpected turns but never seems to get in the way of the other players. His solos are from left field and even after multiple listens, they never fail to sound new. It’s a great mix of players and even if you don’t end up a fan of the band, you’ll be glad you were a witness to it.
After spinning the The Orchard for the past five days, I’ve jumped back and forth between what I think of it. The first track I heard, “Boy,” was a revelation… the song literally jumped out of the speakers and immediately prompted me to pick up the record. There wasn’t much to dislike about the song, so I was (perhaps ignorantly) expecting the rest of the album to have this characteristic.
As I mentioned, commitment is something to keep in mind in while listening to The Orchard. It was this sense of commitment that I didn’t have on the first few listens of The Orchard. I played and although impressed, didn’t pay much attention to the songs other than the musicianship (which is still something to marvel at). A few of the songs did stand out, like “Too Dramatic” and “Do You Remember,” but not much else. The album did, however, make me want to spin it more… when the last song ended and I turned off the stereo, I knew that I had to go back to spend more time with it. There was something about The Orchard that I couldn’t get out of my head.
Their sound is simply so distinctive.
The first two tracks set up everything you’ll find on The Orchard. From the opening title track (a fine example of the Baroque-pop style mentioned before) to “Boy,” you’ll run through the soft and the upbeat in Ra Ra Riot. These songs are a wonderful set up for the record, as they highlight the unique strings and vocal styling of Wes Miles.
Which, in a way, brings us to the main problem with the record. Although I find Miles’ vocals to be a nice fit to the songs, his choice of vocal lines are often disjointed and do not seem to be as memorable as the music underneath. It’s difficult to follow the melodies as they sound more like stream of consciousness, and in the end they jump around so much that they become an irritating aspect to the song. “Robotic” is a word that kept running through my mind while listening to his singing.
But when Miles is on, he’s on. The heart stopping “Do You Remember” finds his vocals as intangible as ever in the verses, but when he hits the chorus, it seems like everything suddenly becomes clear and you never want the song to end. I would have loved to have more moments like that on The Orchard, but they were few and far between.
I enjoyed most all the tracks, but found “Massachusetts” to be 5:39 too long, and although I found the next song, “You and I Know,” to be a nice break from Miles’ vocals, the robotic delivery persisted which sapped all emotion out of the beautiful track. I’m sure it was Miles’ performance on “Kansai” that made the song unlistenable to me. He sounds so “meh” on the opening lines that it made me feel “meh” as well.
So for me, it came down to overcoming the vocals in order to dive deeper into the music. Personally, I prefer more flowing vocals to those found on here, but that’s just taste. I’ll admit that it took me a few listens to get used to Pearl Jam‘s “Jeremy,” but once I “got” it, I couldn’t hear it any other way. Perhaps the melodies of Ra Ra Riot will grow on me as well. I’m hoping they do because their music is too good to be ignored.
Would I recommend The Orchard? I would definitely say yes, but keep in mind where I’m coming from… get used to the vocals and you’ll find a treasure within the 10 tracks. Should you pick up the album, take the time and you will be rewarded.
I’d love to hear where Ra Ra Riot goes from here. They’ve got everything they need, just a bit more focus on the vocals. I’m sure they aren’t going for a #1 radio hit, so I’m not asking them to drop their singular style… I’d just like to hear a less mechanical deliver and structure. The Orchard should not be dismissed or missed. Like I said, I’ve gone from brushing it off to recommending it in five days… imagine how I’ll feel in a month or two.
I think music is becoming more eclectic, and with albums like The Orchard out there, I’m sure the irregular will soon become regular and vice versa. I can’t wait for that to happen.
Bruce Springsteen is awesome… “Born to Run” is awesome… I’m guessing that most everyone here knows this, but how do you reach those poor unfortunate souls that don’t know this awesomeness?
Well, you do something like this… last night Jimmy Fallon, along with Tina Fey, Jon Hamm, and members of the Glee cast opened the 2010 Emmy Awards with a Glee’d out performance of “Born to Run”. The show started out with a skit that included cameos from Betty White, Tim Gunn, reality star Kate Gosselin (Who??? And why is she famous again?), Jane Lynch, the Glee cast, and several other stars.
Take a look at the opening skit and performance below (song starts about 2:30 in):
Fallon lived out one of my fantasies… to shove that red baseball cap in our back pocket, strap on the Esquire/Telecaster hybrid and rock out in front of a bazillion people nationwide. He’s a lucky man. After the performance, Bruce called me up and asked why he wasn’t invited to participate.
“Well, Bruce… maybe because somebody told them you hated each and every person working the Emmys,” I said.
“What? Who would say such a thing?”
“Well, maybe someone who you owe money to… like say in the amount of $82.35?” I told him.
“Motherf***er, I’m gonna get you… you’d better be born to run your little Asian butt off!”
One last note… I think Betty White has found her second wind. Everything she does now is an absolute RIOT! And I’ve never watched Glee… how can you tell the girls from the boys in that show?
“Mama Said Knock You Out” was the first hip-hop album I ever bought. I recall seeing the LL Cool J video for the single and said to myself, “HOLY S**T!!!!” when it was over. The unfortunate thing was that my mom was in the room at the time, so I got in big trouble for my potty mouth. That kind of took the wind out of my sails, but who cares because I had found a great song to latch onto.
So I was really excited to see this free Mama Said Knock You Out 20th Anniversary Remix Album by KevinNottingham.com.
On August 27, 1990 LL Cool J teamed up with legendary producer Marley Marl to create one of my favorite hip hop albums of all time, Mama Said Knock You Out. “Don’t call it a comeback!” 20 years later, we here at KevinNottingham.com have gathered producers and emcees from all over the globe to remix a classic.
It all started 8 months ago with a weekly remix contest challenging producers to flip the original samples Marley Marl used to create the production for the album. 15 weeks later, the winning beats were chosen and the quest to find the right emcees to hop on these joints began.
After 8 months of hard work, I believe we have an album that greatly pays tribute to the original. Special thanks goes out to DJ Blacquestarr, DJ Grain, and Thomas (of KN.com) for helping with the contest. Thank you also to all the producers and emcees involved in this project… job well done. Last but not least, thanks to LL Cool J and Marley Marl for laying the blueprint and providing the inspiration for making this remix album possible.
I hope you all enjoy this remix album…
Whether you’re a hip-hop fan or not, you’ve got to admit that “Mama Said Knock You Out” is just about as bad-ass as bad-ass can get. This track taught me just how powerful hip-hop is. For me, Cool J’s attitude as he spits out the lyrics has been unmatched.
Come on, now… you know you want to check this out… it’s FREE.