The Jayhawks were definitely swimming against the tide when they emerged from a crowded Minneapolis music scene halfway through the 1980s - a memorable decade that saw the likes of the Replacements, Soul Asylum, Husker Du and Prince put Minnesota on the musical map in a big way. Forging a rootsy sound that wasn't quite rock or country - "Hank Williams on speed" somebody once memorably called it - The Jayhawks quickly turned into one of the most important bands of the post-punk era. Over the course of two decades, several albums, countless memorable live shows and enough personal drama to fill a couple of Behind the Music episodes, this beloved band soared to heights few ever achieve while wining the hearts and minds of numerous critics, fans and peers in the process. Named after "The Hawks" - as in "Levon and the Hawks," the name of Dylan's backing band in the 60s before they became known as "The Band" - The Jayhawks and their fellow travelers even helped make the world safe again for artists who weren't afraid to fuse traditional rock, country and folk influences into something that was both timeless and modern, just like the best American bands always have, and now they're back with their famous, original line up!
As Broooce has dusted off an overlooked gem from his Darkness sessions, Rendezvous, it is time to remind ourselves of the first official release of this track, and the album On The Line.
This is the second album of Gary US Bonds that Springsteen was involved with, Dedication preceding it, and this time Springsteen provides most of the songs and shares production duties with Miami Steve Van Zandt. The album is basically Gary US Bonds and the E Street band and well worth seeking out.
The album has a much more soulful feel to it and there are several standout tracks including Rendezvous,
Out Of Work and a cracking version of Soul Deep.
Songs for Drella (1990) remains a highlight in both Cale and Reed's lengthy careers- it forms part of Reed's strongest trilogy of albums since the Velvets demise (the others being New York, 1988 & Magic&Loss, 1992) Reed & Cale had infamously fallen out when in The Velvet Underground & had not worked together since- this collaboration, along with Moe Tucker's contribution to New York, would lead to the VU temporarily reforming (the resulting live album containing some wonderful takes on classics like Beginning to See the Light & Femme Fatale).
Songs for Drella is one based around a limited musical soundscape (Reed on Vocals/Guitar; Cale on keyboards/vocals/viola) & one that has a sense of improvisation. It was a work primarily written for performance- like Tom Waits recent Alice/Blood Money setz- so perhaps some of the songs are more theatrical than melodic; but I like the whole journey around a fictional take on Warhol's life from people who were once close to him...(the final track on New York leads here...)
The tracks with Cale on lead vocals stand out- Style It Takes (wonderfully performed on Fragments for a Rainy Season),Trouble with Classicists (great guitar from Reed), A Dream & (especially) Forever Changed stand out. Reed also gets to sing some great songs- the amusing Smalltown, the ethos of Work (up there with There is No Time), the spleen-venting I Believe (Valerie Solanis surfacing...) & especially the touching Hello It's Me- which shows that its possible to continue discourse with the dead: "I know it's late in coming but it's the only way I know/Hello it's me- goodnight Andy.../Goodbye Andy"-
Nonesuch Records will release k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang's Sing it Loud on April 12, 2011. Produced by lang and Joe Pisapia, it is the award-winning singer-songwriter's first record made entirely with a band of her own since the pair of albums with the Reclines that launched her groundbreaking career over 20 years ago.
This collection of songs reflects the organic, collaborative nature of the sessions, which took place at Pisapia's Middletree Studios in Nashville. Many of the songs were recorded live in the studio and that energy is palpable. The lead single "I Confess" is one of three songs lang penned with keyboardist Daniel Clarke and Joshua Grange, who plays baritone guitar and dobro. In addition to the original material, Sing it Loud includes a striking version of Talking Heads' "Heaven". Pisapia, who plays numerous instruments and serves as the band's musical director, contributed the title track and co-wrote five songs with lang. Bassist Lex Price (Mindy Smith, Peter Bradley Adams) and drummer/percussionist Fred Eltringham (The Wallflowers) complete the lineup.
Beginning today, fans that sign up for lang's newsletter at www.kdlang.com will receive a free download of "Perfect Word" a track from the new album. Pre-orders of Sing it Loud begin on February 7 on kdlang.com and nonesuch.com and include a manuscript lyric sheet, a limited number of which will be signed by k.d. (The version of the album available from those sites includes four additional tracks.) Sing it Loud is lang's first studio album since 2008's Watershed, which debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. In 2010, she marked the 25th anniversary of her recording debut with
Set your alarm clock! 16th April is record store day and as usual The Boss is setting up proceedings with an exclusive release ten-inch featuring two live tracks from the December 2010 carousel performance -- the first and only live performance of these songs to date -- "Gotta Get That Feeling" and "Racing in the Street ('78)." The record will come in a picture sleeve featuring a historical shot from when the carousel itself was up and running in Asbury Park.
Like last year I warned it could be a US only release but lets hope not!