Archive for the ‘ALBUMS’ Category

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On this day in Alarm History… the original worldwide release of “Strength” 30 years ago today on October 1st 1985.

The band’s classic album Strength has been expanded, remastered and revised for future generations to enjoy. All tracks have been remastered from the original master tapes by Mike Peters and Pete Maher with extensive sleeve notes and quotes from original band members, plus a host of previously unseen photographs.

2CD – The best Alarm album is now reissued on Double CD / Digipak with the original 1985 US album pressing (which includes the band’s preferred version of Absolute Reality that was left off the UK Version of the album).

CD 1 features the US album along with the original 1985 7” version of Strength (with the guitar / vocal beginning), that has never been issued on CD before along with the 1986 7” single version of Spirit Of ‘76 which is also making its first ever appearance on CD. All four original Strength period B-sides are included also.

CD 2 features 22 previously unreleased album session recordings including outtake versions (with different lyrics and guitar parts), for every song on Strength including an outtake of the unreleased electric version of One Step Closer To Home. An in studio jam session of spontaneous and impromptu covers of Led Zeppelin, TheWho, Free, T-Rex, Lou Reed and Deep Purple are featured between tracks along with a complete run through of the previously unreleased live in the studio version of Rod Stewart’s Maggie May which segues into re-workings of The Beat’s Stand Down Margaret and Bob Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm, providing a fascinating insight into The Alarm working together in the studio on the way to creating their magnum opus.

2LP – Side 1 and 2 features the UK album remastered from original 1985 mix and running order. Side 3 and 4- Features 9 demo tapes for the original album concept of Absolute Reality including 3 previously unreleased songsSons Of Divorce, Black Side Of Fortune and Memorial Day. All the demos were recorded with Strength album recording engineer Nigel Luby and feature raw versions of Knife Edge and We Are Majority both with different lyrics along with the original version of Deeside which was then known as Steeltown. The album also includes the Strength’ era soundcheck demo of the title song and two other unreleased studio demos of In The Cold Light Of Day(which was originally written for The Who’s Roger Daltrey), and Dave Sharp’s River Still To Cross.

I wish the original line up had stayed together (no disrespect intended to current/past members). The energy & passion created by The Alarm live throughout the 80’s all the way through to Brixton 91 are some of the greatest memories I have. I love watching these videos and reliving it all over again. Much love & best wishes to all members of the The Alarm (past & present) and especially to Mr Peters MBE for keeping the dream alive

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Cream

Cream, live at the Sports Arena, San Diego on 20th October 1968 Worn out by touring and personal disagreements, Cream agreed to disband after a farewell tour in October 1968. Recorded in outstanding fidelity for broadcast on KPRO-FM, this outstanding gig features a cross-section of their best-loved material, and clearly indicates why they were regarded as the pre-eminent rock band of their day. It’s presented here together with background notes and images.

Cream were a 1960s British rock power trio consisting of drummer Ginger Baker, guitarist/singer Eric Clapton and bassist/singer Jack Bruce. The group’s third album, “Wheels of Fire” (1968), was the world’s first platinum-selling double album. The band is widely regarded as the world’s first successful supergroup. In their career, they sold more than 15 million copies of their albums worldwide. Their music included songs based on traditional blues such as “Crossroads” and “Spoonful”, and modern blues such as “Born Under a Bad Sign”, as well as more current material such as “Strange Brew”, “Tales of Brave Ulysses” and “Toad”.

Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals Jack Bruce – bass, vocals Ginger Baker – drums, percussion

2LP – Double 180 Gram Red and Purple Marbled Vinyl in Hand Numbered Gatefold Sleeve. Limited to 1000 Copies.

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Beirut

Beirut release their fifth studio LP Gallipoli via 4AD Records. The 12-track album, Gallipoli, started life in the winter of 2016, with Zach Condon returning to his old Farfisa organ, the same one used to write the first two Beirut albums (2006’s Gulag Orkestar and the following year’s The Flying Club Cup), which he inherited from a traveling circus when he was a teenager.  Following recording stints in New York and Berlin (where he now calls home), Condon settled in Sudestudio, a studio complex deep in rural Puglia, southern Italy.  It was here that he rediscovered the old joys of music as a visceral experience which became the founding principle for Gallipoli.

The band performed on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on 7th February and CBS Saturday Morning on 9th February.

“Triumphant and understated.” – NPR Music
Gallipoli is the sound of one of our most talented musicians rediscovering his love for what he was born to do.” – The Line Of Best Fit (9/10)
“His best album in years, arguably his best yet… sumptuously romantic, restlessly inventive, emotionally generous and stylistically bold.” – Uncut (8/10) 
“Impressive.” – Q ****
“Swooningly gorgeous and rich.” – Under The Radar (8/10)
“Exquisit world music experiment” – Popmatters
“A hug of a record.” – Record Collector ****
“Creates nostalgia for something lost…  bound to no time or place.” – Cool Hunting

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Holly Herndon operates at the nexus of technological evolution and musical euphoria. Holly’s third full-length album titled “Proto” to be released 10th May 2019 isn’t about A.I., but much of it was created in collaboration with her own A.I. ‘baby’, Spawn. For the album, she assembled a contemporary ensemble of vocalists, developers and an inhuman intelligence housed in a DIY souped-up gaming PC to create a record that encompasses live vocal processing and timeless folk singing, and places an emphasis on alien song craft and new forms of communion.

Proto makes reference to what Holly refers to as the protocol era, where rapidly surfacing ideological battles over the future of A.I. protocols, centralised and decentralised internet protocols, and personal and political protocols compel us to ask ourselves who are we, what are we, what do we stand for, and what are we heading towards?

Since her arrival in 2012, Holly Herndon has successfully mined the edges of electronic and Avant Garde pop and emerged with a dynamic and disruptive canon of her own, all while studying for her soon-to-be-completed PhD at Stanford University, researching machine learning and music.  Her LP Platform closed out 2015 by gracing year-end lists from Pitchfork, The Guardian, NME, and The Wire.  In the aftermath, Radiohead hand-picked her to open up their European tour.

Just as Platform forewarned of the manipulative personal and political impacts of prying social media platforms long before popular acceptance, PROTO is a euphoric and principled statement setting the shape of things to come.

The acclaimed performer and composer reveals new single ‘Eternal’, a ghostly transmission inspired by ideas of eternal love through mind uploading; a modern-day vampire story.  Punctuated by grandiose orchestration and the voices of her Berlin-based vocal ensemble, the accompanying video was constructed from footage processed from the perspective of an intelligent machine, analysing and searching for a face, yearning for a connection.

New album “Proto” released 10th May 2019

No Words Left was recorded in Brighton, produced by Tim Bidwell and mixed by Cenzo Townsend.

We last heard from Lucy Rose with the release of 2017’s “Something’s Changing”, a record that heralded a new outlook for the musician who was re-evaluating what she wanted to do and how she wanted to do it.

If Something’s Changing was an artist rediscovering their voice, No Words Left is Lucy Rose using that voice to devastatingly frank effect. Lyrically and musically fearless, this record is a beautifully intense, but often unsettling listen. It’s a body of work, a fine modern example of the enduring strength of the album format.

Describing the record and its process, Lucy explains: “Releasing this record feels entirely different to every other record I’ve released. But to try and sum up my emotions is virtually impossible. “I don’t believe this the best album I’ve ever made because I don’t believe in making comparisons when it comes to music. But it’s different.

“In every way I’ve approached writing, recording and now releasing music, it’s been different. I’ve lost all consciousness in caring and it’s been liberating. It is what it is. It’s a feeling, it’s a song, it’s a sound, it’s a part of me which I can’t decipher whether it’s good or bad, but it’s sincere. I recently learnt that the word sincere is derived from the Latin sine = without, cera = wax due to dishonest sculptors in Rome or Greece covering flaws in their work with wax to deceive the viewer. So, a sculpture “without wax” would mean honesty in its perfection.

“That really struck a chord with me as sincerity really is the key to this record. It’s my truth. Sincerity is the truth of a person, not just the good but the bad: the flaws, the realness, which can never be ‘perfect’. This album reflects the reality of my life, the toughness life throws at you, and for a period of time it did become too much for me to handle alone.

“I could try to explain more about each song but in all honesty, I can’t particularly remember writing them, the feeling being too strong and too big for me to comprehend. But songs came out and through writing them and working through my thoughts I saw the truth lying in front of me and a way to move forward.

“I always hope my music would be a comfort to someone, however this record may not be the easiest listen. But it’s in its discomfort I believe a different form of comfort can be found. I’m certain of it. “

Wow, time has really flown and it’s only one week until you will be able to hear ‘No Words Left’ and what’s been in my head this last year. Today I want to share with you another song from the album, which is so important to me.

‘Treat Me Like A Woman’ was written one afternoon in Munich after a combination of events which pushed me to think about the way people interact with me purely based on my gender. I’ve often thought things like, ‘Would that have happened to me if I was a man?’ and a feeling of lack of respect at times purely because I’m a woman.

Universal Music will, in November, issue Mental Train: The Island Years 1969-1971, a new six-disc Mott The Hoople box set which delivers everything the band recorded during their time at Island Records including many bonus tracks and unreleased material.

Mental Train includes the four albums – Mott The Hoople(1969),Mad Shadows (1970), Wildlife (1970) and Brain Capers (1971) – each of which include eight or nine bonus tracks, including A-sides, B-sides, demos, rehearsals and alternate takes.

The fifth CD includes more unheard and unreleased music from the Island archive while the final disc features live material recorded at Fairfield Hall, Croydon on 13th September 1970 and a BBC Radio One In Concert from the Paris Theatre, London on 30th December 1971.

The studio albums have all been remastered from the original tapes (where available) by Andy Pearce and this set comes in what looks like the familiar Universal ‘shoebox’ package (Tears For Fears, Simple Minds etc.) with a a 50-page booklet designed by Phil Smee with sleeve notes by Kris Needs.

6CD box set • Island albums + bonus tracks • disc of unreleased outtakes

For a band lasted a little over five years, the British hard rockers Mott the Hoople managed to squeeze in two golden eras: the one everybody knows, which kicked off in the summer of 1972 when David Bowie handed them a 45 rpm lifeline with the glam-revolution anthem “All the Young Dudes”; and the one that too few people know, a fury of progressive-rock ideas, brass-knuckled application and Ian Hunter’s working-class English-Dylan vocal attack over four albums in the three struggling years covered by this box set.

Named and produced by the lunatic studio savant Guy Stevens, the original Mott guitarist Mick Ralphs, organist Verden Allen, bassist Overend Watts, drummer Dale “Buffin” Griffin and Ian Hunter, the last to join on piano and guitar made luminous trouble, arming the jump and innocence of early rock & roll with the exotic afterburn of psychedelia and the looming force of metal on the late-1969 U.K. debut Mott The Hoople and the swift 1970 followup Mad Shadows. 

As the main writers, often in collaboration, Hunter and Ralphs combined brawny menace and bracing melodicism, blessed with an engine room at once taut and relentless. Some of the tracks across this span got on FM radio in America: the serial explosions of “Thunderbuck Ram” on Mad Shadows; Ralphs’ bright U.S.-tour memoir “Whiskey Women” on 1971’s Wildlife; the dark side of the hippie era that Hunter brought to the Youngbloods’ “Darkness Darkness” on ’71’s Brain Capers. The ones that didn’t get on air still astound: the brawling-Stones rush of “Walking With a Mountain” on Mad Shadows; the fast, feral glee in “The Moon Upstairs” on Brain Capers with its immortal lines, “We ain’t bleeding you/We’re feeding you/But you’re too fucking slow.” New York punks the Dictators used to cover that one live .

The two-plus hours of live and studio bonus material that enrich this telling run from the very beginning (a fragment of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” Hunter’s audition piece when he first sang for the others in 1969) to early versions of songs they carried to their Bowie-triggered resurrection — “One of the Boys”, a prototype of “Momma’s Little Jewel,” both with more formative snarl. On the eve of what Hunter assures will be the last-ever Mott tour — with the surviving members of his ’74 glam gang, guitarist Ariel Bender and pianist Morgan Fisher — it is worth taking a step back to this incisively written, brilliantly detonated mayhem. The best rock & roll stories have glorious endings. Here is one with a roaring, enduring start.

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Last week, Vampire Weekend continued to roll out tracks from their upcoming new album, Father of the Bride” (due out May 3rd via Columbia Records), and today the band shared a new video for one of the new tunes, “Sunshine,” a playful track featuring The Internet’s Steve Lacy.

The video, which was directed by Jonah Hill and features some disorienting camera work, follows Lacy and frontman Ezra Koenig as they walk through Upper East Side Manhattan staples Zabar’s and Barney Greengrass, and happen to run into comedian Jerry Seinfeld at the latter establishment.

Vampire Weekend will play a run of London shows later this month

The Coathangers will perform at NSFWknd.

The Coathangers have been creating their special blend of garage punk for 13 years, and now after a long break in their breakneck recording and touring schedule, they will come back with a matured sound and a fresh new album, The Devil You Know“There’s a big significance,” singer and guitarist Julia Kugel says of the band’s 13-year staying power. “I’ve been doing this for over a third of my life. We’re very lucky to be able to keep doing it.”

Since 2007, the band has kept to a fairly steady release schedule, with an album or EP release just about every other year with a baker’s dozen singles sprinkled throughout and an ambitious touring schedule to boot.

However, after releasing and touring their live album in 2018, the band took the latter half of the year off for some personal time to reflect on themselves, not only as a band but as friends. “Having time off to process,” Kugel says, “gave us some time to write and relax and just be normal — to be in one place for a little bit and not be moving. Then we came back together having reflected on life.

“You know, even with our friendship, sometimes it’s important to just be friends and not bandmates.”

That time to reflect on the band and themselves helped inspire some of the more inward-focused tracks on the new album. “It’s like, ‘Where am I in all of this?’” Kugel says of the new album’s perspective. “We’ve always been pretty honest in our lyrics, and it’s always been personal. But this one we definitely touched on all the most hurtful parts.

The Coathangers new studio album, The Devil You Know, out now on Suicide Squeeze Records.

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John Kilzer, a singer and songwriter from Tennessee whose music career spanned 30 years and who became a pastor after undergoing drug recovery, has died. Kilzer’s death was disclosed Tuesday by St. John’s United Methodist Church in Memphis, where he served as an associate pastor for recovery ministries. A cause of death was not disclosed. The church said in a statement that it was a sudden death.

Throughout his life, Kilzer struggled with his drinking, often courting trouble with the law. It was after an arrest in the early ‘90s that he began his path toward finding sobriety and his religious faith.

A native of Jackson, Tennessee, Kilzer was born in 1957. An All-American high school basketball player, Kilzer came to the City as a highly touted shooting guard for the basketball team Memphis State University in 1975, playing four years for the Tigers.

He eventually became an English teacher at his alma mater, and later began a new life as a musician — in part inspired by a chance dorm room encounter with Mabon “Teenie” Hodges, the famed Hi Records guitarist and songwriter. Hodges had come across Kilzer messing around with a guitar, took an instant liking to him and became his mentor. “If he hadn’t walked in the room that night, I wouldn’t be a songwriter,” Kilzer has said.

Kilzer’s musical career took off in the late 1980s, when he was signed to the Geffen label, releasing a pair of roots-rock records for the company, including his 1988 debut, “Memory in the Making,” I bought this album on vinyl in 1988 when it was originally released and subsequently on CD a number of years later. John Kilzer possesses one of the world’s finest voices, not only does he have a natural ‘gravel over honey’ tone he is one of the finest singers you will ever hear in terms of his ability to effortlessly ‘tell his story’. He communicates emotion in every song that does everything from make you want to get up and dance to conversely breaking your heart. Lyrically Kilzer’s songwriting is incredibly diverse, every song feels natural, thought provoking, beautiful and real, he is an incredibly clever songwriter who never strays into being crass or pseudo intellectual. There are so many poignant moments on this album which hasn’t aged in almost 30 years, the next album In 1991’s “Busman’s Holiday.” including Kilzer song the minor rock radio hit “Red Blue Jeans” — brought him exposure on MTV and television shows like “Melrose Place.”  Roseanne Cash, Trace Adkins and Maria Muldaur are among artists who recorded his songs.

John Kilzer should have been a star, possibily mentioned in the same breath as Tom Petty and especially Bryan Adams. I have loved this album since I first clapped ears on it in the late 80’s , the years have not diminshed the quality of the songwriting and the playing. The obvious reference point is Bryan Adams circa Reckless but you can pick out influence of blue collar rockers like John Mellancamp in some of that fine songs and guitar playing.