Monday, October 14, 2019

The Waterboys bring magic and firepower to the Observatory

The Waterboys performing early in their second
set at The Observatory on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019.
Having been a music writer for most of my life it's hard to believe I had never caught The Waterboys in concert until their show last night (Oct. 13, 2019), when the Mike Scott-led British-Irish band performed at The Observatory in Santa Ana.

I was first introduced to the band with the release of their third album This Is The Sea in late 1985 and I quickly wore out my cassette copy of the album, playing it over and over and over again. I have since purchased several copies of that album on audio CD (including the 2004 expanded reissue edition) along with many more of the troupe's outstanding efforts (Fisherman's Blues, Dream Harder, Universal Hall, An Appointment With Mr. YeatsModern Blues and this year's Where The Action Is are among my other favorites).  

Fast forward 34 years later and it is clear this writer's early connection with Scott's literate and poignant songwriting remains intact. The band's fast-moving two-hour set featured the rich and diverse material that has been a trademark of Scott's acclaimed career. Fans of traditional Celtic, British blues, alt rock and folk all were rewarded with favorites across the wonderful night.

There was no opening act on the bill and fans who arrived on time were rewarded with a concert that was firing on all cylinders from the first note. Opening with the title track on Where The Action Is, Scott and his four-man band would quickly prove they are a tight-knit outfit whose virtuoso skills made navigating the diverse range of material look easy. Scott closed out the opening salvo with some intense fretwork on his electric guitar.

Mike Scott leading The Waterboys in Santa Ana.
"Good evening Santa Ana," Scott said after that powerful opening. 

Now, armed with a 12-string acoustic guitar, Scott led the group through a beautiful and lilting "When Ye Go Away," bolstered by the gorgeous fiddle work of noted Irish musician Steve Wickham. That lovely track segued into several other gems from Fisherman's Blues, including the instrumental "Dunford's Fancy" and a stirring version of the beloved "Fisherman's Blues." This live arrangement of the title track from the band's 1988 album featured a dramatic break featuring Scott's work on the guitar.

Other highlights of the first set included "London Mick" ("We're going to play a song for my favorite member of The Clash" Scott said in his introduction of the new song), the driving "A Girl Called Johnny" featuring Scott's signature work on the keyboards and a ferocious take on "Medicine Bow."

Mike Scott, on right, at The Observatory.
After a short intermission, the quintet returned to the stage and offered up a set as powerful as the first one. "Man, What a Woman" was one several songs played that probed the mysterious and palpable mystery and passion that exists between man and woman. Indeed, not long later a gritty version of the powerful "We Will Not Be Lovers" complete with an explosive finale reinforced Scott's quest to make sense of it all. 

Scott reworked "November Tale"  into an acoustic-styled folk song, playing acoustic guitar and singing the poetic lines with keyboardist Brother Paul Brown added sublime vocal harmonies. 

As powerful as this night was, the last three songs upped the supremacy of the musical event even more. The impassioned "Morning Came Too Soon" led off this stretch, with the rendering of romantic lust presented via a propulsive and hypnotic groove that gave way to a sonic eruption featuring Scott replicating the might of Neil Young's guitar thunder with Crazy Horse via an extended solo.

The genre-defying confessional "In My Time On Earth"  one of the standouts on Where The Action Is closed out the regular set. Scott's rich baritone delivering each line of the incredible song with truth and persuasion.

The five members returned to deliver "The Whole of the Moon" from This Is The Sea for a spirited encore capping a memorable night of original and masterful music making.


Review and photos: Robert Kinsler


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Sights and Sounds: Frank Zappa's legendary 1969 first solo album "Hot Rats" celebrated with massive 50th Anniversary reissue

2019 has seen the release of some pretty special 50th anniversary sets, including The Beatles' 'Abbey Road' deluxe edition. Now comes something to get fans of Frank Zappa completely excited about...


Frank Zappa’s legendary 1969 first solo album, 'Hot Rats,' celebrated with massive 50th Anniversary six-disc collection exploring his groundbreaking work

NEW BOXED SET, "THE HOT RATS SESSIONS," INCLUDES UNRELEASED BASIC TRACKS, RARE AND UNEDITED MIXES, WORK MIXES, RELEVANT NUGGETS FROM ZAPPA’S VAULT, NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN PHOTOS FROM THE RECORDING SESSIONS AND PHOTO SHOOT THAT PRODUCED THE HOT RATS COVER
AND UNIQUE “ZAPPA LAND” BOARD GAME

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 20 VIA ZAPPA RECORDS/UMe

LISTEN TO "IT MUST BE A CAMEL" (1969 MIX OUTTAKE)

Los Angeles – October 10, 2019 – Fifty years ago today, Frank Zappa’s inimitable, groundbreaking first solo album, Hot Rats, was released, putting the songwriter and musician on the map as a virtuosic guitarist and changing the course of music forever with its conceptual, compositional and technological innovations. Self-described as a “movie for your ears,” the mostly instrumental 1969 album was a new musical avenue for Zappa following the dissolution of his band The Mothers Of Invention as he melded the sophistication of jazz with the attitude of rock and roll to create a highly influential masterpiece widely hailed today as a pioneering album of jazz-rock fusion.

On December 20, just one day before what would have been Frank Zappa’s 79th birthday, Zappa Records and UMe will celebrate Hot Rats and the legendary composer’s highly prolific 1969 period with a mammoth six-disc boxed set titled, The Hot Rats Sessions. This expansive new collection documents and compiles every composition recorded during several days in July 1969 when Zappa recorded Hot Rats and a wealth of other material that ended up being used throughout multiple releases during his lifetime. Filled with an abundance of rare and unedited mixes, work mixes, relevant Vault nuggets and complete basic tracks mixed from the original multi-track master tapes by Craig Parker Adams and mastered by Bob Ludwig in 2019, the collection provides a fascinating look into the making of this classic album, and includes essentially every musical entity that was recorded during these iconic sessions.

Overseen by the Zappa Trust and produced by Ahmet Zappa and Zappa Vaultmeister, Joe TraversThe Hot Rats Sessions will be available in a 6CD boxed set and digitally, including Apple Digital Master. This creatively fertile time in Zappa’s career is visually brought to life through a beautiful 28-page booklet featuring striking never-before-seen images of the recording sessions by Bill Gubbinsphotographs of the master tapes and tape boxes, and stunning outtakes from original Hot Rats cover photographer, Andee Nathanson’s shoot with Miss Christine. Nathanson provides the collection’s new cover image and several unreleased photos, all from the same photo shoot, captured on Infrared film which gave the original album its otherworldly look. The photographer vividly details the shoot in the liner notes which also includes essays by Zappa collaborator Ian Underwood and Vaultmeister Travers and an appreciation from “The Simpsons” creator and lifelong Zappa fan Matt Groening, who recounts his first time listening to Hot Rats as a teenager: “From the opening moments of that unforgettable drum fill, I was transported. The kaleidoscopic, calliopean, dare-I-say-callipygian, mini-masterpiece ‘Peaches En Regalia’ elevated my scrawny body into the air, spun me around like a propeller beanie, and melted my brain.”

The Hot Rats Sessions also includes a one-of-a-kind “Zappa Land” board game where fans are tasked with helping Frank get back to the studio to finish Hot Rats. All boxes preordered via Zappa.com will come with an instant grat download of the unreleased outtake, “It Must Be A Camel (1969 Mix Outtake). Listen to the track and preorder The Hot Rats Sessions now: https://UMe.lnk.to/HotRats50thPR

Two exciting new vinyl releases will also be issued to celebrate the 50th anniversary: the original Hot Rats album will be pressed on limited edition translucent hot pink 180-gram vinyl featuring the 1969 mix mastered from the original analog master tapes by Bernie Grundman in 2008 and pressed at Pallas in Germany, and a limited edition 10” picture disc Peaches En Regalia EP will be released in conjunction with Record Store Day’s Black Friday on November 29. The EP has rare mono mixes on Side A of “Peaches En Regalia” and “Little Umbrellas,” intended in 1969 as a promotional single, and the 1969 unreleased rhythm track mixes from the forthcoming boxed set on the flipside.

Hot Rats was composed, arranged, and produced by Zappa who played guitar on all tracks and delivered extraordinary solos throughout. One of the best-selling albums of his career, the six-song record is made up of five instrumentals, including one of his most beloved works, “Peaches En Regalia.” Frequent Zappa collaborator Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart provides his unmistakable vocals to lone non-instrumental, the skronky blues-rock number, “Willie The Pimp.” Star musicians on these sessions include multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood, violinists Don “Sugarcane Harris and Jean Luc Ponty, bassist Max Bennett, drummers Jon Guerin (Max and Jon played together in the famed fusion outfit L.A. Express), Paul Humphrey and Ron Selico, R&B pioneer Johnny Otis and his 15-year-old son, Shuggie Otis who lays down some astounding, ahead of his time bass lines on “Peaches En Regalia” and several other tracks.

The Hot Rats Sessions offers a riveting and revealing fly-on-the-wall experience by showcasing the genesis and evolution of the Hot Rats songs as well as tracks that would be featured on Zappa’s acclaimed albums, Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, Studio Tan and Chunga’s RevengeHot Rats was the first record to be recorded on a prototype 16-track tape machine and this new technology, along with Zappa’s overdub techniques, further inspired him to create and innovate. The first three and a half discs of the set are dedicated to the basic track recording sessions recorded at T.T.G. Studios in Hollywood, California on July 18, 28, 29 and 30th, and allows listeners the opportunity to experience what it would be like to be in the studio as Zappa perfected these compositions. His intense work ethic is on full display and a newfound respect is gained for the choices he made when creating the final masterwork.

The fifth and sixth discs of the set presents the original Hot Rats album with Zappa’s 1987 digital re-mix along with an assortment of extras such as vintage promotional audio ads for the album, the mono singles of “Peaches En Regalia” and “Little Umbrellas” and rare mixes of more than a dozen tracks. The Hot Rats Sessions is rife with unreleased session material and also includes the first-ever official release of “Bognor Regis,” and several unedited masters of songs like “Peaches En Regalia,” “Twenty Small Cigars,” “Toads Of The Short Forest,” “Lil’ Clanton Shuffle” and “Directly From My Heart To You.”

The Hot Rats Sessions provides an awe-inspiring snapshot of an especially productive time for Zappa, who in the year 1969 alone, outside of his own projects, produced Captain Beefheart’s outsider classic, Trout Mask Replica and the one and only album for The GTO’s, toured and had his second child. With this new, exciting deep dive, fans can explore one of Zappa’s most revered records like never before and experience how it coalesced to become one of the greatest albums of all time.

This month, just in time for Halloween, Zappa’s two complete Halloween shows recorded on October 31, 1973 in Chicago will be released on October 25 via Zappa Records/UMe. These completely unreleased live recordings total more than four and a half hours and feature songs from across his prolific catalog. Continuing the Halloween series that the Zappa Trust began in 2017 with the acclaimed Halloween 77 releases, Halloween 73 will be released as a specially designed, limited run four-disc costume box complete with a FRANKenZAPPA mask and gloves, housed in a display worthy box.

THE HOT RATS SESSIONS
CD1
  1. Piano Music (Section 1)
  2. Piano Music (Section 3)
  3. Peaches En Regalia (Prototype)
  4. Peaches En Regalia (Section 1, In Session)
  5. Peaches En Regalia (Section 1, Master Take)
  6. Peaches Jam - Part 1
  7. Peaches Jam - Part 2
  8. Peaches En Regalia (Section 3, In Session)
  9. Peaches En Regalia (Section 3, Master Take)
  10. Arabesque (In Session)
  11. Arabesque (Master Take)
  12. Dame Margret's Son To Be A Bride (In Session)
CD2
  1. It Must Be A Camel (Part 1, In Session)
  2. It Must Be a Camel (Part 1, Master Take)
  3. It Must Be a Camel (Intercut, In Session)
  4. It Must Be a Camel (Intercut, Master Take)
  5. Natasha (In Session)
  6. Natasha (Master Take)
  7. Bognor Regis (Unedited Master)
  8. Willie The Pimp (In Session)
  9. Willie The Pimp (Unedited Master Take)
  10. Willie The Pimp (Guitar OD 1)
  11. Willie The Pimp (Guitar OD 2)
CD3
  1. Transition (Section 1, In Session)
  2. Transition (Section 1, Master Take)
  3. Transition (Section 2, Intercut, In Session)
  4. Transition (Section 2, Intercut, Master Take)
  5. Transition (Section 3, Intercut, In Session)
  6. Transition (Section 3, Intercut, Master Take)
  7. Lil’ Clanton Shuffle (Unedited Master)
  8. Directly From My Heart To You (Unedited Master)
  9. Another Waltz (Unedited Master)
CD4
  1. Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (Remake)
  2. Son Of Mr. Green Genes (Take 1)
  3. Son Of Mr. Green Genes (Master Take)
  4. Big Legs (Unedited Master Take)
  5. It Must Be a Camel (Percussion Tracks)
  6. Arabesque (Guitar OD Mix)
  7. Transition (Full Version)
  8. Piano Music (Section 3, OD Version)
CD5
  1. Peaches En Regalia (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  2. Willie The Pimp (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  3. Son Of Mr. Green Genes (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  4. Little Umbrellas (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  5. The Gumbo Variations (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  6. It Must Be A Camel (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  7. The Origin Of Hot Rats
  8. Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #1
  9. Peaches En Regalia (1969 Mono Single Master)
  10. Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #2
  11. Little Umbrellas (1969 Mono Single Master)
  12. Lil' Clanton Shuffle (1972 Whitney Studios Mix)
CD6
  1. Little Umbrellas (Cucamonga Version)
  2. Little Umbrellas (1969 Mix Outtake)
  3. It Must Be A Camel (1969 Mix Outtake)
  4. Son Of Mr. Green Genes (1969 Mix Outtake)
  5. More Of The Story Of Willie The Pimp
  6. Willie The Pimp (Vocal Tracks)
  7. Willie The Pimp (1969 Quick Mix)
  8. Dame Margret's Son To Be A Bride (1969 Quick Mix)
  9. Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #3
  10. Bognor Regis (1970 Record Plant Mix)
  11. Peaches En Regalia (1969 Rhythm Track Mix)
  12. Son Of Mr. Green Genes (1969 Rhythm Track Mix)
  13. Little Umbrellas (1969 Rhythm Track Mix)
  14. Arabesque (Guitar Tracks)
  15. Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #4
HOT RATS (TRANSLUCENT HOT PINK VINYL) TRACK LISTING
Side A
1. Peaches En Regalia
2. Willie The Pimp
3. Son Of Mr. Green Genes
Side B
1. Little Umbrellas
2. The Gumbo Variations
3. It Must Be A Camel

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

New releases celebrate legacy of groundbreaking artists

Omnivore Recordings continues to release essential albums featuring new music and reissued classics.


Artist: The Muffs
Title: No Holiday (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Joan Jett, Honeychain, Pixies
Tell me more: When Kim Shattuck passed away from complications from ALS  commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease  on Oct. 2, 2019, it silenced one of Southern California's most dynamic and original musical voices. However, the good news for fans of the celebrated singer-songwriter/guitarist is she had recently completed work on the Muffs' latest album No Holiday. The ambitious 18-track album   featuring songs the Los Angeles native had written between 1991 and 2017   is a fitting tribute to Shattuck who also produced the disc. Along with her talented band mates (bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Roy McDonald), the Muffs' first new release in five years, No Holiday reigns in the sonic moodscape located midway between power pop and pop punk. The songs charge ahead with the melodic firepower brandished on the band's past classics. "Down Down Down," "Late And Sorry," "Pollyanna" and "On My Own" are among the tuneful rockers; "No Holiday," "A Lovely Day Boo Hoo" and "Happier Just Being With You" are more wistful and melodic. All the material on No Holiday gloriously showcases the range of the Muffs. Information: omnivorerecordings.com.


Artist: Fred Rogers
Title: It's Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood"
Tell me more: You don't have to be a young child to enjoy the terrific collection of jazzy songs on It's Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers featuring the enduring talents of singer-songwriter Fred Rogers that were originally showcased on the PBS series "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" – it certainly doesn't hurt to be a child at heart. The 23 songs here will bring back a flood of memories and positive feelings for generations of listeners; indeed the themes addressed in this lively set were apt when penned and resonate just as strongly today; "Be Brave, Be Strong," "You Can Never Go Down the Drain," "I'm Looking for a Friend" and "Look and Listen" are among those gems. And of course, the show's best-known tunes ("Won't You Be My Neighbor," "It's You I Like," "Tomorrow") are here as well. Information: omnivorerecordings.com.



Artist: Johnny Costa
Title: Johnny Costa Plays Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," Vince Guaraldi
Tell me more: Jazz pianist Johnny Costa's lively accompaniment on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" set the stage for the terrific and dazzling performances showcased on the 1984 LP Johnny Costa Plays Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Jazz. That 13-track album has been reissued and sounds terrific, with the talented Costa, drummer Bobby Rawsthorne and bassist Carl McVicker delivering reworked and truly masterful instrumental versions of Fred Rogers' compositions. Fans of Vince Guaraldi's "Peanuts"-related jazz material will be equally drawn to the top-tier takes on "Won't You Be My Neighbor?," "You Are Special" and other selections on this long out-of-print set (now titled Johnny Costa Plays Mister Rogers' Neighborhood). Information: omnivorerecordings.com.


Robert Kinsler

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Mumford & Sons celebrate 10-year anniversary of debut album with release of "Sigh No More Sessions"

I've loved seeing Mumford & Sons a few times over the years, including at Coachella and opening for U2 in May 2017 (read the review here). Here is news in connection with the group's next release...


Mumford & Sons celebrate
10-Year anniversary of debut album with the release of 'Sigh No More Sessions' 
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS HEADLINE PERFORMANCE THIS WEEKEND


Mumford & Sons today celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their breakthrough debut album with the release of a 5-song live EP, Sigh No More Sessions (purchase/stream HERE). Recorded in the year following the album’s U.K release on October 2, 2009, the EP’s five tracks include: “Little Lion Man (Live at Triple J),” Thistle & Weeds (Live at VRT/Studio Brussels),” “Sigh No More (BBC live session),” “White Blank Page (WFUV live at MSR Studios)” and “Timshel (BNN/3FM That’s Live).”
Sigh No More has gone onto become one of the decade’s most enduring releases with over 7 million in sales worldwide, including a 4x Platinum certification the U.S.. The album was also awarded “Album of the Year” the Brit Awards and was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize.
Mumford & Sons are Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford, Ted Dwane and Winston Marshall. In the ten years since their meteoric debut, the Grammy and BRIT Award-winning band has released four full-length albums, including their most recent, 2018’s acclaimed Delta. Produced by Paul Epworth, the record debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, Americana/Folk Albums, Alternative Rock Albums and Rock Albums charts—the band’s third consecutive #1 debut, the largest sales week for an alternative rock album in 2018 and the sixth-largest debut among all titles last year.
In celebration of the album, the band will continue their “thrilling” (The Washington Post) worldwide Delta Tour this fall including a headline performance at this weekend’s Austin City Limits Music Festival as well as upcoming shows at Houston’s Toyota Center, Dallas’ American Airlines Center and Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena.  
Gentlemen of the Road is an endeavor of Mumford & Sons, which produces community-minded touring festivals. With a commitment to giving back to the causes the band are close to, Gentlemen of the Road and its fund will be supporting global charities, local programs, urgent needs and will always do what it can to protect the planet. Having already taken GOTR around the globe with weekend Stopovers in England, Ireland, the U.S. and Australia, each and every event puts due prominence on the town or city they arrive in, ensuring the local community are as involved with its planning as they want to be and offering a spotlight on the locale to a huge audience. https://www.gentlemenoftheroad.com 
MUMFORD & SONS – DELTA TOUR 2019
October 6Austin, TX—Austin City Limits Music Festival
October 8Houston, TX—Toyota Center*
October 9Dallas, TX—American Airlines Center*
October 11Oklahoma City, OK—Chesapeake Energy Arena*
October 13 Austin, TX—Austin City Limits Music Festival
November 12Osaka, Japan—Namba Hatch
November 13Tokyo, Japan—Toyosu Pit
November 15Seoul, South Korea—Muv Hall  
November 17Taipei, Taiwan—Legacy Taipei
November 21Bangkok, Thailand—GMM Live House  
November 23 Singapore, Singapore—Neon Lights Festival 
November 24 Hong Kong, HK—Clockenflap Festival 
*with special guest Gang of Youths

Cheap Trick guests on 'The Big Interview' on October 9

Always nice to see Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick getting some attention. One of America's all-time great and enduring rock bands...

Cheap Trick discuss how they unexpectedly became famous in Japan in this first-look clip at a new episode of 'The Big Interview,' airing Wednesday, October 9 at 8 p.m. Easter/5 p.m. Pacific 
Watch it here - Here
Cheap Trick original members Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson sit down with Dan Rather for an all-new episode of The Big Interview—airing Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8pE/5pP. During the conversation, the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees talk about their early success, signature hits and why after 45 years together, they’re still touring and making new music.
In this exclusive first look, Zander, Nielsen and Petersson discuss their surprising early popularity in Japan, before breaking out in the United States.
“We started getting fan mail from Japan,” said Nielsen, “because of the Japanese press talking about us at a Queen show…. Normally they wouldn’t mention the opening act.”
“In Japan, they have these comic books,” Zander continued, “and they’re thick ones and Queen and KISS were always in there. And all of a sudden, we were in there as like their young brothers. So that helped promote us in Japan before ‘[Cheap Trick at] Budokan’ even came out.”
“They kind of like that quirky cartoon character thing going on,” said Petersson, “which Queen has, which KISS certainly has. We were like cartoon characters. None of the other audiences, our record company in the states and stuff, they thought ‘boy this is too weird.’ But the Japanese, they got a kick out of it. That’s how they learned English. They listened to records over and over and learned how to pronounce English words. It’s kind of demented nursery rhymes.”
“Not everyone in rock during that time was in these comic books,” said Zander, “It had a lot to do with the caricatures of ourselves, but the music had to be there too.”
The Big Interview airs every Wednesday at 8pE/5pP, only on AXS TV, as host Dan Rather joins a roster of iconic entertainers for candid conversations, providing a unique glimpse into their personal lives, defining moments and incredible careers.
Don’t miss legendary chart toppers Chicago as Rather sits down with two of the band’s founding members, Robert Lamm and Lee Loughnane, next Wednesday, Oct. 16, for a conversation about the longevity of their career and unforgettable music.
About AXS TV
Launched in 2012 by visionary entrepreneur Mark Cuban in conjunction with AEG, AXS TV has established itself as the premier destination for music and entertainment programming, and is the newest addition to the Anthem Sports & Entertainment portfolio. The network delivers an eclectic programming roster that includes original series, live concerts, music documentaries, live wrestling and mixed martial arts. AXS TV is currently available nationally in the United States and parts of Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. For a list of providers, visit www.axs.tv/subscribe.  For more information, visit www.axs.tv.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

R.I.P. Kim Shattuck of The Muffs

R.I.P. Kim Shattuck...

The legendary artist has passed away and there are heartfelt remembrances across social media. 






"All of us at Omnivore Recordings are devastated by the loss of our friend Kim Shattuck of The Muffs. We’re thinking about all her friends and fans, especially her family and bandmates. Her creative fire will endure and inspire artists of tomorrow. We’re so grateful to have been in the audience and to have played a small part in getting more of her music out into the world."
—Omnivore Recordings statement
"We are very sorry to announce the passing of our bandmate and dear friend Kim Shattuck. Besides being a brilliant songwriter, rocking guitarist and singer/screamer extrordinaire, Kim was a true force of nature. While battling ALS, Kim produced our last album, overseeing every part of the record from tracking to artwork. She was our best friend and playing her songs was an honor. Goodbye Kimba. We love you more than we could ever say." Roy McDonald & Ronnie Barnett of The Muffs

The Muffs' final album, No Holiday,out October 18, 2019 on Omnivore Recordings. The album features 18 new tracks from the groundbreaking band.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Sights and Sounds: Sarah Brightman's "Hymn: In Concert Film" coming November 15, 2019

Sarah Brightman is always impressive in concert (read my review of her 2013 concert at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA here). Now comes news about a multi-format release that  will feature the acclaimed soprano...


SARAH BRIGHTMAN – HYMN IN CONCERT FILM

Released on DVD+CD, BLU RAY+CD and DIGITAL FORMATS

Coming November 15, 2019


WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
PRE-ORDER https://smarturl.it/HymnConcert
The world’s most successful and best selling soprano Sarah Brightman will unveil her much anticipated HYMN In Concert film, released on DVD+CD, Blu-ray+CD and Digital Formats and digital on November 15th 2019.
Sarah Brightman at Honda Center on Nov. 2, 2013.
Photo: Kelly A. Swift
HYMN: Sarah Brightman In Concert was captured from the Festspielhaus in the enchanted Bavarian Alps, known for its magical lakes, mountains, castles, “cuckoo clock” houses, and the historic and captivating Neuschwanstein Castle. Conceived and created by Sarah BrightmanAnthony Van Laast (Mamma MiaBeauty and the Beast), and Frank Peterson, the two-act performance is a hybrid of a musical film and a large-scale concert production. Sarah is accompanied by her band, the Bavarian Philharmonic orchestra, a 50-voice choir and the Ludwig Ensemble of dancers, Special guest performers include Japanese superstar Yoshiki, Vincent Niclo, Mario Frangoulis and Narcis.
DVD and Blu-ray bonus features include exclusive behind the scenes footage, interviews and photo galleries, in addition to special packaging and a 15-track audio CD of music from the film! See complete film and CD tracklisting below.
Known for her three-octave range and for pioneering the classical-crossover music movement, Sarah Brightman has amassed global sales of more than 30 million units. The only artist to have simultaneously topped Billboard's dance and classical music charts, Brightman has achieved more than 180 gold and platinum awards in over 40 countries. She is also known for her iconic star turn in The Phantom of the Opera, whose soundtrack has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. Her duet with Bocelli, “Time To Say Goodbye”, became an international success selling 12 million copies worldwide.
Brightman’s 15th studio album HYMN debuted at #1 on both the Classical and Classical Crossover Billboard charts and was released on November 9th, 2018 inconjuction with her critically acclaimed world tour, HYMN: Sarah Brightman In Concert! The tour began in South America, and her “evening of wonderment” as been mesmerizing concert goers throughout Mexico, US, Canada and Japan. The tour continues throughout Europe this autumn starting in Sofia, Bulgaria on October 20th, concluding with the sold out performance in London at the Royal Albert Hall on November 11th. This special show will mark Sarah’s first return to London in 15 years! For full list of concert dates go to sarahbrightman.com
DVD/BLU RAY TRACKLISTING:
ACT 1
Gothica
Fleurs Du Mal
Stranger In Paradise
Carpe Diem feat. Mario Frangoulis
Anytime Anywhere
Gia Nel Seno
(La Storia Di Lucrezia)
Misere Mei
Beautiful
Follow Me
Figlio Perduto
Who Wants To Live Forever
Tu Che M’Hai Preso Il Cuor
Miracle (Sarah’s Version) feat. Yoshiki
ACT 2
Hymn Overture
Hymn
Sogni feat. Vincent Niclo
There For Me feat. Vincent Niclo
Better Is One Day
Canto Per Noi
Pie Jesu feat. Narcis
Fly To Paradise
Time To Say Goodbye
Masquerade
Phantom Of The Opera feat. Mario Frangoulis
Sky And Sand
Extras:
Hymn In Concert - Behind The Scenes
Hymn The Album Production
Hymn Track By Track Review
Photo Slideshow
CD Tracklisting:
1. Fleur Du Mal
2. Anytime, Anywhere
3. Gia Nel Seno
4. Follow Me
5. Figlio Perduto
6. Tu Che M’Hai Preso Il Cuor
7. Miracle (feat. Yoshiki)
8. Hymn
9. Sogni (feat. Vincent Niclo)
10. Better Is One Day
11. Canto Per Noi
12. Pie Jesu (feat. Narcis)
13. Fly To Paradise
14. Time To Say Goodbye
15. Sky And Sand
Film Produced by Sarah Brightman and Frank Peterson
Film Directed by Gerd F. Schultze
About Eagle Vision
Eagle Vision is an imprint of Eagle Rock Entertainment, the world-leading producer and distributor of music-related audiovisual content. Founded in 1997, the multi-award-winning company completes over 50 productions a year including concerts, documentaries, scripted formats and specials representing over 2,000 hours of programming. The vast catalogue includes work by award-winning filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Brett Morgan, Paul Dugdale, Stanley Nelson and Bob Smeaton. Eagle Rock has worked alongside a variety of artists including the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Jay Z, Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, Frank Sinatra, Black Sabbath and Imagine Dragons.
eagle-rock.com


Monday, September 30, 2019

Simple Minds 40: The Best of 1979 - 2019

One of this writer's favorite bands has a new comprehensive and well-deserved retrospective on the way this fall! Simple Minds' sound is so timeless I can't believe the band has been around for 40 years. Read my review of Simple Minds' fantastic first-ever concert in Las Vegas that I caught in October 2018. Robert Kinsler


Forthcoming Simple Minds collection celebrates 40 years of one of the most revered and successful UK bands ever

FORMATS: 3CD DELUXE EDITION, STANDARD CD AND DOUBLE VINYL,
INCLUDING A LIMITED-EDITION COLOR VERSION

INCLUDES THE NEW TRACK, A COVER OF KING CREOSOTE’S FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY



On November 1, 2019 UMe will release 40: THE BEST OF – 1979-2019, a new compilation album that covers all 40 years of legendary band Simple Minds recording career. It captures their early experimentation, cross over chart successes, right up to their new imperial phase represented by songs from 2015’s Big Music and last year’s Walk Between Worlds, which was their highest chart success in over 20 years, charting at number 4 in the UK.

Formed in the seventies, and named after a lyric – “so simple minded” – from David Bowie’s seminal 1975 single “The Jean Genie,” Simple Minds have become one of the most successful bands ever to come from the UK, selling over 60 million records worldwide, having number one singles on both sides of the Atlantic, and number one albums the world over, including five UK number one albums: Sparkle In The Rain (1984), Once Upon A Time (1985) and Street Fighting Years as well as the concert recording Live In The City Of Light (1987), and the compilation Glittering Prize 81/92.
Compiled in conjunction with the band, 40: THE BEST OF presents the very best of Simple Minds extensive catalog It is a comprehensive overview of 40 years of one of Britain's most successful bands, taking in the innovative sheen of “Promised You A Miracle” and “Glittering Prize,” the anthemic sweep of “Waterfront” and “Sanctify Yourself,” the firebrand strand of “Belfast Child” and “Mandela Day”, the colossus that is “Don't You (Forget About Me)” and “Alive & Kicking,” and bringing things right up to date with the inclusion of a new track: a cover of King Creosote’s 2014 Song, For One Night Only.
For One Night Only captures Simple Minds unique talent of taking an already fantastic song - as they did with their cover of The Call’s “Let The Day Begin” on 2015’s Big Music album - and injecting its sentiment with added urgency. The result is a clarion call to their fans the world over, which is sure to become a momentous live moment on their 2020 world tour.
The collection is a reminder of one of the most musically diverse and adventurous careers ever in British music, which saw Simple Minds record some of the most beguiling and inventive music of the post-punk period. On songs such as 1979’s “Chelsea Girls” (from the band’s debut album, Life In A Day), and “I travel, Celebrate” (1980’s Empires and Dance), “Love Song, The American” (Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call), Simple Minds set the standard for the British alternative scene.
From 1982 onwards the band produced some of their most inspiring and wide appealing work. Beginning with their 1982 classic album New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), with several songs from the album included here, follow up album Sparkle In The Rain (“Up On The Catwalk” and “Speed Your Love to Me”), and culminating in two UK number one albums and a number one single: 1985’s “Once Upon a Time” (represented here by the aforementioned “Don’t You Forget About Me,” “Alive and Kicking” and “Sanctify Yourself”) and 1989’s “Street Fighting Years,” and the single “Belfast Child.”

Into the nineties Simple Minds continued to release albums and create gems, many of which have grown in stature amongst fans and become staples of their live set. Included here from the period are “Let There Be Love,” “See The Lights,” “She’s a River” and “War Babies.”

From left, Simple Minds guitarist Charlie Burchill, singer Sarah Brown and lead
vocalist Jim Kerr performing at the Pearl Theater in Las Vegas on Oct. 21, 2018.
Photo: Robert Kinsler
Over the past 10 years Simple Minds has rekindled the magic that made them a vital artistic force in their early days, found themselves referenced by younger artists and playing to tens of thousands of people every year, all over the world. They have been the recipient of the Q Awards Lifetime Achievement and received universal critical acclaim for their recent albums. 2015’s Big Music was described by MOJO magazine as “their best album in 30 years”, and last year’s Walk Between Worlds was acclaimed across the board and became their most successful album in over two decades, culminating in their largest US tour to date. Two songs are included from each of those albums: “Honest Town” and “Blindfolded (Big Music),” and “Sense of Discovery” and “Magic (Walk Between Worlds).”

40: THE BEST OF will be available on a 3CD deluxe edition, single CD, 2LP coloured vinyl and a 40-track digital format. It was remastered at the world-famous Abbey Road studios and has spectacular new art designed by long-time collaborator Stuart Crouch, featuring iconic symbols by Malcolm Garrett which represent the 40 years.
3-CD DELUXE EDITION

DISC ONE   
Waterfront
Love Song
I Travel
Glittering Prize
Sense of Discovery
The American
Up on The Catwalk
She's A River
Someone Somewhere in Summertime
See the Lights
Jeweller to the Stars
War Babies
Belfast Child
 
DISC TWO   
Home
Magic
Promised You A Miracle
This Is Your Land
Honest Town
Glittering Prize (Acoustic)
Waterfront (Acoustic)
See the Lights (Acoustic)
Let There Be Love
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
All the Things She Said
Once Upon A Time
Don't You (Forget About Me)
 
DISC THREE     
Chelsea Girl
Cry
Hypnotised
Stars Will Lead the Way
For One Night Only - New Track
Theme for Great Cities
Life in A Day
Changeling
Celebrate
Blindfolded
Sanctify Yourself
Mandela Day
Speed Your Love to Me
Alive and Kicking

1-CD
Waterfront
Love Song
I Travel
Glittering Prize
Sense of Discovery
Someone Somewhere in Summertime
See the Lights
Belfast Child
Promised You A Miracle
Honest Town
Don't You (Forget About Me)
Chelsea Girl
Hypnotised
Stars Will Lead the Way
For One Night Only - New Track
Sanctify Yourself
Mandela Day
Alive and Kicking

2-LP / 2-LP COLOR VINYL EDITION
SIDE ONE
 
Chelsea Girl
I Travel
Love Song
Promised You A Miracle
Glittering Prize    
 
SIDE TWO   
Someone Somewhere in Summertime
Waterfront
Don't You (Forget About Me)
Alive and Kicking
Sanctify Yourself

     SIDE THREE   
Belfast Child
Mandela Day
See the Lights
Hypnotised
     
SIDE FOUR   
Stars Will Lead the Way
Honest Town
Sense of Discovery
For One Night Only  New track

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Simple Minds embark on an 11-month world tour in early 2020. Beginning in Europe in February, they tour the UK in April.
As they turn 40, Simple Minds legacy is something to be proud of as their story continues to evolve.