Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sights and Sounds: The Beatles, Coldplay, VCMG, Omnivore Recordings

Anytime you can work in exciting news and updates about The Beatles, Coldplay and two of the original members of Depeche Mode, well the day looks like a good one.

Louise Harrison To Discuss The Early Years of The Beatles and The Beatles With Tony Sheridan: First Recordings: 50th Anniversary Edition

2-CD Set This Week on CBS Early Show, NPR’s The Takeaway,
VH1 Classic Rock Nights with Eddie Webb, SiriusXM, and more

Louise Harrison will travel to New York this week to promote the recent release of THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS: 50th Anniversary Edition and share her memories of The Beatles and her brother, George. An integral part of the band’s breakthrough in America, where she had been living when the group released their first single, Louise is credited with working tirelessly to get their song played on American radio for the first time. Her interviews in New York with media outlets including the CBS Early Show, NPR program The Takeaway, VH1’s Classic Rock Nights with Eddie Webb, SiriusXM, The Fox Business Channel, Better TV, and many more will coincide with the 10th anniversary of George Harrison’s death.

As one of the earliest supporters of The Beatles, it is fitting that Louise Harrison speak about their first recordings, captured in the new double-disc collection. Released by Time Life on November 8, 2011, THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS: 50th Anniversary Edition is a remarkable story, told through music, mementos and words, of a band on the cusp of changing music and pop culture forever. The collection is a fascinating and comprehensive view of one of the most important yet overlooked moments in Beatles history.

Entertainment Weekly noted that the set “hints at the greatness to come” while calling Harrison’s “Cry For a Shadow” one of its best tracks. Along with the songs, the box set includes a deluxe booklet which presents an in-depth look into the beginnings of one of the greatest and most influential groups in pop music history. The historical text by Beatles scholar Hans Olaf Gottfridsson is brought to life with rare and candid photos by Astrid Kirchherr, copies of contracts, and personal biographies handwritten by each member in 1961. The earliest days of The Beatles have never been revisited in such detail.

The set includes every recording they made for German producer Bert Kaempfert and Polydor in 1961 and 1962 and feature Tony Sheridan on lead vocals, a decision made by Kaempfert. However, John Lennon sings lead vocals on “Ain’t She Sweet,” and George Harrison plays an instrumental, “Cry For A Shadow.” Multiple versions have been released throughout the past several decades – some in mono, some in stereo – each with distinctly different sounds. Most notably, the US versions of these tracks were overdubbed with another guitar player and drummer in an attempt to mirror the edgier sound the group had evolved into, unbeknownst to American fans at the time of their release in 1964. All versions of every track, including mono and stereo mixes, are included in the double disc set, remarkable in their difference but all bearing the same unmistakable sound of a wholly new kind of band.


Photo credit: Sarah Lee



Austin City Limits (ACL), the world's longest-running live music television series, is ringing in the new year with a stunning performance by Coldplay. The first-ever ACL New Year's Eve special -- a rare 90-minute episode -- is viewable on PBS stations nationwide on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 at 11 p.m. (check local listings). Coldplay New Year's Eve: An Austin City Limits Special can also be viewed on demand on starting at 11 p.m. ET on Dec. 31, 2011.

Coldplay's second appearance on ACL's stage is another milestone for the historic show and a one-of-a- kind episode with the band's unique production.

"We decided to go big with Coldplay - really big. So we came up with the idea of celebrating New Year's Eve with a 90-minute special. All the hits plus their brand new songs," said Executive Producer Terry Lickona. "It'll be a great way to kick off 2012!"

The New Year's Eve special comes on the heels of the release of the band's new album, Mylo Xyloto, which has charted at No. 1 in 32 countries. It also hit the No. 1 spot in all 35 iTunes stores around the world, breaking the record for the highest number of download sales in one week - a milestone Coldplay first achieved in 2008 with the release of Viva La Vida. Mylo Xyloto is Coldplay's third consecutive studio album to debut atop both The Billboard 200 and the U.K. album chart.

The ACL New Year's special highlights the mid-point of season 37 -- the first season taped entirely in ACL's new home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater, a full-time music venue and state-of the-art production facility. The remaining five episodes of the season will air in early 2012.

Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and our blog for up-to-date information.


(Check local listings for exact dates and times.)
December 31, 2011 Coldplay
January 7, 2012 The Head and The Heart / Gomez
January 14, 2012 Arcade Fire
January 21, 2012 Fleet Foxes / Joanna Newsom
January 28, 2012 Florence + the Machine / Lykke Li
February 4, 2012 Wilco



After 30 years working their retrospective ongoing music projects Vince Clarke (Erasure / Yazoo / Depeche Mode) and Martin L. Gore (Depeche Mode) come together for the first time since 1991 as VCMG to release a brand new album preceded by a series of EPs.

VCMG is the fruit of initially tentative discussion and subsequent enthused collaboration where Vince and Martin, both influential as pioneers in electronic music, get to exercise their lifelong love of the genre as the techno inspired VCMG.

As Vince explains: “I’ve been getting into and listening to a lot of minimal dance music and I got really intrigued by all the sounds… I realised I needed a collaborator… so it occurred to me to talk to Martin.”

Says Gore: "Out of the blue I got an e-mail from Vince just saying, 'I'm interested in making a techno album. Are you interested in collaborating?' This was maybe a year ago. He said, 'No pressure, no deadlines,' so I said, 'OK’.”

The writing and recording of the album was done in a typically unique way with the pair working alone in their respective studios, communicating only via email, exchanging files until the album was ready. It was in May 2011 that the pair met for the first time to discuss the project when they both performed at Short Circuit presents Mute festival in London.

The album (title to be announced soon) was produced by Vince Clarke and Martin L. Gore and mixed by the influential Californian electronic artist Überzone / Q and will be released in early 2012.
The first release is an EP entitled Spock. EP1 / SPOCK will feature remixes from Edit-Select, aka Tony Scott, the UK DJ / producer and founder of EditSelect Records whose previous remix credits include Speedy J, Death In Vegas and Gary Beck; Regis, British techno musician Karl O’Connor, member of the Sandwell District collective and co-founder of Downwards Records); Zak aka DVS1, founder of Hush Records and one of the most prominent figures in US dance music counts techno innovator Derrick May amongst his biggest fans, with his second ever release on May's own Transmat plus XOQ, the alter ego of Überzone / Q, who mixed the VCMG album.

EP1/SPOCK will be available initially as a global exclusive on Beatport on November 30, 2011 and then on all DSPs December 13, 2011.









Omnivore Recordings has announced the upcoming releases for a trio of new recordings including the 30th Anniversary reissue of Richard Thompson's long out-of-print instrumental recording Strict Tempo! on November 29; followed on January 10, 2012 by influential power-pop band Jellyfish's two studio albums Bellybutton and Spilt Milk; and also on January 10, 2012, Free Again: The "1970" Sessions by Alex Chilton - the musical architect of The Box Tops and Big Star.

Richard Thompson "Strict Tempo!" CD/Digital - November 29, 2011

For more than 40 years Richard Thompson has been the guitarists' guitarist, the songwriters' songwriter, and a consummate artist. As a founder of the legendary British folk-rock group Fairport Convention, through the '70s releases with his then-wife, Linda Thompson, to his highly successful solo career and work as a session player for other artists, Thompson has left behind a trail of recordings and compositions nearly unequaled in modern music history. His solo career can be traced to 1972's Henry The Human Fly, after which he went on to record a string of critically acclaimed albums with Linda Thompson. It wasn't until 1981 that Thompson released another solo album, this time it was called Strict Tempo! and, not surprisingly, due to his gifts as an instrumentalist, was an instrumental album that showcased his extraordinary talents by Thompson playing all instruments himself, accompanied only by former Fairport bandmate Dave Mattacks on drums/percussion.

Strict Tempo! was originally released on Thompson's own imprint, Elixir, in 1981 and later reissued by the Hannibal label but has been out of print for some time. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of this dexterous collection of traditional jigs and reels-with an original Thompson composition and a Duke Ellington cover thrown in for good measure. Omnivore Recordings is proud to celebrate the reissue of this recording with a CD release packaged in a special limited edition "greeting card" digipack (after which will be available in standard jewel case), featuring new notes on each song by Thompson. Additionally, Strict Tempo! will be made available for the first time digitally, all on November 29th.

Jellyfish "Bellybutton" LP and "Spilt Milk" LP - January 10, 2012

On January 10, Omnivore Recordings will release influential power pop band Jellyfish's debut album Bellybutton and follow up Spilt Milk exclusively on vinyl LP.The only two full-length studio albums in the band's short, storied history, each release has been cut directly from the album's original analog masters. Distributed by EMI, this will be the first time Bellybutton and Spilt Milk will be made commercially available in the U.S. on vinyl.

Bellybutton, originally released at retail in the U.S. only on CD, will be limited to 1500 copies pressed on 180-gram translucent blue vinylcomplete with replicated original album tri-fold sleeve. The bands 1990 debut album was released to rave critical reviews, hailed for its fresh, effervescent, power pop sound, and charted three singles. Spilt Milk, originally released at retail in the U.S. only on CD, will also be limited to 1500 copies pressed on 180-gram translucent green vinyl. The bands follow up release took up where Bellybutton left off, an elaborate and complex studio creation described as a "flawless pop gem" with comparisons to The Beatles and The Beach Boys for its lush vocal harmonies.

Formed in San Francisco by singer/songwriter Andy Sturmer and singer/songwriter Roger Manning, the duo rounded out the band's initial lineup with guitarist Jason Falkner (The Three O'Clock, The Grays) and Roger's brother Chris Manning on bass. Following Bellybutton's support tour, Falkner and (Chris) Manning left the band due to creative differences and exhaustion from life on the road. Their next album Spilt Milk was created by Andy and Roger with help from then session men Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Spoon), Lyle Workman (Beck, Todd Rundgren) and T-Bone Wolk (Hall & Oates). Following a tour in support, the group disbanded in 1994.

Alex Chilton "Free Again: The '1970' Sessions" LP/CD/Digital - January 10, 2012

In the latter months of 1969, somewhere between the moon landing and the start of the Vietnam draft, the concerts at Woodstock and Altamont, Alex Chilton decided to take back his life. During that annus mirabilis, while the world experienced a generationally sparked social, political, and cultural upheaval, the 18-year-old Chilton was in the midst of a revolution of his own. For the past year, Chilton had been strapped in a creative, professional, and personal straitjacket. He was the lead singer of a million-selling band, The Box Tops, but felt like little more than a puppet of the group's producers. In the era of free love, he'd been pressured into a shotgun marriage and fatherhood. And he'd ultimately come to see himself as the pawn of an unscrupulous business machine, sent to grind it out on the road in a series of silly lip-synched TV performances and one-night stands while someone else cashed his checks. As he entered the studio that summer to make his first solo recordings, the man who would come to define the very spirit of musical independence was still bound in chains. At a time where liberation and self-expression were rallying cries, Alex Chilton was about to break free.

"Free Again: The '1970' Sessions" are the first solo recordings from a post-Box Tops/pre-Big Star Alex Chilton. The album, mixed and engineered by Terry Manning (CREDITS), will be released as a 20-track CD featuring six previously unreleased songs, and 12-track LP. The first 1,500 LPs will be pressed on limited-edition clear vinyl (black vinyl thereafter). The first 500 LP orders from the Omnivore Recordings webstore will come with a bonus 7" that includes two additional versions of the previously unreleased "All We Ever Got From Them Was Pain" - the original mix and the demo. The album will also be available digitally at all major online retailers, as well as the Omnivore Recordings webstore.

You can now pre-order and purchase all Omnivore Recordings titles direct at their all new online webstore: Omnivore is currently offering an online exclusive of the Big Star Third [Test Pressing Edition] as a clear vinyl version. This is your second chance to grab the wildly popular album that instantly flew off shelves, selling out during Record Store Day this past April. The webstore's Big Star Third [Test Pressing Edition] is limited to just 500 copies and features the same cut and packaging, manufactured at the same time as the 2000 black vinyl copies for Record Store Day. Don't miss out!

About Omnivore Recordings:

Founded in 2010 by longtime, highly respected industry veterans Cheryl Pawelski, Greg Allen, and Brad Rosenberger, Omnivore Recordings' vision is to preserve the legacies and music created by historical, heritage, and catalog artists while also releasing previously unissued, newly found "lost" recordings and making them available for music-loving audiences to discover. Omnivore Recordings is distributed by EMI in North America and Ace Records UK in Europe. The label's first releases included the limited LP release of Big Star Third, a limited edition Buck Owens 7" of previously unreleased material, The Motels shelved third album Apocalypso, the first official stateside release of Leon Russell's 1971 Live in Japan album originally released and available only in Japan, original soundtrack score to the documentary Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place, and legendary Bay Area soul singer Darondo's unreleased Music City Sessions and Bay Area teen soul and funk combo The Two Things In One Together Forever: The Music City Sessions.

Omnivore Recordings official website:

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