Thursday, October 09, 2014

Inbox Update: Cracker, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces nominees

Here is a roundup of news related to announcements this morning...

Cracker to issue 10th studio album 'Berkeley To Bakersfield' on December 9, 2014

This December Cracker will be releasing their tenth studio effort, entitled Berkeley To Bakersfield, on 429 Records.  It's a double-album that finds this uniquely American band traversing two different sides of the California landscape – the northern Bay area and further down-state in Bakersfield. With founding members David Lowery and Johnny Hickman anchoring the project, they've brought in a host of musicians to help out, including putting together the original Cracker lineup for the Berkeley side (see credits below).  Berkeley to Bakersfield was recorded by Drew Vandenberg.  429 Records will release the album worldwide on December 9th
Despite being less than a five-hour drive from city to city, musically, these two regions couldn't be further apart from one another. In the late '70s and '80s a harder-edged style of rock music emerged from the Bay area, while Bakersfield is renowned for its own iconic twangy country music popularized, most famously, by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard in the '60s and '70s. Yet despite these differences, they are both elements that Cracker's two cofounders, David Loweryand Johnny Hickman, have embraced to some degree on nearly every one of their studio albums over the last two decades.
As Lowery explains, "On the Berkeley disc the band is the original Cracker lineup - Davey FaragherMichael Urbano, Johnny and myself. This is the first time this lineup has recorded together in almost 20 years. We began recording this album at East Bay Recorders in Berkeley, CA. For this reason we chose to stylistically focus this disc on the music we most associate with the East Bay: Punk and Garage with some funky undertones.  To further match our sense of place we often took an overtly political tone in the lyrics."
"This Bakersfield disc represents the 'California country' side of the band.  Throughout the band's 24-year history we've dabbled in Country and Americana but this time we wanted to pay homage to the particular strain of Country and Country-Rock music that emerges from the inland valleys of California."
Cracker has been described as a lot of things over the years: alt-rock, Americana, insurgent-country, and have even had the terms punk and classic-rock thrown at them. But more than anything Cracker are survivors. Cofounders Lowery and Hickman have been at it for almost a quarter of a century – amassing ten studio albums, multiple gold records, thousands of live performances, hit songs that are still in current radio rotation around the globe ("Low," "Euro-Trash Girl," "Get Off This" and "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me" to name just a few), and a worldwide fan base - that despite the major sea-changes within the music industry - continues to grow each year.
Disk 1 Berkeley Tracklisting:
1. Torches and Pitchforks
2. March of the Billionaires
3. Beautiful
4. El Comandante
5. El Cerrito
6. Reaction
7. You Got Yourself Into This
8. Life In The Big City
9. Waited My Whole Life
Disk 1 Berkeley band line-up:
Davey Faragher: Bass and Backing Vox
Johnny Hickman: Guitars and Backing Vox
David Lowery: Guitars and Vocals
Michael Urbano: Drums and Percussion
Thayer Sarrano: Keys and backing vocals
Marc Gilley: Saxophones
Mark Golde: Additional keys
Disk 2 Bakersfield Tracklisting:
1. California Country Boy
2. Almond Grove
3. King Of Bakersfield
4. Tonight I Cross The Border
5. Get On Down The Road
6. I'm Sorry Baby
7. The San Bernardino Boy
8.. When You Come Down
9. Where Have Those Days Gone
Disk 2 Bakersfield band line-up:
Davey Faragher: Backing Vocals
John Hickman: Guitars and Vocals
Bryan Howard: Bass Guitar
David Lowery: Guitars, Banjos and Vocals
Sal Maida: Bass Guitar
Luke Moeller: Fiddle
Thayer Sarrano: Keyboards, Guitar and Vocals
Matt "Pistol" Stoessel: Pedal Steel
Jeremy Wheatley: Drums
Recorded by: Drew Vandenberg with additional engineering by John Morand, David Lowery, Bond Bergland, David Barbe and Mark Golde. Mixed By Drew Vandenberg.
Recorded at: East Bay Recorders in Berkeley, CA, Chase Park Transduction in Athens, GA, Rock Garden Studio in Appleton, WI, and We're Clothes Studios in Richmond, VA.
To preorder visit:
429 Records is a unit of The Savoy Label Group (SLG). SLG is the North American based division of Nippon Columbia the oldest music company in Japan. The Savoy Label Group has evolved into a Grammy Award winning and chart topping independent music company consistently outperforming competitors in key music categories as monitored by Billboard Magazine. The Savoy Label Group is led by Steve Vining and is based in Los Angeles, CA.

Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths and Stevie Ray Vaughan among those nominated for induction into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Check out USA Today for a straightforward article on today's announcement as it relates to a strong slate of nominees hoping to gain admission into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I am really pulling for The Smiths, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, but I wonder if any of those three groundbreaking artists really has a chance given the Hall's spotty record of selections in the past...Here is a media release as it relates to Nine Inch Nails, another of the artists that really deserves a place in Cleveland..


Nine Inch Nails - a band regarded as a pioneer in the industrial music movement and highly influential in the evolution of electronic music - has been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first year of eligibility. To be eligible for this year's ballot, an artist or band must have released its first single or album in 1989 or earlier. Nine Inch Nails' first album, Pretty Hate Machine, and first single, "Down in It,"were released in 1989. The nominees who receive the most votes will be announced toward the end of the year and inducted on April 18, 2015 at a ceremony in Cleveland, OH.

Trent Reznor was working at a Cleveland recording studio when he founded Nine Inch Nails in 1988. Recordings such as Pretty Hate MachineBroken (1992) and The Downward Spiral (1994) revolutionized detailed digital production. The band has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, released a remarkable series of singles, including the No. 1 Modern Rock radio hits "The Hand That Feeds," "Only," "Every Day Is Exactly the Same" and "Survivalism," and received two GRAMMY® awards.

2013's Hesitation Marks debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Alternative Albums and Top Rock Albums charts and was named one of the best albums of the year by Rolling Stone, SPIN, Alternative Press, ABC News and The New York Times' Jon Pareles. SPINdeclared, "this is the most important artistic statement from NIN leader Trent Reznor since the late '90s, when SPIN dubbed him 'the Most Vital Artist in Music Today.'"

Nine Inch Nails supported Hesitation Marks with an extensive world tour that The New York Times said offered "the kind of sensory onslaught - musical, visual, emotional -that fans have missed." In a live review, the Los Angeles Times noted, "[Reznor] provedthat he's still at the vanguard of progressive machine music - and he can also make it emotionally band can call up a wraithful wail of noise like NIN." Praising a "mammoth, vibrant" show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, THE FADER said, "one of Reznor's intangible talents is his uncanny ability to maintain relevancy over the decades."

Building on Nine Inch Nails' long history of soundtrack work, Reznorcollaborated with Atticus Ross on scores for three David Fincher films - The Social Network (2010), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) and the director's most recent release, Gone Girl (2014), which was No. 1 at the box office in its opening weekend.Rolling Stone hailed the Gone Girlsoundtrack as "haunting" and "sublimely uneasy." NPR Music compared the composers' fruitful collaboration with Fincher to that of Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann, observing, "Gone Girl again fits its story's mood to perfection."Their score forThe Social Network won an Academy Award® and a Golden Globe® and the pair won a GRAMMY® for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo score.

Reznor has also turned his attention to improving how fans discover and experience recorded music. As Chief Creative Officer of Beats Music, he was instrumental in the creation of the streaming service, which launched in January 2014. Founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, Beats Music was acquired by Apple Inc. earlier this year.

For a more extensive history of Nine Inch Nails, visit

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