Saturday, January 05, 2019

Sights and Sounds: Carlos Santana, Mike Oldfield, Bird Streets & Alana Davis

With this week's high-profile news about Coachella 2019, some of the most notable music-related news didn't get the attention it deserves. Well, here is some of that important news here...

Grammy-winning guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee releases new EP on January 25, 2019

Concord Records is proud to announce the signing of legendary artist Carlos Santana. A guitar icon who has sold over 100 million records and performed for three generations of concert fans worldwide, Santana will release a new EP, In Search of Mona Lisa, on January 25, 2019 (with a vinyl edition scheduled for February 22).

Pre-order In Search of Mona Lisa today:

“Carlos Santana is an artist of singular voice. Immediately recognized for his signature sound and celebrated as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, his gift for melody and ability to seamlessly fuse and transcend musical genres has inspired us all,” said John Burk, President of Concord Records. “We are thrilled to welcome Carlos to the Concord family and look forward to where his seemingly endless creativity, curiosity and passion take us.”

A new full-length album produced by Rick Rubin will be released this summer.

“It is with our great pleasure that Carlos Santana has signed a new distribution deal with Concord Records,” Michael Vrionis, President of Universal Tone Management, said. “I would like to thank John Burk, President of the label and his entire team. We have a common mission to share eternally relevant music with the world. We are excited that Carlos Santana’s new full-length album will debut on Concord later this year.”

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Carlos Santana’s groundbreaking album Supernatural and the 50th anniversary of his legendary performance at Woodstock. To date, Santana has won 10 GRAMMY Awards and three Latin Grammys. He won a record-tying nine Grammys for a single project for 1999’s Supernatural (including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for “Smooth”) as well as three Latin Grammys. He has also received the Billboard Century Award (1996), was ushered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1998), received the Billboard Latin Music Awards’ Lifetime Achievement honor (2009), and was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors Award (2013). Among many other honors, Carlos Santana has been cited by Rolling Stone as #15 on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” In the fall of 2014, Carlos Santana released his memoir The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light. Santana is currently headlining a multi-year residency at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Carlos Santana on the web:
Official Site:

Mike Oldfield's “The Killing Fields” Soundtrack & DVD Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set Now Available For Pre-order! 
London - Mike Oldfield's “The Killing Fields” Soundtrack & DVD Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set is now available for pre-order. “The Killing Fields” is a 1984 British biographical drama film about the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, which is based on the experiences of two journalists: Cambodian Dith Pran and American Sydney Schanberg. It was directed by Roland Joffé and produced by David Puttnam for his company Goldcrest Films. Sam Waterston stars as Schanberg, Haing S. Ngor as Pran, Julian Sands as Jon Swain, and John Malkovich as Al Rockoff. The adaptation for the screen was written by Bruce Robinson; the musical score was written by Mike Oldfield and orchestrated by David Bedford.

The film was a success at the box office as well as being an instant hit with critics. At the 57th Academy Awards it received seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture; it won three, most notably Best Supporting Actor for Haing S. Ngor, who had had no previous acting experience. At the 38th British Academy Film Awards, it won eight BAFTAs, including Best Film and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Ngor.

In 1999 the British Film Institute voted “The Killing Fields” the 100th greatest British film of the 20th century. In 2016 British film magazine Empire ranked it number 86 in their list of the 100 best British films.

“The Killing Fields” is the 10th record album by Mike Oldfield, originally released in 1984 on Virgin Records. It is the only full-length film score written by Mike Oldfield with the music was orchestrated by David Bedford.

Though Oldfield’s music had been used in films before (see “The Exorcist” and “The Space Movie”), this was the first time he had written specifically for film, and so far the only time. Oldfield composed the album on a Fairlight CMI.

Like many movies, the album is not a comprehensive record of all the Oldfield soundtrack music used in the film. Most notably, the music accompanying the darkroom sequence does not feature on the album.

Oldfield's work on the score was partially instigated by Virgin boss Richard Branson when he took Oldfield to see David Puttnam, a producer on the film, which then secured him the role. Oldfield spent six months working on the score for “The Killing Fields” before going on tour, but when Oldfield returned, the producers of the film asked for more music to be written, prompting Oldfield to ask for the use of an orchestra and a choir; three months later the score was finished.


“Pran's Theme”
“Requiem for a City”
“Pran's Theme 2”
“Bad News”
“Pran's Departure”
“The Year Zero”
“Blood Sucking”
“The Year Zero 2”
“Pra'’s Escape” / “The Killing Fields”
“The Trek”
“The Boy's Burial” / “Pran Sees the Red Cross”
“Good News”
“Evacuation (Single edit)” (Bonus track)
“Étude (Single edit)” (Bonus track)


Mike Oldfield – guitars (Gibson Les Paul Junior and SG Junior), synthesizers (including Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Oberheim OB-Xa, DMX and Roland VP 330), Fairlight computer, producer, engineer.
Preston Heyman – oriental percussion
Morris Pert – percussion
Eberhard Schoener – conductor
Bavarian State Orchestra
Tölzer Boys Choir

This deluxe box set brings together both the soundtrack CD and the film DVD for the first time, along with reproduction memorabilia from the film and a numbered certificate. This edition is bound to be a collector’s item for both fans of Mike Oldfield and of the movie alike!

Box Set comprises of:

Numbered certificate
With reproductions of:
Lobby cards,
A3 poster,
Press Pack (In English),
German Press Book
10″ × 8″ black and white promotional photos

For more information: 

Bird Streets and Alana Davis team up for upcoming tour dates on the West Coast

Tue. Jan 29 LOS ANGELES Hotel Café, Main Stage
1623 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Showtime: 8 p.m.; Tickets: $15 pre sale
Bird Streets  - Daytrotter Session (December 2018):
Alana Davis - “Pretty Like Money/So Much Trouble” (Live at the Mint 2o18):
• • • 
NPR Music Slingshot artist Bird Streets will team up with singer-songwriter Alana Davis for a series of West Coast tour dates, each promoting their respective 2018 album releases. Bird Streets will open each show solo, followed by a set from Davis and her bandmates.
John Brodeur, left, of Bird Streets and Alana Davis are embarking
on a tour of the West Coast later this month.
Bird Streets is the alias of Brooklyn-based songwriter and musician John Brodeur. The self-titled album, produced by power-pop cult hero Jason Falkner (Beck, Jellyfish, Daniel Johnston) and released by Omnivore Recordings, has garnered outstanding reviews from AllMusicAlbumismBlurt andPopMatters, among others. NPR Music selected Bird Streets as a 2018 Slingshot artist. The lead single, “Betting On The Sun,” is in rotation at AAA and college radio stations nationwide, including spins from tastemakers KCRW, WFUV and WXPN, and the album has turned up on numerous fans’ and critics’ Best of 2018 lists. Brodeur’s live band just completed a Midwest tour that included an appearance at the legendary 7th St Entry in Minneapolis, as well as a Daytrotter session.
Alana Davis' music career emerged with her debut single, “32 Flavors,” which became a Top 40 hit and provided her with the opportunity to tour with several of her contemporaries like Ben Harper, Jack Johnson and Ziggy Marley, as well as extolled industry legends such as Jethro Tull, Bonnie Raitt and Steel Pulse. She has collaborated on recordings with Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Sly & Robbie, and recently with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, who performs on her 2018 album, Love Again (Cleopatra Records). Alana's music has been featured in mainstream media throughout her career, including a Super Bowl commercial, and several films and television shows, and has garnered critical acclaim in TimeThe New York Times and Rolling Stone. Davis is coming off a successful East Coast tour where she packed rooms at City Winery venues in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C.
Tue. Jan. 29 - Los Angeles - Hotel Cafe
Wed. Jan. 30 - San Francisco - Hotel Utah
Sat. Feb. 2 - Seattle - Fremont Abbey Arts Center
Mon. Feb. 4 - Portland, Ore. - White Eagle Saloon
Bird Streets
Instagram: @birdstreets
Twitter: @birdstreets
Alana Davis
Instagram: @alanadavismusic
“I used to write about finding ways out of the darkness,” says Brodeur. “Now I’m more interested in exploring and creating a map of that place. In some ways, adopting the Bird Streets name allowed me to write more openly about myself.”
In need of a creative rebirth after years on the music-industry margins, Brodeur reached out to producer and multi-instrumentalist Falkner to suggest a collaboration. The album yielded by this pairing is both fresh and familiar--a dynamic collection of introspective indie-rock and power-pop that draws liberally on the music of decades past without being bluntly nostalgic, with Brodeur’s voice like an old friend you’re meeting for the first time.
Over a career that’s spanned nearly 20 years, Brodeur has independently produced and released several solo albums, including 2013’s Little Hopes; fronted rock trios the Suggestions and Maggie Mayday; and worked as a touring and studio musician for scores of acts, including the Morning After Girls, Freedy Johnston, and White Hills. This is his first recording under the Bird Streets name.
The name Bird Streets springs from a tony real-estate enclave in the Hollywood Hills, which Brodeur first discovered when the recording sessions were first getting underway — but also references Brodeur’s one-time hometown of Albany, N.Y., which provided the characters and inspiration for some of the album’s 11 songs.
Recorded at Falkner’s Los Angeles studio between 2014 and 2016, Bird Streets is the product of equal measures tenacity and patience. After a series of setbacks derailed touring plans for his last solo album, Brodeur decamped to L.A, waiting for a hole to open in Falkner’s schedule. Once they were in the studio, the kindred creative spirits hit it off immediately. Working during the short gaps between Falkner’s touring and production commitments, with Brodeur shuffling between coasts for studio dates, the pair moved quickly, arranging and tracking entire songs in a day or two, sharing instrumental duties throughout.
Lyrically, these songs draw heavily on internal conflict with an overarching feeling of wistful resignation rather than blind optimism. Periodically difficult themes are delivered via unshakable melodies, a dichotomy that recalls the tightrope walked by artists like Elliott Smith and David Bazan. In album opener “Carry Me,” Brodeur celebrates “new beginnings and bitter ends” over a bright, bristling bed of electric guitars, then laments a relationship that was once “tighter than Steely Dan” in the eminently catchy “Betting on the Sun.” Musically, the album jumps from epic power-ballads (“Stop to Breathe”) to British Invasion-flavored power-pop (“Thanks for Calling”), the George Harrison-via-Radiohead melancholy of “Heal” to the grungy jangle of “Until the Crown.”
Now, after years in the making — and decades on the outside looking in — Bird Streets is giving Brodeur a renewed creative energy, and a shot at reaching a larger audience.
  • -
There are many interpretations of the notion that Alana Davis has a unique composition.
The first refers to that of her heritage and environmental background. Her Black father, Walter Davis, Jr., was an acclaimed jazz pianist who, in addition to releasing the Blue Note classic LP Davis Cup, played alongside luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Donald Byrd and as part of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Alana’s White mother, Anna Schofield, was a noted jazz vocalist whose 1963 Atlantic Recordsrelease Anamari was produced by the legendary Nesuhi Ertegun (John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Ray Charles). She was raised in the West Village in Manhattan where she was influenced by an eclectic assortment of musicians like Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. This enriched musical upbringing put Alana on the path to attend the famed LaGuardia School of Performing Arts in New York City on a scholarship.
The second interpretation alludes to her style sui generis of singer-songwriter artistry. Her song lyrics are notably personal, mature, and distinctive while her sound synthesizes rock, pop, folk, jazz, soul and reggae, the latter acting as a thematic backdrop to her new full-length album, Love Again (Cleopatra Records). Perhaps her most recognizable characteristic is her voice, which has been described by Time magazine as “sensuous, sliding alto, young and vibrant, but infused with old, smoky blues”. It is for these reasons that Alana, like her father, has been able to share stages with a number of critically acclaimed contemporary performers like Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Blues Traveler, and Ziggy Marley while also receiving invitations to open for veteran artists like Jethro Tull, Bonnie Raitt, and Steel Pulse.
Alana’s tenure in modern music dates back to the late ’90s, when she released her debut album Blame it On Me (Elektra Records). The first single from the album, “32 Flavors” became a Top 40 hit and earned her TV appearances on The Tonight Show, The Late Show, and other TV programs. She was also the only female main stage act for the 1998 H.O.R.D.E. Festival. Proving that her sound transcends genres, Jay-Z prominently sampled Alana’s voice and song “Murder” on his triple-platinum album Vol. 3...Life & Time of S. Carter which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Albums Chart. Her collaboration with hip-hop artists would continue with Pharrell Williams, who produced tracks for Alana’s sophomore album, Fortune Cookies(Elektra Records).
In the early 2000s, Alana’s voice was heard by over 100 million people during a Superbowl commercial for Sony Electronics, where she covered the Crosby, Stills & Nash classic “Carry On.” Subsequently, Gloria Steinem invited Alana to perform at the Ms. Foundation Awards prior to releasing her third record,Surrender Dorothy, in partnership with the TelArc/Concord Music record label. Alana became a mother in 2008 and took some time off from recording to focus on raising her daughter, but would continue to perform live in the US and the Caribbean from time to time, including performances with Thievery Corporation. During this period, she also wrote and placed songs for major television and film projects.
In May 2018, Alana dropped her new LP, Love Again, and released the title track as the first single along with a counterpart music video. The album features collaborations with the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, Native’s Brian Jobson, hit reggae producers Sly & Robbie (No Doubt, Sinead O’Connor) and neo-soul drumming legend Gene Lake (Maxwell, D’Angelo, Meshell Ndegeocello). Reggae is a notable influence in the new record’s sound and has been supported by Alana’s shows at Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and during opening slots for Steel Pulse. Alana said about the record, “I built around the acoustic song, but I tried not to fill in all the blanks. I tried to leave it still kind of acoustic at the core, so that you’d feel my heart.”

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