Thursday, September 30, 2010

Neil Young's 'Le Noise' film to premiere on Youtube today


Burbank, CA Le Noise Film — a 38-minute black and white film of eight live-in-studio performances of the eight songs that appear on legendary rocker Neil Young’s brand-new album Le Noise — will be made available for viewing exclusively on YouTube beginning today (Thursday, September 30, 2010). These will appear in the Spotlight section of You-Tube’s homepage as well as on Young’s YouTube channel ( In addition to the performances, there will also be a personal introduction by Young himself, along with behind-the-scenes clips from album producer, Daniel Lanois, and more. The performances, shot by filmmaker Adam CK Vollick, feature Young on acoustic and electric guitars at Lanois’ home studio in Silverlake, CA, where Young and Lanois recorded Le Noise.
The eight-song album, which is already generating glowing reviews, is a collaboration between the acclaimed rock icon and musician, songwriter, and multiple Grammy Award-winning producer Lanois, known for his work with U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, The Neville Brothers and many others.
Le Noise features Young on acoustic and electric guitars with Lanois adding his trademark sonic textures, creating one of the most sonically arresting albums Young has ever recorded. No band, no overdubs, just “a man on a stool and me doing a nice job on the recording,” as Lanois puts it.

Writing about Le Noise after hearing it at Lanois’ home, the Los Angeles Times writer Randy Lewis commented: “What’s striking about Le Noise is the way it both summarizes and distills Young’s singular approach to music, predominantly just Neil and a guitar: Arguably Young's most consistently potent work in the last decade."

The Chicago Tribune enthused, "One of Young’s finest recordings."

Rolling Stone Magazine awarded the album 4 Stars and concluded, “Le Noise is, ultimately, an extreme simplicity: the sound of a man who won’t give up.”

Le Noise will be released in several formats, including standard CD, vinyl, and digital download. In November, Reprise will also release a Blu-Ray edition, featuring Lanois and Vollick’s beautifully shot films of Young.

Young has just wrapped up his Gulf Coast tour, in which he teamed up with Tyson Foods to fight hunger in communities affected by the April oil spill. He will appear at Farm Aid at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI, on October 2nd, and will reunite with Buffalo Springfield members Stephen Stills and Richie Furay for this year’s Bridge School Benefit concerts. The shows, which also feature Pearl Jam, Elton John and Leon Russell, Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams, and others, will take place at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA, on October 23rd and 24th.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

WFUV to release FUV Live 13

New CD to feature In-Studio performances by Sharon Jones, Keane, Mumford & Sons, Norah Jones and Yeasayer

New York, NY -- A stellar array of musical artists will appear on FUV Live 13, a compilation CD benefitting noncommercial public radio station WFUV (90.7 FM,, which features exclusive live in-studio performances from Studio A. Among the offerings on the latest installment of the popular FUV Live series are long-championed WFUV artists like Brandi Carlile, Citizen Cope, Keane and Josh Ritter alongside UK imports Fanfarlo, One eskimO and The Heavy. The CD will be available at with WFUV membership during the station's Fall Membership Drive, beginning September 25th.

"The range of artists that came through Studio A this passed year stunned even me," says WFUV Music Director Rita Houston. "Where else on the radio do you have Janis Ian performing live one week and Cory Chisel the next? We're so proud to get to be the ones who bring such great live music to listeners around the world."

FUV Live features cover art by Long Island artist Ken Brockhoff, who submitted his illustration to a talent search which WFUV sponsored with the online design community Creative Allies.

FUV LIVE 13 Track List

Brandi Carlile "Dreams"
Josh Ritter "Change Of Time"
Fanfarlo " Comets"
Keane "Is It Any Wonder?"
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings "Give It Back"
Ozomatli "45"
Corinne Bailey Rae "Closer"
Citizen Cope "Healing Hands"
Janis Ian "At Seventeen"
Cory Chisel "See It My Way"
Rosanne Cash "Long Black Veil"
Mumford & Sons "White Blank Page"
April Smith & The Great Picture Show "Wow And Flutter"
Raul Malo "Around The World"
Norah Jones "Young Blood"
Yeasayer "Madder Red"
One EskimO "UFO"
Jonsi "Boy Lilikoi"
Laura Marling "Rambling Man"
Charlotte Gainsbourg "Trick Pony"
The Heavy "How You Like Me Now"

WFUV is a non-commercial, listener-supported public radio station, licensed to Fordham University for over 60 years. Serving nearly 300,000 listeners each week in the New York area and thousands more worldwide on the web, and a leader in contemporary music radio, WFUV is Rock & Roots Radio, offering an eclectic mix of rock, singer-songwriters, blues, world and other music, plus headlines from National Public Radio and local news.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jack’s 5th Show keeps ’em rockin’ at Verizon

My review was originally published in the Soundcheck blog on the Orange County Register Web site on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010.

Before releasing Bingo! in early July, it had been more than 15 years since Steve Miller Band had released a full-length album featuring new material.

In a year when a number of notable artists have issued blues-centered material, the group’s new disc may lack the out-of-the-box surprise of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Mojo or the wow factor of John Mellencamp’s No Better Than This and Cyndi Lauper’s Memphis Blues. But there is no doubt the aptly titled Bingo! is one of the finest albums of Miller’s long career and a winning celebration of American blues.

As headliners for Jack’s 5th Show at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine on Saturday (Sept. 18, 2010), Miller and his trusty supporting quartet played winning selections from that new disc — and managed to offer his biggest hits from the ’70s and ’80s as if they were fresh.
From start to finish, Miller’s 19-song set was all about the blues, from his kickoff track “Jet Airliner” (for which he provided a smoking solo before adding his distinctive vocals) to an especially strong version of Muddy Waters’ “Can’t Be Satisfied” (with Miller displaying his stylish skills on slide guitar).

Indeed, there are few classic-rock power hitters as rooted in the blues, and one cut in particular, “Hey Yeah,” gave Miller, who will be 67 next month, a chance to revisit his early psychedelic blues beginnings, as he played his sunburst Gibson Les Paul while working a wah-wah pedal to add fire to the Texas blues tune.
Other highlights in Miller’s long and involving set were the swamp-rock version of the Lowell Fulson-Jimmy McCracklin gem “Tramp” (with Sonny Charles ably handling lead vocals) and his own “Serenade,” the latter giving off chills with its otherworldly sonic textures.

As evidenced by Steve Miller Band’s winning show at Honda Center back in February, the troupe seems to have renewed purpose following the passing of longtime member and harmonica great Norton Buffalo, who died following a battle with lung cancer in October 2009.

Miller also has been particularly involved in assisting children and teens who are interested in music; the night before, the group played a benefit show for that very cause at the Fender Center in Corona. Throughout the last part of the band’s set at Verizon, Miller had 15-year-old guitarist Dylan Brown of nearby Corona share the stage with him to showcase his emerging fretwork, notably during a great version of “Fly Like an Eagle.” Read my pal George Paul's comprehensive report of Steve Miller's special appearance on Friday night (Sept. 17) at the Fender Center to benefit the Kids Rock Free program.

But Miller’s generous spirit seemed to know few bounds, as he even let Vanilla Ice join the band to add some backing vocals at the end of the night.

Although the near-capacity crowd at this fifth annual Jack FM bash didn’t seem to necessarily care about music first — I can’t recall this much senseless chatter and beer runs since a Hootie & the Blowfish concert a few years back at the OC Fair — that didn’t mean the lineup of rockers and rappers wasn’t serious.
The Cult performed an ear-shattering 45-minute set as if they were an up-and-coming outfit, the quintet proving that blending the sonic crunch of AC/DC and the mysticism of the Doors works as well today as it did in the mid-’80s. With singer Ian Astbury and masterful lead guitarist Billy Duffy at the helm, the band gathered more steam with each passing second. By the time they closed with a rousing version of “She Sells Sanctuary” and blazing takes on “Wild Flower” and “Love Removal Machine,” seemingly everybody in the venue was on their feet and rocking out.

Even if Jack’s 5th Show had only featured Miller and that band plus a bunch of one-hit wonders, it may have still pleased the crowd. But thankfully the Fixx was also on the bill.
The talented but sadly under-appreciated British band came armed with a full set of great stuff. Given that this outfit still boasts four original members — frontman Cy Curnin, lead guitarist Jamie West-Oram, keyboardist Rupert Greenall and drummer Adam Woods — what wasn’t there to love about seeing a band that has been at it since 1980 and is still firing on all cylinders?

From the timeless “Saved by Zero” and “Red Skies” (bookends for the band’s 10-song set) to the confessional “Are We Ourselves,” the group’s music came across considerably less dated than many acts on the bill. The highlight was a blistering “Driven Out,” a song whose environmental-minded lyrics sound as if they were penned in 2010, not 1988.

Since there was little doubt that Jack’s 5th Show was mostly about throwing an end-of-summer party, the other bands found that the audience perked up mostly when a) they knew the songs and b) they could scream and sing and join in the fun. So the glam-rock group Sweet, whose lineup features only one original member (bassist Steve Priest), kicked things off before a largely empty venue at 4 p.m. and naturally had its best success via hits like “Fox on the Run,” “Love Is Like Oxygen,” “Little Willy" and “Ballroom Blitz.”
The casual attention span of attendees most impacted New Wave act Modern English, which offered up a bright set of original material that went mostly unnoticed. That changed, of course, when the band played a rousing version of its 1982 smash “I Melt with You.” Original members Robbie Grey on vocals, Mick Conroy (bass), Gary McDowell (guitar) and Stephen Walker (keyboards) sounded great throughout, leading the English band through other solid material like “Ink and Paper” and “Hands across the Sea.” The group also played several new songs from its recently issued album Soundtrack, including the infectious “It’s OK.”

Fans of ’80s hard rock also were rewarded with songs to party by at Verizon, though Night Ranger clearly outdistanced the formula approach of Skid Row. Although Sebastian Bach is no longer part of the latter band, that alone isn’t what left this writer disappointed; it was more the style itself that was off-putting. But there were plenty others who didn’t run off to get drinks and eats that loved the stuff, especially power ballads like “I Remember You” and “18 and Life.”

Night Ranger, led by energetic singer-bassist Jack Blades and singer-drummer Kelly Keagy, was all about good times and big hits. Rockers like “(You Can Still) Rock in America” and “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and the immortal “Sister Christian” pleased fans, while ’90s converts got faithful versions of Damn Yankees’ “Coming of Age” and “High Enough.” Guitarists Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra (top) served up plenty of impressive fretwork, notably when they unleashed Thin Lizzy-style solos together.

And befitting Jack FM’s eclectic mix, the roster included several old-school hip-hop cameos. Vanilla Ice made the bigger splash, bringing several dozen attractive ladies on stage as he delivered a crowd-pleasing “Ice Ice Baby.” Young MC’s brief stint, however, was plagued by a bass-heavy mix, though he overcame that to get the crowd dancing to his 1989 hit “Bust a Move.”

Sunday, September 19, 2010

'Le Noise' another milestone for Neil Young

Today, I had a chance to get my first couple of listens of Neil Young's forthcoming release Le Noise. This is an epic and powerful collection (set for release on Reprise Records on Sept. 28) that defies easy description via words alone. I look forward to playing this album as much as I can in the weeks ahead to get more familiar with the sound revealed across the eight original songs that make this album so special.

Even after a single listen, the album's sound and style will amaze long-time fans of Neil Young who thought they knew the legendary singer-songwriter's sonic language inside and out. Make no mistake; the songs and sonic landscape on Le Noise are much bigger than the much-publicized mere presence of Young and his guitar. No bass. No drums. No harmonica (at least that I have detected). Le Noise may come in at under 38 minutes, but I think this disc takes listeners to places few artists have the courage to go.

"Walk With Me" kicks things off. A mix of chords and fills delivered with distorted guitar and howling feedback, Young's vocals soar and echo around the electronica-tinged in-your-face guitar. A tale of deep love proclaimed from a rock 'n' roll rooftop. The song's final moments are beautiful as the heavy chords morph into gentler overtones of noises from Young's guitar.

"Sign of Love" as a song recalls Young's tender and classic acoustic ballads, but the heavy guitar and overall sound of Daniel Lanois' production brings something new here. At times the guitar is decidedly distorted, but the song's beauty never falters.

"Someone's Gonna Rescue You" finds Young singing at the top of his vocal range, with the track's echo and cascading guitar recalling a kind of Radiohead meets Buffalo Springfield mash-up.

"Love and War" shocks. The acoustic guitar comes in, clear and folky. Then Young's sweet tenor emerges, to deliver a heartfelt examination at the human cost of war and his own life-long quest to chronicle the emotional weight of humanity's inhumanity. As the song goes along, there is some great flamenco touches that Young plays that are especially fitting too.

"Angry World" harkens back to Young's most politically-charged songs. Obviously an artist tuned into the pulse of the nation, I think this is a song where everybody will see a bit of their self here.

"Hitchhiker" is a confessional song where Young recalls his youth, leaving his native Canada for California. The most interesting part of the tale is how Young confronts his own inability to deal with his early fame, and subsequent battles with drug use and more recent health scares (including treatment related to a brain aneurysm in March 2005). In the end, Young bravely admits his mortality, and tenderly sings of the love of his children and wife. A life's tale told in rich detail, in only 5 minutes and 32 seconds.

"Peaceful Valley Boulevard" is an acoustic-styled song that mirrors the power of early Young epics like "Cortez the Killer," "Pocahontas" and "Powderfinger." A powerful song of the white settlers destroying the Great Plains that segues into our treatment of earth in the 21st century. One line really struck me on the first listen of this beautiful song and continues to stir me: "Before the west was won, there was a cost." At the end of the song, Young wonders who will protect God's creations. Images of a doomed planet come to mind in this thoughtful and ultimately tragic story of our planet's natural beauty that continues to be lost at a relentless pace.

"Rumblin'" is the sound of Young's mind at work; here is the soon-to-be 65 artist looking at the quickly-changing world. We hear his attempt to get a bead on it.

In the end Le Noise may be so special because Neil Young is the only artist who could have written and performed it, while Lanois had the studio craft and magical sense to make it happen.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bad Company adds tour dates in U.S. and Japan




Los Angeles, CA - September 15, 2010 - The original members of legendary rock band Bad Company have added new concert dates to both their North American and Japan concert tours. The band will extend their 2010 North American tour with a new date confirmed for October 1, 2010 in Sacramento, California. Following the band's final U.S. dates in 2010, Bad Company will embark on their first tour of Japan in more than three decades, recently adding a third show in Tokyo due to am overwhelming demand for tickets. In addition, Rhino/Warner Bros/Universal will release a greatest hits set "The Very Best of Free and Bad Company featuring Paul Rodgers" on September 22 in Japan, to coincide with the tour. For up-to-date information, please visit:

Selling over 90 million records during his career, Paul Rodgers is and has been one of the most sought-after and recognizable vocalists in rock music. The Very Best of Free and Bad Company featuring Paul Rodgers greatest hits collection features Rodgers' greatest works during the legendary '68-'73 era of Free and '73-'82 era of Bad Company, the album collects 15-tracks from the very best of the chart-topping hits during that 14-year musical tenure. An exclusive iTunes deluxe version of the album, featuring bonus recordings, is also available. Alongside the UK release earlier this year, the original members of Bad Company reunited for their first concert tour of the UK in over three decades. The highly anticipated tour run culminated with a sold-out show at Wembley Arena. The collection became Bad Company's first top 10 chart appearance since 1979, Free's first since 1991 and was Rodgers' return to the charts following his 2007 certified Gold debut solo DVD "Live in Glasgow" which charted at #1 in Canada*, #2 in Japan, #3 in the US* and #4 in the UK.

Bad Company confirmed 2010 tour dates:

October 1 Thunder Valley Casino Resort Sacramento, CA - new date added
October 2 LA County Fair Pomona, CA
October 4 Potawatomi Casino/Northern Light Milwaukee, WI
October 5 Potawatomi Casino/Northern Light Milwaukee, WI
October 7 Hard Rock - The Joint Catoosa, OK (Tulsa)
October 9 Little Creek Casino Resort Shelton, WA +
October 18 Zepp Fukuoka Fukuoka, Japan
October 20 Zepp Nagoya Nagoya, Japan
October 21 Namba Hatch Osaka, Japan
October 23 Hitomi Kinen Kodo Tokyo, Japan - new date added
October 25 Tokyo International Forum Tokyo, Japan
October 26 Tokyo International Forum Tokyo, Japan

+ denotes Paul Rodgers last solo date of 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jimmie Vaughan rocks the Coach House

Jimmie Vaughan photographed by Bob Steshetz at the Coach House on Sept. 9, 2010

My review was originally published in the Orange County Register's Soundcheck blog on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010.

Blues music has come back in a big way in 2010, with artists not typically associated with the traditional scene — John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, Steve Miller, even Cyndi Lauper — all having issued well-received blues-centered discs this year.

But clearly not to be forgotten in this parade of forays is Jimmie Vaughan Plays Blues, Ballads and Favorites, a Shout! Factory release that marks the guitarist’s first new studio album in nine years. And at the Coach House on Thursday (Sept. 9, 2010), Vaughan, now 59, spotlighted many songs off the strong collection of favorite covers from the far-flung likes of Little Richard, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Reed. He also was backed by a robust band (including a two-man sax section) that added heft and sonic elegance throughout his 21-cut set.

Vaughan’s set was essentially broken into two parts. The first featured the guitarist leading the charge, trading tasty Texas licks from his Fender with blasts from tenor sax pro Greg Picollo and other members of his group. During the second half, however, Stevie Ray’s older brother, who had provided vocals up to that point, brought singer Louann Barton (long a musical companion of the Vaughans) on stage to handle most of the lead work, while also assisting in duets (particularly “Sugar Coated Love”) to broaden the approach of this musical troupe.

Many tracks from Blues, Ballads & Favorites were featured, with the swing of “The Pleasure’s All Mine” and the Bill Haley-styled “How Can You Be So Mean” highlights of the first part of the show, while “Wheel of Fortune,” showcasing Barton’s compelling vocals, was clearly a standout later in the night.

Vaughan mentioned it was good to be back at the San Juan Capistrano venue, noting he hadn’t performed at the Coach House since 2001. Hopefully, he won’t wait another nine years before returning to temporarily transform the venerable club into a blues roadhouse. The Mike Eldred Trio turned in the most raucous set of the night. Featuring Eldred on guitar and vocals, plus bassist John Bazz and drummer Jerry Angel (the Blasters’ rhythm section), the group delivered some high-octane ’50s rock ’n’ roll over the course of 30 minutes, with tracks like “Louise” and “I’m Ready” illustrating the threesome’s retro attack.

As for second opener Shawn Jones, well, every time I have caught him live I’ve been more impressed. As outstanding as he was when I first saw him perform at the Doheny Blues Festival in May 2008, the talented singer-songwriter-guitarist just keeps getting better.

On Thursday night, he impressed mightily with accessible and infectious blues-rock, anchored by his dazzling guitar playing, formidable voice and original songwriting — all of which quickly won over many who were introduced to his craft during his forceful 40-minute performance. Songs such as the confessional “Glorybound” and the rocker “I Can’t Help Myself” proved how deftly Jones can blend Delta blues, gospel, folk and R&B into a winning style.

Yet, despite Jones’ clearly apparent all-around skills, the bandleader remains unsigned. The good news is that he performs in Orange County frequently, and his self-released albums deliver the same power he demonstrated here at the Coach House.

Kicking off this long night of excellent blues and Americana music was another singer-songwriter-guitarist, Jonathan Blake, who played a half-hour of acoustic blues. Well, mostly blues — the talented Blake also blended jazz and flamenco into his original songs.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Charlie Louvin salutes Gram Parsons with new album, AMA show with special guests Emmylou Harris & Al Perkins

On September 10, 2010, Charlie Louvin returns to live performance after surgery to treat pancreatic cancer. Louvin's performance during the Americana Music Association conference will welcome two very special guests to the stage. Emmylou Harris will perform "If I Could Only Win Your Love", a song written by The Louvin Brothers. Legendary steel guitar and dobro player Al Perkins will be lending his talents to the Louvin Brothers song "The Christian Life" and the Gram Parsons song "Hickory Wind." Perkins' career has seen him with both Gram Parsons & the Rolling Stones.

Louvin is set to perform at 10 p.m. (central) at The Rutledge - 410 4th Avenue South, Nashville.

Tompkins Square label has just released Hickory Wind : Live at the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull - Waycross GA, hailed by many media outlets including Influential website Swampland, who said the album "serves as a majestic recording where the soul of man never dies."

On February 22, 1956, The Louvin Brothers warmed up for Elvis Presley at City Auditorium in Waycross, GA. On hand was a nine year old boy named Gram Parsons. It would leave an indelible mark on the future legend, who went on to popularize several Louvin Brothers songs for the ages. On September 19, 2009, Charlie Louvin returned to Waycross to pay tribute to the granddaddy of "Alt Country"/"Americana", singing "Hickory Wind" for the first time ever, as well as Louvin Brothers songs Gram either recorded or must have heard in his early years.

Charlie's emotional return to Waycross was an artist truly going full circle. Having inspired a young Gram Parsons, who later turned a new generation of musicians and fans on to the music of the Louvin Brothers, Charlie walked around the peeling, corroded interior of Waycross' City Auditorium like a ghost. Except Charlie was still here, very much in the flesh.

In fact, the past few years have marked an extraordinary late career run for Charlie, who turned 83 on July 7, 2010. His Grammy-nominated, self-titled Tompkins Square debut album brought him firmly back onto the scene, featuring an array of admirers like Jeff Tweedy, George Jones and Marty Stuart. He fulfilled a long-time desire to record with a gospel choir, the great McCrary Sisters, on 2008's Grammy-nominated Steps To Heaven. Three months later he released the "hellish" side, the critically adored Charlie Louvin Sings Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs. Charlie has recently played major festivals such as Bonnaroo and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and toured and recorded with Lucinda Williams. The music of the Louvin Brothers continues to resonate, most recently via the inclusion of "My Baby's Gone" on the soundtrack for the hit movie, Crazy Heart. Hickory Wind: Live at the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull, Waycross GA is a fond tip of the hat from one legend to another. If Gram is the granddaddy of "Americana", Charlie is the great-granddaddy; a Country Music Hall of Famer, and a legend in the truest sense of the word.

Really big shows! 'The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles' remastered

History repeats itself on September 7, 2010 when the digitally remastered version of The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles comes to DVD

When The Beatles stepped onto Sullivan’s New York stage on Sunday, February 9, 1964, to make their American TV debut, 86 percent of all TVs on at that hour--73 million Americans--tuned in. It was the most-watched program in history to that point and remains one of the most-watched programs of all time.

Nearly 50 years after the four landmark live performances of The Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” those legendary appearances with newly remastered audio and carefully restored video will finally be made available worldwide on home video through a major distributor. It was announced today (Sept. 1, 2010) by Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) and SOFA Entertainment that The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles will be released Tuesday, September 7, 2010, by UMe, a division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company. The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles was produced by SOFA Entertainment.

“The Beatles changed music and popular culture forever,” says Bruce Resnikoff, President & CEO, UMe. “This DVD collection contains treasured performances and UMe is thrilled to bring these milestones of music and television history to fans, whether they saw the shows the first time or have never seen them.”

“We used the full extent of today’s technology,” says Andrew Solt, Executive Producer and CEO of SOFA Entertainment, which purchased all 1,050 hours of “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1990. “The quality is better than it ever was, in fact, better than when the shows aired, especially visually. For example, the February 16 performance was from Miami’s Deauville Hotel, not from a studio. The quality of the tape image was very fragile. We went back and improved it frame by frame.”

With a running time of more than 250 minutes, The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles presents those shows uncut, including not only all of the other performances but also all of the original commercials. The audio is available in both mono and a 5.1 remix. Also included on the two-DVD set will be material from other “Sullivan” shows, notably a short interview with The Beatles which has not been seen since its original television airing in 1964.

Few moments of The Beatles’ performances had ever been seen before a similar DVD package debuted in 2003, but distribution was via a small independent company. Now through UMe , The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles will be widely available at traditional retail as well as non-traditional retail such as book stores, major department stores, specialty and high-end stores.

In addition, the new DVD set has been augmented with approximately 13 minutes of additional footage. The added material, rare Beatles-related gems from other “Sullivan” shows, is placed at the end of each disc. Among them is a brief London interview with The Beatles by Sullivan which has not been seen since the day it aired (May 24, 1964); a 1966 black-and-white commercial for Beatles dolls introduced by Sullivan in color; and the host reading a 1967 telegram from The Beatles congratulating him on the renaming of the studio to “The Ed Sullivan Theater.”

“Usually when there is a major historic moment, it’s seen on every channel,” notes Solt. “What makes the first Beatles performance so unusual is that ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ was the only place you could see it. Even though their music was everywhere, we had never seen them live. It was a shared joyous moment for an entire generation and still is today.”

The Beatles appeared live on “Sullivan” three more times--the following Sunday from Miami , a third consecutive show (February 23), and finally September 12, 1965. In all, the Fab Four performed 20 songs (15 different ones), from “All My Loving” and “I Saw Her Standing There” (twice each) to “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (three times), “Yesterday” and “Help!”

The Sunday night variety show, which ran from 1948 to 1971, was seen live in the Central and Eastern time zones but fortunately was taped for airing in the Pacific and Mountain time zones. Yet few tapes had been transferred to a contemporary format until Solt obtained the rights. Today he continues to transfer and remaster them. Solt’s other credits range from the 1979 TV special “Heroes Of Rock And Roll” and 1988 feature documentary “Imagine: John Lennon” to the 1991 Warner Brothers theatrical feature film “This is Elvis” to the 1995 TV documentary series “The History Of Rock ‘N’ Roll” and 2006 home video “Elvis: The Ed Sullivan Shows.”

“For so many people who experienced those first shows originally, including myself,” adds Solt, “we remember where we were. But we never saw them again. Now we can, and in context--the complete shows--with all the raw energy and excitement, the audience going crazy. There’s also a new generation, one that has bought the reissues, the Rock Band videogame, seen Paul McCartney play on the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater that’s the home of ‘The Late Show with David Letterman,’ heard the songs on ‘American Idol.’ They know the music so well even if they were born decades later. A word like ‘timeless’ gets overused but it definitely applies to The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles.”

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Neil Young to release 'Le Noise' on Sept. 28

Neil Young continues to challenge himself and his listeners with music that is powerful, beautiful and authentic. Here is a comprehensive update courtesy of Reprise Records on his forthcoming release.



Burbank, CA –Neil Young will release a brand-new solo album, entitled Le Noise, on September 28, 2010 on Reprise Records. The eight-song album is a collaboration between the acclaimed rock icon and musician, songwriter, and producer Daniel Lanois, known for his work with U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, The Neville Brothers and many others. As producer or co-producer Lanois won Grammy Awards in 1987, 1992, 1997, 2000 and 2001.

Young and Lanois have crossed paths musically over the course of many years, including Lanois’ performances at Young’s Bridge School Benefit Concert and Young’s performance at Farm Aid when Lanois was Willie Nelson’s music director, but this is the first time the two have recorded together. Recorded in Lanois’ home in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles, Le Noise features Young on acoustic and electric guitars with Lanois adding his trademark sonic textures, creating one of the most sonically arresting albums Young has ever recorded. No band, no overdubs, just “a man on a stool and me doing a nice job on the recording,” as Lanois puts it.

“Neil was so appreciative of the sonics that we presented to him,” Lanois says. “He walked in the door and I put an acoustic guitar into his hands — one that I had been working on to build a new sound. That’s the multi-layered acoustic sound that you hear on the songs ‘Love and War’ and ‘Peaceful Valley Boulevard.’ I wanted him to understand that I’ve spent years dedicated to the sonics in my home and that I wanted to give him something he’d never heard before. He picked up that instrument, which had everything — an acoustic sound, electronica, bass sounds — and he knew as soon as he played it that we had taken the acoustic guitar to a new level. It’s hard to come up with a new sound at the back end of 50 years of rock and roll, but I think we did it.”

Le Noise will be released in several formats, including standard CD, vinyl, digital download, and as a deluxe CD/DVD. The DVD portion, shot by cinematographer Adam Vollick, will feature eight black and white films of Young performing each song solo on acoustic and electric guitar live in the studio. In November, Reprise will also release a Blu-Ray edition, featuring Lanois and Vollick’s beautifully shot films of Young.

Writing about Le Noise after hearing it at Lanois’ home, The Los Angeles Times commented: “What’s striking about Le Noise is the way it both summarizes and distills Young’s singular approach to music, predominantly just Neil and a guitar: his big, white hollow-body Gretsch electric slashing and burning for most of the tracks, a couple built around picked and strummed acoustic instruments. Both are recorded and amplified -- literally and metaphorically -- by Lanois’ signature soundscapes that loop vocals, and enhance the guitars’ bass notes through distortion boxes, synthesizers and other electronics.”

The track-listing for Le Noise is as follows:

Walk With Me
Sign of Love
Rescue Me
Love And War
Angry World
Peaceful Valley Blvd.