All posts tagged: Bob Dylan

Kingsley Flood, 'To The Fire'

EP REVIEW: Kingsley Flood, “To The Fire”

It’s been almost six months since the Boston-based band Kingsley Flood launched an innovative PledgeMusic drive to fund the entirety of its 2015 output — who needs record companies anyway? — and if the first fruits of that effort are any indication, those pledges are going to all the right places. (No solid gold Humvees for them.) The new EP “To The Fire” is very much a worthy follow-up to the band’s last full-length LP, 2013’s “Battles” — the tight, raucous folk-punk instrumentation, compelling backing harmonies (ably provided by Jenee Morgan) and impassioned, raspy lead vocals from frontman Naseem Khuri are all present and accounted for. But that’s not to say it suffers from sameness: Following their Americana-tinged debut “Dust Windows” in 2010, Kingsley Flood’s sound has bloomed into an almost unclassifiable indie rock melange of styles and influences, and the band remains all the more surprising — and listenable — because of it. In particular Khuri, with his fiery, almost Strummer-esque delivery, continues to stand out in an indie landscape of one-too-many emo crooners …

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The 2014 Music Notable Awards!

Yes, I’ve already run down my picks for the year’s standout albums, my 2014 mixtape suggestions and my ratings for new albums by artists over 50. But that’s not everything that graced our earbuds this past year. Herewith, then, are the winners of the first annual Music Notable Awards, otherwise known as the stuff that didn’t fit in any other category. • Notable Performance By A Dead Person: Johnny Cash, “Out Among The Stars.” • Notable Performance By Two Dead People: Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, “Baby Ride Easy,” the standout track from that album. • Notable Use Of A Hologram: The vinyl edition of “Lazaretto” by Jack White (which also features one side that plays from the middle out; mind = blown). • Notable Revival Of The Phrase “Ooga-Chucka”: “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix No. 1.” • Notable Unexpected Sex Reference Leading To Parental Embarrassment: “Don’t,” Ed Sheeran. • Notable Surprise Live Album: Kingsley Flood, “Live at the Armory.” • Notable Live Album You’d Be Forgiven For Thinking Was Recorded In An Ice …

Bob Dylan in the '80s: Volume One

Here’s the proof: Dylan was good in the ’80s

Maybe it’s because it’s when I first discovered Dylan, but I’ve always had a soft spot for his much-maligned ’80s output. I was still an impressionable college sophomore when a friend gave me a mixtape of Dylan songs in an attempt to win me over into the Order of Bob, and he was ecumenical about his choices — he included then-recent songs like “Jokerman” right alongside ’60s tracks like “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.” Sure, you could tell which ones were newer by the general croakiness of Bob’s nasally whine, but I think coming at them without being predisposed as to which were the “classics” helped me appreciate just how intricate and often brilliant those newer lyrics were. Twenty-five years later, that’s definitely something that hasn’t been lost on the contributors to “Bob Dylan in the ’80s” (ATO Records). This album, with many tracks by artists too young to actually remember the ’80s, much less Dylan in them, is one of the most consistent collections of Dylan covers to come along …

Eron Falbo by Plectro Productions

ALBUM REVIEW: Eron Falbo, “73”

What do you get when you combine an up-and-coming Brazilian singer/songwriter with the mastermind producer behind Blonde on Blonde and The Sound of Silence? An album that represents the best part of the ’60s music scene, with a fresh, youthful approach and optimistic bounce. In short, you get Eron Falbo’s debut, 73. Some musicians have a (kind of unfounded) sense of entitlement when it comes to expecting careers to drop into their laps; Falbo is just the opposite. The genesis of 73 tells of a pre-destined assurance, culminating with a call to legendary ’60s producer Bob Johnston, Falbo’s only choice for his first album. After hearing a handful of rough cuts over the telephone, Falbo successfully convinced Johnston to come out of retirement to embed his fingerprints in this record. So, off to Austin Falbo went, and the rest, as they say, is music history. Or will be, one day. Don’t let Falbo’s Brazilian beginnings give you the wrong impression. Now based in London, his sound is ambiguous except that it’s damn good. Like Falbo …

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BOOK REVIEW: David Kinney, “The Dylanologists”

People get into the fandom scene because they are deeply and sincerely interested in an artist, of course. But it’s also an effective way to boost one’s own self-esteem, because there’s always someone to look down upon and regard with suspicion. Every fan gets to set their own yardstick as to what constitutes “good” and “bad” fandom — and to locate themselves, inevitably, in the “good” category. Like Baby Bear’s porridge, their fannish devotion is neither too hot nor too cool; it’s always ju-u-ust right. As an initiated fan, you can cast confident side-eye on those noobs who haven’t even got the full studio discography, and who don’t even recognize their own favorite songs until the vocals come in. But on the other hand, if you should find yourself the object of family concern because you spend six months a year and thousands of dollars following the band around the country, and sleepless nights scouring the torrent sites for audience bootlegs of that second show in Kuala Lumpur — well, it’s not like you’re obsessed …

Hurtsmile

Exclusive: Extreme’s Gary Cherone Previews The New Hurtsmile Album “Retrogrenade”

Gary Cherone is perhaps best-known for being the longtime vocalist of the Boston-based rock band Extreme and after that, the guy who picked up the microphone for Van Halen as the group’s singer for the Van Halen III album and tour. (If you’re a Van Halen fan, hopefully you got a chance to see Cherone on that tour — the shows were great!) Since 2007, Cherone has been focused on his new band Hurtsmile, a collaboration with his brother Mark playing guitars, bassist Joe Pessia and drummer Dana Spellman. They released their self-titled debut in 2011, which Cherone described at the time as an album which was “about returning to my roots [and] writing a record in my basement — a straight up rock `n’ roll record that turned out to be more diverse and ambitious than I expected.” The Hurtsmile album was well-received and Cherone and crew have come back around for round two, with plans to release their second album Retrogrenade in late May. Fans can pre-order the album now via PledgeMusic and …

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Bob Dylan: Another Self Portrait Vs. The Basement Box

Bob Dylan has long been a dusty bitch, and, indeed, it’s one of his more enduring qualities. So it’s not out of character that Dylan will be releasing a new box set devoted to his maligned Self Portrait double album, which has historically been considered one of the worst records in his career. To add insult to injury, it has also been revealed that far more anticipated box sets, covering the Blonde on Blonde sessions (conversely, considered one of Dylan’s very best records, if not one of the very best in rock history) and a long awaited release of the full Basement Tapes, sit in wait for future release, each of which is apparently not as urgent as what’s being promoted as a “correction” to one of Dylan’s least interesting eras. And just to salt the wound a little more, the Another Self Portrait release will include a Basement-era surprise, “Minstrel Boy,” a recording that has eluded bootleggers, and, as Dylan aficionado Greil Marcus points out, “was never even rumored.” Marcus reviewed the original Self …

Songs of Freedom

Songs of Freedom, Episode 6: Appropriation

The sixth episode of Songs of Freedom focuses on the subject of cultural — especially musical — appropriation, using the inexplicable success of the “Harlem Shake” meme as a jumping-off point. Matthew Bolin and Lyana Fernandez discuss the difference between the meme’d Harlem Shake versus the actual dance, noting not only the lack of sample clearance by Baauer in constructing the “tune,” but the almost total dominance of white individuals taking part in this meme. Is it just a multi-layered form of cultural appropriation (or misappropriation)? Or does it go beyond even ignorance, and straight to what can be labelled “hipster racism”? This leads to discussions of what is “real” versus “artifice” and how that affects discussions of artists such as Amy Winehouse and Justin Timberlake for example. Furthermore, the idea of whether appropriation can ever actually have a positive connotation is debated, and possible examples of it are given. Matthew and Lyana also discuss whether only white fans are brought into the fold when white artists appropriate black culture, or whether, for instance, Eric …

Jim Horn

Legendary Session Man Jim Horn On Working With John Denver And Getting Inside The “Genius” Of Brian Wilson

At 72 years of age, there’s not much that Jim Horn hasn’t done. While his name might not be immediately familiar, you’ve definitely heard a lot of his work over the years. The session vet got his start playing sax and flute as a key member of Duane Eddy’s band in the late ‘50s (in fact, Eddy once turned down an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, because they didn’t allow saxophones – which they called the “instrument of the devil”). His work with Eddy was merely the starting point of his professional career. From there, he would become one of the most in-demand session players (and a member of the well-known “Wrecking Crew”) during the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.  He got the chance to work with all four Beatles. What else needs to be said? Okay fine, here’s more: You’ll find his work on songs like “Good Vibrations,” “God Only Knows by the Beach Boys, “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin” by the Righteous Brothers, music for the movie …

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10 Movies…Directed By Rock and Pop Stars (To Prepare You for Rob Zombie’s ‘The Lords of Salem’)

Lots of musicians decide they are famous and attractive enough to act, but it takes a special kind of hubris to take a break from making music to direct a movie. Sometimes it works out, as with the fruitful horror filmmaking career of Rob Zombie, whose The Lords of Salem comes out this week. Here are some others who gave it a shot. The Education of Charlie Banks The guy who got an Oscar nomination for The Social Network was once directed by Fred Durst, the guy who wrote the line “gimme somethin’ to break / how ‘bout your fuckin’ face.” But he does know what it’s like to be a violent thug, so there’s that. Yentl Streisand has one of the greatest voices ever, and she’s a good actress, too. And then there’s this literal vanity project, in which the 41-year-old Streisand directs her own performance as a teenager, who disguises herself as a boy to attend a yeshiva. Falling From Grace Ol’ John Cougar made himself up a movie-film real good like, with …