In his discussion of the album at the NPR website, Tom Moon writes:
The thumbnail summary already circulating for Beck’s 12th full-length album goes like this: It’s a sequel to Sea Change, the brooding 2002 record frequently mentioned as his masterpiece.
This is useful, to a point, for placing Morning Phase in a general neighborhood. But, like so many descriptors flying around, it doesn’t convey much about the work itself — especially since “sequel” is often shorthand for “copy,” which this most certainly is not. To get a sense of the latest turns in Beck’s journey, go directly to “Wave,” one of several pieces from Morning Phase built on the entrancing string orchestrations of David Richard Campbell, the singer-songwriter’s father. Here, you’ll find no conventional strumming, no weepy pedal-steel guitar, no drums at all — just low strings droning in support of a disconsolate, almost detached vocal. Through the somber haze comes a melody defined by strangely upturned half-steps, culminating in unsettling repetitions of the word “isolation,” over and over.
“Wave” has little in common with what most think of as pop music — and, for that matter, with what most think of as Beck music. Even those who know Sea Change will be surprised by the song’s stark sense of drama. In a recent All Songs Considered interview, Beck describes the long interval between Morning Phase and 2008’s Modern Guilt as a process of rediscovery. He was contending with personal issues, including a serious back injury that prevented him from performing, and when he found it difficult to write for himself, he devoted his energy to covers of classic records and writing for other artists (his 2012 Song Reader, the sheet-music folio, is one byproduct). It took him a long time to develop the new album, he says, because he’d been challenging himself to write in different ways — and didn’t always believe that the results were worth sharing.
Swedish singer Lykke Li told the NMEthat her upcoming and third album is the third in a coming of age trilogy that started with 2008’s Youth Novels and continued with 2011’s Wounded Rhymes.
She told the British music paper that the album is about the “intense period” of being a woman in her 20s.
“It’s always about me and the guilt and the shame and the hurt and the pride and the confusion of being a woman.”
She also told the NME that she didn’t believe she was understood as an artist.
“I always feel like I’ve been slightly misunderstood. As a woman you get judged for appearances or things like that I don’t really care about. If anything I want to be seen as a singer-songwriter rather than a pop artist. I really feel like I’ve found my voice.”
Some videos from the first two albums:
“I Follow Rivers”:
“Sadness Is A Blessing”:
“I’m Good I’m Gone”:
-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-
The fourth Sharon Van Etten album will be called Are We There? and will include guest appearances by Torres, Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg, Lower Dens’ Jana Hunter, and Peter Broderick, according to Brooklyn Vegan. The album is due out in May 2014.
Van Etten released a terrific third album, Tramp, in 2012.
Some of the songs from Are We There? have been played by Van Etten in concert: “Nothing will Change,” “Tarifa,” and “Your Love Is Killing Me.” ALso on the album: “You Know Me Well,” “Pay My Debts,” “Afraid of Nothing,” and “Break Me.”
Check out some fan videos of the new songs below:
“Nothing Will Change”:
“Your Love Is Killing Me”:
Thanks for the news and videos, Brooklyn Vegan!
-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-
Rosanne Cash’s new album, The River & ZThe Sea, is now streaming at NPR’s “First Listen.”
From the NPR website:
Each song is rooted in the Southern soil connecting the old Cash homestead in Arkansas to the family’s ancestral Virginia homeland, expanding to survey the family’s artistic roots in Alabama and Tennessee. Some narratives are fictional, while others mine family lore. Each unfolds in a subtle arc made three-dimensional by Cash’s introspective lyrics and the genre-dissolving blend of country, soul and torch songs that she and her husband and producer, John Leventhal, cultivate.
In 1994 Verruca Salt arrived in a blast of red hot punk energy. “Seether” was a hit, and their album American Thighs, produced by Brad Wood, was terrific.
And then everything went wrong. They signed with the big New York management company, Q Prime (Metallica, Def Leppard) and recorded a glossy second album that had nothing to do with the indie rock of American Thighs.
“Number One Blind”:
Nina Gordon went solo, and the band wasn’t the same without her. And Verruca Salt faded away, a one-hit wonder.
This past March 15 the original lineup of Verruca Salt — Nina Gordon, Louise Post, Jim Shapiro, and Steve Lack — announced they were reforming: “or now let’s just say this: hatchets buried, axes exhumed” they posted on Facebook.
Now they’re recording a new album with Brad Wood (yes!) producing, Brooklyn Vegan reports.
And soon Nina Gordon and Louise Post with perform together for the first time in 15 years. On December 18 as part of Second City’s 2013 24-Hour Improv & Music Benefit in Los Angeles, Verruca Salt will once again rock the house. They hit the stage at 10 AM CST (11 AM EST) and, like the rest of the benefit, will be broadcast live online,Brooklyn Vegan reports.
I interviewed Veruca Salt for my online magazine, Addicted To Noise, back in 1995 following their success with “Seether.”
Drummer/producer Jim Eno is halfway through mixing a new Spoon album in Buffalo, NY, with Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips), according to Consequence of Sound.
The album will be the group’s eighth studio album and the followup to 2010’s Transference.
Recording began this past spring at Eno’s Public Hi-Fi Studios in Austin, TX, Consequence of Sound reports, and so far the group has recorded at least ten songs: “The Rent I Pay,” “Naff Bag,” “Millionaires,” “Let Me Be Mine,” “Modern Girls,” “I Ain’t the One,” “Fresh From Your Pages,” “Give Me It,” “They Want My Soul”, and an untitled song.
New Springsteen album, High Hopes, will be released January 14, 2014.
The album mixes covers, originals and new versions of older songs. Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello appears on eight tracks. It was produced by Brendan O’Brien and Ron Aniello.
Here’s more info off Springsteen’s website:
High Hopes finds Bruce in a number of different musical settings, and includes the members of the E Street Band as well as guitarist Tom Morello and many additional players. Recorded in New Jersey, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Australia and New York City, High Hopes marks Bruce’s 18th studio album and includes his own liner notes that detail the album’s evolution, viewable now at brucespringsteen.net.
Morello joined Bruce and the E Street Band on tour in Australia in March 2013 (sitting in for Steve Van Zandt), and became, as Bruce says, “my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level.” Besides his guitar playing on the album, Morello also duets with Bruce on ”The Ghost of Tom Joad.” Clarence Clemons, who passed away in 2011, and Danny Federici, who passed away in 2008, also appear on several songs of what Springsteen calls “some of our best unreleased material from the past decade.”
Here’s the “High Hopes” video:
High Hopes tracklisting:
1. High Hopes (Tim Scott McConnell) – featuring Tom Morello
2. Harry’s Place * – featuring Tom Morello
3. American Skin (41 Shots) – featuring Tom Morello
4. Just Like Fire Would (Chris J. Bailey) – featuring Tom Morello
5. Down In The Hole *
6. Heaven’s Wall ** – featuring Tom Morello
7. Frankie Fell In Love
8. This Is Your Sword
9. Hunter Of Invisible Game * – featuring Tom Morello
10. The Ghost of Tom Joad – duet with Tom Morello
11. The Wall
12. Dream Baby Dream (Martin Rev and Alan Vega) – featuring Tom Morello
All songs written by Bruce Springsteen except as noted
Album produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen
*Produced by Brendan O’Brien
**Produced by Brendan O’Brien, co-produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen
Here are Springsteen’s liner notes:
I was working on a record of some of our best unreleased material from the past decade when Tom Morello (sitting in for Steve during the Australian leg of our tour) suggested we ought to add “High Hopes” to our live set. I had cut “High Hopes”, a song by Tim Scott McConnell of the LA based Havalinas, in the 90′s. We worked it up in our Aussie rehearsals and Tom then proceeded to burn the house down with it. We re-cut it mid tour at Studios 301 in Sydney along with “Just Like Fire Would”, a song from one of my favorite early Australian punk bands, The Saints (check out “I’m Stranded”). Tom and his guitar became my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level. Thanks for the inspiration Tom.
Some of these songs, “American Skin” and “Ghost of Tom Joad”, you’ll be familiar with from our live versions. I felt they were among the best of my writing and deserved a proper studio recording. “The Wall” is something I’d played on stage a few times and remains very close to my heart. The title and idea were Joe Grushecky’s, then the song appeared after Patti and I made a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. It was inspired by my memories of Walter Cichon. Walter was one of the great early Jersey Shore rockers, who along with his brother Ray (one of my early guitar mentors) led the “Motifs”. The Motifs were a local rock band who were always a head above everybody else. Raw, sexy and rebellious, they were the heroes you aspired to be. But these were heroes you could touch, speak to, and go to with your musical inquiries. Cool, but always accessible, they were an inspiration to me, and many young working musicians in 1960′s central New Jersey. Though my character in “The Wall” is a Marine, Walter was actually in the Army, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry. He was the first person I ever stood in the presence of who was filled with the mystique of the true rock star. Walter went missing in action in Vietnam in March 1968. He still performs somewhat regularly in my mind, the way he stood, dressed, held the tambourine, the casual cool, the freeness. The man who by his attitude, his walk said “you can defy all this, all of what’s here, all of what you’ve been taught, taught to fear, to love and you’ll still be alright.” His was a terrible loss to us, his loved ones and the local music scene. I still miss him.
This is music I always felt needed to be released. From the gangsters of “Harry’s Place”, the ill-prepared roomies on “Frankie Fell In Love” (shades of Steve and I bumming together in our Asbury Park apartment) the travelers in the wasteland of “Hunter Of Invisible Game,” to the soldier and his visiting friend in “The Wall”, I felt they all deserved a home and a hearing. Hope you enjoy it.