Saturday, June 30, 2012

Inaugural CBGB Festival - What to See, What's Free

As mentioned here back in May, the inaugural CBGB Festival takes place this week (July 5th through 8th), and besides having more than 300 bands playing, there's a full-fledge movie festival with some great rock film. Oh, and a music conference, film conference, and a spirits festival (now that's something I haven't heard of at most festivals).

The CBGB Festival includes music galore, including two free concerts.
And in addition to the previously announced free SummerStage concert featuring Guided by Voices, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and more on Saturday afternoon, there's another huge, multistage free show in Times Square that same day, which will feature food vendors, music shop booths, and other attractions, according to Brooklyn Vegan, in addition to live music.

So who's playing the Times Square concert? BV speculates that Superchunk, the Hold Steady, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah may be on the bill. [Update: also confirmed for the free CBGB Times Square show are Duff McKagen's Loaded, Upper West, Zulu Wave, and Glint.]

As of now you can buy passes for the non-free events of the music festival for only $79, which is more than reasonable considering all the acts playing (although many showcases are going on simultaneously, and you'll need to get to venues early since it's first come, first serve).
See the CBGB Festival music page for details on all the showcase acts and venues, and see the complete music schedule for who's playing where and when. Some of the acts playing on each day:

Thursday, July 5th: Richard Lloyd, Agnostic Front, The Rattlers, Tuff Darts, David Johansen, Glen Matlock, the Sick F*cks, Tommy Ramone, Steve Almaas, The Baseball Project, Craig Finn, FIDLAR, My Pet Dragon

Friday, July 6th: Willie Nile, Redd Kross, Reggie Watts, Elliot & the Ghost, Sick of It All, Cro-Mags, JD Samson & MEN, So So Glos, DJ Jonathan Toubin, PS I Love You, Donovan Frankenreiter, Sick F*cks, Wyldlife

Saturday, July 7th: Guided By Voices, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The War on Drugs, and Cloud Nothings (all in one FREE show at Central Park SummerStage, starting at 3 p.m.), as well as the other free concert at Time Square. There are also for-pay shows at other venues with sets by D Generation, The Whores, and more.

Sunday, July 8th: Fishbone and Paranoid Social Club

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Music Notes: Download New Corin Tucker Song, Muse Goes for Gold, Free Williamsburg Concerts, & More

Here's a roundup of news from around the music world: new songs, free concerts, & various other things.

* Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney has a new song out, "Groundhog Day," and you can download it here, (via Consequence of Sound and Pitchfork). It's the lead-off track from the group's forthcoming second album, "Kill My Blues" (cover below) which will come out on Sept. 18th on Kill Rock Stars.

Album cover of the second full-length from the Corin Tucker Band.

* Muse has also released a new song, "Survival," which has been tapped as the official song of the 2012 London Olympics (listen below). You're going to be hearing it everywhere; get used to it now.

* The schedule for free concerts at the Williamsburg waterfront have been released, and there are three solid shows:
July 19th: Pretty Good Friends with Eugene Mirman and special musical guest OK Go
August 18th: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings with Antibalas
Sept. 7th: Bob Mould (performing Sugar's "Copper Blue" as well as songs from his new album, "Silver Age," as well as tunes from Husker Du, Sugar, and his solo career).

The shows take place at Williamsburg Park at N. 12th St. and Kent Ave. See Free Williamsburg for more information on free and ticketed concerts and links to buying tickets.

* Mumford & Sons announced summer tour dates, and they're coming to Hoboken on August 1st. They'll be playing at Pier A park, and tickets are $55 (but have no additional fees). For that price, I'll wait to see if there's a good opening act on the bill. Tickets go on sale here on Friday the 29th (presale is the 28th).

See here for tickets for all other summer Mumford shows.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Now Streaming: New CDs from Everest, Echo Lake, A Place to Bury Strangers, & More

There aren't a whole lot of new albums streaming online this week, but there are releases by some veteran artists and much-anticipated CDs by newer acts. Among the latter are albums by L.A.'s Everest (chosen by Neil Young to be one of his openers), British band Echo Lake, and New York's own A Place to Bury Strangers, as well as the quirky and captivating California singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop.

(Sadly, the drummer for Echo Lake, Pete Hayes, died last week, which is not only a devastating personal loss for the band but a huge professional setback for a band that was ramping up to tour in support of its debut album.)

A Place to Bury Strangers performing at a recent show in Newcastle.

A few veteran artists are back in the game with new releases, too: Everclear, They Might Be Giants, The Offspring, Blues Traveler, and Joe Jackson, whose new album contain his interpretations of classic Duke Ellington songs.

Also streaming is a star-studded tribute album to guitarist/singer/songwriter Rainer Ptacek, who died in 1997. I'm not familiar with his work, but this collection (which was originally released before he died) has contributions by a great collection of singer-songwriters including Evan Dando, Emmylou Harris, John Wesley Harding, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, and Chuck Prophet, as well as artists teaming up with Ptacek himself.

Dive in and enjoy!'s Listening Party:
"Wild Peace" by Echo Lake
"Ownerless" by Everest
"The House That Jack Built" by Jesca Hoop
"Invisible Stars" by Everclear
"Worship" by A Place to Bury Strangers
"Days Go By" by The Offspring
"No!" by They Might Be Giants
"The Tarnished Gold" by Beachwood Sparks
"The Duke" by Joe Jackson
"The Inner Flame: A Tribute to Rainer Ptacek" by various artists

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Suzie Cracks the Whip" by Blues Traveler
"Mindy Smith" by Mindy Smith
"The Science of Making Choices" by Mieka Pauley
"Old Believers" by Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons

Friday, June 22, 2012

Free Concerts this Weekend: Punk Island, Alabama Shakes, Real Estate, & More

Now that the crazy midsummer heat and humidity (and the thunderstorms) have cleared out, it's time to see some great concerts—and there are plenty to free ones to choose from. Sunday alone has a veritable embarrassment of riches, in terms of free music.

(Of course there are also any number of paid concerts going on, one the most tempting being the Metallica-curated Orion Music & More Festival in Atlantic City. And tickets still seem to be available, according to the website. (If you can't make it to AC, watch the Orion Festival webcast, which will be streaming certain sets. See the link for details.)

And whoops, I forgot: this is also the weekend for the Governor's Ball on Randall's Island, featuring Fiona Apple, Beck, Passion Pit, Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Explosions in the Sky, and Santigold, among others.

After the video below, a look at some of the top free shows this weekend.

Ridgewood, NJ's Real Estate plays a free show in its hometown Sunday night.

* The Wood Brothers and Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis play the "Summer On the Oval" series at the Stuyvesant Town Oval (252 1st Avenue) at 3 p.m. Saturday. This is a high-powered lineup of roots music, with brothers Chris and Oliver Wood (the former is a founding member of Medeski Martin & Wood) and the husband-and-wife country duo of Robison and Willis. The series is open to residents of Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town and their guests, though I'm guessing you can hear the music from adjacent streets? (If anybody knows for sure, please leave a comment below.)

* Governor's Island once again becomes a self-contained world of all things punk rock with the return of Punk Island. More than 60 bands will perform starting at 12 Noon and running till midnight. It's all outdoors, all ages, and all free. Here's a partial list of the confirmed acts (see stage schedule here):
Sworn Enemy * Two-Man Advantage * Wombat in Combat * Panzie * Bucket Flush * The Scutches * InCircles * Hostile Times * Fried Chicken & Gasoline * The Nihilistics * Barons of Tang * World War IX * Cultivator * The Will * (A) Truth * Skum City * All New Episode * Praxis
* Alabama Shakes, Diamond Rugs, and Robert Ellis play SummerStage in Central Park at 3 p.m. Alabama Shakes has gained a lot of new fans through its sizzling live performances, and earlier this year finally came out with an album. This show is sure to attract a big crowd, so get to the Park early. And follow SummerStage on Twitter the day of the show to get updates on how the line's moving, etc.

* Real Estate, Toasted Plastic, and Spook Houses play an outdoor show in Real Estate's hometown of Ridgewood, NJ on Sunday night at 7 p.m. The concert takes place at the Kasschau Memorial Shell in Graydon Park (see map), which is near the intersection of North Maple Ave. and Linwood Ave. W. There are NJ Transit buses to Ridgewood from NYC, and Graydon Park isn't too far from the Ridgewood train station (you can get a cab there if you don't feel like walking.) Thanks to for the heads-up on this gig.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Free Concerts: Madison Square Park and RiverRocks (Pier 84)

Here's information on two very different free-music series going on in NYC this summer, the Mad. Sq. Music series and the RiverRocks concerts at Pier 84.

Bettye LaVette plays Madison Square Park on Aug. 8th.

* Mad. Sq. Music features roots music on the lawn on Wednesday nights (usually), from June 20th to August 8th (oops, I'm writing this too late for the first show).
* RiverRocks, whose concerts skew towards indie artists, is once again limited to a small number of shows (three), but it has a good lineup of popular, in-demand acts. Shows take place Thursday nights at Pier 84 (Hudson River at 44th Street).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Now Streaming: New CDs from Smashing Pumpkins, Hacienda, Kate Miller-Heidke, & More

The '90s may be long gone, but Smashing Pumpkins are back with a new album, "Oceania," and it's one of the new releases available for online streaming this week. While the band has been gone, it's been influencing a number of younger musicians (which can be heard most clearly in Silversun Pickups). And frontman Billy Corgan has worked on a number of projects, including a previous Pumpkins reunion.

Listen to Smashing Pumpkins' new "Oceania" at Spinner this week.

So how does "Oceania" measure up against classic Pumpkins works of the past? Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune says in his review that it "adds up to Corgan's best work since the '90s."

What else is streaming this week? Kate Miller-Heidke (famous for "Are You Ready?," a hit that was also used in commercials for the New York Lottery) is back with her new album, "Nightflight." The San Antonio band Hacienda (which opened for The Duke Spirit last Saturday at Highline Ballroom), is streaming its new album, "Shakedown," which they created with help from Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.

There's "The Tarnished Gold," the first album in more than a decade by the band Beachwood Sparks. And for jazz fans, the prolific Henry Threadgill and his current band Zooid are back with a new release that's streaming this week. (You'll find some background on the album and on Threadgill here from NPR, and from a story they did on him in 2010.)

As always, the Spinner and AOL Music websites offer many more selections than those listed here; visit the links below to browse all the choices.

NPR First Listen:
"The Tarnished Gold" by Beachwood Sparks
"Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp" by Henry Threadgill Zooid's Listening Party:
"Oceania" by Smashing Pumpkins
"Rhythm and Repose" by Glen Hansard
"Carry the Fire" by Delta Rae
"Tightrope Walker" by Maren Parusel
"New Look" by New Look
"Shakedown" by Hacienda

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Nightflight" by Kate Miller-Heidke
"California" EP by Tamar Kaprelian

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Free Concert Notes: River to River Festival Returns Sunday (Music Schedule)

The downtown River to River Festival is back starting on Sunday, and running until July 15th. Yes, once again River to River, which used to run all summer, will be a one-month series jam packed with multiple events almost every day. And, as always, all the events are free.
Eleanor Friedberger is one of the performers at River to River 2012.

River to River includes dance, art, and more, but naturally Podcast Party is squarely focused on the music. The venues include a range of sites, indoors and out, all over lower Manhattan (see links below for descriptions of artists and location of venues). You'll find the full River to River music schedule here, but below are most of the rock/pop highlights of the month-long free festival:

* Thurs., June 21st: Eddie Palmieri, Rockefeller Park, 7 p.m.
* Tues., June 26th: Suzanne Vega and Gabriel Kahane, Rockefeller Park, 7 p.m.
* Wed., June 27th: Emily Elbert, One Liberty Plaza, 12:30 p.m.
* Wed., June 27th: Third World, Rockefeller Park, 7 p.m.
* Fri., June 29th: Veronica Falls with The People's Temple, Pier 17, The Seaport, 7 p.m.
* Sat., June 30th: Ecstatic™ Summer: Roomful of Teeth with Merrill Garbus & William Brittelle and Judd Greenstein's The Yehudim, World Financial Center Plaza, 7 p.m.

* Mon., July 2nd: The Bridge to Broadway starring Rebecca Luker, Marin Mazzie, Matt Munisteri, Gretchen Parlato, Sachal Vasandani, and Tia Fuller, Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City, 7 p.m.
* Tues., July 3rd: Pakistani singer-songwriter Arieb Azhar, Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
* Thurs., July 5th: Megan Burtt & The Cure for Love, One New York Plaza, 12:30 p.m.
* Fri., July 6th: Patrick Watson with Loney Dear, Pier 17, The Seaport, 7 p.m.
* Tues., July 10th: Afro-Caribbean band Locos Por Juana, World Financial Center Plaza, 5:30 p.m.
* Tues., July 10th: Salsa legend La India with Aurora & Zon del Barrio, Rockefeller Park, 7 p.m.
* Wed., July 11th: Singer Ian Link, One Liberty Plaza, 12:30 p.m.
* Thurs., July 12th: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Rockefeller Park, 7 p.m.
* Fri., July 13th: Eleanor Friedberger with Ex Cops, Pier 17, The Seaport, 8 p.m.

For more details, see the River to River website. And for breaking word on cancellations or venue changes related to weather, follow River to River on Twitter at @R2RFestival.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Concert Notes: Brooklyn Northside Festival, Clearwater, & More This Week

It's going to be an absurdly full weekend of music in the New York area, and it starts early tomorrow with Laura Marling at Celebrate Brooklyn and the beginning of the Brooklyn Northside Festival. The dB's, who are reunited and back with a new album, play at Le Poisson Rouge on Friday. And there's another great free show on Saturday, when Dawes and Kurt Vile and the Violators play SummerStage in Central Park in the evening.

And there's a solid musical lineup at the Clearwater festival on the Hudson River in Westchester.

Holiday Surprise 1, 2, 3 by Olivia Tremor Control, which is playing the Northside Festival. 

* The music portion of the Northside festival runs from June 14th to 17th (there are also film, entrepreneurship, and art programs). On the slate are Brooklyn bands such as Dinosaur Feathers and A Million Years (who I was impressed by a couple years ago at the Union County [NJ] Festival), as well as national and international acts such as:
Asobi Seksu, Buke and Gass, Caveman, Exitmusic, the Felice Brothers, Grass Widow, GZA, Jens Lekman, Kitty Pryde, Leda, Of Montreal, The Olivia Tremor Control, ?uestlove, The Thermals, These United States, Tinariwen, and Widowspeak, among many others.
Having trouble picking what to see? Check out Free Williamsburg's choices for the best things to see at the Northside Festival. [Update: The Village Voice's "Sound of the City" column put up its guide to the top seven Northside concerts, with videos, on Thursday.]

It all kicks off Thursday at 7 p.m. On the following days, the music starts in the afternoon (4 p.m. on Friday; earlier on Saturday and Sunday). Find the complete Northside music schedule here, and get Northside badge and ticket information here.

* Clearwater's annual Hudson River Revival (Saturday and Sunday) has quite a strong musical lineup this year, with top-notch artists from the festival's traditional roots-oriented genres of folk/Americana, rock, blues, and more. Below are some of the highlights from each day. See the full Clearwater stage schedule here.

Arlo and the Guthrie Family, Aoife O'Donovan, Donna the Buffalo, Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band, Joan Osborne and the Holmes Brothers, Forro in the Dark, Bela Fleck, Tom Chapin, Guy Davis, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Deer Tick, Ani DiFranco, David Wax Museum, Jose Conde, Martin Sexton, Alejandro Escovedo, Dawes, Loudon Wainwright III, Jill Sobule, The Klezmatics, Holly Near, Sara Watkins, Ollabelle, and Balkan Beat Box

I'm sure there's a festival or two that I've forgotten about; if I remember what they were I'll post info on them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Now Streaming: New CDs from Fiona Apple, Glen Hansard, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, & More

The wait is over for streaming one of the most anticipated albums of the last few months: Fiona Apple's first album in seven years, "The Idler Wheel..." (the full title is more than 20 words long). We first got a taste of some of the songs when she performed at SXSW earlier this year, and as more songs have been heard the album has been making a number of critics' best-of-the-year-so-far lists.

Watch the video for "Every Single Night" below, which starts with Apple wearing an octopus on her head and goes on to show her cavorting with snails and other sea creatures. Oh, and what looks like a human brain.

Video for "Every Single Night" by Fiona Apple.

Apple comes from a stellar singing and show-business background: her grandfather was vocalist for the Harry James Big Band, and her parents literally met on Broadway (they were both performing in the musical "Applause"). Apple's sister, Maude Maggart, is an in-demand cabaret singer who appears on "The Idler Wheel..." (and is performing at Feinstein's at Loews Regency in New York through Saturday, June 16th).

Also new this week is a solo album by Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard, a member of The Frames but better known as half of The Swell Season, the stars and musicians from the movie "Once" (which had quite a good week as a Broadway musical, winning eight Tony awards on Sunday).

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are back with a new album, as are The Bouncing Souls, Wintersleep, These United States, and more. You'll also get another chance to stream Metric's new album "Synthetica," and Hot Chip's "In Our Heads," which are available on Spinner this week.

Many of these acts are out on the road promoting their new albums, so watch for them at a concert call or festival near you.

NPR First Listen:
"The Idler Wheel..." by Fiona Apple
"Rhythm And Repose" by Glen Hansard
"The Cherry Thing" by Neneh Cherry and the Thing's Listening Party:
"Synthetica" by Metric
"The Lion The Beast The Beat" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
"Comet" by The Bouncing Souls
"In Our Heads" by Hot Chip
"The Plot Against Common Sense" by Future of the Left
"Traps" by Jaill
"Hello Hum" by Wintersleep
"These United States" by These United States
"The Elle King EP" by Elle King
"Ode to Sentience" by Emily Jane White
"O'Doubt O'Stars" by Ruby Throat

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Life Will Write the Words" by The Rocket Summer
"Songs From the Laundromat" (EP) by Drivin' and Cryin'
"Heartbreakers" by Phoebe Jean & the Air Force

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Today: "Sounds of Hoboken" All Day, All Over Town

Not sure how I didn't hear about this before, but today (Sunday) is the day for "Sounds of Hoboken," an all-day event featuring free musical performances all over the Mile Square City.  

Download the "Sounds of Hoboken" guide below to see what's happening.

Beginning in the late 1970s, a wide range of bands have either formed in Hoboken, recorded there, or gotten a boost there, most often by performing at clubs such as Maxwell's and the long-departed Beat 'N Path.

"Sounds of Hoboken" started at 11 a.m. and runs until 7 p.m. The musicians will be performing in venues ranging from inside stores and bars to out in the parks. Check the link for the artists participating, and download the full schedule (PDF document), which lets you see all the goings-on two different ways. You can view all the venues in alphabetical order, or look for musicians (also listed alphabetically).

I haven't heard of a lot of the musicians who are participating, but some of them include:

2011 Hoboken Sinatra Idol Greg Myers * Drums of Thunder * Emily Turonis and the Ideals * Gene D. Plumber * Jack Skuller * Jon & Deena (from The Cucumbers) * Preschool of Rock * SummerStage Pro’s cast of "Les Miserables" * members of The Fave * and many more

If you're in or around Hoboken, by all means check out "Sounds of Hoboken." It's a beautiful day to be out and about, and all the music is free.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Concert Notes: The Walkmen, Neil Young, M83, Gotye, Melvins Lite, & More On Sale

Tickets for another batch of great shows goes on sale this weekend, including Neil Young and Crazy Horse (with Patti Smith and Everest as openers, no less), The Walkmen, Gotye, a second show for M83, and Melvins Lite. Most of these shows go on sale Friday, June 8th; here's what's coming up:

Neil Young and Crazy Horse play the Garden on Nov. 27th.

On sale Friday, June 8th:
* Gotye at Radio City Music Hall (with Missy Higgins and Jonti), Tues., Sept. 25th. On sale: 10 a.m.
* Gotye at Williamsburg Park (with Givers and Zammuto), Thurs., Sept. 27th. On sale: 10 a.m.
* Social Distortion at Roseland Ballroom (with Lindi Ortega & The Biters), Fri., Oct. 26th. On sale: 11 a.m.
* Grizzly Bear at Radio City Music Hall, Mon., Sept. 24th. On sale: 11 a.m.
* Bobby Womack at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Tues., July 3rd. On sale: 12 Noon.
* M83 at Hammerstein Ballroom, Wed., Oct. 3rd. On sale: 12 Noon.
* Melvins Lite at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Thurs., Oct. 4th. On sale: 12 Noon.
* The Raveonettes at Webster Hall (with Melody's Echo Chamber), Fri., Oct. 5th. On sale: 12 Noon.
* The Walkmen at Terminal 5, Thurs., Oct. 18th, On sale: 12 Noon.
* Esperanza Spalding: Radio Music Society at the Apollo Theater, Fri., Oct. 26th. On sale: 12 Noon.

On sale Saturday, June 9th:
* Ben Folds Five Reunion at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, Fri., Sept. 14th. On sale: 10 a.m.

On sale Sunday, June 10th:
* Neil Young & Crazy Horse at Madison Square Garden (with Patti Smith and Everest), Tues., Nov. 27th. On sale: 12 Noon.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Music Notes: New Bob Mould Album & Tour, Amanda Palmer Raises $1 Mil; IUMA Revived;

Veteran rockers are back on the road and a newer artist has raised a record-breaking bundle of cash online in this edition of Music Notes:

* Bob Mould has announced a new set of tour dates, as well as more details on his new album. The new release, "Silver Age," will be released Sept. 4th on his new record label, Merge. Mould's website say the 10 new tunes on the album are "in the punishingly loud melodically sparkling pop/rock vein of the Sugar catalogue being reissued on Merge July 24."

The cover of Bob Mould's new album, "Silver Age."

Speaking of the Sugar releases, this is the 20th anniversary of the band's "Copper Blue," and Mould and his band (Jon Wurster and Jason Narducy) will be performing the album in its entirety, as well as songs from other Sugar albums, Hüsker Dü tunes, and selections from Mould's solo albums, depending on the date.

The Bob Mould tour comes to New York on September 7th with a gig at Webster Hall.

* Like many musicians these days who split from major labels, Amanda Palmer set up a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for her new album. Unlike most of them, however, Palmer (who now seems to be calling herself Amanda F*cking Palmer) not only exceeded her funding goal but blew it out of the water. Instead of raising $100,000, the campaign raised over one million dollars (from close to 21,000 different backers). She passed the initial $100,000 goal on the campaign's first day, and raised a Kickstarter record $379,000 in two days.

What's the money being used for? For one thing, manufacturing and promotion. And artwork: Palmer says she's "been working in secret with OVER THIRTY visual artist friends of mine... to create a massive explosion of song-inspired album art, in all different kinds of media."

As with any Kickstarter campaign, people can choose to contribute a variety of dollar amounts, and get progressively more valuable goodies as the amount increases. (Palmer's campaign was distinctive for offering nearly two dozen donation amounts and accompanying goodies.) If you just want the MP3 version of the new album (which is what I chose), the cost is only $1.

It's baaack: The Internet Underground Music Archive returns!

* Before, eMusic, etc., the Internet Underground Music Archive (IUMA) was the place to discover new music with licensed downloads. As a "GigaOm" article notes, "the site also struggled to pioneer a business model for online music, and eventually shut down in 2006, with hundreds of thousands of songs going offline – until now." (At one point, IUMA was actually bought by eMusic, which is still going today.)

Jason Scott, the man behind, eventually rescued IUMA by uploading a large portion of it to the Internet Archive, Browse through IUMA and take a trip back in time, musically speaking. To learn more about IUMA's history, read Scott's description here, which includes a link to a CNN video on IUMA (from 1994!).

Monday, June 04, 2012

Now Streaming: New CDs from Metric, The Hives, Alejandro Escovedo, & More

Some great albums are up for online streaming this week, including new releases from some of my favorites: Metric, Alejandro Escovedo, The Hives, Shawn Colvin, and Rhett Miller. And that's just for starters; you'll also be able to listen to the new albums by Pujol, The Temper Trap, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Melvins, Langhorne Slim, and soul legend Bobby Womack.

Above: One of the "Reflections" videos Metric produced for its new album, "Synthetica."

Speaking of legends, Womack isn't the only veteran artists with a new album on preview. This week you'll find the first new album by The Beach Boys in what seems like forever (see a New York Times review), a new release by Joe Walsh, and a special box set (and other commemorative editions) marking the the 25th anniversary Paul Simon's "Graceland."

I've been a fan of Shawn Colvin since I first saw her play with a rock band she had back in the early 1980s, so I'm definitely looking forward to hearing "All Fall Down," her first studio album in almost six years. It comes out tomorrow, the same day that Colvin's autobiography, "Diamond in the Rough," is released. (Colvin will do an appearance and book signing in New York Tuesday, June 6th at 6 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble in Tribeca.)

There's a second chance to listen to the new album from The Walkmen, Crocodiles, and Jherek Bischoff. And for all the fans of '80s rock and big hair, AOL Music is streaming the soundtrack of the "Rock of Ages" movie this week.

"Synthetica" by Metric

NPR First Listen:
"There's No Leaving Now" by Tallest Man on Earth
"'The Bravest Man In The Universe" by Bobby Womack
"In Our Heads" by Hot Chip's Listening Party:
"Lex Hives" by The Hives
"Big Station" by Alejandro Escovedo
"Endless Flowers" by Crocodiles
"Heaven" by The Walkmen
"The Temper Trap" by The Temper Trap
"That's Why God Made the Radio" by The Beach Boys
"Graceland (25th Anniversary Box Set)" by Paul Simon
"The Dreamer" by Rhett Miller
"United States of Being" by Pujol
"Freak Puke" by The Melvins
"The Way We Move" by Langhorne Slim
"Composed" by Jherek Bischoff
"Analog" Man by Joe Walsh

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Rock of Ages: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" by various artists
"All Fall Down" by Shawn Colvin

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Jimmy Cliff Kicks Off 2012 Celebrate Brooklyn Free Concerts June 5th (Schedule)

Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff takes the stage this Tuesday, June 5th to open the 2012 season of free concerts at Celebrate Brooklyn. Tuesday's show begins at 8 p.m.

Celebrate Brooklyn returns this week. Mark your calendars!

The Celebrate Brooklyn concerts take place at the Prospect Park bandshell, near 9th Street and Prospect Park West. Although all the shows below are free, a $3 contribution is suggested. There are some great folk/rock/indie acts such as Cliff, Laura Marling, Keb' Mo, Wild Flag, and Lyle Lovett, but you'll also find Latin, gospel, soul, and R&B. I find that these free shows are good for checking out artists and genres that I might not ordinarily see live. (Listen to songs from the artists at the "Celebrate Brooklyn Shuffle" SoundCloud page.)

Here's the lineup; click on the links for each artist/show to see more details (and, in many cases, videos):
Celebrate Brooklyn also includes a number of benefit concerts (some, if not most, may be already sold out). And there are some free shows that I haven't listed above (movies, ballet, etc.) See the Celebrate Brooklyn home page for the full lineup.