Thursday, February 28, 2013

VIDEO: "Coming Down" by Dum Dum Girls

The Dum Dum Girls' 2011 album "Only in Dreams"is a great rock-pop album, but there's a darkness behind many of the catchy tunes. Band leader Dee Dee wrote many of the songs as her mother battled, and then succumbed to, a sudden onset of cancer.

One of those songs is "Coming Down," a lovely, slow ballad that Dee Dee wrote after her mother's death. The song superbly spotlights Dee Dee's voice, and on the album it clocks in at more than six minutes. Above is the official video for "Coming Down," which runs a little over four minutes.

For E.C.H.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Now Streaming: Hear New CDs from Johnny Marr, Josh Ritter, Chelsea Light Moving, & More

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter has put out a number of excellent albums, and his new "The Beast in its Tracks"—written after his recent divorce—is one of the most anticipated albums streaming online this week. It's available on NPR Music, as are several new albums from indie groups: the new collections from Youth Lagoon, Waxahatchee, Chelsea Light Moving (fronted by Thurston Moore), and Cloud Cult.

Stream Josh Ritter's new album, and a live show, at NPR Music.

(As the photo above notes, you can stream Ritter's show from New York live on Monday, March 4th at 8 p.m. Eastern.)

Spinner is streaming another much-anticipated disc, the new release from former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Also on Spinner: albums from Doldrums, Suuns, and BOY, among others.

KCRW is offering a two-disc collection documenting Celluloid Records. Artists in this collection include Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Manu Dibango, Fab 5 Freddy, and Ginger Baker. and a track featuring legendary producer and Chic leader Nile Rodgers.

Learn more about Celluloid Records and see the track listing here.

NPR First Listen:"Wondrous Bughouse" by Youth Lagoon
"The Beast in its Tracks" by Josh Ritter
"Cerulean Salt" by Waxahatchee
"Presente" by Bajofondo
"Chelsea Light Moving" by Chelsea Light Moving
"Love" by Cloud Cult

KCRW Album Preview: 
"Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1979-1987, Disc One and Disc Two" by various artists's Listening Party:
"The Messenger" by Johnny Marr
"Black Sun" by Gold Fields
"Nights and Weekends" by El Sportivo & The Blooz
"Images du Futur" by Suuns
"Lesser Evil" by Doldrums
"Mutual Friends" by BOY
"Modern Dances" by Teen Girl Scientist Monthly
"Galapagos" by Post War Years

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Stay Golden" by Taddy Porter

Friday, February 22, 2013

Concert Notes: Tickets for Garbage, Iron & Wine, Son Volt, & More on Sale Friday

There are plenty of good shows going on sale Friday, including Garbage booking a second appearance in the NYC area at Monclair's Wellmont Theatre, Robyn Hitchock playing Webster Hall (with R.E.M.'s Peter Buck opening), Iron & Wine performing at the Beacon, and Son Volt returning for two shows, one at Bowery Ballroom and one in Williamsburg.

Garbage returns to the NYC area with a show at the Wellmont.

And one of the first outdoor concerts of the summer appears, with tickets for July's Celebrate Brooklyn show with Belle & Sebastian and Yo La Tengo going on sale tomorrow.

* Garbage at the Wellmont Theatre (Montclair, NJ), Wed., March 20th. On sale Friday at 12 Noon

* Marnie Stern at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Thurs., April 11th. On sale Friday at 12 Noon

* Born Ruffians at Bowery Ballroom, Tues., April 16th (on sale Friday at 12 Noon) and at Maxwell's, Thurs., April 18th (on sale now).

* Aimee Mann at Union County Performing Arts Center (Rahway, NJ), Tues., April 23rd. On sale Friday at 11 a.m.

* Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 at Webster Hall, Fri., April 26th, with Peter Buck opening. On sale Friday at 12 Noon
Tedeschi Trucks Band at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (Newark), Sat., April 27th. On sale Friday at 10 a.m.

* Volbeat at the Wellmont Theatre, Thurs., May 2nd, with All That Remains and Eye Empire. On sale Friday at 12 Noon

* Iron and Wine at the Beacon Theatre, with the Secret Sisters, Tues., May 14th. On sale Friday at 11 a.m.

* Son Volt at Bowery Ballroom, Fri., June 14th, and at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Sat., June 15th. On sale Friday at 12 Noon

* Belle & Sebastian with Yo La Tengo at Celebrate Brooklyn, Thurs., July 11th. On sale Friday at 12 Noon

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Music Notes: Mindy McCready Dead; Alabama Shakes on "SNL;" New Music from Civil Wars, The Strokes, & More

Among the notes on new albums this post was going to report, there's a sad new bit of news: country singing star Mindy McCready was found dead of a gunshot wound Sunday, apparently self inflicted, at a home in Heber Springs, Arkansas.

The 37-year-old performer, best known for her mid-1990s hits such as "Guys Do It All the Time" and "Ten Thousand Angels," had a turbulent personal life following her initial professional success. There were problems with doing drugs and with trying to fraudulently buy OxyContin, as well as a custody battle (with her mother) over her oldest son, a drunk driving arrest, an overdose, and at least two suicide attempts.

It's sad to see such a talented and popular singer derailed by personal demons. R.I.P., Mindy McCready.

Here's some other recent music news, which all of a sudden doesn't seem so important...

* Alabama Shakes got a big publicity boost last night when they were the musical guest on "Saturday Night Live." The band, which played "Hold On" and "," was the number-one item on Google Trends, a listing of the most-searched-for topics on the world's leading search engine.

* Radiohead fans will be glad to know that Thom Yorke and the boys are planning to start work on a new album in September. (via Rolling Stone)

* British Sea Power is also coming out with a new album, "Machineries of Joy," and you can stream the title track at Consequence of Sound. (via Consequence of Sound)

* And there's more new music: The Strokes have released a new single, "All The Time," and the Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett (who just won a Grammy with Taylor Swift for "Safe and Sound") also have a new song out. (via Rolling Stone)

* The word "out" is also associated with Lady Gaga, but not in a good way: the singer is out of action for the time being. She's been forced to cancel her entire current tour due to a tear in a hip muscle, which will require surgery. (via Consequence of Sound)

* Mudhoney is going on tour to support their latest album, "Vanishing Point." The Seattle band, one of the original grunge-rock bands from the 1990s, will play Bowery Ballroom on May 11th and Music Hall of Williamsburg the next night. (via Consequence of Sound)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Concert Notes: Tickets for The Postal Service, Mudhoney, fun., Aimee Mann, & More on Sale This Weekend

Just a quick post here with links to a bunch of interesting concerts going on sale Friday, Feb. 16th, and a few that go up for grabs Saturday. Among the offerings: 'the innovative 70s-and-beyond rock performer and producer Todd Rundgren, !!!, Foals, Youth Lagoon, the return of Mudhoney, and Kurt Vile.

fun. plays two summer nights in July with Tegan and Sara.

Also, The Postal Service has added another show at the Barclays Center; Aimee Mann returns to New York; and fun., fresh off its Grammy wins, will play two shows in July at Pier 26 on the Hudson River (with Tegan and Sara on the bill).


* Scott Weiland at Irving Plaza: Celebrating STP Core and Purple in their entirety, Sat., March 9th. On sale Friday at 10 a.m.
* Todd Rundgren at Gramercy Theatre, Fri,. May 10th. On sale Friday at 10 a.m.
* !!! at Bowery Ballroom, Fri., May 17th. On sale Friday at 12 Noon
* Ben Howard at Central Park SummerStage, with very special guest Michael Kiwanuka, Monday, July 29th. On sale Friday at 12 Noon
* Foals at Terminal 5, Friday, May 3rd. On sale Friday at 12 Noon
* Youth Lagoon with Eddi Front at Bowery Ballroom, Wed., March 6th. On sale Friday at 12 Noon
* The Virgins and Har Mar Superstar at Bowery Ballroom, Mon., April 1st. On sale Friday at 12 Noon
* Aimee Mann at Webster Hall, Sat., April 20th. On sale Friday at 12 Noon
* Kurt Vile and the Violators at Bowery Ballroom, with Angel Olsen and Steve Gunn, Thurs., May 16th. On sale Friday at 12 Noon
* Mudhoney at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Sat., May 11th, and at Bowery Ballroom, Sun., May 12th. Both on sale Friday at 12 Noon

On Sale Saturday February 16 at 12 Noon:
* The Postal Service at the Barclays Center, Sat., June 15th.
* fun. at Pier 26 at Hudson River Park, Mon., July 22nd and Tues., July 23rd.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Ahead of 2013 Grammys, Springsteen Receives MusiCares Honor (and Concert)

There will no doubt be plenty of fine live performances at Sunday's Grammys television show, but I'd bet few of them will top the power of Friday night's concert to honor Bruce Springsteen, the MusiCares Person of the Year.

As you'd expect, the Los Angeles show featured an all-star cast of A-list musicians performing songs by The Boss. Often these type of shows don't get me too excited, but this lineup of musicians and songs had me intrigued (as various attendees live-tweeted them), and seeing the excepts below got me even more interested.

 There was Neil Young and Crazy Horse doing "Born in the U.S.A.," Mumford and Sons performing "I'm on Fire," Jackson Browne and Tom Morello singing "American Skin (41 Shots)," Alabama Shakes rocking "Adam Raised a Cain," and Sting doing "Lonesome Day," plus a short set of Springsteen and the E Street Band performing their own songs. (Consequence of Sound gives the full setlist.)

The article also says that these MusiCares concerts are often issued on DVD, and this is one that I'd seriously consider buying.

Speaking of Springsteen, he's nominated for one three Grammys this year: "We Take Care of Our Own" for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song, and "Wrecking Ball"for Best Rock Album.

Check out the complete list of 2013 Grammy nominees here (it will be updated with the winners throughout tomorrow's broadcast). Download the Grammy pre-telecast program (PDF), showing the majority of Grammy categories, and watch the pre-telecast awards streamed live Sunday afternoon at starting at 3 p.m.

Also: see who's performing on the telecast, which starts at 8 p.m. on CBS, and follow the latest news on Twitter at

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Concert Notes: Tickets for The Breeders, The Postal Service, Johnny Marr, & More on Sale Friday

The reunion tours of The Breeders and The Postal Service highlight the concert tickets that are going on sale tomorrow (and Saturday, in one case). The Breeders are playing Webster Hall to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their breakthrough "Last Splash" album (which is being re-released), and touring with the band's lineup from that album. Their March 29th show at the Bell House sold out in a nanosecond, but you'll have a better chance of getting tickets to their May 6th show.

It's a new year, and The Breeders are celebrating with a reunion tour.

Meanwhile, Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello are headlining the Barclays Center to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Postal Service's lone album, "Give Up."(The album will be given the deluxe-reissue treatment in April, with two new songs and 15 unreleased tunes.) The Postal Service's show also includes Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis and Laura Burhenn (of Mynabirds).

And there's another reunion, this time with a brand-new album: Redd Kross plays an early show at Santos' House Party to promote its comeback album, last year's well-reviewed "Researching the Blues." Tickets for this show are on sale now.

The Hives are also returning to New York to headline Irving Plaza, as are the Presidents of the United States of America and Johnny Marr (of The Smiths).

It's a great lineup of shows on sale this week; pull out your credit card and get ready to buy some tickets!

* Redd Kross at Santos House Party, Sat., April 6th. On sale now

* The Hives at Irving Plaza, Sun., March 24th. On sale Friday at 10 a.m.

* Local H at Gramercy Theatre, Wed., March 27th. On sale Friday at 10 a.m.

* Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau at Bowery Ballroom, Tues., April 9th. On sale Friday at 12 Noon (Thile, a former member of Nickel Creek and current member of the Punch Brothers, is one of the most recent winners of a MacArthur Foundation grant)

* The Presidents of the United States of America at Irving Plaza, Mon., April 15th. On sale Sat., Feb. 9th at 10 a.m.

* Johnny Marr at Irving Plaza, Thurs., May 2nd. On sale at 10 a.m.

* Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite: An Evening of the Blues at the Beacon Theatre, Fri., May 3rd. On sale Friday at 10 a.m.

* The Breeders at Webster Hall, Mon., May 6th. On sale Friday at 12 Noon

* The Postal Service at the Barclays Center, Fri., June 14th; with Jenny Lewis and Laura Burhenn. On sale Friday at 10 a.m. (See other tour dates and more on the Postal Service reunion tour at Consequence of Sound.)

* Happy Together Tour with The Turtles, Gary Puckett, and more - State Theatre (New Brunswick, NJ), Thurs., June 20th; Paramount Theatre (Asbury Park, NJ), Sat., July 27th; Bergen Performing Arts Center Englewood, NJ), Tues., July 30th. On sale now

Monday, February 04, 2013

Now Streaming: Hear New CDs from Eels, Ron Sexsmith,The Bronx, & More

If you're a fan of Eels, the eclectic rock group led by (and sometimes consisting solely of) Mark Oliver Everett, better known as simply "E," you'll want to check out their new modestly titled album, "Wonderful, Glorious Eels," which is steaming on Spinner this week.

[Update, Feb. 8th: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' "" is now streaming at NPR Music as of today. See link below.]

Among the other albums streaming this week are new releases from Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith and L.A. punk group The Bronx (which put out a mariachi album a couple of years ago). And, speaking of eclectic, NPR Music has "The Jazz Age" by The Bryan Ferry Orchestra, which features the Roxy Music leader giving the band's music a new twist as jazz pieces will full orchestra. If you're curious to see how Ferry interprets classic tunes like "Love is the Drug" or "Avalon" as big-band tunes, this is the album for you.

The album seems to have been issued late last year, but is streaming this week on NPR Music.

NPR First Listen:
"Push the Sky Away" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
"The Jazz Age" by The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
"At Peace" by Ballake Sissoko

KCRW Album Preview: 
"Automechanic" by Jenny O's Listening Party:
"Regions of Light and Sound of God" by Jim James
"Wonderful, Glorious Eels" by Eels
"The Bronx IV" by The Bronx
"Fury Oh Fury" by Nico Vega
"Forever Endeavour" by Ron Sexsmith
"Companion" by Companion
"Us Alone" by Hayden
"Closer Still" by Summer Hours

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"House of Mercy" by Bex Marshall

Saturday, February 02, 2013

My Bloody Valentine Releases "mbv," Its First Album in 21 Years

Yes, My Bloody Valentine has today released mbv, its first album in two decades—but you may have to wait a bit longer to get it. That's because as of 7:30 ET Saturday night, visitors to the My Bloody Valentine website have been getting the following message:

If you're lucky, you won't get this message when trying to order the new My Bloody Valentine album.

[UPDATE: Don't know how long the site was unavailable, but it's back up as of 11:35 p.m. Saturday night.]

See this article at Consequence of Sound for more information about the band and its upcoming tour dates (limited to Europe and Japan, so far; no U.S. dates yet). The article says that "mbv" is available in three formats: digital download, CD, and limited-edition 180 gram vinyl, with several different digital file types and quality/size options (each digital format is the same price).

If at first you don't succeed... well, you know the rest. Good luck!