Dec 20, 2013

COWBOY JUNKIES


TorontoCanada (1986 – present)



The Cowboy Junkies is a Canadian alt-country band formed by three siblings from the Timmins entertainment family (Margo Timmins, vocals; Michael Timmins, songwriter & guitars; Peter Timmins, drums) plus Alan Anton on bass. The group formed in Toronto in 1986. The band’s name was simply a random choice as they approached their first ever gig, but it has come to perfectly represent their sound. (Some sources may credit Townes Van Zandt’s song “Cowboy Junkies Lament” as the source of the band’s name, but that song was written especially for Cowboy Junkies several years after they coined the name.) 


The Trinity Session is perhaps their best known record, recorded live in a single day on a single microphone in a church in Toronto. This album also included a unique cover version of Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane”. Reed reportedly liked the Junkies’ version of the song better than his own, and began performing their version in concert.

None of the band’s subsequent albums have been hits outside of Canada, although the band has maintained a dedicated following and have continued to have chart hits in their native country. Following their 1998 album Miles from Our Home, Cowboy Junkies were dropped from their major label contract. They have continued to release albums on their own independent label, Latent Records.






Dec 13, 2013

PEARL JAM

Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. Since its inception, the band’s line-up has included Eddie Vedder (lead vocals, guitar), Jeff Ament (bass guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), Mike McCready (lead guitar), and drummer Matt Cameron, who has been with the band since 1998.
Formed after the demise of Ament and Gossard’s previous band Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam broke into the mainstream with its debut album Ten. One of the key bands of the grunge movement in the early 1990s, Pearl Jam was criticized early on—most notably by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain—as being a corporate cash-in on the alternative rock explosion. However, over the course of the band’s career its members became noted for their refusal to adhere to traditional music industry practices, including refusing to make music videos and engaging in a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster. In 2006, Rolling Stone described the band as having “spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame.”




The band has sold 30 million records in the U.S., and an estimated 60 million albums worldwide. Pearl Jam has outlasted many of its contemporaries from the alternative rock breakthrough of the early 1990s and is considered one of the most influential bands of the decade. Allmusic calls it “the most popular American rock & roll band of the ’90s”. Though formed in 90’ their first album wasn’t until 1991 [Ten] which include hit songs such as Jeremy , Even flow , and Alive.




Dec 4, 2013

THE STILLS


Montreal, Quebec, Canada (2000 – 2011)



The Stills were an indie rock band which formed in 2000 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The band consisted of Tim Fletcher (vocals, guitar), Greg Paquet (guitar), Liam O’Neil (keyboards), Oliver Corbeil (bass) and Dave Hamelin (drums, vocals, guitar). The band released three albums, “Logic Will Break Your Heart” (2003), “Without Feathers” (2006) and “Oceans Will Rise” (2008), before splitting in 2011. 

Paquet left the band in 2005, with drummer Hamelin replacing him as guitarist and Julian Blais replacing Hamelin as drummer. In 2010, Paquet returned to the band and Blais left, reverting the band to their original lineup.











Nov 28, 2013

LED ZEPPELIN


Led Zeppelin were an English rock band originally formed in 1968 by guitarist Jimmy Page under the name “The New Yardbirds”, based on Page’s previous band, The Yardbirds. The band formed when Jimmy Page (guitar) recruited Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica), John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards, mandolin), and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven blues-rock sound, Led Zeppelin are regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal and hard rock music. However, the band’s individualistic style drew from many sources and transcends any one genre. Led Zeppelin did not release songs from their albums as singles in the UK, as they preferred to develop the concept of “album-oriented rock”.



Thirty years after disbanding following Bonham’s death in 1980, the band continues to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success, and broad influence. The band have sold over 200 million albums worldwide, including 111.5 million certified units in the United States, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. They have had all of their original studio albums reach the top ten of the Billboard album chart in the US, with six reaching the number one spot.

Shortly after their first tour, the group’s eponymous first album was released on 12th January 1969. Its blend of blues and rock influences with distorted amplification made it one of the pivotal records in the evolution of heavy metal music. Although several of Led Zeppelin’s earliest songs were based on or were cover versions of blues standards, others such as “Communication Breakdown” had a unique and distinctively heavy sound. Led Zeppelin also featured delicate acoustic guitar on “Black Mountain Side” in which the influence of Davy Graham can be heard, and a combination of acoustic and electric approaches on the reworked folk song “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”. The immediate success of the first album kick-started the band’s career, especially in the United States, where they would frequently tour. 

The second record, simply titled Led Zeppelin II, followed in similar style later that year, and was an even greater success for the group, reaching the number-one chart position in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were blues fanatics; their first album included the Willie Dixon song “You Shook Me”, and their later hit “Whole Lotta Love” was lyrically very similar to an earlier Dixon song. (The band were subsequently accused of using his lyrics without crediting Dixon, and it was not until Chess Records brought suit fifteen years later, that proper credit - and a monetary settlement - was given.) 

The band also loved American rock and roll; the exuberant styles of Fats Domino and Little Richard were inspirations, and Led Zeppelin would perform rockabilly songs originally made famous by Elvis Presley and Eddie Cochran. Onstage, Led Zeppelin concerts could last more than three hours; expanded, improvised live versions of their song repertoire often incorporated tight workouts of James BrownStax, and Motown-influenced soul music and funk (favourites of bassist Jones and drummer Bonham).

For the writing of the music on their third album, Led Zeppelin III, the band retired to Bron-yr-Aur, a remote cottage in Wales. This resulted in a more acoustic sound (and a song “Bron-yr-Aur Stomp”, misspellt as “Bron-y-Aur Stomp” on the album cover) strongly influenced by Celtic and folk music. Led Zeppelin III also ushered in an era of unique album jackets, this one featuring a wheel that displayed various images through cutouts in the main jacket sleeve when rotated. In November 1970 Led Zeppelin’s record label, Atlantic Records, released “Immigrant Song” as a single against the band’s wishes (Atlantic had earlier released an edited version of “Whole Lotta Love” which cut the 5:34 song to 3:10). It included their only B-side, “Hey Hey What Can I Do”. Even though the band saw their albums as indivisible, whole listening experiences - and their manager, Peter Grant, maintained an aggressive pro-album stance - nine other singles were released without their consent. The group also resisted television appearances, which would have reduced their ability to control their presentation and sound quality. Lack of Zeppelin television exposure also enforced the band’s preference that their fans hear and see them in person.




Their fourth album, Led Zeppelin IV was actually untitled, but is commonly referred to as Zoso, Runes, The Fourth Album, Sticks, Man with Sticks, or Four Symbols; it featured “Stairway to Heaven”, which Jimmy Page performed on stage on a custom-built double-necked electric Gibson guitar, the top neck a twelve-stringed version.

Over twenty-five years after disbanding in response to drummer John Bonham’s tragic death in 1980, Led Zeppelin continue to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success and influence.

Since they disbanded, Page, Plant, and Jones have only played together on rare occasions. Page and Plant did get back together to record No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded as part of the MTV Unplugged series in 1994, which was accompanied by a worldwide tour, and again in 1998 for the studio album Walking Into Clarksdale. John Paul Jones also has performed since the break up - at the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tennessee. He was part of a “SuperJam” featuring himself on bass, Ben Harper on guitar, and Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson on drums. He also played as a guest during the sets of various other artists throughout the weekend. 

Most recently Led Zeppelin have reformed (with Jason Bonham filling in on drums) for a one-off reunion concert in memory of Atlantic Records co-founder and executive Ahmet Ertegün. After a postponement due to Jimmy Page fracturing one of his fingers, the group performed on 10th December 2007 at the O2 Arena, London. The concert was filmed for a potential DVD release. Jimmy Page has hinted that the group may start work on new material, and that a world tour may be in the works.







Nov 25, 2013

DUB TRIO

Dub Trio is a live dub/rock band from Brooklyn, New York.

Dub Trio is made up by DP Holmes (guitar & keyboards) Stu Brooks (bass & keyboards) and Joe Tomino (drums & melodica). With revolutionary combinations of electronic, rock, and jazz, Dub Trio pay homage to King Tubby’s original dub style. In the past they have toured with Meat Beat Manifesto and Soulive. They are all sought after session musicians, having recorded with the likes of Bo Bice, G-Unit, Tony Yayo, Mobb Deep, and Macy Gray. Joe Tomino recently recorded an album with The Fugees. DP Holmes can be heard on albums by Mos Def and Common. 

In 2005 Dub Trio embarked on their first recorded effort with vocals, exchanging files with Mike Patton. This song, titled “Not Alone”, was featured on both Dub Trio’s 2006 sophomore record, New Heavy as well as Mike Patton’s 2006 album under the artist name Peeping Tom, also accompanying Peeping Tom on tour in 2007.















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Nov 20, 2013

THE SMITHS

The Smiths were a rock band which formed in 1982 in Manchester, England, United Kingdom. The band consisted of Morrissey (vocals, lyrics), Johnny Marr (guitar, music), Mike Joyce (drums) and Andy Rourke (bass). Hugely influential, The Smiths lasted all of five years from 1982 to 1987, releasing during this period four studio albums (The SmithsMeat Is MurderThe Queen Is Dead and Strangeways, Here We Come) and three compilation albums (Hatful of HollowThe World Won’t Listen and Louder Than Bombs). Meat Is Murder went on to enter the British charts at number one in February of 1985, and The Queen Is Dead further confirmed the band’s popularity with its release in spring 1986. Greeted with enthusiastic reviews and peaking at number two on the U.K. charts, the album also developed The Smiths’ cult following in the U.S., breaking into the Top 100.



After the band’s split in 1987, a further six albums have been released, bringing the total number of Smiths albums to 13. These albums consisted of another five compilation albums (Best… I…Best IISinglesThe Very Best of the Smiths and The Sound of The Smiths), and one live album (Rank) recorded before the band’s split during The Queen Is Dead tour. Both “Best I” and “Best II” were heavily criticised by critics and some fans; “The Very Best of”, was very similar content to said “Best” albums, sold excellently, but drew much criticism from press and the band, who had no input.

Former members

Bass was originally played by Dale Hibbert, but he was replaced after 4 months. Craig Gannon was briefly a second guitarist for the band in 1986.
See The Smiths First Meetings







Nov 15, 2013

RORY GALLAGHER

Rory Gallagher (1948-1995) was a legendary Irish blues/rock guitarist, born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, and raised in County Cork. He is regularly credited as one of the most influential Irish rock and blues musicians of all time.
Before finding solo fame he was a member of blues-rock band Taste.

In 1972 he was voted Melody Maker’s Top Musician of the Year, dethroning Eric Clapton.

Rory died of complications following a liver transplant in 1995. As the funeral cortege moved through the streets of Cork, his life and music was celebrated by the city’s citizens. He is buried in St. Oliver’s Cemetery just outside the city.

Generally regarded as one of the top ten guitarists ever, many of today’s top musicians, includingThe Edge from U2Slash of Guns N’ RosesJohnny Marr of The Smiths and Brian May of Queen cite Rory as an inspiration in their formative musical years. It is also well documented that The Rolling Stones auditioned Rory for the band as their permanent guitarist in the ’70s but he refused on the basis that it was against all he believed in terms of his own name and style. Though Rory Gallagher never released a single, Rory Gallagher’s albums have sold in excess of30 million copies worldwide.




A square in Cork City was named after him in 1997 and signature edition of his Fender Stratocaster guitar was released as well.

In 2002 he appeared on a Republic of Ireland postage stamp.

There is a Rory Gallagher Corner at Meeting House Square in Temple Bar, Dublin.
On the 19th May 2006, a life-size bronze statue in the shape of his Stratocaster has been installed at this very corner. Some of those who attended the unveiling include The Edge of U2 and the Lord Mayor of Dublin.




Nov 10, 2013

THE ALBUM LEAF



The Album Leaf officially began in 1998 as the solo project of Jimmy LaValle, guitarist for San Diego, California-based post-rock band Tristeza. LaValle has also performed in several other San Diego-area bands, including Swing Kids, The Locust, GoGoGo Airheart, and The Black Heart Procession.

An Orchestrated Rise to Fall

Jimmy LaValle had been playing an ocarina in the post-rock instrumental band Tristeza. Being a multi-instrumentalist, during downtime in the fall of 1998, he began playing drums for San Diego band GoGoGo Airheart. The singer and guitarist for the group, Mike Vermillion (which later inspired the song name “Vermillion” on One Day I’ll Be on Time) recorded LaValle doing improvised material playing to a vintage roland drum machine on a Rhodes Piano that would become his first full-length album, the 10-track An Orchestrated Rise to Fall. Benjamin White of GoGoGo Airheart and Vermillion both supplied added improvisation with synthesizers and vocals to these recordings.

Before Tristeza released Spine and Sensory on Makoto records in 1998, the band was talking with a handful of different indie record labels. One of the record labels was “The Music Fellowship” out of Salt Lake City, Utah. LaValle asked them if they would be interested in releasing his solo material. They accepted, and An Orchestrated Rise to Fall saw release in 1999 on CD. Later in the year, Tristeza and The Album Leaf both signed with newly started Tigerstyle Records out of New York City. A&R rep for the Tigerstyle, Mike Treff, had previously done his own record label named Linkwork Records. Tigerstyle wanted to release the vinyl version of An Orchestrated Rise to Fall, since it would be one of the first Tigerstyle releases, and being only on Vinyl format, Mike opted to make it Linkwork Records last release.

LaValle played his first official Album Leaf show at the Che Cafe in the winter of 1999. Band members for this show consisted of Rafter Roberts, Jimmy Lehner (of Tristeza), Leilani Clark (of local San Diego band, “The Straight A’s” also with LaValle), and Benjamin White (of GoGoGo Airheart).

One Day I’ll Be on Time

Soon after signing with Tigerstyle Records, LaValle received his first recording advance. He used this money to buy his first computer, and purchase equipment for a home recording studio. He did his first recordings and those songs were released as a 4 song EP entitled In An Off White Room on Troubleman Records Unlimited. The title for the EP was named after the color of his home studio, which was in his living room. During off time of Tristeza’s busy tour schedule promoting their Tigerstyle records release of Dream Signals in Full Circles in 2000, he began writing One Day I’ll Be on Time.

The Album Leaf performed their second show during Tristeza’s 2000 spring tour, at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. This show was at Club Deville, at a day party for online distributor, Insound.com. This line-up consisted of Lavalle, Leilani Clark on guitar and keyboards, Tana Helean on keyboards, Susanna Waiche on bass and Jay Hough (of GoGoGoAirheart) on Drums. They shared the stage with Tristeza and The American Analog Set. This lineup also did a 4 week U.S. tour in the summer of 2000 with Andy Robillard (also of GoGoGo Airheart) replacing Hough on Drums.

After the summer tour, he took a full time job in San Diego at newly started music house, “Singing Serpent” producing jingles for television commercials. This also gave him access to a full service recording studio. LaValle used this studio to re-record the material he had written forOne Day I’ll be On Time. Rafter Roberts recorded the track “Storyboard” and can be heard in the beginning of the song talking with LaValle about his guitar tone. Jason Soares of San Diego band Aspects of Physics provided drum programming for the song “Vermillion”, and fellow Tristeza band-mate, Christopher Sprague, played guitar on “In Between Lines” and designed the album art. After completing this record, LaValle left Singing Serpent citing “Making jingles was killing my creativity!”

One Day I’ll Be on Time saw worldwide release in early 2001. Jón Þór Birgisson of Icelandic band,Sigur Rós, picked up the record at a record store in Reykjavík, Iceland. This prompted them to ask LaValle to support their upcoming U.S. tour. This would put The Album Leaf in front of new audiences, which helped the band gain popularity. The Album Leaf supported Sigur Rós on their first full US tour. This line-up consisted of LaValle, Luis Hermosillo (of Tristeza) on bass, Nathan Delffs on keyboards and guitar, Eric Hinjosa on keyboards and Andy Robillard still on drums. This line-up also toured the U.S. during December of 2001 and Summer 2002 without Hinojosa.

During this time LaValle wrote 2 songs for Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes to sing on and 2 songs for Marc Bianchi of Her Space Holiday beginning a series of 7” singles entitled the “Collaboration Series” released by Better Looking Records. This series is limited to 1000 copies and is only available to subscribers. The tracks with Oberst were titled “Hungry For A Holiday” and “Bad Blood”. The tracks with Bianchi were titled “Call in Blue’ and “Reso” (after future violinist, Matt Resovich). The Her Space Holiday collaboration would not be released until 2003.

In January of 2003, The Album Leaf toured Japan for the second time. The first time was an opening slot for LaValle’s band, Tristeza, in spring of 2002 where he performed with fellow band members Luis Hermosillo and Eric Hinojosa. This was a headlining tour with fellow San Diego band, Ilya supporting. LaValle enlisted Duane Pitre, Matthew Baker and Hank Morton of Ilya to back him along with Robillard on drums.

Immediately following this tour, LaValle was offered to support Sigur Rós’ European tour. This tour he performed solo and started incorporating electronic beats and loop pedals into his live show in order to perform his songs as a one man band. Later during this tour, Kjartan Sveinsson, Orri Páll Dýrason and María Huld Markan of Sigur Rós and Amiina respectively, began to join LaValle on stage performing on a couple of songs during his half-hour performance slot.

Upon returning home, he had put together another line-up for supporting the U.S. portion of Sigur Rós’ tour. This line-up was Hermosillo, Delffs with Tim Reece now on drums. Kjartan Sveinsson, Orri Páll Dýrason and María Huld Markan would still join them on stage. This tour saw the Album Leaf playing at music venues such as Radio City Music Hall in New York City, gaining even more popularity for the band.

After these tours, LaValle decided to leave Tristeza and focus on the Album Leaf full time.

A Lifetime or More and the Seal Beach EP

During the following months of 2003, LaValle began recording again. He recorded 3 tracks for a split EP with New York City’s, On! Air! Library! for the Arena Rock Recording Co. called A Lifetime or More. Drew Andrews provided guitar for the track “Another Day”. During May of 2003, with his new addition of electronic beats, he recorded 5 songs released as the “Seal Beach EP” for Spanish record label Acuarela Discos.

In August of 2003, The Album Leaf headlined a tour of the U.S. with fellow San Diego band, Ilya. This tour introduced the Album Leaf’s use of live visual projection art by Andrew Pates and the line-up went down to just LaValle and Drew Andrews on keyboards and guitar with them incorporating laptops and Pates projecting visuals onto a backdrop of the stage. The line-up was becoming more permanent.

Following this tour, LaValle traveled to Iceland to begin recording his third full length. During the Sigur Rós European and U.S. tours. LaValle received an invite from Sigur Rós to record in their Icelandic studio. During these recording sessions the Album Leaf performed 2 shows in Iceland, one being a part of the Iceland Airwaves music festival with LaValle being backed by Kjartan Sveinsson, Orri Páll Dýrason and María Huld Markan of Sigur Rós and Amiina with Sindri Mar Finnbogason playing bass.

In December of 2003, The Album Leaf opened for The American Analog Set on their U.S. tour. This line-up consisted of Matt Resovich on violin, Andrew Kinney (of The American Analog Set) and Sean Ripple (of The American Analog Set) with Pates doing live projections.

In a Safe Place

In the January of 2004, LaValle signed with Seattle based record label, Sub Pop Records and Berlin, Germany based European label City Slang Records. LaValle completed In a Safe Place in February of 2004. Jón Þór Birgisson, Kjartan Sveinsson, and Orri Páll Dýrason (most of the members of Sigur Rós), María Huld Markan (of Amiina), Gyða Valtýsdóttir (formally of múm) , Pall Jenkins and Matt Resovich (of the blackheart procession) all contributed to the record with Birgir Jon Birgisson, “Biggi,” engineering at Sigur Rós’ Sundlaugin studio.

In a Safe Place was released on June 22, 2004. The Album Leaf played a record release show at M-Theory Records in San Diego with its current line-up of Matt Resovich on violin, keyboards, glockenspiel, guitar, and vocals, Drew Andrews on guitar, keyboards, and vocals, Tim Reece on drums and keyboards with Andrew Pates projecting live visuals. Following the release, the Album Leaf toured for a year with little time off performing in the U.S., Europe, Taiwan, and Japan. During this time, the Album Leaf self released the Red Tour EP with 5 tracks. This was to showcase the band as individuals and each member (With the exception of Reece) providing their own song, the cd is also enhanced with a tour video made by Andrew Pates. The EP also featured a live recording of “Micro Melodies” a song that only appeared on the soundtrack for the film Moog, a documentary about Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer. The track “Over The Pond” is also used in the film The Family Friend (L’Amico di Famiglia) by Paolo Sorrentino.

This record saw more commercial success and popularity establishing LaValle’s The Album Leaf on the map and playing to bigger audiences… Many of the tracks from In a Safe Place were used in the soundtracks for television shows such as The OC and CSI: Miami.

Following the extensive touring, LaValle re-joined Tristeza filling in on guitar for 2 shows in Guadalajara and Mexico City in place of Alison Ables, the replacement to the band for himself. When he returned, LaValle began writing his next full length.

In December of 2005, LaValle traveled to Seattle, Washington to Bearcreek Recording Studio to begin tracking the record. After tracking, he then traveled back to Sigur Rós’ Sundlaugin studio to mix the record with the help of Brigir Jon Birgisson and Joshua Eustis (of Telefon Tel Aviv).

Into the Blue Again

On September 12, 2006, Into the Blue Again was released on Sub Pop Records in North America. The album saw an earlier release in Germany on September 8, 2006 and throughout the rest of Europe on September 11, 2006 courtesy of City Slang Records. Into the Blue Again sees a return to The Album Leaf’s conception and LaValle handling virtually all instrumental duties. LaValle’s few collaborators on Into the Blue Again are Josh Eutis of Telefon Tel Aviv, who aided additional drum programming and engineering on choice songs, The Black Heart Procession’s Pall Jenkins adding vocal harmonies on “Wherever I Go,” violinist Matt Resovich (who performs with The Album Leaf live, and also played on In a Safe Place), Drew Andrews adding additional guitar work on select songs (Drew also performs with The Album Leaf live)

The Album Leaf has toured extensively through the United States, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, New Australia and Taiwan.







Nov 5, 2013

PETER GABRIEL


Peter Gabriel (born Peter Brian Gabriel on 13 February 1950) is an internationally-famous award-winning English singer, musician, and songwriter who rose to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock band Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career. His 1986 album, So, is his most commercially successful, and the album’s biggest hit, “Sledgehammer”, won a record nine at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards. Throughout his career Gabriel has won numerous music awards, including three Brit Awards (winning Best British Male in 1987), six Grammy Awards, and thirteen MTV Video Music Awards. In 2007 he was honoured as a BMI Icon at the 57th annual BMI London Awards for his “influence on genera
tions of music makers”. In 2009 he was awarded the Polar Music Prize and, in 2010, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis.

Gabriel founded Genesis in 1967 with fellow Charterhouse School pupils Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford, and drummer Chris Stewart. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel began to experiment with various elements of world music as the underpinning for his dense, poetic lyrics. Although he released a series of successful song-oriented albums, Gabriel 1, 2, 3, and 4 (aka Car, Scratch, Melt, and Security), he didn’t really hit a commercial high until 1986 with his now seminal album So and its slightly less successful counterpart Us. After this came a 10 year hiatus until the album Up came out. This was followed by the ground breaking Growing Up tour. There was a DVD released of this tour. His 2010 studio album is Scratch My Back. 

Gabriel has composed and recorded soundtracks for films as diverse as Birdy (which contained re-purposed snippets of his studio albums to date), Passion: Music from The Last Temptation of Christ, and Rabbit Proof Fence. He also sang the Randy Newman composed title song to Babe: Pig in the City called That’ll Do. He recently contributed to the wall-e soundtrack, singing the end title song Down to Earth, and composing two other tracks.






He created one of the more innovative videos of its time for the song Sledgehammer, with the then-fledgling Aardman Animations studio.

He was also instrumental in founding the long-running festival organization WOMAD (World Of Music Art and Dance), and participated in the UK millennium celebration, for which he wrote the musical OVO. The recording studio he built, Real World, and the record label it spawned, have brought many artists from around the world to the attention of Western ears.

Gabriel also wrote the music for The Millennium Show which was performed throughout the year 2000 in The Millennium Dome. The arena where The Millennium Show was performed is now the O2 Arena.

Rumors of reunion with his former band Genesis have persisted, with conflicting information that changes almost daily, although he has confirmed he will not play a part in Genesis’ reunion tour. [note: the reunion WAS in rehearsals when Gabriel decided not to do it because he felt like he wasn’t having enough input.]









Nov 1, 2013

THE KOOKS


British indie rock band - formed in Brighton, England, United Kingdom in 2004. The band currently consists of Luke Pritchard (vocals, guitar), Hugh Harris (guitar), Peter Denton (bass) and Nick Millard (drums). Nick is currently filling in for Paul Garred due to a recent arm injury. They have released three studio albums; their 2006 debut Inside In/Inside Out peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart, and their 2008 follow up Konk reached number one. The Junk Of The Heart (Happy) Songfacts reports that Pritchard found himself writing lyrics containing a lot of emotional drama for their third album and the phrase ‘junk of the heart’ kept coming back to him. Junk of the Heart was released September 12, 2011.

The Kooks formed at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music, where they were all students. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Luke Pritchard, got bassist Max Rafferty involved in a college project, which formed the base of the band. After getting lead guitarist Hugh Harris and drummer Paul Garred involved, they took their name from the song Kooks on the 1971 David Bowie album Hunky Dory. When they tried to trademark the name, they found that in the late/mid 1990s a Swedish band by the same name released an album in Sweden called Too Much Is Not Enough.

The Kooks released a debut EP and played gigs around Brighton, where they were based at the time. They were signed to Virgin Records.






Oct 28, 2013

THE VERVE


The Verve (originally Verve) is an English alternative rock band. The band was formed in 1989 at Winstanley College, Wigan, Greater Manchester, England, by vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bassist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. Simon Tong later became a member. The band originally split in 1995, but reunited in 1996 to great commercial success. They split once more in April 1999. The band reunited once more in June of 2007, but this reunion was short lived and the band split again in August 2009.

Beginning with a psychedelic sound indebted to space rock and shoegazer music, by the mid-1990s the band had released several EPs and two acclaimed records. They also endured name and lineup changes, breakups, health problems, drug abuse and various lawsuits. The band’s commercial breakthrough was Urban Hymns and its single Bittersweet Symphony, which became a massive worldwide hit.

Soon after this commercial peak, the band quit amid creative struggles within, and Ashcroft went onto a successful solo career. Tong briefly joined Blur as a replacement for Graham Coxon. It is rumored that Simon Jones did a studio album with Ari Pap of the Floor Monks
 called ‘Aint Nothing To It’ and was never released because they both had bigger projects going on at the time. Close family and friends assure us its a fabulous indie/rock/alternate album and they really wish it would have been released.



The Verve were chosen to close the 2008 Glastonbury festival which they did with a set based on the classic 1997 album ‘Urban Hymns’.

Discography

A Storm in Heaven – (21 June 1993) #27 (UK)
A Northern Soul – (3 July 1995) #13 (UK)
Urban Hymns – (29 September 1997) #1 (UK) #23 (U.S.)
Forth – (25 August 2008)







Oct 25, 2013

MUMFORD AND SONS



Mumford & Sons are an indie folk/bluegrass group formed in London in September 2008. The band consists of Marcus Mumford (lead vocals, guitar, bass drum), Country Winston (banjo, slide guitar, vocals), Ted Dwayne (double bass, drums, vocals), and Ben Lovett (keyboards, accordion, vocals).

Having received critical acclaim from The Guardian on their “Band of the Day” online forum, and resounding praise from nearly everyone who has witnessed them supporting The Maccabees and Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons continue to turn heads in London’s growing folk scene.

Their debut EP, Lend Me Your Eyes, features four tracks, including lead single “Roll away Your Stone”. Chess Club released their second EP, “Love Your Ground”, on the 3rd November 2009 on 10inch vinyl. The third EP, “The Cave and the Open Sea” (which was limited to 500 vinyls) is available as a download from their official rawrip page. Their debut album Sigh No More was released on Gentlemen of the Road/Island Records on the 5th October 2009, and the first single “Little Lion Man” came out a week earlier.

Several months after the release of Little Lion Man, it was voted #1 by listeners in the Australian Youth Radio station Triple J’s Hottest 100 for 2009. They played live in the Triple J studio on the countdown day to celebrate the result. In the summer of 2010, “Little Lion Man” peaked at #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and #45 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. “The Cave” peaked at #3 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. Both singles have gone Platinum in the United States.

Currently, Mumford & Sons is ranked as one of VH1’s “You Oughta Know” artists of 2010.

For the 2011 Grammys, the group were nominated for Best New Artist and Best Rock Song (for “Little Lion Man”), losing both awards, although a performance of “The Cave” at the ceremony gave the group major publicity. For the 2012 Grammys, the group are nominated for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance for “The Cave”.













Oct 21, 2013

THE BLACK KEYS

The Black Keys are a two-man blues-rock group from Akron, Ohio, United States which formed in 2001, consisting of singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. The band name was inspired by a schizophrenic artist and friend in Akron, who used the term “black keys” to describe things he disliked or people he did not trust. The Black Keys have roots in traditional blues and psychedelic rock stylings.

They released their first album, The Big Come Up, in 2002, followed by Thickfreakness in 2003, and Rubber Factory in 2004. October 2005 saw the release of the DVD Live, recorded live at The Metro Theatre in Sydney, Australia March 18, 2005. In 2006 they released Magic Potion, as well as the lesser-known Chulahoma and a single version of Your Touch.

One of their trademarks is their preference for simple, lo-fi recording techniques. They refuse to use big-name studios, and do most recording, producing, and mixing themselves. Most of Thickfreakness was recorded in about 14 hours in Carney’s basement, using only an early 80’s Tascam 388 8-track recorder. Often, their recordings still have background noises (such as an owl hooting).

The Black Keys have achieved increasing critical acclaim and recognition since their debut album, which itself received praise from Rolling Stone magazine. Time magazine named them one of the “10 Best Acts of 2003” (behind OutKast and The White Stripes). They have supported a number of bands: they toured with Sleater-Kinney in 2003, had a short stint opening for Beck, have recently opened for Radiohead on the American leg of their brief 2006 tour, and performed at Lollapalooza in 2005 and 2007. In addition to this, they were also well-liked by influential British radio DJ John Peel and appeared on both Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Late Show with David Letterman. Famous followers of the band include Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, Billy Gibbons of ZZ TopThom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, and Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammet. Matt Helders, drummer for the Arctic Monkeys, can be seen in a Black Keys T-Shirt in an interview on MTV’s RAW. 

Their song “When the Lights Go Out” was featured in the 2007 film Black Snake Moan, and also on the soundtrack for that movie. The Black Keys were included in the soundtrack of the 2003 movie School of Rock with their song, “Set You Free”. “Lies” was featured in the conclusion of the February 4, 2009 episode of Lie to Me. One of their songs, “Girl Is on My Mind”, was used in a 2006 Sony Ericsson advertisement, starring the tennis players Ana Ivanović and Daniela Hantuchová, gaining the band more commercial recognition. It was also used in a 2006 Victoria’s Secret commercial featuring Heidi Klum and could be heard in the movies Rest Stop and Cashback. Their song “10 am Automatic” was used in the video game MLB ‘06: The Show, The O.C., The Go-Getter, and was also used in a 2007 American Express commercial starring Shaun White. “Your Touch” was featured in a 2007 Lee’s jeans commercial, and can be heard both in an episode of NBC’s Friday Night Lights and in an episode of “Eastbound and Down”. Their cover “Grown So Ugly” can be heard in the background of the going away party in the 2007 film Cloverfield. “Strange Times” is used in Grand Th
eft Auto IV on the in-game radio station Radio Broker. “Strange Times” can also be heard during a preview for ABC’s The Mole, and the trailer for season three of the Showtime series Dexter, as well as a promo for Gossip Girl. Their song “Just Got To Be” is used on the soundtrack for the video game NHL 08, and “Hard Row” is featured in the premiere episode of the FX show Sons of Anarchy. Sons of Anarchy has gone on to use “Keep Me” in both Episodes 6 and 7, as well as “Busted” in episode 7. The song “Lies” is featured in the advertising campaign for the third season of HBO’s Big Love. “The Breaks” can be heard in Guy Ritchie’ film RocknRolla. “Your Touch” can also be heard in the HBO series “Entourage” in the episode “Manic Monday”, during the opening scenes. The song “Psychotic Girl” is featured the episode “Messin’ with the Kid” in season 6 of One Tree Hill. “I’ll Be Your Man” is the opening theme song for the HBO show Hungand was also featured in an episode of the FX Network show Rescue Me. “Your Touch” can also be heard in the film Zombieland and in an episode of “Eastbound and Down” on HBO. The song “I Got Mine” has been used in HBO’s sports reality series 24/7 Pacquiao-Hatton” [13] as well as background music for the 2009 American League Championship Series. The song “Next Girl” is featured in the in game radio of Saints Row the Third.


Their fourth record that Danger Mouse produced Attack & Release was out April 1st 2008. The duo’s fifth album is the first one recorded in a proper studio.

The Band’s fifth album, “Brothers” was released in spring 2010 and has seen increasing amounts of exposure to the “Dancing T-Rex” video for the song “Tighten Up” that went viral…until the band asked it to be removed because they felt it made light of their music. A proper video was released later in 2010, featuring Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney at a playground and was pushed on the band’s official YouTube channel, as well as through the iTunes and Zune marketplaces. The track “Tighten Up” was also used as the background music for a Subaru Legacy commercial and on the FIFA 2011 Soundtrack.

Their latest album, “El Camino,” was released on the 6th of December 2011.









Oct 18, 2013

CURTIS STIGERS



Boise, Idaho, USA (1991 – present)


Curtis Stigers is an American jazz vocalist / saxophonist / guitarist / songwriter born on 18 October 1965 in Boise, Idaho, USA. He achieved a number of hits in the early 1990s, most notably “I Wonder Why”, which reached #5 in the UK and #9 in the US in 1991.

He is signed with Concord Records. He had his début self titled album in 1991 which sold 1.5 milllion. In his solo career, his most famous songs are ‘I Wonder Why’ and ‘You’re All That Matters To Me’. He has also worked with Elton John, Eric Clapton, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Rod Stewart, The Allman Brothers Band and Joe Cocker. 

Since then he has married and has a daughter, and recently participated in the BBC TV programme “Just the Two of Us”, where he partnered newsreader and TV presenter Penny Smith



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Oct 15, 2013

STIFF LITTLE FINGERS


BelfastIreland (1977 – 1983, 1987 – present)


Stiff Little Fingers are a punk band from Belfast, Northern Ireland, formed in 1977. They started out as a schoolboy band called Highway Star (named after the Deep Purple song), doing rock covers, until they discovered punk. In 1983 they split up after six years and four albums, although they reformed four years later, in 1987. Despite major personnel changes, they are still touring and recording as of 2011. Jake Burns, their lead singer, is the only member to have been with the band during all its incarnations, although in March 2006, original bass guitarist Ali McMordie rejoined them following the departure of The Jam bass player Bruce Foxton after fifteen years.


Early years

Prior to becoming Stiff Little Fingers, Jake Burns, vocals and guitar, Henry Cluney, guitar, Gordon Blair, bass, and Brian Faloon, drums, were playing in a rock music cover band, Highway Star, in Belfast. Upon the departure of Gordon Blair (who went on to play with another Belfast group, Rudi), Ali McMordie took over on bass. Cluney had by this time discovered punk, and introduced the rest of the band to it. They decided that Highway Star wasn’t a punk enough name, and after a brief flirtation with the name “The Fast”, decided to call themselves Stiff Little Fingers, after the Vibrators song of the same name.

Oct 10, 2013

STRETCH

Stretch is a rock band from the United Kingdom that grew from the collaboration between Elmer Gantry (real name Dave Terry) and Kirby (real name Graham Gregory) and was most popular in 1970s. Gantry was previously the frontman of Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera. Kirby was previously a member of CURVED AIR.

Stretch was a British outfit who recorded for the Anchor label. Their first LP was in fact “Elastique”, produced by Martin Rushent, and now re-issued by Repertoire, enabling whole new generations to rediscover the power of a band once hailed as one of the hottest new names of 1975.

The start of the band had been quite controversial. In 1974 Fleetwood Mac manager Clifford Davis saw that group falling apart in the middle of an American tour with the departure of Bob Welch. Davis considered himself legal owner of name Fleetwood Mac. He named one of the other bands under his management Fleetwood Mac and sent them out to play the remaining shows of the tour. The result was unhappy fans, who paid to see another band and a lawsuit with the original Fleetwood Mac members that would stretch out for years. The fake Fleetwood Mac was renamed to Stretch and remained under the management of Clifford Davis. Needless to say that the reformed Fleetwood Mac, now with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks as new bandmembers did not.

Stretch featured the fine vocal talents of one Elmer Gantry (who named himself in honour of the character in the Burt Lancaster movie Elmer Gantry). Elmer had previously led an outfit calledElmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera, which released three singles in the late Sixties on the Direction label. They were “Flames”, (1967), “Mary Jane”, (1968), and “Volcano”, (1969), all now collector’s items. He also recorded a song called “Psychobabble”, featured on an Alan Parsons Project Album “Eye in the Sky”. They all helped establish Elmer’s reputation as a fine, expressive singer and imaginative composer. Stretch was a much more bluesy kind of band and featured a hot young guitarist, and songwriter simply known as “Kirby”. Elmer was the lead vocalist and also played some guitar. They made a strong team, ably backed by Steve Emery (bass guitar), and Jim Russell(drums), who also played with rock’n’roll revival band The Wild Angels. Stretch was augmented on the album by horn players Mike Bailey and Ron Carthy, saxophonists Mick Eve and Chris Mercer, and keyboard player John Cook.

The band had made a promising start and enjoyed the thrill of a hit single, when “Why Did You Do It” (written by Kirby and featured on this CD) got to Number 16 in the U.K. in November 1975. It spent nine weeks in the charts and seemed to signal the start of a hugely successful career.

The band followed up “Elastique” with “You Can’t Beat Your Brain for Entertainment” (1976), and “Life Blood” (1977), all on Anchor, by which time drummer Jeff Rich had joined the band. The blond-haired young sticksman was later to find job security with Status Quo. The final Stretch record, “Forget The Past” was released on the hot wax label in 1978. Alas, none of these last two quite matched up to the power of their debut album and they couldn’t manage to find the panacea of another hit single.

By the time they released “Forget The Past” the band had virtually disintegrated. One music expert described the last album, rather cruelly as ‘pure trash’. Only Kirby and Steve Emery remained, using session men like Nicko McBrain (drums), from the Pat Travers Band and Trust, who went on to fame with heavy metal gods Iron Maiden. The writing was on the wall for the kind of rock band Stretch typified. Soon they would be replaced by much heavier metal bands like Iron Maiden, or the combined forces of punk and New Wave. Soon, it would no longer be enough simply to get on the stage, yell ‘Rock on!’ and play the blues all night. Bands needed an image, lots of special effects, dry ice and rings through their noses (not always in that order of course!). At their peak critics rated Stretch as ‘the greatest British blues and boogie band of the era’, and many spoke in whispered reverence of the crazed night in 1976, ‘when they nearly blew Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow off stage’. With the miracle of the CD re-issue we can now once again enjoy the excitement of the band ‘at full stretch’, on their first album as they stomp through Elmer Gantry compositions like “Miss Jones”, “Miss Daisy”, “Snakes alive”, “Write me a note”, “Tomorrow’s Another Day”, and “Buzz Fly”. Most of the rest of the material was written or co-written by Kirby, including “Why Did You Do It?”, “Down Home”, and “Slip Away”. “Navy Blues” was contributed by another bass guitarist, Paul Martinez (later with Paice Ashton & Lord).

The band eventually split up in 1979, when manager Davis decided to withdraw his financial input.

Stretch reformed in 2007 to coincide with a “Greatest Hits” collection, and toured in support of the Jeff Healey Band.



Oct 6, 2013

DE PHAZZ

De Phazz is a downtempo jazz ensemble integrating modern turntablism and elements of soul,latintrip hop and drum and bass into a lounge music sound. De Phazz is led by Pit Baumgartner, a German producer who changes his crew for every new album. Some of the more permanent members are Karl Frierson and Pat Appleton. Since the release of Detunized Gravity and Godsdog, De Phazz have appeared on the radar of listeners of equally innovative and sample-driven jazz by the likes of Amon Tobin and The Cinematic OrchestraThe band has released records on Mole Listening Pearls and Universal Jazz Germany along with single releases on Edel Records and United Recordings, and also remixes existing material.