Constancy, thy name is Springsteen. I mean, for real -- at this point, the man is more than just the sum of his over two dozen records. He’s an icon; one of those rare threads that can effectively bind half a century’s worth of dismal and disparate musical/socio-economic American history with the unlikely image of a red ballcap stuffed into some blue Levi’s, summing up the Ginsburgian “howl” of the anguished American youth ably for paleontologists of future centuries with only the gruff bristle of his croon and the absurd off-beat THWAK of that fat fucking snare drum.
The downside? Well, unfortunately, the next stop on the fame train after “icon” is “caricature.” And fresh off of, oh, I'd say 35 years of singing what are essentially variations on the same fist-pumping, sax-soaked, red-white-and-blue-a-thons, the news that the illimitable Bruce Springsteen is back with his latest album -- presumably about cars and baseball and drifters and lonely housewives and punch clocks and sweet God above and middle class such and such -- is, you know, a bit hard to take seriously. But what’s an aging symbol of sexy-ass American stadium rock to do? It’s a catch-22 situation, really. After all, at some point, there comes a need for a new rhetoric if you’re going to stay current, and yet, somehow singing a song about a pink Toyota Prius just doesn’t sound that cool either.
But either way, look out, 2009, cuz here he comes, for better or worse. Springsteen's 24th album, Working on a Dream (presumably pronounced “Workin’ on a Dream,” mind you) has been set for a January 27 release via Columbia Records. Naturally, it was recorded with the E Street Band and is the fourth collaboration between Springsteen and Brendan O'Brien, who produced and mixed the album at Southern Tracks in Atlanta, GA with additional recording in New York City, Los Angeles, and, yes, New Jersey.
Said the Lord Springsteen of the experience:
Towards the end of recording [the last album], excited by the return to pop production sounds, I continued writing. When my friend producer Brendan O'Brien heard the new songs, he said, ‘Let's keep going.’ Over the course of the next year, that's just what we did, recording with the E Street Band during the breaks on last year's tour. I hope Working on a Dream has caught the energy of the band fresh off the road from some of the most exciting shows we've ever done. All the songs were written quickly, we usually used one of our first few takes, and we all had a blast making this one from beginning to end.
The album features 12 new Springsteen tunes plus 2 bonus tracks (which, back in the dark ages would have been called “a 14-track album”). But I don’t see anything along the lines of “Pink Toyota Prius” listed down there, do you?
A Night with the Jersey Devil
Jody Reynolds, the 1950s rockabilly singer and songwriter whose one and only Top 10 hit, "Endless Sleep," was the first of a wave of melodramatic "teen tragedy" tales, died of liver cancer Nov. 7 in Palm Desert. He was 75.
“Endless Sleep,” which peaked at No. 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart in 1958, opened the door for a string of similarly tragic pop hits including Mark Dinning's "Teen Angel," Ray Peterson's "Tell Laura I Love Her," Johnny Preston's "Running Bear," the Everly Brothers' "Ebony Eyes," Dickey Lee's "Patches" and the Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack."
Ralph Joseph Reynolds was born in Denver on Dec. 3, 1932, according to an interview with Reynolds posted at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame’s website, although many pop music sources list the year 1938. He was inducted into the hall of fame in 1999.
When we last left our hero, Dosh, back in April (TMT News), he had finally escaped from Andrew “The Birdman” Bird long enough to tour and release his latest album. Well, it seems The Birdman has had enough of Dosh blipping and bleeping about him all over the country and has challenged him to a duel in the mightiest of all venues, Carnegie Hall. The fight will kick off the first leg of The Birdman’s 2009 tour to support his new album, Noble Beast, due January 20 on Fat Possum. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have $100 on The Birdman. Sorry Dosh!
% Loney Dear
Former Crowded House frontman Neil Finn has announced that he is getting his old band back together. No I’m not talking about Crowded House or Split Enz -- instead, Finn is entering the studio with both a fresh set of originals and the group of musicians who performed on his 2002 benefit live album, Seven Worlds Collide.
Members of the untitled supergroup include Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway, Johnny Marr of Modest Mouse (and some other ’80s band that nobody remembers), four-sixths of Wilco, Soul Coughing’s Sebastian Steinberg, 4AD artist Lisa Germano, Eddie Vedder of Temple of the Dog (and some other ’90s band that nobody remembers), Neil’s son Liam Finn, and more. Phew. I would imagine it’ll be pretty tough scheduling practices for these guysm but at least they have a good motivation: All proceeds from the album -- set to drop in 2009 -- will benefit Oxfam International.
It’s unclear if the album will be released under the name Seven Worlds Collide or something else, so I took the liberty of coming up with some alternate possibilities. Neil Finn, if you’re out there, you can definitely have these names for free.
- Crowded Mouse (or Modest House, although this band is more crowded than modest)
- The Splmiths
- Radio Jam
- Seven Worlds Wilcollide
Comprised of two graphic designer dudes who went to the Maryland Institute College of Art (Bruce and Nolen) and a Perry Hall native (Denny), Baltimost's Double Dagger have become the latest band from the city to be added to the Thrill Jockey roster.
Double Dagger formed sometime in 2002 and released their self-titled LP on local label Hit-Dat Records (Sean Gray, in the house!). Finding inspiration from their MICA days (okay sorry, I’m watching Puppy Cam, and these two puppies are playing, and one was rolled over on its back and got stuck; it’s so fucking cute), Double Dagger’s songs were about, like, art school, art history, weird chicks, and graphic design and stuff. In 2005, there was a drummer switch-up, and then they released their next record, Ragged Rubble, on Stationary (Heart) Recordings.
Double Dagger’s 2009 plans are to record a new record for Thrill Jockey.
Okay, back to Puppy Cam.
Yes, it's true! _Death Sentence: PANDA!_'s tour begins _today_! Hitting up cities like _Bologna_ and _Basel_, this tour should be _yummylicious_. But despite how _yummylicious_ it'll be, it's expected to be _noisy_ too, because _Death Sentence: PANDA! sound like Melt Banana eating Teenage Jesus' liver!!_.
_Death Sentence: PANDA!'s_ latest album is _Insects Awaken_, which was released or is set to be released _September 29, 2008_ via _Upset the Rhythm_. The funny part? Well, did you know that _SOMETHING AWESOME WILL PROBABLY HAPPEN_?? HAHA!
Anyway, here are the tourdates for _Death Sentence: PANDA!_, which again, starts _today_ and hits up cities like _Bologna_ and _Basel_. Just don't be surprised if _SOMETHING AWESOME WILL PROBABLY HAPPEN_, like I said in the second paragraph!
@ Hawnay Troof & Awesome Color
I love Eluvium. If I had the space, this article would just read “I love Eluvium” over and over. Talk Amongt the Trees (TMT Review) might be my favorite ambient work, EVER, but quality does not drop to anything below great on any of his works.
So this little nugget of news is especially titillating to yours truly, as it has been announced that pretty much every piece of music Eluvium has ever put out will be released in a very special seven-disc set. Aptly named Life Through Bombardment, the set will be available in a very limited format: a one-time pressing of 1,000 copies on wonderful 100% virgin black vinyl. Also included will be a code for high-quality MP3s and some fantastic artwork by Jeannie Lynn Paske. Those hungering for this ambient treasure can find it through Eluvium’s label, Temporary Residence.
Life Through Bombardment tracklisting:
1. The Unfinished
2. Under The Water It Glowed
3. There Wasn't Anything
1. Zerthis Was A Shivering Human Image
2. I Am So Much More Me That You Are Perfectly You
1. An Accidental Memory
2. Genius And The Thieves
3. Perfect Neglect In A Field Of Statues
1. In A Sense
2. The Well-Meaning Professor
3. An Accidental Memory In The Case Of Death
1. New Animals From The Air
2. Show Us Our Homes
3. Area 41
1. Everything To Come
2. Calm Of The Cast-Light Cloud
2. We Say Goodbye To Ourselves
2. Swallows In The Bath
1. I Will Not Forget That I Have Forgotten
2. As I Drift Off
3. All The Sails
4. When I Live By The Garden And The Sea
1. Untitled (For Piano)
2. Untitled (For Orchestra)
3. Untitled (For Rhodes And Tape)
2. Indoor Swimming At The Space Station
3. Seeing You Off The Edges
1. Prelude For Time Feelers
2. Requiem On Frankfort Ave.
3. Radio Ballet
1. After Nature
2. Reciting The Airships
1. Hymn #1
2. Repose In Blue
Megachurches Speak Out Against the FCC’s Decision to Open White Space Up to Wireless Technology, But They’re Probably Just Confused by the FCC’s Baffling Use of Drug Metaphors
Long ago, when a pastor could deliver his or her words of fire and brimstone to a crowd of thousands of suburban SUV-drivers with clear and crisp confidence, no one dared to imagine that these portentous words would come to haunt the little ear mic thingies lodged in the auditory canals of preachers all over America: “Static, static, static, we’re on a video rage... This is the static age we live in.”
With the FCC’s approval of the Google- and Microsoft-backed plan to open unused portions of the airwaves to wireless devices once U.S. television broadcasts make the switch from analog to digital transmission in February 2009, Glenn Danzig’s song of shaky reception has become the rallying cry of a nation. Or the voice of a really weird amalgamation of lobbyists, including preachers from megachurches, Disney, Dolly Parton, and a few other groups that I will just assume are steamed by the deal, such as car salespeople announcing big blowout sales over their lot’s loudspeakers, boy bands that have fallen from glory and now perform for bored parents on their way to the Dippin’ Dots at mid-sized theme parks, and small-town new reporters demonstrating the art of grape-stomping.
Preachers, Dollywood employees, people dressed up as Sleeping Beauty at Disneyworld, and other really important people are speaking out against the FCC’s recent decision, because they fear that opening up the soon-to-be vacant airwaves to new wi-fi devices will interfere with the reception of wireless microphones used in sports and entertainment broadcasts. Religious groups are already expressing concern that such interference will cut into the budget to send their youth groups to witness spring-breakers at Myrtle Beach.
But leave it to the drug-addled, unstable FCC and wireless companies to endanger the most holy time of the week in their frenzy for their next convenient, wireless, cost-efficient high, as FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein explained, “Let's hope it's not just Wi-Fi on steroids but Wi-Fi on amphetamines."
Oh, why stop there, you godless technology companies? I want my wi-fi underage, hyped up on meth, and trespassing in the residents-only pool at Pinecrest Condominiums. Then I want it to put on a little lipstick and dance. But, most importantly, I want it to interrupt the mic feed for Dollywood Express.
Shortly before the wonderful world of mashups, groups like New Jersey's Dälek were really doing mashups. That is to say that Dälek's previous effects, such as 2005's doom-saturated brain-burner Absence, mashed disparate genres such as shoegaze, noise, and hip-hop into something entirely new, something that didn't quite fall in to both the aforementioned classifications or the contemporary definition of a mashup. Indeed, Dälek remain one of the most diverse hip-hop collectives in existence, and they're probably still the absolute loudest to boot.
So it's no surprise in knowing that the forthcoming Gutter Tactics, out January 27 on Mike Patton's Ipecac label, is probably packed with surprises. However, the production half of Dälek, okt0pus, recently offered up some hints, saying "Gutter Tactics is more about us continually doing some early hip-hop shit but with the attitude of the Melvins or Black Sabbath," so you can still expect the socio-political lyrics, headphone-decimating swells, and cavernous beats.
Two new tracks, "2012 (the Pillage)" and "No Question," are currently available at Dälek's MySpace page, showcasing a slight decrease in volume, but a more intense, haunting mood.
Gutter Tactics tracklisting:
Hey! It’s another story about a new wave-y post-punk kinda band reuniting! And this time it’s Ultravox!
They featured a psychotherapist on bass, appeared at Live Aid, wrote the 1981 hit "Vienna," and starred a debonair mustache-rockin' frontman before that guy from The Killers and that guy from Gogol Bordello were even a glimmer in the NME's eye. One of their members co-wrote and provided a little producing pizazz for the perennial Lite FM holiday favorite, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by the 1984 all-star megagroup Band Aid. Their name originally had an exclamation point in it, which is commonly regarded as an indicator of exciting awesomeness.
I am talking, of course, about Ultravox, the new wave/post-punk group originally formed in the late 1970s, who are -- you guessed it -- now reunited and it feels so good.
Details are limited, but my trusted informant (the Ultravox website) has told me that all four members of the 1980s Ultravox -- psychotherapist Chris Cross, violin/keyboard enthusiast Billy Currie, lord of the drums Warren Cann, and the once bemoustached Midge Ure -- are joining their awesome powers for this most recent excursion on the nostalgia reunion train, set to make stops throughout Wales, Scotland, and England.
These will be the group's first live performances since 1985.