Archive for the 'Television' Category

(Upcoming Release) Hiss Golden Messenger – Southern Grammar EP Out 2/3/15 – Letterman Video

Southern Grammar EP

 

Some good news from the Hiss Golden Messenger camp today!

First, we’re getting a new 12″ vinyl 3-track EP in February! Titled Southern Grammar, it will feature the previously digitally released “Brother, Do You Know The Road,” and a version of “Southern Grammar” that was recorded for WXPN’s World Cafe.

In addition to those two tracks, the EP will include the Lateness of Dancers outtake “He Wrote The Book” which dedicated HGM fans might recall was a solo acoustic Bad Debt outtake that was collected on the 2012 album Lord I Love The Rain. I’m assuming since this was intended for Lateness, that it is a full-band recording.

The EP is available for pre-order right now for $10.98 from Merge and releases February 3, 2015. There will be a digital download with it.

In addition to this, a full-band HGM stormed the Ed Sullivan Theater (home of The Late Show with David Letterman) last night and performed “Southern Grammar.”

Here are the tracks from the EP you can check out:

A video for the World Cafe performance of “Southern Grammar”

“Brother, Do You Know the Road?”

The version of “He Wrote the Book” that was on Lord I Love the Rain

 

(Upcoming Release) Kelly Pardekooper Releases Milk In Sunshine 10/21 – Massive Bonus “TV Gold” compilation

Milk-In-Sunshine-600px-72dpi-Web
Even though Kelly Pardekooper resides in Indianapolis these days, Eastern Iowa still claims him as its own. The bulk of his six albums to date were written and recorded while he resided here and his sound is one that draws heavy inspiration from the Folk Country sound that originated from local artists like Bo Ramsey, Greg Brown, Dave Zollo and their circle of friends.
Kelly has enjoyed some exposure recently not on the radio, but as incidental music on quite a few big TV shows including HBO’s True Blood, CBS’s Cold Case, FX’s Sons of Anarchy. This burst of popularity among the Music Supervisors for shows has given him the freedom to go back to the studio and record a seventh record and release something on vinyl!  In an exchange of emails with Kelly, he admits that he’s “an odd fit for a record label at this point” in his career, and that this surge of publishing popularity has afforded him the ability to self-release the new album.
The new album, titled Milk in Sunshine will be released on October 14th on vinyl, CD and digital download. The CD has the eight new tracks of Milk in Sunshine plus what Kelly is calling “TV Gold” – a 16 track “Greatest Hits” of his career in chronological order by album (not including his debut release 30 Weight). The CD is also included with the very limited vinyl release of 100 which will be signed and numbered. It will also be pressed in orange and will include two vinyl-only bonus tracks! “Shit Out of Luck” by Greg Brown and “I Never Said” by Bo Ramsey!
If you pre-order you get a download of the new song “So Lovely.”
You can see the track listings of the vinyl and the CD below. I included links to the audio where I could find it– Kelly had a few mp3’s on his website (indicated with “full mp3”) and links to his CDBaby CD’s.
Certainly as the record industry machine is having to re-invent itself, it’s avenues like publishing that are helping many artists to continue pursuing this career, even if it is part-time. As a long-time fan of Kelly Pardekooper, I’m really excited for the prospects of a new record and the promise of a few more live shows.
Album Release show at The Mill in Iowa City on 11/29!
Vinyl Side A
1. So Lovely
2. She Moves
3. Milk in Sunshine
4. Release Me
5. Shit out of Luck (Greg Brown)
Vinyl Side B
6. Authentic
7. I Still Cry
8. Elliot
9. That Girl
10. I Never Said (Bo Ramsey)
CD

1. She Moves (Milk in Sunshine)
2. I Still Cry (Milk in Sunshine)
3. Milk in Sunshine (Milk in Sunshine)
4. Release Me (Milk in Sunshine)
5. So Lovely (Milk in Sunshine)
6. Elliot (Milk in Sunshine)
7. Authentic (Milk in Sunshine)
8. That Girl (Milk in Sunshine)
9. Compromise (Johnson County Snow) full mp3
1​0. Fly on the Wall (Johnson County Snow)
11. Drown in Alcohol (House of Mud) full mp3
12. Hayseed Girl (House of Mud)
13. Can’t Go There (House of Mud)
14. Not in Iowa (Haymaker Heart) full mp3
15. Wild Love (Haymaker Heart)
16. I Adore (Haymaker Heart)
17. Tell Me (You’re the One) (Haymaker Heart)
18. Brand New Bag (Brand New Bag) full mp3
19. Mehaffey Bridge (Brand New Bag)
20. Crazy Girl (Brand New Bag)
21. Yonder (Yonder)
22. Forgotten (Yonder) full mp3
23. Where’s the Love (Yonder)
24. Where I Come From (Yonder)

The Right Now – Carry Me Home (Review) & Upcoming Shows

I’m always concerned when an established band decides to change their name.

Chicago band The Right Now started life back in 2005 as R&B/Funk band Eli Jones and the Bare Bones by Brendan O’Connell. A live EP was recorded by this band in 2006. A few lineup changes and the addition of Stefanie Berecz as lead vocals prompted the truncating of the name to just Eli Jones. The album Make It Right was released in 2007 under this moniker while still continuing to hold true to the band’s R&B and Funk influences.

History shows that bands with names that seem like they would belong to one person tend to be confusing– just look at Jethro Tull, for example. Add in the fact that Eli Jones didn’t have the domain name for the band and the name was becoming somewhat cumbersome. So, it was the switch in name to The Right Now in 2009 that allowed the band to kind of re-invent itself. All of the fans of Eli Jones who had seen the high-energy shows in the small bars across Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa were going to follow the band even after the name change.

When I saw the band in December of 2008  at Mahoney’s in Cedar Rapids, they were still called Eli Jones, but had already incorporated a lot of the songs that would make up their new album which they had planned to release in 2009 into their live setsCarry Me Home is the first release by the band under it’s new name, and listening to the CD, I was taken back to that show with its memorable performances of “Ain’t Going Back,” “I Could Really Hold On,” “Doing Nothing,” “Carry Me Home,” “Nobody,” and “Before I Know Your Name.”

Getting ready for this review, I pulled out my copy of the Eli Jones album Make It Right for comparison. It’s an album I listened to quite a bit back when the band was rolling through the area. I thought it was really good– certainly the work of a band accomplished in R&B and Jazz, but felt ultimately  it didn’t capture the energy of their live set. Make It Right really seems to be the sound of a band in a transition– some of the tracks have the familiar throwback R&B strut, while other tracks evoke a more jazzy step.

Carry Me Home is the result of a very focused effort in the studio, apparently. The whole CD sounds like it was recorded in one marathon session– a balanced, almost live-to-tape sound. It has a polished production for certain, but not at the risk of the continuity. I find myself listening to the whole album when I put it on– I anticipate the next track at each song.

In some respects Carry Me Home is an album out-of-time– at once holding true to a retro R&B sound with its horns, stomps and claps and sneaking in a more current R&B edge in the form of lead singer Stefanie Berecz powerful lead vocals.

The album runs the gamut of emotion and energy from bright, sunny Tower-of-Powerish horn-driven songs like “You Will Know,” to the Motown harmony-mixed with clean funk picking “Before I Know Your Name” to the distinctly Southern R&B swing of “Doing Nothing” to the slow burner “Carry Me Home.” “Before I Know Your Name” was co-written by Stefanie and Brendan O’Connell (the conductor of this Soul Train) to her then-unborn child– the idea of which makes me smile when I listen to the lyrics.

The Right Now - 7 to 10 7"

It’s also worth noting that The Right Now also has a 7″ out of a non-album track “7 to 10”  which they recorded in Memphis in September 2009 at Scott Bomar’s Electraphoic Recording Studio live to 2″ 8-track tape! The flip is “The One You Love” from the album. On the return trip they took the master to Larry Nix at the legendary Ardent Studios who cut the plates. They hand-delivered the plates to United Record Pressing in Nashville and got a tour. Here is Brendan’s MySpace blog article about the experience (with video!).

It seems there are a lot of notable acts delivering the Stax/Motown-influenced sound today– Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings seems to be leading this front, certainly the last Amy Winehouse album (which uses members of the Dap-Kings), Joss Stone— so it takes a strong but distinguishable effort for a band to not get lost in the comparisons. It’s clear that The Right Now shows respect for the legacy of R&B, Soul and Funk that came before it, but in my opinion the band is building from that tradition.

One can consider the new band name as the answer to the question of what period of popular music they might draw from– no specific period, but obviously writing and performing in The Right Now.

The band just kicked off a run of shows which will bring them back to Eastern Iowa in April. On Friday, 4/16 they will be taping a second Java Blend show (the first as The Right Now), doing an on-air on IPR and hitting The Blue Moose Tap House. On Saturday, they’ll be performing at The Redstone Room in Davenport opening for Daphne Willis and hitting their favorite Iowa stop, Mahoney’s in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, 4/18.

Visit The Right Now Store to order Carry Me Home or the “7 to 10″ 7”

Click Here to visit The Right Now collection at archive.org for some streaming and downloadable live shows.

Click Here to visit The Right Now website.

Click Here to visit The Right Now Facebook Page

Here is where they Twitter.

Click Here for The Right Now on Bandcamp

Click Here for their last.fm page.

Click Here to visit The Right Now iLike page with videos and mp3’s.

Upcoming Shows (from MySpace):

Mar 8 2010    Bullfrog Brewery – CD Release Show!     Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Mar 10 2010     Puck Live – CD Release Show!     Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Mar 11 2010     Groove – CD Release Show!     New York, New York
Mar 12 2010     The Saint     Asbury Park, New Jersey
Mar 13 2010     Shadow Lounge – CD RELEASE SHOW!     Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Mar 18 2010     Vocalo 89.5FM – In-studio     Chicago, Illinois
Mar 18 2010     Fearless Radio – Live In-Studio     Chicago, Illinois
Mar 18 2010     WLUW – Radio Free Chicago (Interview)     Chicago, Illinois
Mar 19 2010     WGN Television     Chicago, Illinois
Mar 19 2010     Lincoln Hall – CD RELEASE SHOW!     Chicago, Illinois
Mar 26 2010     This Must Be The Place     Lemont, Illinois
Apr 9 2010     KSDK – Show Me St. Louis     Saint Louis, Missouri
Apr 9 2010     The Gramophone – CD Release Show!     St. Louis, Missouri
Apr 15 2010     The Frequency w/ Unicycle Loves You     Madison, Wisconsin
Apr 16 2010     Java Blend     Iowa City, Iowa
Apr 16 2010     KRUI 89.7 FM – In-studio     Iowa City, Iowa
Apr 16 2010     The Blue Moose Taphouse – CD Release Show!     Iowa City, Iowa
Apr 17 2010     Redstone Room     Davenport, Iowa
Apr 18 2010     Mahoney’s Pub     Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Apr 24 2010     Downtown Holland Groovewalk     Holland, Michigan
Apr 30 2010     Marly’s Pub – CD Release Show!     Springfield, Illinois
Apr 30 2010     Alice at 97.7 – Studio A Sessions     Springfield, Illinois
May 17 2010     Cosmic Charlies     lexington, Kentucky
May 20 2010     Rogue Tavern w/ Deep Fried 5     Birmingham, Alabama
Jun 4 2010     Upfront & Company     Marquette, Michigan
Jun 5 2010     Upfront & Company     Marquette, Michigan

Overheard on TV: Helvetica Documentary Soundtrack

A friend of mine recommended that I watch the 2007 documentary dedicated to the typeface/font Helvetica titled plainly enough Helvetica. When I saw it show up in the NetFlix streaming recommendations for me, I watched it.

Helvetica the typeface was designed in 1957 by the Swiss type foundry Haas to be a general-use typeface. It was an immediate success and adopted virtually everywhere since, and enjoys constant use to this day. This documentary by Gary Hustwit looks at the typeface and its success and shows how its existence impacted graphic design over the years. Hustwit also produced the amazing Wilco documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, the Robert Moog documentary Moog, and the Death Cab For Cutie tour film Drive Well, Sleep Carefully.

I found myself very engrossed in the film as I have been a type geek ever since my first Macintosh in the 80’s. The movie talks a bit about the reaction to standard typesetting practices in the 90’s during the “grunge” movement, which yielded a couple of my favorite magazines Emigre and Raygun which were the leading edge of that movement which I was a fan of which included the work Vaughan Oliver did with v.23/23 Envelope for 4AD records.

One of the things that hooked me right away was the soundtrack to the movie (of course!). It has a collection of really great Post Rock and related artists on it like El Ten Eleven (an impressive NINE songs!), Sam Prekop and The Chicago Underground Quartet. Here is the song listing from imdb.com:

“Thinking Loudly” –  El Ten Eleven
“Lorge” – El Ten Eleven
“Central Nervous Piston” – El Ten Eleven
“My Only Swerving” – El Ten Eleven
“Fanshawe” – El Ten Eleven

These songs are from El Ten Eleven’s 2005 self-titled release.

“Meow”-  Motohiro Nakashima
“Potala” – Motohiro Nakashima

These songs are from his 2004 release And I Went to Sleep.

“Helvetica 2” –  Kim Hiorthoy
“Helvetica 9” – Kim Hiorthoy

Kim Hiorthoy is, according to his Wikipedia article, a Norwegian electronic musician. He’s been recording since 2000 and has a number of releases out. These two tracks are obviously done specifically for this movie.

“Every Direction is North” –  El Ten Eleven
“Bye Annie, Bye Joe, Bye Michael, Bye Jake” incorrectly titled “Bye 2” – El Ten Eleven
“Hot Cakes” – El Ten Eleven
“3+4” – El Ten Eleven

These songs are from El Ten Eleven’s 2007 release Every Direction is North.

“Seqy Chords 3” –Sam Prekop
“Seqy Solo” –Sam Prekop

These songs by Sam Prekop of The Sea and Cake appear to be written specifically for this release– or at least only appear here. I wonder if these songs are somehow related to the CD that came with his photography book?

“IPT2” –  Battles

This song is from the Battles 2006 release on Warp called EP C/B EP.

“Tunnel Chrome” –  Chicago Underground Quartet

This track is from Rob Mazurek’s Chicago Underground Quartet project’s 2001 self-titled Thrill Jockey release.

“Magic Step” – Sam Prekop

This song is from Prekop’s 2005 release Who’s Your New Professor on Thrill Jockey.

“And Then Patterns” – Four Tet

This song is from the brilliant 2007 Four Tet release Everything Ecstatic

“Pelican Narrows” – Caribou

This track is from his 2005 Merge Records release The Milk of Human Kindness.

“Shine” – The Album Leaf

This track is taken from The Album Leaf’s 2006 release on SubPop Into the Blue Again.

This is a pretty great collection of bands– mostly ones that I really like and admire– and the two artists that I hadn’t heard of (Nakashima and Hiorthoy) I plan to check out. I’m not the first blogger to comment on the soundtrack, and one of them even made an iTunes mix of it. It would be great if they’d release this soundtrack– if only the ones that are specific to this movie from Sam Prekop and Hiorthoy!

Overheard on TV: Fox’s Dollhouse Gives Knowing Wink With Inclusion of Beck Song

Scene from "Omega" episode of Dollhouse on Fox

Last Friday night’s (May 8th) episode of  Dollhouse titled “Omega” was the season finale for the show– and, of course with all things Fox and Sci-Fi and Whedon the show’s future is in doubt.

The episode does a fairly decent job of providing some plot resolution in the event of not renewing the series. It also opens some new plot possibilities in the event they do renew the series.

In the final scene of the episode the producers of the show use Beck’s version of the Korgis hit song “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” from their 1980 album Dumb Waiters.

Beck’s version of “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime”– a collaboration with Jon Brion– was recorded for Michael Gondry’s 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A connection, frankly, I had never made before!

The inclusion of this song has to be a knowing wink by the producers since “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” was also a story about mind erasure. Similarly, the characters in both stories are never truly “erased.”

The song’s melancholy tone and lyrics– although very few (it’s a verse and chorus repeated) fit the mood of the scene and the “change your heart, look around you” seems to fit what’s going on with the characters based on recent story developments. Of course, this is why the song fits in “Eternal Sunshine” as well.

Wendy & Lisa Wave “White Flag” – First Album in Ten Years

On December 7th, the notorious duo of Wendy & Lisa self-released the digital version of their latest album White Flags of Winter Chimneys. In the ten years since their prior effort Girl Bros., the two have busied themselves with a bunch of production, side work and notable soundtrack work like NBC’s “Heroes” and HBO’s “Carnivale.”

From now until March 2009 Wendy & Lisa’s website has an exclusive digital download of the new album in various formats. After that it will be available via your favorite digital outlets like iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody.

The reason you should order it now is that you have more options for how you want to receive the album. For $9.99 you can get a 320 Kbps mp3 download of the album with digital artwork and bonus tracks. The highest bitrates you’d be able to get from iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody is a respectable 256Kbps. You also have the option of getting the album delivered in lossless FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Compression) format if you don’t want compression for $9.99 as well. This is a deal since a lot of places that provide lossless downloads charge a couple of bucks more for it. This download has five bonus tracks, too. One is a home demo of the sweeping “Niagra Falls” track from White Flags. The other four tracks are home demos from the 1990’s.

As if that wasn’t enough, you can also order the CD version for $12.99 (+ $3.00 shipping) which you can choose to get 320Kbps mp3’s or FLAC. The CD comes in a 6-panel Digipack.

For the audiophile fans or collectors of Wendy & Lisa there is a Deluxe package which gives you an 180g vinyl pressing of White Flags done in nifty splatter-blue vinyl plus you get the CD and your choice of 320Kbps or FLAC download! All for $39.99 (+$10.00 shipping).

Whew! It’s pretty obvious that Wendy & Lisa have been paying attention. They are self-releasing this album and providing tiered options for people to purchase. Frankly, the pricing is about right as well. This approach seems to cover the interest of any fan from casual to collector.

The digital downloads are available right now for any of the purchases and the CD’s and Deluxe packages will ship in March.

The album on my first listen seems to remind me of an updated shoegazer sound of bands like My Bloody Valentine or some of my favorite 4AD bands like the Pale Saints or Lush. Lots of layered sounds and a wide-range of dynamics. At times it reminds me of David Sylvian or maybe Radiohead.  Certainly not the sound of the artists who worked with Prince during the 80’s– but a very current sound. Admittedly, I hadn’t been following Wendy & Lisa’s career closely since they left the Revolution, but I plan to do some more listening to this album and try to go back an catch up with where they’ve been. Here is the whole album in a streaming format:

Click Here to visit Wendy & Lisa’s website where you can order White Flags of Winter Chimneys. They are also streaming other tracks from the album in an embedded player.

Click Here to visit Wendy & Lisa’s MySpace page.
Click Here to read my interview with Wendy & Lisa.

Calexico “Live from Austin, TX” DVD of 2006 Austin City Limits Show Out 1/20

Photo by Gerald von Foris

Photo by Gerald von Foris


I was pretty happy to hear about this release. Back in 2006 during their Garden Ruin tour, Calexico taped an Austin City Limits show– part of which was aired with part of a Sufjan Stevens performance. As much as I like both acts, I was disappointed that Calexico didn’t get a full hour. On January 20th, this is fixed as New West is releasing as part of their “Live from Austin, TX” series the full Calexico performance from Austin City Limits expanding the show from the seven tracks aired to 15!

Tracklist (I’ve included whether each was originally aired and what order):

“Convict Pool”
“Across The Wire” (originally aired as 1)
“Cruel”
“El Picador” (originally aired as 3)
“Sunken Waltz” (originally aired  as 4)
“Not Even Stevie Nicks” (originally aired as 2)
“Stray”
“All Systems Red”(originally aired as 7)
“Sonic Wind”
“Alone Again Or”
“Roka”
“He Lays In Reins”(joined onstage by the Iron and Wine) (originally aired as 6)
“Guero Canelo”
“Letter To Bowie Knife” (originally aired as 5)
“Crystal Frontier”

This is a nice mix of (at the time) old and new songs. With a catalog like Calexico’s it’s interesting to see which tracks the band chose for their set at ACL, and which tracks ACL chose to air. Considering that “All Systems Red” from Garden Ruin is about the frustration of second Dubya election, it’s sort of fitting that this DVD is released at the Inauguration of President Obama.

B-Sides in the Bins #38 : On A Charlie Brown Christmas by The Vince Guaraldi Trio

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" on my turntable

I made a quick stop in at Half-Price books last Thursday. Sherry needed me to stop at GNC for some flu-fighting stuff on my way home from work, so I took the opportunity to stop in. I saw a couple of interesting pieces in the Rock section that I need to get at some point including The Knack’s Get the Knack, and Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul, but I didn’t want to pick up a bunch of stuff. I walked around to the Jazz section and I was really happy to see A Charlie Brown Christmas in the nearby Children’s section! The cover has no ringwear, but the sleeve was curved which has seemed to cause the printing to separate from the sleeve and wrinkle a bit. No matter, the vinyl is in fantastic shape and with the season upon us, I laid out the $2.98.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a very important album in my life in that it was the gateway to my appreciation of Jazz music today. I wish I could say that my Jazz listening started with something much more complex like Miles Davis, or Thelonious Monk or even John Coltrane– all of which I listen to today– but it started with the seminal Peanuts Christmas special.

In 1965, the pairing of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” the TV special and Vince Guaraldi was initially met with resistance from executives from the show’s original home at CBS. They felt that Guaraldi’s West Coast Jazz was not a good fit for a children’s TV show. According to the Wikipedia article on Guaraldi, Lee Mendelson– the producer of the show– had heard “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” which was a huge single for Guaraldi and felt that his style was the right fit for the show. In retrospect, it was this innovative decision that lends to the timeless charm of the show and defined popular Christmas music for the generations of people like myself who make it a tradition to watch the delightful show year-after-year. It was the choice of the signature Guaraldi sound that would define all of the Peanuts specials made (sixteen!) until Guaraldi’s untimely death in 1976 shortly after he wrapped up “It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown.” Guaraldi was only 47.

Fantasy Records issued A Charlie Brown Christmas (Fantasy 8431) that same year as the soundtrack to the show and added “The Chrismas Song,” which wasn’t in the special.

In the liner notes for George Winston’s 1982 release December– itself a hallmark of Christmastime music– he says,

“There is a great wealth of traditional and contemporary music to draw from in doing an album for the winter season. These five albums have been very inspirational to me in conceiving of this album for the seasons.”

Of course the first album listed is A Charlie Brown Christmas. I first heard December standing in the Musicland in Dubuque when I was in high school around Christmas and bought it immediately. When I got it home and read the liner notes I took note of the A Charlie Brown Christmas mention. George Winston would go on to record a complete album of Guaraldi compositions called Linus and Lucy: The Music of Vince Guaraldi in 1996.

In 1988, Fantasy finally released A Charlie Brown Christmas on CD (Fantasy FCD-8431). I picked it up a couple of years after that, and that is the version I have on CD today. The 1988 release of the CD and the LP included the song “Greensleeves” which was recorded during the sessions but not included on the original release. In 1997 Fantasy made a Starbucks Exclusive edition which was faithful to the original release by omitting “Greensleeves.”

My pressing of A Charlie Brown Christmas is a 70’s issue. It has a new cover that uses the original illustration, but has a different font and that It has the newer “circle-F” logo on the LP label, but doesn’t have that logo on the front cover– unlike the 1988 release. The front cover has “The Original Sound Track Recording of the CBS Television Special” across the top. This is the same cover that was used in the 1988 remaster (aside from the logo change).

In 2006, Concord Music Group— which has Fantasy Records these days– reissued and remastered A Charlie Brown Christmas and added some bonus tracks in the form of alternate takes of  “Christmas Is Coming,” “The Christmas Song,” “Greensleeves,” and the vocal take of “Christmas Time Is Here.” Unfortunately, during the remastering process they used the wrong takes for “Linus and Lucy” (actually half of a take as the standard “Linus and Lucy” is made of two takes) and “Christmas is Coming.” They initially offered a replacement for people who got the “bad” disc. I think that if I had gotten one of those, I would have kept it! This release also extended some of the original songs that were edited. “O Tannenbaum” was missing the intro, “Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)” was missing the last chord of the song, and “Skating” gains an additional ten seconds restoring the bass solo at the end. They also brought the original cover back which gets rid of the “CBS Special” line at the top of the front cover.

Of note also is the 2006 remastering done by legendary mastering engineers Steve Hoffman and Kevin Grey at AcousTech for Analogue Productions. This was available in a limited (1000 copies)  numbered series of two 180g 45RPM records and is faithful to the original release by not including “Greensleeves.”  A quick search on the ‘net yields none to be had at the moment (although they apparently were available until earlier in December– DRAT!). I’ll have to keep an eye out for one of these. Click Here to see other titles that were and are available from their Fantasy Jazz series of reissues.

The special was aired the night before last on its new home at ABC and even though I own it on DVD, I was transfixed to watch it on TV. One thing I noticed that I’d never noticed before was the song “Skating” is not played during the skating scene in the beginning– it is “Christmas Time Is Here.” I think– like most people who’ve grown up since 1965– the Charlie Brown Christmas special represents the beginning of the holiday season. I usually break out the CD shortly after Thanksgiving (much to my wife’s dismay) to help get into the season. It’s also the ’60’s bebop Jazz sound of A Charlie Brown Christmas that moved me to look for other artists who shared a similar sound like Dave Brubeck and Bill Evans for the piano sound, and Miles Davis’s years on Prestige Records which led me to John Coltrane. Although I listen to other Jazz styles, I tend to come back to this style most often.

A cool find in the used bins in time for the holidays.

Update: Acoustic Sounds found another crate of these in early 2009, and I bought a copy. I traded my 1970’s copy to a friend for an early pressing of Led Zeppelin II.  On Christmas Day 2010, it looks like Acoustic Sounds has these in stock again. Click Here.

Overheard on TV : Tina Dico “No Time To Sleep” on Grey’s Anatomy

One thing that has improved with time and technology is my ability to research songs in real-time. As annoying as it might be for my wife, I can generally bust out whatever smartphone device I have and do a quick google search. Since I got the iPhone 3G, this has improved dramatically. I can still craft a decent search– usually involving lyrics from the song and the word “lyrics” and the results come back with what I’m looking for. With the iPhone I also have the killer app “Shazam” which allows my phone to sample an overheard song and search using a digital signature to determine what the song is.

Last night during Grey’s Anatomy (episode title “Dream A Little Dream of Me pt 2” there was a song played during the middle of the show– during the surgery “rescue” and the montage I think– with the repeated lyrics “ain’t no time to go to sleep” which google informed me was “No Time To Sleep” by Tina Dico.

Dico had been featured on Grey’s earlier with her song “One” off of her 2005 album Red during Season 2. Confusingly, Tina Dico goes by her given name Tina Dickow in her home country of Denmark and apparently in other areas of Europe, but uses “Dico” for the U.S. “No Time To Sleep” is the lead track from her 3 EP box set called A Beginning, A Detour, An Open Ending which has been released in Europe already on Sony as “Tina Dickow”, but will be released in the US on January 9th on Defend Music. These three EP’s had previously been available for sale at her live shows.

It is a pretty great song and I especially love how she bends the pronounciation during the “Ain’t no time to go to sleep” lyric. Her MySpace page has tracks from the new release, including “No Time To Sleep.”

Here is a cool performance of “No Time To Sleep” from a Danish TV show on YouTube:

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – This Is Somewhere (review)

This Is SomewhereApparently Grace Potter is early enough in the arc of her career that she doesn’t get blatantly pissed off when presented with the natural comparisons about her band’s sound. When you are relatively new in the scene comparisons are the only useful way to explain to others what the band sounds like. A lot of the reviews and interviews drag the band across comparisons that run from (a young) Linda Ronstadt to Janis Joplin to Bonnie Raitt and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Black Crowes.

On their third album and first major-label release Grace and the Nocturnals are kicking it 1973-style. While Neil Young proclaimed that Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, this group claims the opposite in This is Somewhere. Somewhere seems to be the accomplished classic sound that the band effortlessly evokes.

The band appears to have fallen into the jamband genre– they opened for Trey Anastasio, they are from Burlington, Vermont (onetime home of Phish) and are going to be touring opening for Gov’t Mule through October. However, on This is Somewhere the band has put together a concise, consistent album of ballads, stomping soulful rockers, driving funky rolling piano-fueled songs, Faces-era dirty slide blues and a gospel tune that I think has a wider appeal than the summer festival crowds. I’ve had the promo for this album for over two weeks and have listened to it I’m sure over a dozen times. I found the album stands up to repeated listenings and manages to provide some nice head-bobbing hooks. I really like this album and am looking forward to seeing Grace and Co. live. I’m already downloading some of the shows out on Archive.org (see link below).

Some standout songs on This Is Somewhere are the subtle protest song “Ah Mary,” the stomping, sexy call for love “Stop the Bus,” “Mr. Columbus” which reminds me of the Heartbreakers– particularly the main guitar lick, “Falling or Flying,” and “Big White Gate.” The last two I listed are the last two tracks on the album and provide a very powerful conclusion. “Falling or Flying” is a soulful, bluesy song of reflection and hope and probably my favorite song on the record.

To date the band has appeared on network TV shows in support of This Is Somewhere three times (Leno, Good Morning America, and Craig Ferguson) and Grace Potter provides a strong, pretty front to her band and I’m sure that this group is destined for more exposure. Her soulful belting voice and mini-cocktail dresses exposing her legs behind her Gibson Flying-V guitars leaves a pretty memorable impression. Interviews with Grace I’ve read portray an earthy, honest, and grounded band excited for this opportunity to take their careers to the next level.

On “Falling or Flying” Grace sings “so, play every show like it’s your last” and it seems like this band is taking their own advice.

Buy This Is Somewhere from Amazon.com

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals - This Is Somewhere Buy This Is Somewhere from iTunes

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals MySpace Page

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals Official Website

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at archive.org Live Music Archive

Listen to “Ah Mary” from This is Somewhere

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at Indie911.com with a Hoooka

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