According to the band website, El Ten Eleven’s debut album is being reissued on 180g vinyl with mp3 download by Bar None Records— the label the band was on for this album. Limited to 1000 copies.
El Ten Eleven just finished recording their new album to be titled It’s Still Like A Secret. Currently without a label, the band is reaching out to fans to build an investment base for the release. Options spanning from a $30 pre-order of a signed copy to a frankly very reasonable $750 donation which gets you the signed release, Executive Producer credit and an hour helicopter ride around Los Angeles piloted by Kristian Dunn. Other pricepoints include lunches and phone calls– for $100 you get a signed copy of the album and the option of punching Tim Fogarty in the face (with a boxing glove). I love seeing these kinds of inspired investment models being done by bands.
2008 was the year of new vinyl for me. Between my 40th birthday and Christmas I ended up with some cool pieces for the collection. Likely, my family is breathing a collective sigh of relief as I think I was a bit difficult to buy for when someone would get my name from the gift exchange drawing. Since I don’t really buy that much new vinyl for myself– I tend to stick to used– pretty much any title that they would like, I would probably like, too. I got a couple of CD’s as well. I keep my Amazon wish list up-to-date which is pretty helpful for gift selection as well.
Jurassic 5 – J5 Deluxe Re-Issue (2 CD, 1 DVD, Decon DCN65, 2008) (gift) My daughter got me this from my Amazon Wish List. I totally forgot about this release, so this was a nice surprise! The J5 Deluxe Re-Issue is a reissue of the first Jurassic 5 album from 1997. The original album was released on Interscope and had apparently been out-of-print since 2004 and held up due to contractural disputes. The original album is here along with a second CD full of hard-to-find and previously unreleased stuff. The DVD has a movie from J5’s first world tour, some concert footage from Brixton Academy and the “Concrete Schoolyard” music video. Nice to get back to this– I stopped listening to J5 after Cut Chemist left and they released Feedback, which was not great. When the hell is 2na going to release his solo joint?
Vince Guaraldi – A Charlie Brown Christmas (3 CD Collector’s Edition Tin, Madacy Entertainment TC2 53161) (gift) This was a stocking-stuffer. A festive metal tin holding two Fantasy CD’s– The 2006 remaster of A Charlie Brown Christmas with the bonus tracks, and Charlie Brown’s Holiday Hits which has some of the songs from Christmas, but has songs from A Boy Named Charlie Brown, the wonderful “Thanksgiving Theme” from the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special, “Great Pumpkin Waltz” from “It’s The Great Pumpkin,” and others. The third disc is the David Benoit Jazz tribute 40 Years – A Charlie Brown Christmas with some notable assistance from The Rippingtons, Chaka Khan, Dave Koz, Brian McKnight, Toni Braxton and Vanessa Williams. A neat collection in a tin that shares the artwork with the 2006 Christmas release, which used the original 1965 artwork. Unfortunately, the liner notes for Holiday Hits don’t do a good job of explaining where the songs that aren’t from Christmas and A Boy Named Charlie Brown came from. A little digging turned some information up. Special thanks to Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts Song Library at fivecentsplease.org which is the insanely comprehensive Peanuts site.
Tracklisting for Charlie Brown’s Holiday Hits:
1. Joe Cool (2:03) apparently not the version from “He’s Your Dog Charlie Brown.”
2. Surfin’ Snoopy (1:09) from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” where Snoopy is decorating his doghouse (1965)
3. Heartburn Waltz (2:36) from “Be My Valentine Charlie Brown” (1975)
4. Track Meet (2:37) from ? (this song and the next one don’t seem to be in the TV cue list but seem to have been recorded at the same time.)
5. Camptown Races (2:22) from ?
6. Oh, Good Grief (1:56) actually “Schroeder” with Lee Mendelson’s son Glenn’s sixth-grade class singing.
7. Charlie Brown Theme (4:19) on A Boy Named Charlie Brown, but included in a bunch of the specials.
8. Schroeder (1:50) on A Boy Named Charlie Brown
9. Charlie’s Blues (1:20) from “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (1973)
10. Great Pumpkin Waltz (2:26) from “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (1966)
11. Thanksgiving Theme (1:59) from “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (1973)
12. Linus and Lucy (3:03) from A Charlie Brown Christmas
13. Christmas Time Is Here (vocal) from A Charlie Brown Christmas
14. Christmas Time Is Here (inst.) from A Charlie Brown Christmas
Mudcrutch – Extended Play Live! (12″ EP & CD, Reprise 516850, 2008) (gift) In a similar fashion to the Mudcrutch LP, this EP came with a “full dynamic range” CD. This means that the CD isn’t suffering from the compression that a lot of releases have today. Mudcrutch was the band that Petty along with Heartbreakers Tom Leadon, Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell were in before Tom formed the Heartbreakers in 1976. Rather than succumb to fans requests for releasing Mudcrutch’s “lost album” Tom brought the band back together and recorded a new album which used some of the original tracks recorded for Shelter records. This live EP is made up of songs recorded over three shows in April and May of 2008. I need to go get the Mudcrutch album, too.
Various artists – Music from the Motion Picture Pulp Fiction (LP, MCA 0008811110314, 1994) (gift) This is the first of the new “Back to Black” pressings I have– at least the first with that identified on it. Looking at the Back to Black website, it would appear that the new Police Live album is a Back to Black as well. 180g vinyl in the original packaging– which doesn’t mean a lot since it wasn’t a gatefold cover or anything exciting like that. I wasn’t aware that this soundtrack had been on vinyl originally. One of my favorite movies and certainly soundtrack with its fun blend of surf tunes and 60’s songs. Mastered by Steve Hau at Future Disc Systems.
Stevie Nicks – Crystal Visions… the Very Best of Stevie Nicks (2 LP, Reprise 100363-2, 2007) (gift) All I can say about this is… “wow!” Everything about this release is an audiophile’s dream: 2 180g LP’s in lined paper sleeves housed in a gatefold with beautiful artwork and very flattering photos of Stevie at various points in her career. In addition, there is a 1-page sheet with the credits that is in the pocket with the first LP which also includes Stevie’s notes on each song! The compilation draws mostly from her very successful solo career, but also has some choice Fleetwood Mac tracks. Again we get “Silver Springs” which was rescued from certain obscurity during the Dance tour and album and has been restored to every pressing of Rumours since. We get a recent live version of “Rhiannon” and the 2005 clubby remix of “Dreams” (which apparently has new vocals). We get a couple of live tracks performed with the Melbourne Symphony including “Landslide” and a nine-minute “Edge of Seventeen.” The album is bookended by two versions of “Seventeen”– it opens with the original album version from Bella Donna, and closes with the live version. Although the live version is longer and involves the symphony, it really isn’t dramatically different than the orignal song since it has drums and electric guitars. Half-Speed Mastered by Stan Ricker, Plating and Pressing at R.T.I.
On January 20th, 2009– Inauguration Day– Umphrey’s McGee will be releasing their next studio album, Mantis. According to their press release, Mantis is different from their last studio albums in that it is entirely new music written in the studio as opposed to songs that had been given workouts on the road. The band considers this the “centerpiece of a new era” and extending the notion of innovation, they have set up a unique pre-order for Mantis.
So, hang tight– this gets a bit complicated. I have done my pre-order already, and recommend that if you’re interested you do, too. Here is the shizzle:
First, there are three versions of Mantis. In addition to the CD and mp3 versions you’d expect, the band is pressing a very limited number of 180g LP’s! That’s right! VINYL! The vinyl is included in the Deluxe Package which includes a CD and mp3 download plus other goodies.
The CD version of the album is will be the “key” to unlocking exclusive bonus content that the band will be providing throughout the year through Push Entertainmentincluding live versions of the Mantis songs, rehearsals and impromptu “bus jams” and more. This content– referred to as “Bonus Part II” will be available to anyone who buys the album either as a pre-order or after the release date.
As if that isn’t cool enough, anyone who pre-orders the album in either CD format (for $19.99) or as part of the Deluxe Package ($49.99) will have access to “Bonus Part I.” This is where it gets interesting. If you pre-order the album, you will get a free download of the album in mp3 format to make sure everyone who pre-orders can listen to the album on its release date in case there are unpredictable mailing delays. In addition to that, the band will be making available up to 8 Levels of bonus material encoded as 160Kbps mp3’s that will be available on January 20th as well. The number of levels made available will be based on how many pre-orders are placed of either of the versions. Pre-orders were taken starting October 27th, and as of 11/5, five of the eight levels are unlocked. The special Mantis page has a progress bar at the top of the page that shows how many levels are unlocked and floats a box with what is included in each level. On December 4th Level 1 will be available for download to all who pre-order.
Anyone who pre-orders will also receive a lifetime subscription to the digital edition of Relix Magazine, and be entered in a drawing for a “RelixBand” which is a bracelet made from guitar strings from Jake and Brendan used in a live performance.
When the pre-order opened, there was initially only going to be 500 of the Deluxe Package, but they sold out in TWO DAYS! So, the band increased the number to 1000. At this moment, there appear to still be some available for order. The Deluxe Package has a bunch of great content, and totally worth $50. You get the CD of Mantis, the mp3 download, the 180g vinyl, a special DVD of the 10th Anniversary Retrospective that was shown at last years’ New Year’s Eve shows plus some other video content, a Mantis poster plus other goodies from UMHQ all in a box signed by the band! Apparently, every box will have slightly different extra goodies added by the band themselves.
Here are the levels for the pre-order Bonus. The band scoured the Internet boards to see what rare content was most in demand, so that determined what they’ve included. As cool as the pop-up boxes on the website are, I’ve decided to type it up here, and I will be updating this as the new levels are added, so check back or subscribe to updates on this article to stay up-to-date.
Level 1(8 tracks total, and available in December to pre-orders) unlocked
1 track from Greatest Hits Vol. III – The long out-of-print first record selected via a fan poll.
4 tracks from annual Acoustic Christmas Show 2005
2 tracks from Jake Cinniger’s home studio 4-track archives -One track you’re likely to recognize and one you’re not.
1 track from inside the studio control room during an album tracking session – Fly on the wall perspective.
Level 2 (8 tracks total) unlocked
1 track from ‘beat guru’ Andy Farag -Andy often spends his spare time cooking up a variety of hip-hop and r&b beats that are rarely released for public consumption.
Jake’s original demo version of feature track ‘Made to Measure’ with different lyrics. Long before this song evolved into its current state, Jake sang about the joys of man’s best friend.
‘Made to Measure’ alternate take with scratch vocals.
2 acoustic tracks from the soundtrack The Trip There written and performed by Brendan Bayliss.
2 ‘Solo’ audio stems from the title track “Mantis” – Hear instruments and vocal arrangements of this track with everything else stripped away, a microscopic view inside a dense Umphrey’s composition.
1 potential album cut that was ultimately left unfinished.
Level 3 (7 tracks total) unlocked
2 control room montage tracks – Experience what it’s like to be a fly on the wall inside the control room of our studio. Hear songs come to life (or be put to death) as the recording process unfolds.
3 tracks from UM sound checks – “What songs are we going to screw up if we don’t practice them?”
Early sketch version of album track #4.
4-track studio version of the song EAT, recorded in Jake’s home studio.
Level 4 (7 tracks total) unlocked
‘Dance Remix’ of album track 5 from Andy Farag
‘Work in Progress’ track – Listen to the conception of album track number 7 from an improvisation during a live show. Follow it through adolescence and beyond!
4 tracks from Acoustic Christmas 2006.
‘Birth of a Song’ – Listen as an album cut is constructed, deconstructed, written, rewritten, tweaked, and birthed from recordings taken from basement tapes, pre-production writing sessions and ‘Grammy take’ sessions.
Level 5 (8 tracks total) unlocked (as of 11/5)
2 live tracks from the mythic ‘Taper Appreciation Nights’ at Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI
2 tracks from Jake Cinninger’s home studio 4-track archives.
Early demo version of album track #6
Mistake Montage – Listen to the less glamorous side of being in the studio with UM.
2 ‘Solo’ audio stems from album track #4 – Hear various instruments and vocal arrangements of this track with everything else stripped away.
Level 6 (8 Tracks total) unlocked (as of 11/16)
“Radio” edit of an album track
“Work in Progress” – Listen to the conception of album track #9 from an improvisation during a live show. Follow it through adolescence and beyond!
Early 4-track versions of track #7 including Jake’s first scratch version from 1994. Yes kids, 1994.
3 tracks from the Acoustic Christmas Show 2005.
Time Relevant Track – The original solo guitar audio that became “Wizard Burial Ground” recorded during album brainstorming sessions.
Level 7 (7 Tracks Total) unlocked (as of 12/11)
‘Birth of a Song’ – Listen as an album cut is constructed, deconstructed, written, rewritten, tweaked, and birthed from recordings taken from basement tapes, pre-production writing sessions, and ‘Grammy take’ sessions.
2 alternate versions of Jake’s guitar solo from album track #6. Listen to the options we sorted through before deciding on this monstrosity.
Umphrey’s Round Table Pt. 1 – A discussion of all things Mantis.
2 tracks of solo grand piano from Joel’s Holiday show in 2006
Early rough version of the title track ‘Mantis’ recorded in Joel’s attic in early 2007.
‘Puncle Wally’ – Video the lone performance at historic CBGB’s in NYC.
1 track of solo grand piano from Joel’s Holiday show in 2005
2 tracks from Joel, Jake & Andy from Joel’s Holiday show in 2006
Mantis Ghetts – Just wait and see. Guaranteed to please!
1 track from the mythic ‘Taper Appreciation Nights’ at Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI
Unreleased track from the Acoustic Planet Tour ’06 featuring Bela Fleck
2 tracks from Acoustic Christmas 2008
Level 9 (1 Track + Video + 1 Live Set) Unocked (as of 1/7/09) A new level added after 8 unlocked to drive more presales!
FOH Jam – Video from the soundboard jam on 12/31/07
Early scratch version of album track 1348
Entire set from the 1/19/09 CD Release show at the Vic Theatre
I have to say that in the last year since I became aware of Umphrey’s McGee, one thing I have been really impressed with is how they’ve embraced new avenues for keeping the fans up-to-date and providing content as well. They have had regular podcasts with interesting songs from shows, their site provides RSS feeds, the band as well as their soundman regularly blog with photos, you can purchase every show, they allow taping and trading as well. They have also implemented an interesting TXT service via kadoink that sends updates to your cell phone and provides the ability for the band to send recorded messages and music to your phone. This new approach to releasing an album is just another step. It’s clear that Umphrey’s McGee understands their fanbase and seems to cater to them. The Mantis website has an embedded player that is getting updated daily with recent live tracks and has an embedded chat tool as well that the band seems to check.
Click Here to visit the Mantis Website and pre-order Mantis. While you’re there sign up for updates from UM, and be entered into a contest for the “Ultimate Umphrey’s Package.” The grand prize is tickets to any and all 2009 UM shows, a signed copy of Mantis and a signed lithograph of the Mantis artwork, ten first prizes are tickets to three shows and the signed album and litho, and ten second prizes are a signed Mantis and litho.
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