(Upcoming Release) Snowblink Reissues “Long Live” on Fire Records

One of the vivid memories I have of Daniela Gesundheit of Snowblink is of her standing on the Grand Old Opry-style stage in Green Island, IA during the first Barnstormer tour framed by twinkling strings of Christmas-tree lights– the small crowd armed with small brass bells to ring on cue. Her mellow ambient set was a departure from the mostly-rocking lineup of those shows, but her otherworldly naive charm seemed to dislodge even the most jaded PBR-fueled hipster from their folded arm vantage point. Her music was dew clinging to the small plants on the forest floor. The kind of stuff that faeries would be streaming from their Pandora accounts whilst updating their Facebook statuses.

Daniela and her small band were performing songs from her at-the-time self-released CD Long Live. Songs like “Rut and Nuzzle,” “Ambergris,” and “Stand Where a Fruit Tree Drops the Things It Doesn’t Need” from this album were standout songs I waited anxiously to hear these songs at each of the stops during the Barnstormer tours.

She announced yesterday that Long Live would be re-issued on Fire Records in Europe on November 8th on CD, MP3 and vinyl (yay!) in conjunction with a tour of Europe. Fire will release in the US and Canada in February. The new reissue gets new cover art, too and features the little boy from the “Ambergris” video (below). Long Live is an album I’ve enjoyed for over a year and its one that I always felt should get more exposure, so I hope that Fire can put some promotional support behind it. I plan on picking up the vinyl when it’s available.

Track Listing for Long Live:

1. Rut & Nuzzle
2. Ambergris
3. The Tired Bees
4. Stand Where A Fruit Tree Drops The Things It Doesn’t Need
5. Membrillo
6. Green to Gone
7. Bulb, For Later
8. Divining Rod
9. Sea Change
10. None
11. Heckling The Afterglow
12. This Is This
13. Go Deep (Fon Frank)
14. The Fish of Little Thoughts
15. The Haunt

Click Here to listen to “Rut and Nuzzle” from Long Live (with lyrics!)
Click Here to listen to “Green to Gone” from Long Live (with lyrics!)

Click Here for Snowblink’s Website

Click Here for Snowblink’s Facebook Fanpage

Click Here for Snowblink’s MySpace Page

Click Here to follow Snowblink on Twitter

Click Here for the Long Live page at Fire Records.

Snowblink’s First Daytrotter Session (3/27/2008)
Snowblink’s Second Daytrotter Session (10/22/2008)
Snowblink’s Third Daytrotter Session – Michael Jackson Covers (3/12/2010)

(Upcoming Release) Antibalas – Who Is This America? Reissued on 8/17

I became aware of Antibalas around the time that I was working on a review of the very cool Scion Daptone Records Remixed compilation where I mentioned that Ticklah who is credited with the remix of “How Long Do I Have to Wait” by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, is David Axelrod who, among other things, has been a member of the Brooklyn, NY Afrobeat and funk ensemble since 1999.

Antibalas was formed in 1998 and modeled after Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 band and continues to maintain connections with members of Fela’s bands. In 2008 the band was involved in the off-Broadway and on-Broadway musical of Fela’s life titled Fela! The musical is based on the events of his life and particularly his politically motivated music career and oppression from the Nigerian government.

Antibalas’s influence from Fela Kuti extends further than just their afrobeat style, they also choose to make their music the platform for sharing their political views. No where is this more evident than their third album Who Is This America? which was released in 2004 on Ropeadope records. The band and label felt that their political and social statements on the album are as relevant today as they were during the Bush-era, post 9/11 period they were conceived in.

The re-issue of Who Is This America? will be on CD and digital download with a new bonus track “Money Talks” and with an iTunes-only track “Paz.” Notably, Ropadope is choosing not to release this album on vinyl. As luck would have it, Daptone Records released a vinyl version back in 2004 that seems to still be available on their site for $20 and has the “running man” cover artwork. Daptone also has Antibalas’s 2007 Anti- Records release Security on vinyl as well. Security was produced by John McEntire of Tortoise, incidentally. Ropeadope will have a special edition package that includes the CD, a download and a reprint of the “Running Man” teeshirt ($27.99). You can get just the teeshirt, too.

Click Here to download “Big Man” from Who Is This America?

Click Here to pre-order Who Is This America? from Ropadope.

Click Here to order the original (no bonus tracks) Who Is This America? 2 LP from Daptone.

Click Here for the Antibalas website.

Click Here for the Antibalas MySpace Page

Click Here for the Antibalas Facebook Fan Page

Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street Reissue Variations

Looking through the Sunday fliers in the paper this morning I noticed that Target is going to have an exclusive CD available on Tuesday May 18th in conjunction with the widely-anticipated reissue of the Rolling Stones landmark 1972 album Exile on Main Street. In true fan-exploitative fashion there will be many versions of this release to choose from. Since I was looking into this, I thought I’d help break this down for the casual shopper.

Exile on Main Street in the new century is largely regarded as  influential in popular music as Sgt. Pepper’s or Pet Sounds. I think that the Rock/Country/Soul/Blues fusion on Exile singlehandedly created what would be known as “Americana” or “Alt.Country. According to Wikipedia, Exile quickly hit #1 on the UK Top 50 and the US Billboard charts, and charted into the Top 10 in the Hot 100 with “Tumbling Dice” and tracks like “Happy” and “Loving Cup” are regarded as standards.

I picked up a used copy of Exile on CD used many years ago. The version I have is the CBS CD pressing from the 80’s (CGK 40489) which proudly announces “2 RECORD SET ON 1 COMPACT DISC.” When the Rolling Stones Records catalog went to Virgin Records they did a remaster of Exile along with the rest of the catalog which was released in July 1994 based on Amazon’s information and came in packaging that looked like the original LP. When I heard that a reissue and remaster was forthcoming, I was interested in replacing my CBS copy. The sheer number of options is surprising, but likely caters to anyone’s needs.

Exile on Main Street (1 CD “Original Recording Remastered”) This is the one that should tide over most Rolling Stones fans. This is the original 18-track album remastered and– according to Amazon.com– is in a special jewel case which will allow it to fit in the “Remasters Box” which was missing Exile. Should be $9.99 this week.

Exile on Main Street Deluxe Edition (2 CD “Deluxe Edition, Extra Tracks, Original Recording Remastered”) This release expands the 1 CD version to include a second 10-track CD of previously-unreleased tracks that were recorded around the same time as the music on Exile. Should be $19.99 this week. Note: If you buy the Deluxe Edition from Best Buy you will get a bonus interview CD.

Exile on Main Street Super Deluxe Edition (2 CD, 1 DVD, 2LP, Hard Cover Book, Original Recording Remastered) This release expands the 2 CD Deluxe Edition to include two LP’s and a 30-minute DVD which has a documentary on Exile which includes footage from “lost” documentary Cocksucker Blues and Ladies and Gentlemen… The Rolling Stones and Stones in Exile. The Ladies and Gentlemen film was a film which “toured” movie theaters in 1974. The film was based on the Exile tour. Also included is a 50-page hardcover book. A really nice package for certain. Should be around $179.98 list price, with Amazon listing it at $139.

Exile on Main Street 2 LP (2 LP, Original Recording Remastered) This is the 2 180g vinyl LP edition of Exile on Main Street in a double-gatefold sleeve. These are the same LP’s included in the Super Deluxe Edition. Should be $34.99 or less.

Exile on Main Street Rarities Edition (1 CD Target and iTunes Exclusive) This is a Target and iTunes exclusive release. This is effectively the second CD in the Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions. Ten tracks recorded during the same time as the Exile on Main Street songs. These songs have been produced and mixed by The Glimmer Twins and Don Was especially for the Exile reissues. The Sunday Target flier says that the Rarities Edition will be available for $9.99. Target also is offering a “Limited Edition Exile on Main Street Rarities Fan Pack” which bundles the Rarities Edition with a cool teeshirt and guitar pick– all for $19.99.

The cool thing about the Target Rarities Edition is that I can pick this single disc up and buy the LP edition and I get a kind of blend of the Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions. I get the main album on LP’s and the bonus tracks on a CD.

Whichever version of Exile on Main Street you choose, it is an essential album for anyone’s collection.

New Jayhawks Legacy Releases Planned, Anthology on the Horizon

Some great news for Jayhawks fans– Sony Legacy/Columbia are working on preparing Legacy releases of the Jayhawks American/Sony catalog. This would be Hollywood Town Hall (1993) and  Tomorrow the Green Grass (1995) with Mark Olson in the band; and the post-Olson-departure releases Sound of Lies (1997),  Smile (2000),  and Rainy Day Music (2002). According to information shared on the jayhawksfanpage board (THE source for all things Jayhawks-related) as well as some interviews recently Gary and Mark (mostly Gary) have been combing through their personal archives to come up with the bonus material to be included in these releases.

Additionally, there will be an anthology to be titled Music From the North Country – The Jayhawks Anthology, which will be a two-disc set with one disc of tracks from their albums including their bigger hits, and the second disc will be full of demos, compilation-only tracks, soundtrack-only tracks and b-sides. This will be released on July 7th– just in time for their reunion gig at the Basilica Block Party in Minneapolis on July 10th.

Tracklisting for Music from the North Country – The Jayhawks Anthology:

DISC ONE: Two Angels / Ain’t No End / Waiting for the Sun / Martin’s Song / Clouds / Settled Down Like Rain / Blue / I’d Run Away / Over My Shoulder / Miss Williams’ Guitar / Trouble / Big Star / The Man Who Loved Life / Smile / I’m Gonna Make You Love Me / What Led Me To This Town / Tailspin / All the Right Reasons / Save It For a Rainy Day / Angelyne

DISC TWO: Falling Star (from Bunkhouse Album, 1986) / Old Woman From the Red Clay (alt version) / That’s the Bag I’m In (KFAI recording) / Won’t Be Coming Home (early demo) / Stone Cold Mess (HTH outtake) / Mission on 2nd (demo) / Lights (from Sweet Relief album, a classic!) / Darling Today (Blown Away soundtrack) / Break My Mind / Get the Load Out (both “Bad Time” B-sides) / Poor Little Fish (alt version) / Someone Will (Live from Woman’s Club) / Cure for This (this and all the rest are from the band’s rehearsal studio, 1999-2001)/ I Can Make It on My Own / Rotterdam / Follow Me / In the Canyon / Tailspin (alt version) / I Think I’ve Had Enough (Louris home tape) / Help Me Forget

As far as the Legacy releases of the albums are concerned, according to this thead on the fanboard in a reply by “Sacred Roots” who was involved in the archive research for the releases, including the Anthology release, the plans have been to add around six songs to each of the releases, except for Tomorrow the Green Grass which should get a second disc that includes 18 tracks from “The Mystery Demos.” Here is a great post on the blog Sixty-to-Zero about the Mystery Demos resulting from what must have been be the work done for these releases.

In this time of record labels trying to figure out how to stay viable it is clear that they at least feel that the future sustainability lies in re-releasing and re-packaging product. In the case of Sony/Columbia we see in the Legacy releases the interest in providing fans with new material that hasn’t seen the light of day before commercially. As a collector, I’m overjoyed that they can do this, but as a past consumer, I can’t help but feel like I’m being taken advantage of. I know, “gift horse” and all that, but I only have so much money to invest in material I already have.

Aside from that, I’m hoping that the relationship momentum that Gary Louris and Mark Olson have established resulting in the fantastic Ready For The Flood and the renewed interest in their back catalog may precipitate a future Jayhawks release of new material.

B-Sides in the Bins #28: Amazon.com part 1 – The Del Fuegos – The Longest Day

The Del Fuegos – The Longest Day (CD, Wounded Bird WOU 5174, 2008) ($7.33)

This was the week where I revisited my favorite music from the 80’s in my purchases. I was reading the very helpful Monday post from Largehearted Boy that lists the Tuesday CD and DVD releases and was surprised to see that the first three albums from 80’s roots rock band The Del Fuegos were listed as being reissued! WTF?

In 1985, probably watching Night Tracks on WTBS or Night Flight on the USA Channel, I encountered The Del Fuegos and their breakout single “Don’t Run Wild.” We didn’t have MTV in my hometown so these shows in addition to Radio 1990 and Friday Night Videos were the only music video sources available to me. “Don’t Run Wild”‘s opening muted guitar and bass riffs and snapping fingers made me a believer and this little band from Boston became one of my favorite bands and is still one I listen to.

In the summer of 1985 I discovered R.E.M. during a family vacation in California which triggered in me the desire to search out bands that other kids in my hometown of 1200 people hadn’t heard of. That summer I was 16 and with driver’s license clutched firmly in hand I would cruise around town with friends listening to a lot of bands that had this retro Midwest 60’s garage sound– The Smithereens, The Del Fuegos, The BoDeans, Los Lobos, Violent Femmes, R.E.M. and others– and this would be the sound that would carry me to the “alternative” college rock bands after high school.

The Del Fuegos were a hard-working, hard-rocking, and apparently hard-drinking bar band from Boston who were signed to indie label Slash Records which at this time was being distributed by Warners. Their first two albums The Longest Day and Boston, Mass were well-regarded critically, but it wasn’t until they were approached by Miller Beer to appear in a commercial representing a hard working blue collar band that they grabbed national attention to the din of longtime fans’ cries of “sellout!” In 1987 they followed up with Stand Up, their third album with the winning partnership of Mitch Froom at the boards.

That summer my family and my best friend Kurt went to Chicago to see The Del Fuegos along with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and The Georgia Satellites as part of Petty’s “Rock and Roll Revival Tour” at Poplar Creek on June 20, 1987. The Fuegos, the band that didn’t have a hit on the charts at the time– unlike the Satellites was made the opening act. We were really excited to see the band and to see Tom Petty. Unfortunately, dwarfed by the huge stage in the hard light of the afternoon and possibly seventeen dates into a 33-date long summer tour their abbreviated opening slot seemed to lack the magic we’d expected from the band we listened to regularly over the last two years. I was also hoping that Petty would have joined the band to reprise his harmony vocals from the album on “I Can’t Take This Place” but that wasn’t meant to be, either.

According to this biography of lead singer and founder of the Del Fuegos Dan Zanes, following that tour Warren Zanes and Woody Giessmann quit the band and the band was dropped from Slash. That Fall I went to College and focused on other bands I was being exposed to by new friends I was making there.

In 1989 Dan and bass player Tom Lloyd attempted to revive the band– this time with members replacing brother Zanes and Giessmann with a new guitarist and drummer and new label RCA. I didn’t purchase Smoking In The Fields initially– my brother Steve had a copy of it and listened to it quite a bit as I recall. Producer/Engineer Dave Thoener provided a more lush, updated version of the sound of three previous records and it yielded a rocking first single in “Move With Me Sister” which got to #22 on the Modern Rock charts. However, it died quickly with a lack of support from the label or it’s A&R army– a record out-of-time in some respects. It sadly made its final rest among the cut-out bins which is where I got my copy. Listening to it today as I write this article, it is a solid record from beginning to end and sounds as good as some Tom Petty records in his catalog and shows Zanes as the strong songwriter and frontman that he was. Smoking in the Fields is as deserving of a reissue as the other three albums in my opinion.

In 1994 he came out of a period of retirement during which he started a family and quit drinking by providing a very short instrumental titled “Moon Over Greene County” to the soundtrack to “Natural Born Killers.” This was followed in 1995 by his first solo album Cool Down Time which was released on short lived Private Music which was bought by BMG the following year and has been out-of-print since. (There are a bunch of copies for under $5 on Amazon, BTW). This record was a return of Mitch Froom at the helm and brought his clank-and-rattle percussion and odd keyboard sounds he developed in the Latin Playboys to Dan’s trademark roots sound. I love this album and it’s shared production style with the Latin Playboys, 99.9 Fahrenheit Degrees from Froom’s ex-wife Suzanne Vega, and Colossal Head from Los Lobos is an interesting mix. Dan provided an e-mail address in the CD booklet and he and I exchanged a few e-mails which was cool.

The story has been told a number of times elsewhere on the net about Dan being disappointed with the children’s music available and how he has reinvented himself as a children’s/family-friendly artist and this path gave him a Grammy in 2007 for Catch That Train! in the Best Musical Album for Children category.

In 2001 Warner Brothers sort of righted a long-standing wrong by providing The Longest Day on CD. The two following albums had existed been released on CD, but not Day. They did this strangely by including the whole album as part of an import Best of the Del Fuegos : The Slash Years which also had tracks from the subsequent two albums. I hadn’t gotten around to purchasing this album and now I don’t need to since it has been reissued by a label I hadn’t heard of called Wounded Bird.

Wounded Bird is a reissues label that has been in existence since 1998 and has a pretty impressive catalog of releases including most of Bread’s catalog, Marshall Crenshaw, the solo work of the Cars and many others. It appears based on the two CD’s I bought so far that they are licensed and manufactured by Rhino Entertainment. So, this implies that they have access to the original masters to make them. I have read some reviews on Amazon that people have been disappointed with some of the releases’ sound quality. So, I think releases from this label come with a bit of buyer beware in that they aren’t re-mastering these recordings, so if there hasn’t been a CD transfer done these are coming from LP/Cassette masters. In the case of The Longest Day the production sounds great, so I’m assuming they are using the masters that were used for the 2001 Best of release. In the case of Boston, Mass and Stand Up they would be using the CD masters.

It’s great to have this on CD, finally and completes my collection. I have the Slash catalog of the Del Fuegos on vinyl as well so I feel that my collection is pretty complete with this band.

Click Here for Dan Zanes’s Website

Air – Moon Safari Reissue Blues : What’s Missing?

Moon SafariPer the folks at Pitchfork (who heard from NME) Air’s landmark album Moon Safari will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a deluxe reissue. This reissue will bundle the original album, plus a disc of bonus material, and a DVD documentary ( Air: Eating, Sleeping, Waiting & Playing directed by Mike Mills, who did the cover art and some of the videos for Moon Safari). The release will happen March 31st on Virgin in the UK and April 15th on Astralwerks in the US.

So, as excited as I am about this release– when this album came out I had a pretty big crush on the lush French sounds– it’s missing songs. For a while I was collecting anything that sounded like Air (Dmitri from Paris, DJ Cam, Mellow, etc.). So, naturally, I have all of the import singles associated with Moon Safari, plus any of the tracks that showed up on compilations like the tres groovy Source Records compilations (Source was the label Air was on initially). It has some of the tracks from the singles, but not all. Here is the tracklist as advertised with where the track came from notated by moi:

Moon Safari:

01 La Femme d’Argent
02 Sexy Boy
03 All I Need
04 Kelly Watch the Stars
05 Talisman
06 Remember
07 You Make It Easy
08 Ce Matin Là
09 New Star in the Sky
10 Le Voyage De Pénélope

Moon Safari Remixes, Rarities and Radio Sessions:

01 Remember (David Whitaker version) (“Kelly Watch the Stars” Single)
02 Kelly Watch the Stars (live at the BBC 1998)
03 J’ai Dormi Sous L’Eau (live at the BBC 1998)
04 Sexy Boy (live at the BBC 1998)
05 Kelly Watch the Stars (Moog Cookbook remix) (“All I Need” Single)
06 Mabrouk (live on KCRW 1998)
07 You Make It Easy (live on KCRW 1998)
08 Bossa 96 (demo)
09 Kelly Watch the Stars (demo)
10 Sexy Boy (Beck ‘Sex Kino’ mix) (“Sexy Boy” Single)


01 Eating, Sleeping, Waiting & Playing
02 Videos: “Sexy Boy”, “Kelly Watch the Stars”, “All I Need”, “Le Soleil Est Pres De Moi”
03 Album graphics

So, the rest of the tracks on the bonus disc are new– even to me. That’s enough of a reason for me to buy this.

But, What’s Missing?

“Sexy Boy (Etienne de Crecy & The Flower Pistols Remix)” (“Sexy Boy” single)
“Sexy Boy (Cassius Radio Mix)” (“Sexy Boy” single)
“Jeanne (with Francoise Hardy)” (“Sexy Boy” Single)
“Kelly Watch The Stars (American Girls Remix by Phoenix)” (“All I Need” single)
“Californie” (promotional flexi-disc, although this did get issued on the 1999 reissue of Premiers Symptomes. I consider this a Moon Safari period track)
“Cosmic Bird” (with Jean-Jacques Perrey) (SOURCELab 3 compilation)