August 12, 2009


I have a question.

I'm going to use specifics rather than being general but you can apply it in a general sense.  And I'm going to leave out high-charting Pop simply because that really hasn't changed structurally since the beginning of radio.  What I am concerned about is the development, subsequent adoration, and remembrance of a band.  In this day and age.

The specific bands that I'll choose for the sake of this discussion are The Enemy UK, The Rifles (although the jury is still out on that one despite the fact that I LOVE them), Interpol, and White Lies (an upward moving band currently receiving attention).  All of those bands have a lot going for them.  Let's rub out the originality argument first because if you look in the rearview mirror of Rock, you'll find many successful – remembered to this day – bands that have drawn healthy influence from predecessors.  Listening to the mentioned bands, they have plenty of influence and tons of talent to sustain a great career.  But will they be remembered at all?



That's the question that I'm seeking to answer.  The above-mentioned bands have excellent talent, and even drawing heavily from influence, would have easily ranked high in fans' hearts had they surfaced in the late '70s, early '80s.  In fact, I dare say that all the mentioned bands could potentially have 30th Anniversary albums arriving about now.  But these bands likely will not enjoy that kind of status 30 years from now.  They will likely be a footnote of this era, if they're lucky.  But they're better than what they'll be getting out of all this.

Now for my question.  Why is this lack of sustained and adoring interest occurring?  Do we no longer really care?  Is adoration of even cult bands disappearing or has it already disappeared, never to come back?  Or do we need a realignment, a change in how we approach music?  If so, who's going to start it? Rock just on auto-pilot until it f-f-f-f-fades away...?

Here's a frightening thought.  Would The Clash have survived this era?  How about The Jam (a big cult favourite without a massive following)?  Would The Kinks have landed in hallowed memory?  Would The Rolling Stones have been able to gain traction?  I'm not so sure.  Not anymore.  It seems as if we have turned music into an event of the moment.  Once the moment is gone, so is the is the song.

It's sobering and sad.

But I still have faith.

I would like to acknowledge the passing of Mike Seeger, half-brother to Pete Seeger, at the age of 75. He was noted for his influence in the Folk arena, and should be remembered as a valuable component of its resurgence, time and again. A historian of his worth cannot be ignored and we should mourn his passing. RIP, Mr Seeger. And thanks for all of your work. It is greatly appreciated, especially that which emanated from your influence.

We have a few reviews for you today that include Rain Dance - Live by Gregg Rolie (Santana/Journey), and a review of the continuing 24k Gold Audio Fidelity remasters, this one for School's Out by Alice Cooper.

Some more Great Album Covers:

David C.:

and Jeff H.:







Rhino Records will release Hits for jazz great, Al Jarreau, which is planned for issue on September 29.

We understand (via NME) that eight classic Kraftwerk albums will be re-mastered and reissued. The titles include Autobahn; Trans-Europe Express; The Man Machine; Computer World; Techno Pop; The Mix; Tour De France; and Radio-Activity. All titles are expected in October and will be reissued as CDs (individually, and in 8CD Box), and heavyweight vinyl LP.

Roadrunner Records will release Gods + Guns from Lynyrd Skynyrd on CD, September 29. It will also be released in a 2CD Special Edition on the same date. The Special Edition will contain three unreleased Live cuts ("Sweet Home Alabama," "Call Me the Breeze," "Red White and Blue"), and three bonus Studio tracks ("Bang Bang," "Rainng in my Heartland," "Hobo Kinda Man").

Rhino Records will reissue last year's Aretha Franklin XMas album called This Christmas Aretha, scheduling for October 6.

Rhino Records plans an 8CD/3DVD box for Genesis called Genesis: Live 1973-2007. It is scheduled for September 29.

Atlantic Records will reissue Songs for Beginners by Graham Nash on vinyl LP (180g), planning for October 20.

Rhino Records continues their grand business with the reissue of Anodyne (1993) from Uncle Tupelo on 180g vinyl LP. It is planned for October 6.

Columbia Records will release the new Train album on October 27. The album is called Save Me, San Francisco and contains the song, "Hey, Soul Sister," which is currently available on iTunes.

Capitol Records will release the upcoming debut for YouTube artist, Priscilla Renea, called Jukebox, on October 20. You can sample Priscilla at her MySpace page.

The new Shadows Fall album, called Retribution, will issue on September 15 on CD, CD/DVD Deluxe Edition, and an Exclusive Box set that will add many exclusive goodies to the album. the band starts the first leg of their tour on September 22. They do a Jimmy Fallon appearance on September 3.

Sire Records will release The Listening by LIGHTS on October 6.

Word Records will release The Best of David Phelps for David Phelps on October 6.

Warner Brothers Records will release There is No Enemy from Built to Spill on October 6.

Hip-O Select will release Unlimited for Barry White, slating the album for October 13.

You can now pick up the SACDs for Pirates (Rickie Lee Jones), Toulouse Street (Doobie Brothers); and Music From Big Pink (The Band) as those have been released. In addition, you can now get the re-mastered Hasten Down the Wind 180g LP from Linda Ronstadt. Mobile Fidelity has also announced upcoming SACDs for Rock of Ages; Cahoots; Northern Lights/Southern Cross (The Band), and The Captain and Me; Takin' It To The Streets (Doobie Brothers). MoFi will also release 180g vinyl LPs for The Cars; Candy-O (The Cars); Pilgrimage (2LP) from Michael Brecker; My Aim is True; This Year's Model; Armed Forces (Elvis Costello); Sinatra & Strings; Live in Paris (Frank Sinatra); and multiple formats/versions of Dixie Chicken (Little Feat). All titles except the ones currently available are 'ship-date to be determined'. We'll let you know.




Review - Gregg Rolie - Rain Dance - Live - CD

Gregg Rolie, who has logged quality time with Santana (and Journey), starts off his latest album, Rain Dance – Live, with music sounding like he still belongs with the early Santana troupe.  The cuts on this 12-track album that includes excellent versions of “No One to Depend On,” “Evil Ways,” “Black Magic Woman,” and “Oye Como Va,” all songs that Rolie had a hand in delivering to the world via his involvement with Santana, are well done in a Live environment.

Gregg Rolie is a quality musician with high standards for his music - renditions or self-penned.  On Rain Dance – Live, we not only get to slip into a comfortable environ with Rolie as he revisits his early influences, but we get a strong album of excellent Live performances.

This is well recommended!  ****


Introduction - Himalaya - NYC

Himalaya is a band out of Brooklyn that creates music that is surprisingly like early Pink Floyd. They have just released an indie album and so, if the visit to their respective sites (Facebook, MySpace, Official) gets you excited enough to buy some music, it won't surprise me.




Introduction - The Rifles - UK

Nettwerk Records will digitally release the 4-track EP, named Great Escape, by UK's The Rifles, whom Paul Weller of The Jam has gushed about, on July 28. Later in the year, Nettwerk will release their full-length album, which we'll be sure to cover. Three tracks found on this release will NOT be found on the band's upcoming album. Check 'em out at Facebook, and/or MySpace, and/or their official site.










Copyright 2002-2009 Matthew Rowe.
All rights reserved.All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Disclaimer: various news pieces may state a specific media publication or program as a source. All other news is considered 'rumour' only. That goes double for release dates.

212 Frech

"Even though most of the people I knew in my youth are gone, I still reach out to them..." Norman Maclean - Paraphrase

"...we should enjoy every sandwich." -- Warren Zevon
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." -- Hunter S Thompson
" best wake up 'fore tomorrow comes creepin' in...: -- Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut
"Because they wouldn't let me go for three..." -- Woody Hayes (OSU)
"Show me peaceful days before my youth has gone" -- Neil Diamond (Serenade)