for the week of April 14,2015:
Calexico: Edge of the Sun
Calexico is no stranger to negotiating borders. For the better part of two decades, eight albums, and countless trips around the globe, Joey Burns and John Convertino have crossed musical barriers with their band, embracing a multitude of diverse styles. For Edge of the Sun, the band’s keyboardist, Sergio Mendoza, stepped up to co-write and arrange certain songs, ultimately co-producing the album along with Burns, Convertino, and longtime associate Craig Schumacher: It was Mendoza who suggested that Calexico physically cross an actual border for a songwriting retreat to the historic Mexico City borough of Coyoacan. In view of the fresh creative perspective provided by the band’s journey to New Orleans to make its previous album, Algiers, Edge of the Sun’s Mexican origins would seem destined to have a major impact on the album. The writing here shows Burns and Convertino’s ongoing pursuit of the profound melody, creating music at once hauntingly accessible and rich in instrumental texture. With guests including Sam Beam of Iron and Wine, Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses, Nick Urata from Devotchka, Carla Morrison, Gaby Moreno, Amparo Sanchez, multi-instrumentalists from the Greek band Takim, as well as Neko Case, Edge of the Sun weaves a dense tapestry from its international roster.
Dwight Yoakam: Second Hand Heart
Second Hand Heart was self-produced by Yoakam, and reflects where he’s been, but even more so, where he’s going. The album takes the pioneering honky-tonker back to Warner Bros./Reprise, where he began his major-label recording career 30 years ago. Yoakam’s distinctive, supple vocals, accented with his Kentucky croon, sound as strong today as they did on his debut, 1985’s Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc. Its release immediately yielded hit singles, and over the course of some 21 albums – totaling more than 25 million in sales worldwide – Yoakam has continued to passionately sing, write, and play music brimming with hard country and rock ‘n’ roll.
Eels: Royal Albert Hall
Eels have had one of the most consistently acclaimed careers in music. The ever-changing project of principal singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett, aka E, Eels have released ten studio albums since their 1996 debut, Beautiful Freak. In May 2014 Eels embarked on an ambitious 53-show world tour. On the night of June 30, Eels returned to London’s legendary Royal Albert Hall for the first time in nine years to play a stunning show that was filmed and recorded. Filmed by twelve cameras in the gorgeously lit Royal Albert Hall, the new film and album find the Eels dapperly dressed in suits and ties, playing songs from Cautionary Tales for the first time along with songs spanning Eels’ illustrious 19-year career.
Charles Lloyd: Wild Man Dance
the saxophonist/composer’s first album for Blue Note in 30 years. The album is a live recording of a long-form suite commissioned by the Jazztopad Festival in Wroclaw, Poland.
Hank Williams III: Take As Needed For Pain
Previously unreleased (in this form) tunes by Hank III
for the week of April 7,2015:
Waxahatchee: My Tripp
Katie Crutchfield’s southern roots are undeniable. The name of her solo musical project Waxahatchee comes from a creek not far from her childhood home in Alabama and seems to represent both where she came from and where she’s going. Waxahatchee’s latest record, Ivy Tripp, drifts confidently from its predecessors and brings forth a more informed and powerful recognition of where Crutchfield has currently found herself. The lament and grieving for her youth seem to have been replaced with control and sheer self-honesty. ”My life has changed a lot in the last two years, and it’s been hard for me to process my feelings other than by writing songs,” says Crutchfield. ”I think a running theme [of Ivy Tripp] is steadying yourself on shaky ground and reminding yourself that you have control in situations that seem overwhelming, or just being cognizant in moments of deep confusion or sadness, and learning to really feel emotions and to grow from that.” Recorded and engineered by Kyle Gilbride of Wherever Audio at Crutchfield’s home on New York’s Long Island – with drums recorded in the gym of a local elementary school – Ivy Tripp presents a more developed and aged version of Waxahatchee. ”The title Ivy Tripp is really just a term I made up for directionless-ness, specifically of the 20-something, 30-something, 40-something of today, lacking regard for the complaisant life path of our parents and grandparents. I have thought of it like this: [Waxahatchee’s
last album] Cerulean Salt is a solid and Ivy Tripp is a gas.”
Cassandra Wilson: Coming Forth By Day
Coming Forth By Day is a musical homage to legendary jazz vocalist Billie Holiday on the 100th anniversary of the singer’s birth. The album was produced by Nick Launay, known as Nick Cave’s producer for the last decade among many other adventurous credits. Wilson recorded the music at Seedy Underbelly studios in Los Angeles at Seedy Underbelly studios, accompanied by an A list musical team including producer Launay, guitarists T Bone Burnett and Nick Zinner of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, string arranger Van Dyke Parks and rhythm section The Bad Seeds (drummer Thomas Wydler and bassist Martyn P. Casey). Wilson is a leading American jazz has who has received many awards and accolades, including: two Grammys (1996, Best Jazz Vocal Performance; 2009, Best Jazz Vocal Album);Down Beat’s Female Jazz Vocalist of the Year (1994-1996); the Montreal International Jazz Festival’s Miles Davis Prize (1999); named “America’s Best Singer” in Time magazine (2001); honorary doctorate in the Arts from Millsaps College (2003); added to the Mississippi Blues Trail (2010); and taken home the BET Soul Train Award (2011, Best Traditional Jazz Album).
The Waterboys: Modern Blues
In True Waterboys’ Style, a Spirit of Exploration Defines the Album Which Was Recorded in Nashville, Produced By Mike Scott and Mixed By the Great Bob Clearmountain. Ralph Salmins, a Mainstay on Drums for the Past Four Years, Appears Alongside the Talismanic Steve Wickham, Who Weaves a Dizzying Fuzz Fiddle Spell on Several Tracks. Fresh to the Ranks Are Memphis Keyboard Player ‘Brother’ Paul Brown and David Hood, Legendary Bassist from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Additional Lead Guitars Are Played By 2013 Us Waterboy Jay Barclay and Austin Soul Guitarist Zach Ernst. Guest Backing Vocalists Include Southern Soul Legend Don Bryant. The Album Cover Is a Green Man Photograph Titled the King of Weeds, By New York Artists Kahn and Selesnick.
Brian Wilson: No Pier Pressure
For the No Pier Pressure sessions, Brian Wilson reunited with longtime collaborator Joe Thomas, with whom he co-produced The Beach Boys’ 2012 album That’s Why God Made The Radio. In addition, Wilson was joined at Hollywood’s Ocean Way Studios by talented musicians he personally invited to record with him, including his former Beach Boys bandmates Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin, as well as Kacey Musgraves, fun.’s Nate Ruess, She & Him’s Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, Peter Hollens, Capital Cities’ Sebu Simonian, and trumpet master Mark Isham. Wilson has also brought in session all-stars Don Was, Jim Keltner, Dean Parks, and Kenny Aronoff. Members of Wilson’s longtime touring band, including Scott Bennett, Paul Mertens, Darian Sahanaja, and Probyn Gregory also participated in the sessions, along with Matt Jardine, son of Al Jardine, and former bandmate Jeffrey Foskett. Always most inspired when creativity is given time and space to freely flow, Wilson initially envisioned the sessions for his new album with The Beach Boys in mind, but that was not to be. Wanting to find the right voices to complete his vision, Wilson saw an opportunity to finally become hip with his kids and recruited some amazing young vocalists who have been inspired by his music to do the job.
Todd Rundgren: Global
Todd’s latest musical vision is a contemporary fusion of styles – rock, soul and electronica – that continues the tradition of boundary-breaking works from this visionary genius, and the finely crafted songs on GLOBAL once again push the creative envelope. As a songwriter, video pioneer, producer, recording artist, computer software developer, conceptualist, and interactive artist, TODD RUNDGREN has made a lasting impact on both the form and content of popular music. Among his myriad hits are ‘Hello It’s Me’, ‘I Saw the Light’, ‘Can We Still be Friends’, ‘We Gotta Get You A Woman’, ‘Open My Eyes’, and ‘Bang the Drum’, (the latter a mainstay on ESPN and in television commercials). Rundgren’s prolific producer’s discography includes such classics as Skylarking by XTC, We’re an American Band by Grand Funk Railroad, War Babies by Hall & Oates, Wave by Patti Smith and Meat Loaf’s auspicious debut Bat Out of Hell, (the fifth best-selling album of all time with some 42 million sales). He is also internationally acknowledged as the Godfather of the marriage of music and multimedia. With the release of his excellent new album GLOBAL, Todd continues to take his music forward into the 21st Century in a confident and impressive manner.
The Mountain Goats: Beat the Champ
Beat the Champ is about professional wrestling, which was an avenue of escape for me when I was a kid. Wrestling was low-budget working class entertainment back then, strictly UHF material. It was cheap theater. You had to bring your imagination to the proceedings and you got paid back double. I wrote these songs to re-immerse myself in the blood and fire of the visions that spoke to me as a child, and to see what more there might be in them now that I’m grown.’ – John Darnielle, Durham, NC
Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas: Soundprints LIVE in Monterey
Live release from saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas, the debut recording from their quintet Sound Prints with pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Joey Baron. The album features two compositions written for the band by their inspiration Wayne Shorter.
for the week of March 31, 2015:
Death Cab For Cutie: Kintsugi
Kintsugi is the band’s first time recording with a producer other than their own Chris Walla. For Kintsugi, they worked with Rich Costey (whose production credits include albums by Franz Ferdinand, Muse and Interpol), recording at his Los Angeles studio Eldorado over the course of 12 weeks in the first half of 2014. Kintsugi is the band’s last album to feature original member Chris Walla.
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell
Carrie & Lowell sounds like memory: it spans decades yet does not trade on pastiche or nostalgia. Stevens’s gauzy double-tracked vocals wash across the dashboard of long-finned, drop-top Americana, yet as we race towards the coast we are reminded that sunshine leads to shadow, for this is a landscape of terminal roads, unsteady bridges, traumatic video stores, and unhappy beds that provide the scenery for tales of jackknifed cars, funerals, and forgiveness for the dead. Each track in this collection of eleven songs begins with a fragile melody that gathers steam until it becomes nothing less than a modern hymn. Sufjan recounts the indignities of our world, of technological distraction and sad sex, of an age without neither myths nor miracle – and this time around, his voice carries the burden of wisdom. Carrie & Lowell accomplishes the rare thing that any art should achieve, particularly in these noisy and fragmented days: By seeking to understand, Sufjan makes us feel less alone.
Wale: Album About Nothing
the fourth studio album from the Washington, DC-based rapper. The Album About Nothing serves as part three of Wale’s About Nothing music series. #TAAN may be the most personal album Wale has released to date and is most important to his core fans, as it follows two mixtapes (Mixtape About Nothing and More About Nothing) that were also centered around this theme. The play on the “album about nothing” is that the album is about “everything”. There is no theme to life; therefore there is no theme to this album.
Boz Scaggs: Fool to Care
His most compelling work to date in a celebrated and prolific career, this collection of songs boasts Scaggs trailblazing blend of rock, soul, jazz and R&B taken to new heights and is the next chapter in the storytelling for which he is beloved. A Fool To Care is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed, Billboard Chart-Topping album Memphis. With Scaggs’ songwriting as distinct as ever, A Fool To Care showcases the masterful patchwork of influences and innovations that make up a Boz Scaggs album. Produced by Steve Jordan (Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, John Mayer) and recorded at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, A Fool To Care features two very special guests Bonnie Raitt contributes slide guitar and vocals on ‘Hell To Pay’ and Lucinda Williams’ trades vocal lines with Scaggs on ‘Whispering Pines’.
Ringo: Postcards From Paradise
he former Beatle, his first new studio album in three years. Features the hits ‘Rory and the Hurricanes’ (named after the band Ringo left in order to join The Beatles) as well as the title track ‘Postcards from Paradise’ POSTCARDS FROM PARADISE was produced by Ringo and recorded at his home studio in Los Angeles and, as always, features friends and family. As Ringo often says, “If I am recording and you’re in town and drop by, you’re going to be on the record!”
The Best of the Grateful Dead
two CD collection released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Dead. This is the first time that there has been a double disc best of collection and it has been compiled to highlight classic favorites from a fan point of view.
Billie Holiday: The Centennial Collection
Billie Holiday’s distinctive and groundbreaking vocal approach changed the face of jazz, soul and pop music in the 20th century. Now, on the eve of her 100th birthday (April 7, 1915), Billie Holiday: The Centennial Collection offers the definitive single-disc chronicle of her career. In her brief but pivotal career, Holiday changed the landscape of jazz vocals by breaking free of the standard “reading” of the songs she would perform on stage and in studio. Her unique, emotive voice and idiosyncratic delivery which often altered the familiar rhythm and meter of the standards she sang early in her career planted the seeds for virtually every major female popular singer of the 20th century and beyond. Billie Holiday: The Centennial Collection, featuring 20 tracks recorded over her entire career, is the perfect tribute to this legendary performer.
THE NEW RELEASE HOUR ON KRCB: HOT OFF THE PRESSES!
We don’t just sell records at the Last Record Store—we also talk about them, obsessively, all day long.
That discussion moves into radio land: Tuesday mornings at 11am (repeated Wednesdays at 7pm) when KRCB-FM pairs the Last Record Store’s (and Mid-Day KRCB program host) Doug Jayne with longtime Morning DJ Brian Griffith for The New Release Hour. A full hour of commercial-free new releases each week, played and evaluated by two pros who know the music best!
KRCB is at 90.9 and 91.1-FM, or online at krcb.org. Tune in!
TUNE IN, TURN ON, AND DROP… THE NEEDLE!
Your second chance to listen in on the discussion comes with Needle Droppings, a weekly new-release segment with our very own Doug Jayne and a rotating panel of music junkies, usually including Michelle Marques of KSRO and KRCB, Petaluma Vice Mayor Gabe Kearney, Gabe Meline from KQED, Blair Hardman from Zone Recording and more!
Needle Droppings airs Fridays as part of The Drive With Steve Jaxon at 4:20pm on KSRO, at 1350-AM, 103.5-FM, and online at ksro.com. Tune in!
See you on the Avenue!