28 oct. 2011

SAM ROBERTS - COLLIDER



by Tim Sendra
Sam Roberts' fifth album Collider finds the Canadian rocker doing what he does best: cranking out thoughtful, melodic, midtempo rockers that hit the sweet spot between radio-friendly slickness and singer/songwriter intelligence and deliver almost an hour of classic rock-inspired goodness. While some of his records in the past have toyed with alt-rock noise jams or sweeping prog rock concepts, this time out he’s content to stick to the middle of the road. This isn’t a criticism at all. Roberts is so adept at crafting simple, memorable rock songs, and his persona is so charming and direct, that he doesn’t need to do anything too flashy to make an album work. In fact, the only moments that don’t work on the album, like the jittery, horn-filled opener "The Last Crusade" or the jam band-fake funky "Let It In" are the moments when he tries to stretch out a little. The album really gets going when Roberts and his always sympathetic band stick to the basics. The easy choogling "Without a Map" or the driving rocker "Sang Froid" are examples of how they can make a simple song work by added energy and passion, not tricky arrangements. A song like the soaring "No Arrows" could even be a hit if the stars aligned just right. Along with rocking the rockers like a champ, Roberts proves to be a fine balladeer on the handful of songs that slow the tempo; showing great depth of feeling in the quietly rollicking "Twist the Knife" and the weary-sounding "Partition Blues." Like he has through most of his career, Roberts comes off like the guy on a team who doesn’t seem to be doing much, but if you took him out of the lineup, the team’s fortunes would plummet. He rarely makes mistakes, never embarrasses himself, and always turns in a solid performance. He may not win awards or get commercials, but he’ll get the job done. It may not sound very rock & roll when you put it like that, but even rock & roll needs unspectacular sparkplug-types, and with Collider, Roberts proves himself an essential part of the R&R landscape.

24 oct. 2011

Israel Nash Gripka - Drown

ISRAEL NASH GRIPKA

Ciao.
Para los que el último del borrachin Adams sea demasiado "soft" os invito a descubrir a este peludo,ISRAEL NASH GRIPKA, que si bien no tiene la voz y las producciones del otro, las canciones están francamente bien. Suena al propio Adams, y en algunas canciones a Neil Young o a los Stones de la primera época.En Spotify tiene dos discos, uno en directo de esta primavera. El próximo jueves 3 de Noviembre lo podremos ver con banda en BCN, en el Rocksound.

18 oct. 2011

Blitzen Trapper - "Love the Way You Walk Away"




by James Christopher Monger
After nearly a decade of flirtation, Blitzen Trapper finally took the plunge and dove headfirst into the lake in crafting American Goldwing, a straight-up, mid-'70s inspired Southern rock album that fuses the Saturday night swagger of Lynyrd Skynyrd with the stoic peasantry of the Band. Similar in sound and feel to fellow Pacific Northwesterners the Decemberists’ King Is Dead, but sporting a darker patina of authenticity (which is odd, considering neither group has roots in the deep south), American Goldwing comes out of the gate howling with “Might Find It Cheap,” a taut and infectious, summer boot-stomper that sounds tailor-made to buckle the speakers in a second generation Pontiac Firebird. What follows is a lovingly balanced set of rural rockers (“Street Fighting Sun”) and dirt road ballads (“Girl in a Coat”) that sound about as far from the murky introspection of 2010’s Destroyer of the Void as one would expect from a band that continuously tries to reinvent themselves within their own psych-folk/alt-country/indie rock universe, and almost always succeeds.

16 oct. 2011

KEVIN COYNE




Biography
by John Dougan
Many singer/songwriters have been more heralded, but few produced more good work or did so for longer than Kevin Coyne. While virtually unknown in America, Coyne released dozens of records, most of them very good, that dealt primarily with outsiders: men, women, and children arbitrarily shunted to the fringes of society, or worse, locked away and left alone. His songs could be extraordinarily compassionate and, in the blink of an eye, angry, anguished, and accusatory. Perhaps the most durable and telling image of Kevin Coyne is the cover photo of his album In Living Black & White. On the front, Coyne is smiling and politely bowing to an unseen audience; the back of the album jacket is the same photo taken from the rear, with Coyne clutching an open straight razor.

Born in Derby, England, in 1944, Coyne, like many rock & roll performers who came of age in early postwar Britain, was an art school student who fell in love with American R&B. Living a bohemian life in late-'60s London, Coyne was employed for a while as a socio-therapist for alcoholics and the emotionally disturbed, jobs that would profoundly affect his approach to music. In 1969 his first band, Siren, signed to influential BBC DJ John Peel's specialty label, Dandelion. Two years and two excellent records later, Peel dissolved his label and Coyne embarked on a solo career. Married with two children, Coyne supported both his family and musical career by returning to social work. In many ways, his solo debut, Case History, set the tone for his career. Based on his social work experiences, it was a riveting examination of the desperate search for love by those forcibly exiled to the fringes of society. With his bluesy voice wailing almost inconsolably, Case History is a naked examination of people (Coyne included) whose lives are in constant turmoil: betrayed, institutionalized, unwanted, and mostly unloved. The characters in these songs cry out for attention, and Coyne, never one to buy into England's bureaucratic social work system, howls right along with them.

Case History was very nearly Coyne's swan song, but after a self-imposed exile from music, an opportunity to continue recording as a solo act with almost complete artistic freedom proved too powerful an incentive. In 1973, Coyne began a relationship with the then-fledgling Virgin Records label, which seemed willing to embrace the decidedly noncommercial, difficult performer. For the next eight years, he recorded some of his best music and, somewhat surprisingly, attained a modicum of commercial success, albeit in Europe only. These were mostly edgy folk-rock records tinged with an avant-garde feel for performance art (Coyne was a published poet, too), clearly not easy listening by any stretch of the imagination; neither were these records overly pretentious nor unapproachable.

By the early '80s, Coyne was recording for independent labels, making frustrating, semi-successful records that were erratically released and difficult to find. Exacerbating this bad situation were his worsening mental and physical states: chronic depression culminating in a nervous breakdown and alcoholism that, along with ending his marriage, nearly ended his life. In 1985 me moved to Nuremberg, Germany and began to pick up the pieces, improving his health and forming the Paradise Band. The move also re-sparked his passion for painting and writing, resulting in a handful of published books along with well-received exhibitions of his visual work in the cities of Berlin, Amsterdam, and Zurich. By the time the '90s rolled around, Coyne had reestablished himself as a true underground force, releasing a continuous stream of albums of dizzying variety (and availability). In 2002 he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. He died at his home on December 2, 2004.

COWS


Biography
by John Dougan
Longtime denizens of the Minneapolis rock scene, the Cows are one of America's great degenerate punk rock bands. Starting off as near-total incompetents, they have become more technically polished musicians during the '90s, but their white-hot noise rock has not been tamed one bit. In many ways, the Cows remain as gloriously messy, primitive, and exciting as they were the day they started. Formed in the mid-'80s by idiosyncratic lead singer Shannon Selberg, the Cows appropriated the hardcore guitar blur that characterized fellow-Twin Citians Hüsker Dü, but stripped away any and all concessions to melodies, hooks, riffs -- essentially anything that remotely resembled pop. What they offered was a blazing wall of distortion that was punk rock at its crudest; a feral racket that sounded as if the guitars were being played with metal files. Above the din was Selberg, free-associating surreal vignettes about, well, God knows what, but his squealing, shrieking, and general lunacy provided the bizarre, often engaging, focus. He plays trumpet, too -- well, not so much plays as blasts a note or two when he's tired of ranting. After the release of their first album in 1987, the Cows were roundly derided as a talentless, tasteless joke (a charge that would be leveled a few years later against Babes in Toyland). However, they've stayed true to their anti-commercial stance and punk roots, releasing a handful of weird, loud, gleefully unhinged records that seem to get better (i.e., more focused and less obtuse) and retain the band's devotion to mania.

9 oct. 2011

GIRA ESPAÑOLA DE MARAH 2011

Actualmente una de las mejores bandas en directo sin duda, comunicativos, divertidos,entregadosla esencia del rock. (lagrimas en directo, Cristina la teclista, te quiero. una subasta de un cd con foto con el grupo...) Prohibido perdérselos la próxima vez que vuelvan

con esta se me puso la piel de gallina


con el publico

7 oct. 2011

Cowboy Junkies





Biography
by Steve Huey
Although it didn't originally have anything to do with their sound, the Cowboy Junkies' name wound up seeming pretty accurate: their music was grounded in traditional country, blues, and folk, yet drifted along in a sleepy, narcotic haze that clearly bore the stamp of the Velvet Underground. The vast majority of their songs were spare and quiet, taken at lethargic tempos and filled with languid guitars and detached, ethereal vocals courtesy of Margo Timmins. Over the late '80s and '90s, the group recorded a succession of critically acclaimed albums that found favor in the alternative rock community.

The Cowboy Junkies were founded by guitarist/songwriter Michael Timmins and bassist Alan Anton (born Alan Alizojvodic), who first played together in a Toronto-based band called the Hunger Project in 1979. They later moved to the U.K. and played with an avant-garde instrumental outfit called Germinal, but eventually grew weary of the group's style and returned to Toronto in 1984. They started jamming with Timmins' brother Peter on drums, and in 1985 they recruited a vocalist in sister Margo, at the time a social worker who'd never sung publicly before. Dubbing themselves the Cowboy Junkies simply because the name had a ring to it, they formed their own independent label, Latent, and released their debut album, Whites Off Earth Now!!, in 1986. Featuring only one original song, the album was recorded using only one microphone, and although it was initially available only in Canada, it helped them land a major-label deal with RCA. Their first widespread release was 1988's The Trinity Session, which was recorded inside Toronto's Church of the Holy Trinity in the span of one night -- again using only one microphone. The Trinity Session became a cult hit, earning rave reviews from critics and substantial college radio airplay for tracks like "Misguided Angel" and their cover of "Sweet Jane."

Now an underground sensation, the Cowboy Junkies decided to concentrate more on Michael Timmins' original material for the bigger-budget follow-up, 1989's The Caution Horses. The album didn't cause quite as much of a stir, although it helped maintain their cult fan base. Released in 1992, the even more countrified Black Eyed Man found Timmins settling more comfortably into his songwriting voice, which set the stage for 1993's Pale Sun, Crescent Moon. Hailed as their finest effort since The Trinity Session, the record bore more influence from rock and blues, and returned the Junkies to critics' darling status. However, it also proved to be their final album of new material for RCA. As the band left for Geffen, RCA issued the two-disc live compilation 200 More Miles and the best-of Studio. Meanwhile, the Junkies debuted for Geffen in 1996 with Lay It Down, a relatively high-volume effort compared to their shimmering early work.

Following 1998's Miles from Our Home, the Cowboy Junkies parted ways with Geffen and revived their own Latent label. Their first release was the 2000 live album Waltz Across America, which was initially available only through the band's website. They followed it a year later with an album of all-new material, Open. One Soul Now followed in 2004. In 2005, the group released Early 21st Century Blues, a collection of covers -- and two originals -- that dealt with "war, violence, fear, greed, ignorance and loss." Recorded in just five days, it harked back to The Trinity Session. Later that year, the band was featured on the Beatles tribute album This Bird Has Flown, which was produced by Jim Sampas and featured various artists including the Donnas and Dar Williams.

Meanwhile, the band was busy collaborating with visual artist Enrique Martinez Celaya on a commemorative art book. Released in 2006, Cowboy Junkies XX was a retrospective piece intended to celebrate the band's 20th anniversary. It featured original watercolors by Celaya, handwritten song lyrics, and photographs gathered from the bandmembers' personal collections. The band released a new album called At the End of Paths Taken in the spring of 2007, followed several years later by the announcement of the so-called Nomad Series, an 18-month cycle that aimed to produce four albums built around common (but separate) narratives. Renmin Park: The Nomad Series, Vol. 1 was released in 2010. Following closely on its heels was 2011's Demons: The Nomad Series, Vol. 2, a covers album featuring songs originally written by the late Vic Chesnutt, the band's longtime friend and occasional tourmate.

2 oct. 2011

The War On Drugs - "Baby Missiles"

otra novedad que nos trae recuerdos de los 80´s (Echo, Teardrops...) a disfrutarlos


Review
by Ned Raggett
On their third album, the War on Drugs essentially continue to stake out their own particular patch of ground in 21st century rock & roll with an indie bent, nodding in equal parts toward older traditions and newer ones with a difference of two decades in between them, captured right down to the cover art, which is pretty much a companion piece to the art on their second album Future Weather. On the one hand, there's still a sense of world-weary wisdom and lost Americana as such at work from the start, as the extended breakdown toward the end of "Best Night" demonstrates, all silvery guitar jamming and sparkling piano following from Adam Granduciel's reedy singing. At the same time the diffuse qualities of feedback, psychedelic glaze, and textural experimentation via everything that fed into what became shoegaze (not to mention shoegaze itself) remain key, audible in the opening chimes of "Brothers" and "It's Your Destiny"'s spaced-out and exultant flow, perhaps most notably on the short instrumentals "Original Slave" and "Come for It." If the basic balance remains unchanged, the result has been a sound just enough of the War on Drugs' own as a result, which gets stronger and even more droned out and powerful as the album continues. More than once they find just the right way to make it all click into something even more distinct, like the higher-pitched croon on "I Was There" slipping out over a gentle chug underpinned by darker feedback shadings or the Motorik-as-classic-rock-anthem "Come to the City," which practically begs a massive arena/light show performance (little surprise the later instrumental "City Reprise #12" takes that feeling and runs with it even more triumphantly). "Your Love Is Calling My Name" is the album's clearest barnburner, with a brisk, sharp pace and Granduciel riding-the-freeway-referencing lyrics with an appropriate easygoing elan, all while feeling warm and enveloping around the edges (and especially on the great instrumental break leading back into a wonderful, focused guitar part).