Tag Archives: Rick Rubin

Tune In Tuesday: 6/22/10

Welcome back to another installment of Tune In Tuesday.  Today’s six albums are pretty diverse in regards to musical genre and over all style but have the commonality of not sucking at all. 

Mojo

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

This is Mr. Petty’s first studio album in eight and is well worth the wait.  The tunes are refreshingly reflective of the bands thirty plus years in the business. The songs have an air of fun and a cohesive quality that have always been a trademark of the Heartbreakers.  Heavy on the sweet southern rock sound, the songs have a classic vibe that sounds fresh yet familiar.  Petty’s voice is in fine form with the light, nasally, southern drawl, Campbell’s guitar playing is as tight as ever, and Trench’s ability to tickle the ivory brings it all together.  The album reminds you why Petty is so great and why he can take eight years off and come back just as relevant to the music scene.

Key Tracks: Running Man’s Bible, Something Good Coming, Takin’ My Time

American Slang

The Gaslight Anthem

This is the third album for the New Jersey band and a pretty dramatic departure for the heartland punk rockers.  It seems that the urgency and tension of the first two albums has dissipated and allowed them to grow as a band.  Obviously influenced by Springsteen, American Slang is a more mature sound for the band and allows them to better connect to their audience as well as bring new folks into the fold.  Don’t get me wrong, the band still rocks and a few songs have the speed and antagonism of their previous two albums.

Key Tracks: Bring It On, American Slang, Orphans

Fly Between Falls

Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO)

Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO) is the hippie, trippy, California band that brings the good time vibe to everything they play.  The band was formed by high school buddies Zach Gill, Steve Adams, Dan Lebowitz.  They all share vocal responsibilities and play a variety of instruments. 

Their debut album “Fly Between Falls” was originally released in 2004 and rereleased when ALO signed to Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records in 2006.

This album is just plain fun.  Each song is up tempo and quirky yet sucks you in a little deeper each time you listen. 

Key Tracks:  Girl I Wanna Lay You Down, Wasting Time (Isla Vista Song), Barbeque

I and Love and You

The Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers are the folksy, rocking, alt/country with a tinge of bluegrass band from North Carolina.  With such a diverse pedigree, is it any wonder the Rick Rubin took notice, signed them to his label, and produced their major label debut “I and Love and You”?

The album is sonically rich with harmonies provided by Scott and Seth.  The melodies are tight and the musical arrangement has a certain level of complication but not in an overly dramatic fashion.

Key Tracks:  Ten Thousand Words, Kick Drum Heart, January Wedding

One Fast Move Or I’m Gone

Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard

Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo) and Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service) teamed up to write and record an album for the documentary “One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s “Big Sur”

With Kerouac’s connection to jazz, both Farrar and Gibbard seem to be an odd choice to write and represent the spirit of Jack.  However, given the tragic nature of the book and Kerouac’s immersion into the depths of alcoholism and debilitating depression, Farrar with his naturally dour vocal styling and proclivity to writing deep emotionally damaged lyrics was a competent selection, while Gibbard seemed an awkward fit with his more melodic voice and previous synth heavy work with The Postal Service. 

Given the inspiration for the album it is no surprise that musically, the album is steeped in Americana with acoustic, electric, & steel guitar, lap & pedal steel, harmonica, piano, and percussions.  A majority of the lyrics were taken from Kerouac’s 1962 novel “Big Sur” and Jack gets writing credit on all of the songs except Gibbard’s lyrical contribution on the title track.

The irony of this project is that as dark and damaged as Kerouac was; the album is hopeful with a vulnerable beauty etched in the music and lyrics.

Key Tracks: California Zephyr, One Fast Move or I’m Gone, Big Sur, San Francisco

One Day as a Lion

One Day as a Lion

One Day as a Lion is the musical collaboration and eponymous debut EP of acid tongue, fire and brimstone, anti politico Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against the Machine) and drummer Jon Theodore (Mars Volta). 

The overall vibe on the EP is not an exodus sonically or lyrically for either musician.  The lyrics are politically and emotionally charged, the music is in your face antagonistic, and the overall delivery is the equivalent of a sledgehammer.  Bombastic drums and hypnotic keyboards bolster the fiery vocal release of de la Rocha.  The album has urgency to it in both the spirit of the music and the delivery of the lyrics. 

While the five songs seem to play quickly, what the album lacks in length, it more than makes up for with the strength of each song.  It also brings the realization the potency of de la Rocha’s delivery and the void that has existed musically since the disbanding of Rage Against the Machine.

Key Tracks: All 5 Songs!

 Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Audioslave!

Audioslave is the hard rocking, metal edged super group that is ¾ Rage Against the Machine (Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford), and ¼ Soundgarden (Chris Cornell) that formed in 2001 on the heels of the breakup of the afore mentioned Rage Against the Machine.  The fortuitous paring of the band was craftily handled by none other than producer Rick Rubin who did indeed produce the first two albums for the band.

Audioslave released three albums as well as received three Grammy nominations between 2002 and 2006.  Their sound was evocative of 70’s hard rock with a healthy dose of the 90’s alternative sound.  A source of pride for the band was the fact that all sounds on their albums were produced from one of the following sources:

  • Vocals
  • Guitar
  • Drums
  • Bass

Audioslave Discography:

  • Audioslave
  • Out of Exile
  • Revelations

Their self titled debut was released in 2002 and eventually went triple platinum and was the best selling album for the band.  The release was met with mixed reviews as some expected more based on the pedigree of the members while others heralded the band as an adrenaline shot to mainstream rock music. 

2004 saw the release of their sophomore album, Out of Exile, which was nominated for three Grammys two in 2004 and one in 2005.  Shortly after the release, Audioslave performed a free show in Havana, Cuba before an estimated crowd of 50,000 fans becoming the first American rock ban to perform an outdoor concert in Cuba.

Top 5 Audioslave Songs:

  1. Cochise (Audioslave)
  2. I  Am the Highway (Audioslave)
  3. Your Time Has Come (Out of Exile)
  4. Original Fire (Revelations)
  5. Like a Stone (Audioslave)

With the unique vocal prowess of Cornell and the immediately recognizable music of Rage, Audioslave created a distinctive sound that was both innovative and fresh yet at times had a déjà-vu type feel.

Their third album, Revelations, was released in late 2006 amid rumors and speculation of the departure of lead singer Chris Cornell.  While initially denied, it eventually came to fruition and Cornell went on to again pursue his solo career while the remaining members of the band reunited with mercurial Rage front man Zack  dela Rocha for a one time show at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. 

With the unique vocal prowess of Cornell and the immediately recognizable music of Rage, Audioslave created a distinctive sound that was both innovative and fresh yet at times had a déjà-vu type feeling.

While they made some pretty great music and filled a much needed musical void during the break up of both Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine, I am happy that all members came to their senses and returned to the musical greatness of the former bands.  Rage has been intermittently touring the festivals and Soundgarden has recently reunited and are slated to put on a few shows this summer as well.

Check out Audioslave at www.audioslave.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=s56RlF_D6DE&feature=related

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEh5yS0ZjJE&feature=related

www.youtube.com/watch?v=725iONdAu9Q&feature=related

Great music awaits


You should be listening to The Avett Brothers!

The Avett Brothers are the folksy, rocking, alt/country with a tinge of bluegrass band from North Carolina.  With such a diverse pedigree, is it any wonder the Rick Rubin took notice, signed them to his label, and produced their major label debut “I and Love and You”?

As mentioned, I and Love and You is the major label debut but actually finds The Avett Brothers in the double digits for their release total. They have released numerous albums as well as EP’s and live albums.

Loosely formed in 2000 just prior to be the end of Seth and Scott Avett’s rock band Nemo, the brothers are joined by Bob Crawford on stand up bass.  Their self titled debut was release in 2000 and in 2002 released their first album “Country Was” as a full band.

In 2007 the Avett Brothers won the Americana Music Association Duo/Group of the Year award and 2007 Emerging Artist of the Year.  In 2009 they opened for the Dave Matthews Band’s spring tour across the southern United States as well as an opening spot for Wide Spread Panic.  And, to add to an already great year, Rolling Stone Magazine named The Avett Brothers “The Artist to Watch in 2009”. 

While their major label is not a dramatic musical departure from their previous work, however, there is less reliance on banjo, with the exception of “January Wedding” while the piano plays a prominent role on this ballad heavy album.  The album is sonically rich with harmonies provided by Scott and Seth.  The melodies are tight and the musical arrangement has a certain level of complication but not in an overly dramatic fashion.

The Avett Brothers Discography:

  • The Avett Bros.
  • Country Was
  • Live at the Double Door Inn
  • A Carolina Jubilee
  • Swept Away (EP)
  • Mignonette
  • Live, Vol. 2
  • Four Thieves Gone: The Robbinsville Sessions
  • The Gleam
  • Emotionalism
  • The Second Gleam
  • I and Love and You

 Key tracks form I and Love and You:

  • Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise
  • Ten Thousand Words
  • I and Love and You
  • Ill With Want
  • Kick Drum Heart

Check out The Avett Brothers @ www.theavettbrothers.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgnZ0wEi2JU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqZZlL0l5Uk&feature=channel

The Avett Brothers’ music is available at iTunes, record stores, and www.theavettbrothers.com

Great music awaits!


Music you should have been listening to in 2009

Greetings music fans,

 As we eagerly anticipate ringing in the New Year and 2009 comes to a close, I thought it would be entertaining to do a little musical year in review.  Here is smattering of albums that were released in 2009 that you should be listening to.  The list is compiled alphabetically by artist.  This, of course, is for my own personal benefit and helps calm my little OCD head.

 Arctic Monkeys “Humbug” 

Third album for the band with several tracks produced by Joshua Homme of (Queens of the Stone Age), (Eagles of Death Metal) and (Them Crooked Vultures)

Dan Auerbach “Keep it Hid”

Dan is half of the genius behind (The Black Keys)

The Avett Brothers “I and Love and You”

Major label debut produced by Rick Rubin

The Black Crowes “Before the Frost and Until the Freeze”

Two disc set (“Until the Freeze” only available as download) that was recorded in Levon Helm’s (The Band)Woodstock Studio.

The Dead Weather “Horehound”

Yet another reason Jack White is musical greatness

Drive-By Truckers “The Fine Print”

A collection of oddities and rarities that includes a cover of Tom Petty’s “Rebels”

Steve Earl “Townes”

In homage to the late, great Townes Van Zandt, it is an amazing collection of songs, with “Lungs” being my favorite track.

Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard “One Fast Move Or I’m Gone”

Music from Jack Kerouac’s “Big Sur”. These songs were recorded over a five day span with minimal revisions.

Grizzly Bear “Vectatimest”

A diverse collection of songs that will take a few times to appreciate.

Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 “White Lies for Dark Times”

Ben ventures beyond his Innocent Criminals and adds some Texas folks to the band.  Another solid Ben Harper venture.

Patterson Hood “Murdering Oscar (and other love songs)”

Hood, of (Drive-By Truckers), releases his 2nd solo disc.  Check out “Pride of the Yankees”

Iron and Wine “Around the Well

Two disc set of previously unreleased materials and cool covers.

Jay-Z “The Blueprint 3”

Come on, it is Jay-Z.  What is not great about this?  If you are into Jay-Z, check out his unplugged album with (The Roots) as his backing band.  Pure greatness.

Dave Matthews Band “Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King”

First album since the death of founding member Leroi Moore.  I’m a huge DMB fan and make no apologies for it. 

M Ward “Hold Time

2009 was a busy and fruitful musical year for Mr. Ward. 

Monsters of Folk (Self titled)

Well, you have Jim James (My Morning Jacket) Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) and M. Ward.  How could you go wrong?  They brought back the multi part harmony that is reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, & Nash and The Eagles.

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band “Outer South”

This dude has been recording since he was 13.  Dropped the “Bright Eyes” moniker but still exploring and expanding the boundaries of music.

Pearl Jam “Back Spacer”

Great follow up album to their 2006 self titled album.  I saw them live at the 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival.  Two plus hours of amazing music played with such fervor and with guest appearance by Ben Harper and Perry Farrell. 

Tom Petty “The Live Anthology”

This four disc set is a must have for any Petty fan.  This set spans 30 years of concerts and is absolutely amazing.

Phish “Joy”

Great to see the boys back together and playing nice.

Silversun Pickups “Swoon”

Second full length release that is a gradual departure from “Canvas”

Son Volt “American Central Dust”

From the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, Jay Farrar created Son Volt.  Not a disappointing album in the collection.

Sonic Youth “The Eternal”

After all these years, still making relevant music and inspiring others to do so as well.

Bruce Springsteen “Working on a Dream”

The Boss has been rather prolific in the 00’s.  This was a great way to round out the year and decade.  Saw him in Charlotte NC in 2008.  Amazing!

State Radio “Let It Go”

This is the third full length disc from Chad Stokes formerly of (Dispatch) and company.  A great live band if you ever have the opportunity.

Street Sweeper Social Club (Self titled)

Tom Morello  (Rage Against the Machine), (Audioslave) and (The Nightwatchman) and Boots Riley (The Coup) come together and create revolutionary party jams.

Them Crooked Vultures (Self titled)

Dave Grohl (Nirvana) and (Foo Fighters), Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and (Eagles of Death Metal), and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin).  Need I say more?

U2 “No Line On the Horizon

Getting back to the greatness of The Joshua Tree.  Bono and Co. show why they continue to be in the running for world’s greatest rock band.

Wilco (Self titled)

From the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy created Wilco.  Not a disappointing album in the collection.  Funny how that worked out for both he & Jay.

Pete Yorn “Back & Fourth

I’ve always been a Pete fan but have found a new appreciation for him in the last few years.

Great music awaits!