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Posts Tagged ‘Nick Cave’

RIP, Leonard Cohen (November 7, 2016) Canadian Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on November 7, 2016

Leonard Cohen
September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016

Photo by Takahiro Kyono

Photo by Takahiro Kyono

Leonard Cohen was a revered Canadian poet, author, and most famously, singer-songwriter.  Over a career that spanned almost 50 years, Cohen provided the dimly-lit smoky-bar soundtrack for people who needed hope, lost faith, felt despair, or longed for love. Initially planning a career as an author and poet, Cohen wanted to reach more people, so he switched gears and found himself singing and performing in New York City at the relatively late age of 33.  He quickly became an unlikely pop star – rugged baritone voice, simple chord structures, and a private, guarded life within a profession that celebrated extroversion. His career might have seemed over when upon the release of his most famous song, 1984’s “Hallelujah,” his label head reportedely told him, “Look, Leonard; we know you’re great, but we don’t know if you’re any good,” before dropping him.  But his songs eventually caught on, and younger generations of singer-songwriters borrowed them to include in their own canons.  “Hallelujah” alone was recorded by over 200 artists, including Bob Dylan, Justin Timberlake, k.d. lang,  John Cale, and most famously, Jeff Buckley.  In all, Cohen’s tunes have been covered by more than 2000. That list includes such greats as Johnny  Cash, Nick Cave, Willie Nelson, R.E.M., and Tori Amos. In 2008, at the age of 74, and facing financial ruin, Cohen embarked on an ambitious (and triumphant!) world tour that would last about three years before his health started to get the better of him. After getting well, he hit the road again doing a seemingly endless series of impassioned shows that ran north of three hours a piece.  That lasted through December of 2013, when he fell ill again.  But Cohen refused to be bound by his health and set out to record what would be the final two albums of his lifetime, 2014’s Popular Problems, and this year’s You Want it Darker, recorded in his home with him in a wheelchair and singing many of the sessions in physical pain.  That album was released just two weeks before his death, and served as a profound self-eulogy in much the same way as David Bowie‘s Lazarus.  It has been reported, thankfully, that exluding his last album, his late-life career revival earned him around $10 million. Leonard Cohen was 82 when he passed away on November 7, 2016.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Click to find at amazon.com

Posted in Folk, Musician, Pop, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Music’s Over’s Favorite New Music Albums of 2011

Posted by themusicsover on December 19, 2011

You can click on any album cover to find on amazon.com

1. Dropkick Murphys / Going Out In Style / Born & Bred
Sure, I’m a sucker for Celtic punk, but DKM out-drinks and out-fights the rest with this hoppy gem. It’s the life and death of an Irish immigrant told in 46 minutes.  A vocal visit from Bruce Springsteen doesn’t hurt either.

2. Social Distortion / Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes / Epitaph
Social D may be 25 years into it, but Hard Times shows Mike Ness still gives a shit. The songs continue to be about escaping a dreary day with a hot dame in your cool car, but the punk has been buffed out with some twangy melodies and a touch of blues and rockabilly.  It’s high octane, it’s go!

3. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings / Soul Time!  / Daptone
Released as a Black Vinyl Friday exclusive, I expected this to be a non-cohesive slap-together of b-sides, etc, but damn if this isn’t the funkiest album they’ve come out with yet!  As much as I love SJ+DK albums, they tend to leave me longing for a live show.  Soul Time! does a better job at capturing that vibe.

4. HeadCat / Walk The Walk…Talk The Talk / Niji
It’s Lemmy, it’s Slim Jim Phantom, it’s Rockats guitarist, Danny B. Harvey reviving Lemmy’s retro-rock combo.  Much better than their first outing, Walk The Walk has the muscle you’d expect from a Motorhead side project.  A nice surprise is hearing Lemmy actually carry a tune on the softer rave-up, “I Ain’t Never.”

5. Big Harp / White Hat / Saddle Creek
Wow!  This one snuck out of nowhere and bit me in the ass. Equal parts hipster lounge and honky-tonk saloon converge behind a voice that can only be described as chocolate dipped in whiskey.  The ghosts of Nick Cave and Townes swim through the soft melodies and yarn-spinning lyrics that populate White Heat.

6. The Civil Wars / Barton Hollow / Sensibility
I was lucky enough to catch their first TV appearance on Leno back in January and have been hooked ever since.  They share harmonies in that eerie way when identical twins share pain.

7. Imelda May / Mayhem! / Decca
Fun retro-swing / rockabilly pop from Dublin.  If this style of music experiences a renaissance like blue-eyed soul has over the past couple of years, Imelda May will be its Adele.

8. Hanni el Khatib / Will The Guns Come Out / Innovative Leisure
An amalgamation of dirty blues, R&B, garage, punk and doo wop, blast out of Hanni el Khatib’s vintage Silvertone guitar and Nicky Fleming-Yaryan’s drum kit that sounds like one of those kid sets taken over by a Keith Moon-type pounder. Fans of the Wolfmother or the Black Keys take note!

9. Glen Campbell / Ghost On The Canvas / Surf Dog
A beautifully heart-breaking final album from a musical genius who knows his days (or at least mental agility) are numbered.  Unlike Johnny Cash’s swan song releases, Ghost On The Canvas is a more subtle goodbye as he walks deeper into the challenges of Alzheimer’s.

10. Charles Bradley / No Time For Dreaming / Daptone
Don’t be fooled, No Time For Dreaming was not recorded in 1968.  Like label mate, Sharon Jones, Bradley offers up a retro soul vibe that sounds so authentic, you can almost feel the sweat.  My SXSW highlight this year was watching Bradley turn an audience of indie rock hipsters who were only there early for the headlining act into believers.

11. Garland Jeffreys / The King Of The In Between / Luna Park
New York City’s other great ’70s rock poet returns with his first album in thirteen years and proves once again that more people need to know who he is.

 

 

 

 


12. Wild Flag
/ Wild Flag / Merge
An indie rock all-star girl group delivers a debut album that rocks harder than most of their male counterparts.

13. Girl In A Coma / Exits & All The Rest / Blackheart
All-female punk trio proves why Joan Jett signed them to her Blackheart label.  With influences firmly planted on their sleeves, GIAC share their love for the Smiths, punk, new wave, and of course, the Runaways.

14. Lykke Li / Wounded Rhymes / Atlantic
Good Lord, this album swaggers!  Drum ‘n bass plays nice with garage-psych organs. “Get Some” is one of the best, if not most tribal songs of the year.

15. The Beach Boys / The Smile Sessions / Capitol
Yes it’s technically a “new” album.  And it remarkably feels brand new even though we’ve heard most of these songs before.

16. The Kills / Blood Pressures / Domino
Indie rock’s sexiest duo oozes back with their best album yet.   It’s dark, raw, rhythmic and now.

17. Noah And The Whale / Last Night On Earth / Mercury
While contemporaries like Arcade Fire draw inspiration from ’70s rock, this one feels fueled more by New Wave with its synths and drum machine.  But then “Tonight’s The Kind Of Night” busts out with a Roy Bittan by way of Bob Seger piano backdrop.

18. Stephen Brower & The Silent Majority / SB/SM / Pioneers Of The New West
SB/SM has a sound so raw and immediate, you can’t help but draw a dotted line to pre-Geffen Guns ‘n Roses by way of Tom Waits.  Equal parts fuzz, metal, punk, folk and outlaw country make up this tasty stew.  The live-in-studio vibe is punctuated by the cough that kicks off “Ajax Mountain.”

19. R.E.M / Collapse Into Now / Warner Bros.
I love when R.E.M. lets it rock, and Collapse Into Now does it better than any of their albums in recent memory. Accelerate was a decent attempt, but it appears to have only set the stage for this one.  I probably wouldn’t have said this 7 or 8 years ago, but I’m sorry to see them go.

20. The Horrible Crows / Elsie / Side One Dummy
A short folky detour for Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon finds him tapping into his inner-Nick Cave.  The E-Street anthem blast might be in the back seat for this one, but the heart is still there.

21. Megadeth / Th1rt3en / Roadrunner
I haven’t cared about Megadeth since 1992’s Countdown To Distinction, but Th1rt3en came out of nowhere and floored me like those albums when Metallica gets it right.

22. Christian McBride Big Band / The Good Feeling / Mack Avenue
I don’t know why, but 2011 will go down as the year that I figured out jazz.  And a huge part of that is The Good Feeling.  Sure it’s big band, but I’ll be damned if Christian McBride isn’t a rock star!

23. Black Country Communion / 2 / J&R Adventures
BCC is Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham, and Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater).  With apologies to Plant, Page and Jones, this is likely to be the most authentic sounding “Zeppelin” reunion album we’ll ever get.

24. The Vaccines / What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? / Columbia
I am such a sucker for simple sing-along pop melodies, but these beauties are drenched in so much noise that the Jesus and Mary Chain instantly comes to mind.  And that’s a good thing.

25. The Jayhawks / Mockingbird Time / Rounder
I’m kind of embarrassed to say, but it took me nearly 25 years, to finally understand all the hubbub about the Jayhawks!  Simply put, this album is beautiful.

26. John Hiatt / Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Dreams / New West
This is easily John Hiatt’s best album since 2000’s Crossing Muddy Waters.  It feels thicker and more sonic than I can remember a Hiatt album sounding.  It’s nice that his personal reflection of 9/11, “When New York Had Her Heart Broke,” – written immediately after he personally witnessed the attack while in NYC – has found a home on this album.

27. White Denim / D / Downtown
I’m not sure I’d go as far as calling White Denim a jam band, particularly since not one song here clocks in at more than five minutes, but all the classic elements of the genre shine through on D.  Plenty of psych-guitar noodling, frenetic drum slapping, and chord changes, but compacted for those of us on a tight schedule.

28. Gang Of Four / Content / Yep Roc
With Content, Gang Of Four prove they still matter 35 years later.  It might not be Entertainment!, but you just can’t deny Andy Gill’s angular guitar attack, which is as strong as ever.  I hope it’s not another 15 years until their next.

29. Adele / 21 / XL
What everyone else said.

30. The Mahones / The Black Irish / True North
Oh look, I’ve book-ended my Top 30 with Celtic punk.  Where Dropkick Murphys blow the roof off an Irish wake with fist-pumping anthems, the Mahones seem more a drunken pirate ship house-band.  Plenty of nods to the Pogues throughout.


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Died On This Date (November 24, 2010) Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson / Throbbing Gristle

Posted by themusicsover on November 24, 2010

Peter Christopherson
February 27, 1955 – November 24, 2010

Known by the stage name, Sleazy, Peter Christopherson is best remembered as a founding member of British avant-garde industrial band, Throbbing Gristle.  He was also part of such projects  Psychic TV, Coil, Soisong, and The Threshold HouseBoy’s Choir. Throbbing Gristle formed in 1975, with Christopherson mostly handling synthesizers and vibraphone.  The group developed a very loyal following thanks in part to their sometimes controversial shows that often included disturbing visuals of Nazi concentration camps and pornography.  Throbbing Gristle  were pioneers of incorporating prerecorded tapes, or “samples” into their shows, and paved the way for such bands as Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, Front 242.  The group broke up in 1981 but then reformed in 2004.   Remarkably prolific, they recorded numerous albums for the highly influential Mute Records, also the one-time home for Depeche Mode, The Birthday Party, Nick Cave and Erasure, to name a few.   While he wasn’t making music, Christopherson was a video director, graphic artist, and photographer.  Peter Christopherson passed away in his sleep on November 24, 2010.  Cause of death was not immediately released.  He was 55.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

20 Jazz Funk Greats (Remastered) - Throbbing Gristle

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Died On This Date (August 4, 2007) Lee Hazlewood / Country Music Great

Posted by themusicsover on August 4, 2010

Barton Lee Hazlewood
July 9, 1929 – August 4, 2007

Lee Hazlewood was a country singer, songwriter, musician and producer whose work with Nancy Sinatra during the ’60s are essential records of the era.  Hazlewood settled in Arizona as a disc jockey after being leaving the military in the early ’50s.  He soon partnered with Duane Eddy as a songwriter and producer on such hits as “Peter Gunn.”  During the mid ’60s, he began working with Nancy Sinatra, writing and producing “These Boots Are Made For Walking,” and many more.  Hazelwood all but retired from music during the ’70s, but his songs lived on having been covered by such unlikely artists as Megadeth, Beck, Nick Cave, Lydia Lunch and the Tubes.  He died of renal cancer at the age of 78.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Click to find at amazon.com

Posted in Country, Disc Jockey, Musician, Pop, Producer, Radio, Record Label, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (August 3, 2010) Bobby Hebb / Had Huge Pop Hit With “Sunny”

Posted by themusicsover on August 3, 2010

Bobby Hebb
July 26, 1938 – August 3, 2010

Bobby Hebb was a Nashville singer-songwriter who had a huge pop hit with “Sunny” in 1966.  No less an authority than Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) lists it at #25 on its list of the top 100 songs of the century.  “Sunny” is also one of the most covered songs in pop music history.  It has been recorded by James Brown, Del Shannon, Stevie Wonder, Nick Cave, and Frank Sinatra, to name a few.  Hebb’s first break came when he was still just a child.  After performing on a local television program, he landed a spot playing spoons behind Roy Acuff on the Grand Ole Opry.  He later sang back up on Bo Diddley’s recording of “Diddley Daddy.”  On the day following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Hebb’s brother, Harold Hebb was stabbed to death in a fight outside a Nashville club.  Those two events rocked Hebb’s world enough that he sought solace in his songwriting, which lead to the optimistic lyrics of “Sunny.”  The song soon became an international hit and helped land Hebb a spot opening for the Beatles on their U.S. tour.  He continued to release respectable hits over the years as well as pen a few for others.  Bobby Hebb was 72 when he passed away on August 3, 2010.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the assist.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Sunny - Bobby Hebb

Posted in Country, Musician, Pop, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »