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Positively New Tunes

By John M. James · August 1st, 2007 · Yeah Yeah Yeah
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The soundtrack to a fascinating multimedia performance with a bug's-eye view is released next week by indie stalwart K Records. Commissioned earlier this year by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Mirah and the Spectratone International's Share This Place is a cool collaboration with Kyle Hanson and Lori Goldston of Black Cat Orchestra, boasting a genesis that goes back to the observations of 19th-century entomologist J. Henri Fabré. The trio's parlor-room Folk of lush, vintage instruments accompany filmmaker Britta Johnson's faux-insect stop-motion film. Bringing to mind the Edwyn Collins' lyric about "Too many protest singers and not enough protest songs," it's a delight when a brutally honest, singer/songwriter pops up with a confessional, God-fearing album of deadly serious, race-less, classless, redemption songs, protesting for and from the soul. On permanent repeat for me all this past week, the aptly titled Time for Something New by Jon T. Howard is an album I believe Johnny Cash might have loved if he were still alive. Everything Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp still wish they had in 'em, this talented, Austin, Tex.-based, wrong-side-of-the-tracks seed is akin to a poetic spiritual stepchild of Mark Lanegan, Bruce Cockburn, John Trudell and Tom T. Hall. One cover closes out the set, a spot-on sweet caress through the classic chestnut "What a Wonderful World." And if you don't like that song, you ain't got a heart. Interested? Look for it on the Mettafour/Kindred Rhythm imprint... The soundtrack to a fascinating multimedia performance with a bug's-eye view is released next week by indie stalwart K Records. Commissioned earlier this year by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Mirah and the Spectratone International's Share This Place is a cool collaboration with Kyle Hanson and Lori Goldston of Black Cat Orchestra, boasting a genesis that goes back to the observations of 19th-century entomologist J. Henri Fabré. The trio's parlor-room Folk of lush, vintage instruments accompany filmmaker Britta Johnson's faux-insect stop-motion film. ... Bringing to mind the Edwyn Collins' lyric about "Too many protest singers and not enough protest songs," it's a delight when a brutally honest, singer/songwriter pops up with a confessional, God-fearing album of deadly serious, race-less, classless, redemption songs, protesting for and from the soul. On permanent repeat for me all this past week, the aptly titled Time for Something New by Jon T. Howard is an album I believe Johnny Cash might have loved if he were still alive. Everything Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp still wish they had in 'em, this talented, Austin, Tex.-based, wrong-side-of-the-tracks seed is akin to a poetic spiritual stepchild of Mark Lanegan, Bruce Cockburn, John Trudell and Tom T.

Hall. One cover closes out the set, a spot-on sweet caress through the classic chestnut "What a Wonderful World." And if you don't like that song, you ain't got a heart. Interested? Look for it on the Mettafour/Kindred Rhythm imprint...

Television Alert
The Late Show with David Letterman gets wild with Gogol Bordello Wednesday, Angelique Kidjo Thursday and Chris & Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes Friday. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Grace Potter Thursday, Daddy Yankee Friday and Jon McLaughlin Tuesday. Late Night with Conan O'Brien features Mavis Staples Thursday. Hopefully PBS television will offer plenty of chances to catch Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story this coming week. It debuts Wednesday across the network and is perfectly timed as a reintroduction to the label that later this month releases an expanded reissue of the Wattstax concert film from 1972.

New Releases Coming Tuesday
54 Seconds - Postcards From California (Rock Ridge) the Bee Gees legacy lives on with Austin's Spencer Gibb, son of Robin, a vocalist and video producer; All Teeth and Knuckles - Club Hits to Hit the Clubs With (Lujo) bong-hittin' beats and bowel-rumbling alley meanderings from DJ UFO! and Patric Fallon's Sick Face alter ego; Marco Benevento - Live at Tonic (Ropeadope) three-CD set culled from a five-night stand, with guest Mike Gordon of Phish; The Brunettes - Structure & Cosmetics (Sub Pop) wickedly weird and delightfully tender label debut from New Zealand, plucking out a wishful boy-girl duet in "If You Were An Alien"; Peter Case ­ Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John (Yep Roc) all new from the Plimsouls founder, with guest Richard Thompson; Drowning Pool - Full Circle (Eleven Seven) supporting the troops after their numerous USO tours of Baghdad and Kuwait, this thunder horse pounding Nu Metal album features the track "Soldiers" ; Fuel ­ Angels and Devils (Epic) with new vocalist Toryn Green and former Godsmack drummer Tommy Stewart; Rory Gallagher - Live At Rockpalast (Eagle Rock) five complete concerts from the German stage spread over three DVDs; Billie Holiday - Remixed & Reimagined (RCA Legacy) following the lead of the label's recent Nina Simone remix project, 14 classic Billie tracks go under the production knife of DJ Logic, Nickodemus, Jazzy Nice, Tony Humphries and Charles Feelgood; Bruce Hornsby, Jack DeJohnette and Christian McBride ­ Camp Meeting (Legacy) Jazz grooves featuring spins through the work of Thelonious Monk, Keith Jarrett, John Coltrane and Miles Davis; The Hottest State - original motion picture soundtrack (Velour) comprised of songs by Jesse Harris, each performed by Cat Power, Willie Nelson, the Black Keys, Feist, Bright Eyes, M. Ward, Norah Jones and others; June - Make It Blur (Victory) Chicago quartet with big, catchy Emo hooks, on tour this past month with Boys Night Out; Marissa Nadler - Songs III: Bird On Water (Kemado) featuring a bonus cover of Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer"; Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - This Is Somewhere (Hollywood) co-produced with Mike Daly, formerly of Whiskeytown; Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen: Legacy Edition (Legacy) two-CD expanded reissue; The Pretty Things ­ Balboa Island (Zoho Music) with an original lineup that's remained solid since 1965, in their first new music since 1999, the original Rock Opera artists are back with all new originals and a cover of Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of Hollis Brown"; look for special artwork by vocalist Phil May in the first pressing; Chuck Ragan ­ Feast or Famine (SideOneDummy) new acoustic album from the former frontman of Hot Water Music; Rocket Science - original motion picture soundtrack (Lakeshore) with new music from Clem Snide's Eef Barzelay; Joe Satriani - Surfing With the Alien (Epic Legacy) 20th anniversary reissue, expanded with a bonus DVD packed with music videos, interviews and a live concert from the 1988 Montreux Jazz Festival; Slightly Stoopid ­ Chronchitus (MRI/Stoopid) with guests Money Mark, G Love and Fishbone's Angelo Moore; TGZ ­ Living Dangerously (King Mojo) new from former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dan Toler; Today Is the Day ­ Willpower (SuperNova Records) reissue from 1994; The Warriors - Genuine Sense of Outrage (Victory) crushing Ragecore with guest vocalists Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, Andrew Neufeld of Comeback Kid and Lou Koller of Sick of It All; on tour now with Evergreen Terrace and August Burns Red; ZO2 ­ Ain't It Beautiful (Riker Hill) hot off tour with KISS and Poison; Zombie Ghost Train - Dealing the Death Card (SOS Records) gravedigging Psychobilly from Australia; Various Artists - The Coolest Songs In the World: Volume 2 (Wicked Cool) more favorites from Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show (and released on his new label), featuring The Donnas, The Crybabies, Buzzcocks and Joey Ramone's love letter to "Maria Bartiromo."

 
 
 
 

 

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