Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pearl Jam Twenty Trailer and Screenings

Pearl Jam finally released the trailer for the career-spanning documentary, Pearl Jam Twenty. Directed by Cameron Crowe and filled with ultra rare footage, it is not to be missed. There will also be a soundtrack and book to accompany the film. The band announced today that they will have a one day national screening across North America on September 20th. Chicago details are TBD. This looks awesome...

Pearl Jam Twenty from Pearl Jam on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kanye West & Jay-Z - Otis

Now this is more like it. Yesterday the second track from the upcoming album "Watch The Throne", a collaborative effort from Jay-Z & Kanye West was leaked. Simply titled "Otis" and sampling Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness", it's good to see Ye bringing back the soul samples. From "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" sampling the Jackson 5, to "Through the Wire" with a sped up Chaka Khan hook, Kanye makes classics from classic songs. Would Common's "Be" even exist without all the samples on that album? I don't know where they have this album locked up, but with less than 2 weeks until its scheduled release, they are doing a great job of enticing fans and avoiding a leak.

Want even more proof that soul makes the world go 'round? Check out "Kanye's Soul Mix Show", a mixtape by A-Trak. Download it for free right here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Avett Brothers - The Once & Future Carpenter

I'll admit it, I got into The Avett Brothers very late. If you were a fan prior to 2009, I will be very impressed. Despite limited airplay, their album I and Love and You peaked at #16 on the Billboard chart and found its way to a lot of year end "best of" lists, thanks in part to the beautiful title track. The folk/bluegrass group from North Carolina has actually released 7 full length albums since 2000 and has built a strong following from constant touring and word of mouth. Some of those words found there way to producer Rick Rubin and attention followed. He signed them to his American Recordings label and produced their last album and follow up, scheduled for release in late 2011/early 2012.

While recording a show for CMT's Unplugged series, they debuted a new song, "The Once & Future Carpenter". The entire episode is available online, please check it out. The second video below is a favorite of mine, giving you a prime example of their energy, style and most importantly, lyrical content. They will be in town for a SOLD OUT show at the Aragon, September 30th.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The White Stripes - I've Been Loving You Too Long

Yesterday was a good day. The latest installment (#8) in Third Man Records' Vault subscription arrived and one of the highlights was The White Stripes' cover of the Otis Redding classic, I've Been Loving You Too Long. For those of you not familiar with the vault, it is a chance to get some extremely limited items from the entire Third Man Records roster. Previous installments have included live albums from The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs and of course, The White Stripes. Occasionally, you may get a shirt or poster. But, the real gems are the 7" records that these guys dig deep for and painstakingly produce for members only. Installment #7 came with a tri-color reproduction of the out of print single, Party of Special Things to Do. It's gorgeous.

I wish I had joined sooner, as I have already missed out on a "Hello Operator" picture disc and a companion piece to "Under Great White Northern Lights". Buyer beware, this is not a cheap membership. Members will pay $60, four times a year, to receive quarterly installments that are announced with enough notice to allow you to join or cancel your membership. Other perks include a dedicated site with videos and occasional live shows. Plus, special offers on merchandise and presales for upcoming concerts. Information is posted for #9, which seems to be heavy on the timeless, Wanda Jackson.

This most recent installment contained 3 separate White Stripes items: A dvd recorded in 2000 just after the release of De Stijl, a double LP of the White Stripes final show and a 7" from 1997, only 2 months after the band was formed! I immediately gravitated to the 7" because I love Otis Redding and hearing Jack & Meg play this was worth every penny. On the a-side is another cover of "Signed DC", originally recorded by the band Love. The live dvd titled "Under Moorhead Lights All Fargo Night" is a very rough and grainy view of the band before true popularity caught them. Playing at Ralph's Corner Bar with a hoarse throat, the band looks so innocent. The part when Jack introduces Meg as his "little sister" to a crowd of 20 people made me laugh. It was still so new and honest. The double LP simply titled "Live in Mississippi" is an absolute treasure. Recorded July 31st, 2007, it is the last show they ever played and they just crush it. All six of their releases are represented, as well as a couple of Robert Johnson covers and a Son House's "Death Letter". Listening to the show, you just shake your head in disbelief that they will never play again after displaying so much talent.