Media Roundup: Vids, Pics and Songs!

What’s been going on in the world of music lately? Read on to get the scoop on your favorite artists, and start some discussion about current music-related events!

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Psychobilly-punk innovator and Cramps frontman Lux Interior has passed away at 62 years of age.

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Axl Rose recently gave his first full-length interview in nine years (!) to Billboard.com.

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Sound Tribe Sector 9 will be here in Madison on March 12. (Got your tickets yet?) They’ve most commonly been described as an “electronic jam band”– a genre that might need a bit more explanation.  Thankfully PopMatters.com took the time to elaborate on the band’s sound.

Sound Tribe Sector 9

Sound Tribe Sector 9

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Green Day are reported to have album number eight waiting for a spring release.  The associated cover art was just revealed.

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Like your music with a nice big side of politics?  You might want to check out Detroit trio Death, whose 1975 album …For The Whole World To See is getting the reissue treatment.

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Did you catch Joe Pug open for Rhett Miller at the Majestic last Saturday?  Want more from this talented artist?  Check out his session at Daytrotter.com.

Joe Pug

Joe Pug

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Though it’s being posted with a cringe due to the irrelevant, artistically insulting spectacle the awards have become, here are this year’s Grammy winners, if you’re interested.

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Prepare to have your mind blown with NME’s “Amazing Rock Facts” pictorials!  Part one, and two.

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Just announced!  On March 4th, True Endeavors will present Australian indie pop duo An Horse at the High Noon Saloon.  Those of you who made it to last year’s Tegan and Sara show should remember their impressive opening set.  Check out an interview with the feminine half of the duo, Kate Cooper.

An Horse

An Horse

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Stephen Colbert has a beard-strokin’ good time when TV on the Radio stopped by his show for an interview and live performance.

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Check out “Every Goliath Has Its David,” a bright new track from The Boy Least Likely To.

The Boy Least Likely To

The Boy Least Likely To

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Lucinda Rocks us Hard

https://i2.wp.com/www.cmt.com/sitewide/assets/img/news/2005/09_05/austin_city_limits/lucindawilliams-280x336.jpg

Lucinda Williams has always been adept at painting landscapes of the soul, illuminating the spirit’s shadowy nooks and shimmering crannies — but she’s never captured the sun breaking through the clouds as purely as on her new Lost Highway release, Little Honey.

“I’m in a different phase of my life, so there are more happy moments on this album,” the singer-songwriter says of her ninth studio set. “ ‘Darkly introspective,’ is one phrase people have used to describe a lot of my songs. There are moody songs, but I’m looking outside myself a little bit more. These aren’t ‘boy meets girl, boy leaves girl, girl gets bummed out’ songs — there’s a lot more than that going on.”

Williams wastes no time signaling that mood change, leading into Little Honey’s opener, “Real Love” with a false start riff that’s the six-string equivalent of a friendly wink – then sidling into the tune’s hard-rocking vibe with a sensual slink that underscores the passion of finding exactly what that title indicates. The bluesy physicality of that tune is echoed in several of Little Honey’s tracks, from the charmingly chugging “Honeybee” to the gorgeous melodies of “If Wishes Were Horses”.

“I’m stepping out and writing about things other than unrequited love. But because that’s not part of my experience anymore,” she explains, “doesn’t mean I’m going to stop being a songwriter. There are plenty of other important things to write about — the state of the world, for one thing — I don’t buy into the myth that because you get to a certain level of contentment, you have to throw in the towel.”

While Little Honey certainly has plenty to move the hips, Williams doesn’t neglect her uncanny ability to do the same to the heart. The sparse delta delivery she affords “Heaven Blues” — a keening consideration of what might await on the other side – hits home thanks to its arresting blend of hope and vexation, while the epic “Rarity” rides soft waves of brass (instrumentation never before heard on one of her discs).

“The one thing the songs have in common is directness,” she says. “The beauty of country and blues is their simplicity, it’s about getting things across in a really direct way. I’ve spent a while stretching out and going in different directions, which is my nature. But I feel that I can always embrace that original simplicity again — that’s why I went back to record ‘Circles and Xs,’ which I actually wrote back in 1985.”

Over the course of a recording career that’s now in its fourth decade, the Louisiana-born singer has navigated terrain as varied as the dust-bowl starkness of her 1978 debut Ramblin’ (recorded on the fly with a mere 250 dollar budget behind her) and the stately elegance of last year’s West (which Vanity Fair called “the record of a lifetime”). Between those signposts, Lucinda Williams established a reputation as one of rock’s most uncompromising and consistently fascinating writers and performers, earning kudos from artists as diverse as Mary-Chapin Carpenter (who helped win Williams a Grammy with her recording of “Passionate Kisses”) and Elvis Costello (who joins her for a duet on the Little Honey mini-drama “Jailhouse Tears”).

Williams learned the importance of professional integrity around the same time most kids are learning their ABCs, thanks in a large part to her award-winning poet father Miller Williams — who invested her with a “culturally rich, but economically poor” upbringing where artistic expression was of primary importance. Later, she’d hone her vision playing hardscrabble clubs around her adopted home state of Texas, absorbing the influence of sources as varied as Bob Dylan and Lightnin’ Hopkins.

“I sometimes say I just started out singing folk songs acoustically by default,” she recalls. “Even when I was playing open mic nights by myself, I’d be sitting up on stage with my Martin guitar doing ‘Angel’ by Jimi Hendrix or ‘Politician’ by Cream alongside Robert Johnson and Memphis Minnie songs. It never occurred to me to pick just one style.”

She’s never settled for any sort of pigeonholing, entering the ‘90s with the slow-burning Sweet Old World — a disc that, as much as any release, helped place the Americana movement at the forefront of listeners’ minds — and cementing her own spot in the cultural lexicon with 1998’s rough-hewn masterpiece Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

The latter disc earned Williams her first Grammy as a performer, but rather than try to capture the same lightning in a bottle a second time, she stretched her boundaries on 2001’s Essence, an album rife with both cerebral interludes and soul-stirring stomps. In recent times, Williams has broadened her palette even further through frequent collaborations with kindred spirits — acts as varied as The North Mississippi All-Stars and Flogging Molly — who share her uncommon sense of non-revivalist traditionalism.

Little Honey continues that ongoing forward quest, mixing country, R & B and blues-rock elements with adventurous aplomb. The disc gets an added octane boost from the powerful chemistry between the musicians, primarily drawn from Williams’ latest road band (now collectively known as Buick 6) — includes bassist David Sutton, Eels veterans Butch Norton and Chet Lyster as well as longtime collaborator Doug Pettibone.

Williams augments that core unit with a passel of like-minded folks spanning a huge chunk of the musical spectrum, from octogenarian singing legend Charlie Louvin to power-pop vets Susannah Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, the latter of whom helped arrange the Spector-tinged “Little Rock Star” — applying studio skills that prompted Williams to dub him “this generation’s Brian Wilson.”

“I feel that this is the most eclectic record I’ve ever done, and I’ve always been known for being eclectic,” she says. “ For this album, I was comfortable just letting the songs flow, and not worried about being so serious and heavy and having to top myself — and I think that shows.”

She needn’t have worried for a minute because, with Little Honey, Lucinda Williams has indeed topped herself again.

Stream tracks from the new album Little Honey

Lucinda video about her latest album- interviews, music and more

Also check out Muzzle of Bees coverage

with special guests BUICK 6 Saturday, October 25, 8pm Orpheum Theatre 608.255.0901 $30 — all ages BUY TICKETS NOW ! Available at the Orpheum Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at 608.255.4646 ( $1.00 per ticket to benefit local non-profit )

Free Tix to the Barrymore

Did you check out the Railroad Earth show at the Barrymore on Sat? If so we would like to announce our ticket winner as promised. If your ticket # was 327 shoot us an email and we will hook you up with a free pair of tickets to an upcoming Barrymore show!

If you aren’t the winner from that giveaway you’ve still got a chance, first person to comment on this post will win two tix to tomorrows amazing show..

Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck

Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet became an “intimate exploration of crossing global and cultural lines within myself,” says Abigail, who feels a reverence for both American and Chinese cultures. The all-star collaboration features Bela Fleck, acclaimed cellist Ben Sollee and Grammy-nominated fiddler, Casey Driessen (Nettwerk). A 10-time Grammy winner, Béla has been nominated 25 times in the most diverse categories of any artist in Grammy history.

Tuesday, September 16, 7:30 pm Barrymore Theatre

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Will NOT Comply: Wilco guitarist Nels Cline sticks with non-commercial fare

I’ve been fortunate to be involved with every Wilco show since their first show in Madison at Club de Wash in November 1994. The band had just formed out of the acrimonious split that occurred between Uncle Tupelo frontmen Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar. I had a birds-eye view of the last throes of that collaboration at an Uncle Tupelo show I presented at the Barrymore in March 1994, one of the last shows the band did before breaking up.

Jay Farrar (vocalist, guitarist), Jeff Tweedy (bassist, guitarist, vocalist), Mike Heidorn (drums)

The original members of Uncle Tupelo sitting From left to right: Jay Farrar (vocalist, guitarist), Jeff Tweedy (bassist, guitarist, vocalist), Mike Heidorn (drums)

Jeff and Jay at that point were not talking to each other. The tension was palpable, with Jay walled off and aloofly cocooned, and Jeff noticeably upbeat — perhaps relieved the end was near. I remember that the Bottle Rockets opened the show, and vaguely recall Brian Henneman joining them onstage. That the line-up, apart from Jay, essentially became the band that only months later debuted as Wilco. (I also remember staying up all night at a hotel on E. Wash — the Aloha?–with Jeff and the guys, joined by Mark Spencer of Blood Oranges — who was touring with Freedy Johnston. The Bushmills did us in as we watched the 1967 Casino Royale spoof on late-night television — starring Peter Sellers, Woody Allen and Orson Welles — it was a hoot.)

A lot has happened to Wilco since, more than can be captured in a single paragraph. The Reprise to Nonesuch saga resulting in the ground-breaking Yankee Hotel Foxtrot — expertly captured in the great documentary I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, a Grammy nod for A Ghost is Born, and several line-up changes, including the addition of avante-garde jazz guitarist Nels Cline.

Jeff Tweedy & Wilco

Jeff Tweedy & Wilco

That Nels would join Wilco in 2004 was no real surprise Wilco fans, even those who preferred the early days of A.M. and Being There Cline is highly revered in No Wave and free jazz circles, an area of interest for Tweedy and Co. spurred by their collaboration with NYC producer/musician and Chicago transplant Jim O’Rourke. (O’Rourke and Tweedy had recorded a record together with drummer Glenn Kotche under the rubric Loose Fur, which led to Kotche joining Wilco in 2001.) Cline was also a member of The Geraldine Fibbers in the 1990s, a band that played the East End around 1997. I’m not sure, but they might have opened for indie supergroup Golden Smog, another one of Tweedy’s side projects.

Drums

Nels Cline Singers: Nels Cline (guitar) Devin Hoff (Bass) Scott Amendola (Drums)

Fans of Thurston Moore, Marc Ribot, Elliot Sharp, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman — you are strongly encouraged to check out Monday’s show with The Nels Cline Singers at High Noon on Monday, June 2. An instrumental trio, The Nels Cline Singers offer an evening of improvisational jazz that rarely comes to Madison, at least not since 1993-94, when John Zorn visited Madison twice in the span of six months.

Doors or this mind-blowing show open at 7pm, and Painted Saints (featuring Paul Fonfara — interviewed in this week’s Onion) kicks off the evening at 8pm. This is an 18+ show. Tickets are $16 adv and $18 dos, and are available HERE. See you there!

– Tag Evers