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I really could care less what the album art looks like. I don't buy albums for what's on the cover, I buy them for the music. As far as I'm concerned, albums could be released in plain white sleeves for all I care. Yeah it's nice if the artist puts some thought into the cover, or if it reflects in a way what the music is about, but it's hardly necessary IMO.

Same here, though I've been intrigued by album art enough to check into bands. Of course there's a relationship of course between the music and the album art, but I don't think either is indicative of the quality of the other.

Coincidentally, one of the albums was DBT's Southern Rock Opera

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Having grown up in the vinyl era the two are intrinsically linked to me. Part of the ritual of a new album purchase was rushing to get home so I could check out the artwork, liner notes, lyrics, etc. while listening to a record for the very first time. An mp3 simply doesn't provide that same sort of experience.

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From Wilco's Facebook page:

"News flash: New Wilco 7" single for sale at the Solid Sound Festival this June. The A-side is a new Wilco tune called "I Might" and it's b/w a cover of the Nick Lowe-penned "I Love My Label." This will be the first release on dBpm Records and will be available to the rest of the world sometime in July. More recording news to come very, very soon. Standby."

Edited by Jahfin
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More on the new Wilco record from Spin:

Jeff Tweedy Talks Wilco's "Irreverent" Fall Album

By Kevin O'Donnell


Jeff Tweedy in January 2011 / Photo by Zoran Orlic

Over the last year, Wilco have taken time out from touring and side-projects to work on their eighth record, the band's first since 2009's Wilco (the album). But now Jeff Tweedy and Co. are in the homestretch, putting in long hours at their Chicago loft studio for an album that's tentatively slated for release in September, on the group's newly formed label dBpm Records.

"We're still chipping away at it," Tweedy tells SPIN. "We're just doing some overdubs and some tracking, but we're pretty far along."

So far, Wilco have laid down some 20 tracks for the album, which has the working title of Get Well Soon Everybody. Tweedy says the material fits into two categories: experimental-leaning rock and "cinematic-sounding country music…you know, folk music."

To read the rest of the article click here.

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From the Slicing Up Eyeballs blog:

The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson finishes second solo album,

sets May concerts


When not playing bass in Guns N’ Roses or Soul Asylum, former Replacements member Tommy Stinson has found time to whittle away at a new album of his own — and that follow-up to his 2004 solo debut Village Gorilla Head is now complete and should be released later this summer.

Stinson reports on his website that he recently finished mixing the last two songs for the album, which “with some hard work and a little luck… will be released in August.” An album title, tracklist and final release date are still forthcoming, but Stinson expects to debut some of the tracks at a trio of Midwestern concerts next month.

The ex-Replacement has announced full-band solo shows in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Chicago slated for May 19 to 21 (see details below), which he says will feature some of those new songs, plus older material from Village Gorilla Head and his short-lived, but much-loved, Bash & Pop and Perfect projects from the ’90s.

He also promises, somewhat cryptically, in an apparent bid to get ‘Mats fans all wound up: “I can’t speak of any surprises because they wouldn’t be surprises anymore, except to say that there may be a few good ones in store. HAHAHA — how ya like them apples?”

Furthermore, Stinson has been working on the forthcoming Soul Asylum record — he’s been playing with the fellow Minneapolis rockers since Karl Mueller died in 2005 — and plans to tour with them, as well as book his own solo shows once his album’s out. And, of course, there’s always GNR, which is booked for Rock in Rio in October.

Tommy Stinson tour dates:

May 19: Club Garibaldi’s, Milwaukee, WI

May 20: First Avenue, Minneapolis, MI

May 21: Double Door, Chicago, IL

Edited by Jahfin
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More on the new Wilco record from RollingStone.com:

Jeff Tweedy Opens Up About Wilco's New Album


Photograph by Charles Harris

"The working title, as of right now, is Get Well Soon Everybody," Jeff Tweedy, the singer-songwriter-leader of Wilco, says of his band's eight studio album, now in the mixing stage at the group's Chicago studio, the Loft, and due for release in September. "If I could say anything to the world at large, that would be it."

The record will be Wilco's first on their own label, dBpm – shorthand for decibels per minute – and Tweedy's third set of new songs with his longest-running lineup: bassist John Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, drummer Glenn Kotche, keyboard player Mikael Jorgenson and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansome. The group has recorded more than 20 songs, Tweedy says, "out of the things I had coming in, which was somewhere in the fifties and sixties. It's a pretty great time for me writing-wise."

To read the rest of the article click here.

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New Fountains of Wayne:

Fountains Of Wayne's new album, Sky Full Of Holes, will be released in the US on August 2 by Yep Roc Records, and by Warner Music in Japan (other international release dates coming soon).

Recorded in New York City, Sky Full Of Holes features 13 new songs written and produced by Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger. The album was mixed by John Holbrook, who also worked on Welcome Interstate Managers and Traffic And Weather.

The band - Collingwood, Schlesinger, guitarist Jody Porter, and drummer Brian Young - will tour extensively in support of the new album beginning this summer.

Check www.fountainsofwayne.com for tour dates and updates.

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Wind-up Records Scheduling a Fall 2011 Release

New York, NY — Following a three-year sabbatical after the multi-platinum, worldwide success of their sophomore effort, The Open Door, Evanescence is going into the studio on April 11 to begin recording its third studio album with producer Nick Raskulinecz, whose recent producing credits include Foo Fighters, RUSH, Stone Sour, Deftones and Alice in Chains.

With what some call a meteoric rise to the top, Fallen brought the Little Rock, Arkansas band to global success with more than 17 million records in the hands of fans worldwide, two Top 10 singles, “My Immortal” and “Bring Me To Life,” two Grammy® Awards in 2003 (Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance for “Bring Me To Life”).

The Open Door was recorded in Los Angeles at The Record Plant in early 2006 and mixed at the venerable Ocean Way Studios in March 2006 and marked the return of long-time friend and producer Dave Fortman.

The Open Door was certified double platinum in the United States and has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide. The album was defined by Amy Lee’s beautiful melodies, profound lyrics, stunning vocals and poignant piano, merged with Terry Balsamo’s urgent, yet intricate guitar playing and formed a remarkable, ethereal blend perfectly rooted in the band’s rock and classical sensibilities, including the hit single “Call Me When You’re Sober.”

According to Evanescence front woman Amy Lee, "We can't wait to show everyone what we've been working on! We've written more than an album of songs. We’ve been finding ourselves, reinventing our sound, experimenting with things we've never done before and at the same time embracing the things we love most about Evanescence. This journey has made us the strongest we’ve ever been as a band, and I am in love with the music. Nick Rasculinecz is the perfect fit for this record and we are all very excited to get into the studio together."

Wind-up Records President Edward Vetri comments, “Amy and the band have been hard at work on the new record. The time off has allowed Amy to expand the creative boundaries of Evanescence. We are very excited to bring this music to the world.”

Evanescence is : Amy Lee (vocals, piano), Terry Balsamo (guitar) Tim McCord (bass) and Will Hunt (drums).

For more information, please visit their website, www.evanescence.com

Edited by Kiwi_Zep_Fan87
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From Durham, NC's Independent Weekly:

Mount Moriah's Mount Moriah


by Grayson Currin

Nominally, Mount Moriah is a country-rock band. As the modifier suggests, Heather McEntire's voice is tender but tough, her slight drawl held closely by high, sympathetic harmonies on the band's eponymous debut. Her lyrics work through references to red clay, church pews and soil turned by hands, too, Southern signifiers of McEntire's Western North Carolina roots. As rock goes, the guitars of McEntire and Jenks Miller are most often electric, given to surfeits of distortion that make their melodies jut like jetties through a simple rhythm section that's steadfast and crackling.

But Mount Moriah doesn't fit any of the general country-rock molds. McEntire mostly sings about love and loss, sure, but she avoids maudlin tales of toothless heartache. Instead, she grounds her words with the sort of details and images that suggest she's relaying distillations of her real life. "If this will be anything, then let it be over," she offers over an organ's peal and Miller's serpentine guitar line on "Lament." The frontwoman of post-punk trio Bellafea, McEntire treats Mount Moriah's different sounds with the same welcome directness, venting her invective and pondering the past with the earnest attention of a young firebrand. During "Lament," she demands a decision; across Mount Moriah, she moves with much more resolve and purpose than pity.

What's more, Miller plays lead guitar with an elliptical calm that's not beholden to the showmanship often heard from country or rock instrumentalists. For a guy who also leads the heavy metal band Horseback, guitar solos here are remarkably limited and often elementary, played with a restraint and musical vernacular that suggest a humble back-porch picker. "Reckoning," for instance, is McEntire's plea to her mother to accept her daughter's sexuality. "If your old book says it's true/ back of your knees locked to the seat of the pew/ With fierceness painful and pure/ I will reckon you," she sings in the chorus after delivering the news that the love of her life is a woman. Before the last verse, Miller takes a rare solo; it's slow and snaking, rendered with a few choice notes. Like McEntire explaining herself to her mother, Miller is trying to make the news as easy to understand as possible, phrased in a language that's plain and logical. It's not that Miller can't get fancy. Rather, a little like George Harrison or Bill Frisell, he chooses not to, opting instead to insert the proper textures and tones in the most perfect places. That Spartan approach mirrors McEntire's lyrical search for le mot juste; everything is considered and collected.

Mount Moriah's mix of styles—a country template branded with rock tones, both tempered by punk impulses—possibly isn't postmodern enough for the 2011 market, where unfocused, exclamatory pastiche often passes for innovative, eclectic ideas. There are no Afrobeat infusions here, no headlong, sans-transition plunges into undeveloped drones or atmospheres. No, Mount Moriah is too patient, careful and diligent for that. Instead, these are carefully written and carefully played songs, beholden to nothing more than the very personal tales they tell. McEntire and Mount Moriah give her set of memories—delays and layovers on the way to meet a long-distance lover, lustful nights spent on roofs of bars, bellyaches based on gin and raw nerves—more respect than that. They play songs about the past as if they're studying what has happened so as to make a better plan for the future.

That future arrives during the last two songs of Mount Moriah, after McEntire has relayed her travails and even told her mother: On "We Don't Need That Much," she and her lover break from society into a sort of monastic sanctuary, escaping former anxieties for a life of "flannel shirts and coffee in camping cups." Over a simple banjo trot, the image suggests the sort of heaven her mother's "old book" might never have imagined. And on closer "The Hail, The Lightning," McEntire finally sees her troubles as a prelude to future promise. "We are awake, we are alive, and we know," she howls, hinting at the storms she summons in Bellafea, adding tension to the organ and fiddle creaks. It's the sound of country being rocked at the foundations.

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From Old97s.com:


New Album Available July 5 From New West Records

May 5, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA – Old 97′s introduce The Grand Theatre Vol. 2, their ninth studio album, available July 5th via New West Records. The new record is a companion to the critically acclaimed The Grand Theatre Volume One, which received 3 ½ stars in both Rolling Stone and American Songwriter. Released less than a year since their last effort, The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 features 13 brand new songs and is once again produced by Salim Nourallah (The Grand Theatre Volume One and Blame It On Gravity.)

Vol. 2 expands on the themes found in Volume One both sonically and lyrically,” explains Miller. “We delved further into our experiments in gritty garage rock and at times spun further into lush psychedelia. Like Volume One, you’ll find narratives that are stunted and strange.”

Though the band originally conceptualized The Grand Theatre as a double album, they decided it would be wiser to release two volumes in quick succession in order to allow fans time to fully digest each. This decision gave the 97′s an opportunity to polish the existing recordings, and to include a couple of brand-new songs, including the early audience favorite, “I’m A Trainwreck”, and “Perfume,” the first single planned from Vol. 2. “Perfume,” which could be described as a sequel to “The Dance Class”, a song found on Volume One, is a classic Miller character study, seemingly happy with a dark twist. An agoraphobic guy falls in love with a dancer who lives across the street. He finally gets her, but he’s trapped inside, jealously watching through the window as she lives it up. The moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for. An Old 97′s record would not be complete without a contribution from bassist Murry Hammond. The light-hearted “White Port” is a Monty Python-esque number complete with hilarious Pirate vocals.

Old 97′s, known for their vibrant live shows, continue to tour through the summer in support of The Grand Theatre Vol. 2. The dates will be a mix of headline shows and festivals including the Sasquatch Festival and Outside Lands.

The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 track list:

1. Brown Haired Daughter

2. I’m A Trainwreck

3. Perfume

4. The Actor

5. No Simple Machine

6. White Port

7. Ivy

8. Manhattan (I’m Done)

9. Marquita

10. Bright Spark (See What I Mean)

11. Visiting Hours

12. How Lovely All It Was

13. You Call It Rain

Edited by Jahfin
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New Gillian Welch Record Coming June 28, 2011


Karl Walter/Getty Images

By Kim Ruehl, About.com Guide

It's been eight years since Gillian Welch released her last album, Soul Journey, and her fans have been chomping at the bit ever since for its follow-up. Over the past few weeks, news has been dripping out as critics have begun to receive their review copies. But it was NPR who broke the news last week that Welch's fifth studio album will release on Acony Records this June 28, and will be titled The Harrow & The Harvest.

No word yet on what the track listing will be, or if there are any special guests on the disc (aside from, of course, her long-time guitarist David Rawlings). Since releasing Soul Journey, Welch has toured extensively and appeared on a number of other people's recordings, including this year's Decemberists record, The King Is Dead and the 2009 release from Rawlings - A Friend of a Friend. While on tour with the Dave Rawlings Machine, Welch would come out and do a couple of her own songs separate from the rest of the band, including some material that's quite a bit newer than Soul Journey, leaving fans anxious for the new release.

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I for one am looking forward to the (tentative) 2011 release of Rush's Clockwork Angels. The first and so-far only single, "Caravan" (b-side: "BU2B"), was really interesting. Both songs had a strange but cool style that really grew on me the more I listened to them. Also, the lyrics seem to strike a nice balance between eclectic sci-fi and philosophy. Peart can be a great lyricist but other times his lyrics are just too strange for me. It will be Rush's 19th album. I attempted going through Rush's entire discography, and stopped somewhere at their '80s work. I will resume and finish listening to Rush's studio albums before this is released. They are working with excellent producer Nick Raskulinecz. I can testify that Alice in Chains' Black Gives Way to Blue sounded incredible (although apparently it was extremely loud; I didn't take much notice of that honestly). The album is evidently being given great care: Alex Lifeson has stated that the title track "Clockwork Angels" is an "epic song" and a "multi-parted piece" 1, and Neil Peart said in an interview "I intend it to be my highest achievement lyrically and drumming wise" 2.

1 - http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=145102

2 - http://www.rushisaband.com/blog/2011/05/05/2608/Excerpts-from-Classic-Rocks-Prog-magazine-Rush-feature

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