CD REVIEW: Matt Wertz "While We're Becoming"

On the way to making a new full length album, Matt Wertz decided to record a short EP of new music to keep the fans' appetite satisfied. The EP, which features five new acoustic tunes, shows off one of the things that makes Matt Wertz one of the best independent artists making music: his lyrics. He always prides himself on having his lyrics be the driving force behind all his music, and whether its poetry or storytelling, Wertz's lyrics always make a connection with the listener. These are songs that are welcome additions to Matt's catalogue, and require no rerecording, remixing, or reinterpreting on future releases.


CD REVIEW: Turin Brakes "Outbursts"

Turin Brakes are always amazing when they release new music, and this latest is no exception. Their style of Brit folk is rarely paralleled in the music world, and only a few bands actually attempt this specific style of music. In face, Kings Of Convenience may be the closest comparison to Turin Brakes, and they're not even British. That being said, Turin Brakes are creating exciting music that doesn't really sound like anything else that you'll hear currently being played in heavy rotation. "Apocolips" and "The Sea Change" are instant Turin Brakes classics. Turin Brakes may not be a band that you'll hear on the radio every hour, but when you listen to "Outbursts" you'll certainly understand why they've made five albums and show no signs of slowing down.


CD REVIEW: Doves "The Places Between: The Best Of Doves"

Doves are one of the most intriguing bands to come across the pond in the last decade, and this album treats us to their best songs released during that time. This best of collection is not actually a greatest hits album. Being that Doves haven't really blown up the charts with hit songs, that means that their best of collection showcases the songs that define them as a band. Their music is a combination of classic Brit pop mixed with the sensibilities of an electronic band. They are always creating music that doesn't fit into any specific mold, yet they have seen some success stateside with songs such as "There Goes The Fear," "Catch The Sun," and "Caught By The River," all of which are included in this collection. The best of collection also includes the new song "Andalucia" which is more of their excellent blend of rock, ambiance, and electronica. Doves will surely continue to make great music and turn heads in the process, so for now, this best of album can remind us just how great they already are.


CD REVIEW: The Beautiful Girls "Spooks"

It's hard to follow up the best album of your career. The Beautiful Girls last album "Ziggurats" was one of the best reggae albums to have ever been recorded, combining their signature acoustic reggae sound with influences from The Clash and The Police, taking their game to a whole new level. Now that the have established themselves as incredible reggae musicians who make outstanding reggae music, they've had the task of coming up with a whole new collection, as good as the last. Their latest, "Spooks" may not have the sheer classic excellence of "Ziggurats," but it is an outstanding album just the same. This time the guys have pulled together a sound that builds off of their previous album, and dives more into a bit of dancehall reggae. The entire album features a horn section from the instrumental title track opener to the bouncy "Rockers! (Downtown Upstyling)." Female vocalist Vida Sunshyne makes a guest appearance on the single "10:10," the album's definitive standout, as well as "Gratitude." "Don't Wait" and "Running" are both classic hard rocking reggae, and The Beautiful Girls have proven that they have mastered and can record any and all styles of reggae. With each new album The Beautiful Girls continue to amaze with their creativity, authenticity, and energy, and on "Spooks" they take their music in a direction that will only further expand their fanbase and satisfy their loyal fans.


CD REVIEW: Stone Temple Pilots "Stone Temple Pilots"

In the 90's, Stone Temple Pilots were one of the bands that helped to define a sub genre of alternative rock music known as grunge. Despite the fact that the leaders of this movement were Pearl Jam and Nirvana, STP played a key role in helping to mold grunge rock and alternative rock music throughout the decade. Late in the 90's, Stone Temple Pilots went away from their grunge sound and developed their brand of alternative rock to be all their own. It's fitting that none of their albums released in the early parts of their career were self titled. Their most recent release, coming after a nine year hiatus, got the self titled label and truly defines the band's music from beginning to end and all the way through to now. "Between The Lines," the album's first single, is so good that it is feasible that it could have fit into any of their previous releases. STP have never changed their music to suit the times or to follow trends in music, but they have continued to release great music, even during the lowest points in their career. Although lead singer Scott Weiland had his troubles, and he dabbled with a few solo albums and his other band, Velvet Revolver, never has it been more evident than on this album that his home is as the front man of Stone Temple Pilots. The DeLeo brothers on guitar and bass and Eric Kretz on drums, along with Weiland, haven't made this great of an album since the release of "Purple," and have rejuvenated themselves and their career, which will surely have them touring and recording well into their third decade.


CD REVIEW: Mason Jennings "Fingerprints: Sept. 20, 2009"

This little gem of an album is a limited edition release that was only able to be purchased in independent record stores on Record Store Day 2010. Mason Jennings has always been known for his live performances, and this collection showcases many of the tunes off of his latest album "Blood Of Man." It is interesting to hear these songs performed live, as their studio versions are somewhat of a departure from his normal acoustic folk. You can hear the rawness of the emotion in Jennings' voice as he sings his stunning lyrics in front of a small crowd. Great versions of "Black Wind Blowing," "Ain't No Friend Of Mine," and "Pittsburgh" are all included, as well as one older song, "Crown." Mason Jennings is an outstanding live performer, and though he has not released a proper live album yet, this is just a taste of his energy and delivery for those who have not been able to experience one of is live shows in person.


CD REVIEW: Truth & Salvage Co. "Truth & Salvage Co."

Southern rock, country music, and folk are all elements of Truth & Salvage Co.'s debut album. You cannot pinpoint a specific genre or style to put these guys and their music into. For comparison's sake, it's kind of like Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young performing with the Allman Brothers as their backing band. These guys certainly know how to deliver their music on this album, and the harmonies and the lyrics set the album apart from anything on the scene today. "Call Back," "Welcome to LA," and "Old Piano" are all excellent tracks. Fans of Fleet Foxes and the Avett Brothers will equally fall in love with this band. The music on this album, which was produced by the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson, is set apart from anything you will hear on the radio, making for an incredibly unique and interesting recording.

New Release Tuesday

New releases out today worth checking out:
  • The Beautiful Girls - Spooks
  • Todd Carey - After The Morning After
  • Stone Temple Pilots - Stone Temple Pilots
  • Truth & Salvage Co. - Truth & Salvage Co.
  • Keller Williams & The Keels - Thief


CD REVIEW: Rogue Wave "Permalight"

With each album that Rogue Wave creates they add a new dimension to their already complex music. They have embraced their brand of indie rock and taken it to new levels, and following up their critically acclaimed album "Asleep At Heaven's Gate" wasn't going to be easy. Yet, Rogue Wave has managed to seamlessly transition themselves into their newest album without a hitch. "Permalight" has the band returning a bit to their roots with louder guitars, more keyboards, and a bigger sound that is reminiscent to their first two albums. The lead single "Good Morning" is a straight up alternative rocker with big fuzzy guitars. "Solitary Gun" is the "Lake Michigan" of this album, and it's partially mellow indie rock sound will help this song to be the album's cornerstone. The title track features a syncopated rhythm and has the band sounding incredibly cohesive, yet still holding onto an organic feel of the music. This album is an awesome stopping point on Rogue Wave's journey through music, and the guys never cease to amaze with their creative take on indie and alternative rock.


CD REVIEW: Black Marmot "Run Home"

Black Marmot is kind of a modern throwback band. They aren't really doing music that is cutting edge or unfamiliar. Rather, they have embraced a sound that has gone away from popular music and receded into the shadows. Early and mid 1990's college and jam rock was huge, and Black Marmot's sound is reminiscent of that. Blues Traveler and Rusted Root are two bands that come to mind when listening to this debut album. Singer Linde Clark sounds a little like a young Natalie Merchant, bringing yet another element of the 90's to their music. Make no mistake, there is nothing copycat or old school about the sound, it's just that they have decided to bring it back in their own special way. "Indifference" and "Sunburn" are excellent tracks both musically and lyrically, showing off all the skills of each member of the band. The album features some excellent guitar solos, and songs like "Brother" and "Hurricanes" showcase a softer side of their music and some great songwriting. The entire album is full of the energy of a live performance captured in the studio. Black Marmot is one of the best kept secrets in the Northeast and their debut album showcases a band that is poised to be a leader in reinvigorating the 90's jam rock scene.


CD REVIEW: Band Of Horses "Infinite Arms"

Band Of Horses continues to grow and change with the albums that they release, and their newest effort is their most ambitious to date. The album, which finds them releasing on a major label for the first time, features the band's new five member lineup and some excellent indie-meets-southern rock music. The harmonies on the album are reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, but the music is all Band Of Horses. The first single "Laredo" along with "Compliments" and "Factory" are all incredibly different songs than they have released in the past, yet they are the best songs on the album. "Evening Kitchen" and "Blue Beard" have elements of the band's first two album, showing off the sweeping indie rock that we heard on songs like "The Funeral" and "Is There A Ghost." Band Of Horses is at the top of their game, and has now begun to set themselves apart from all the other indie rock bands trying to do the same old thing. This album has proven that Band Of Horses is the real deal and has range in their music and musicality that goes far beyond the guitar/bass/drums formula.


CD REVIEW: Pete Miller "Shake The Dawn"

Pete Miller is a promising new singer/songwriter from New England that is creating some incredibly interesting music. His style combines the energy of a live jam band with the subtle approach of a solo artist, emphasizing on stellar lyrics. It doesn't take much to make good music these days, but it takes a lot of heart and feeling to make music that connects with listeners and stands out from the bunch. Pete Miller's debut EP sets him apart from a lot of other musicians and makes a statement about what it means to be an independent singer/songwriter. His song "Daydreamer" doesn't only show off his lyrics but also showcases his talents on the guitar. Fellow New Englander, Ryan Zoidis of Rustic Overtones, lends his saxophone skills to Miller's "To See Your Eyes" adding depth to an already complex sound. Pete Miller is part of a new generation of New England bands to take the independent and jam rock scene by storm, and his debut EP is just the beginning of an excellent music career.


CD REVIEW: We The Living "Depths Of The Earth"

Alternative rock band We The Living have returned with a continuation from their album "Heights Of The Heavens." This EP along with that album is like the Yin and Yang of the music that We The Living creates. Not that the two recordings are completely different or opposite, but they feature music that spans the entire repertoire of the band. The EP is less radio friendly than the previous album, but that's not a bad thing. We The Living have embraced their songwriting skills on this album and really made a great alternative rock record that connects with their fans. Uncompromised and unforgiving, the brand of independent rock that We The Living is reminiscent of lots of other bands, but uniquely all their own. "Menelaus" and "Sound Of Love" are standouts from this collection, and the disc is an incredible representation of the direction this band is going in and the excellence of their potential for future success.


CD REVIEW: The Bird And The Bee "Interpreting The Masters, Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates"

Cover albums are a tricky bunch. You have to pick the right songs and do the right things to them to pay full tribute to the originals yet still make them your own. American Idol has almost fully ruined the cover song genre by begging performers to be original yet not butcher the originals. The Bird And The Bee have found the ultimate way to do the cover album: an entire album of songs by one artist. It's like doing a greatest hits album but only by another artists. Hall & Oates are an incredibly talented duo and the music they created in the 80's is timeless and The Bird And The Bee have done an excellent job showing off their love for this guilty pleasure. These guys combine their 70's and 80's styled pop with perfect production to reinvent these classic tracks without alienating the feel of the original tunes. "Kiss On My List," "Maneater," "Private Eyes," and "I Can't Go For That" are all awesome renditions of the Hall & Oates classics that show off just how great of a band these guys are. The disc is labeled "Interpreting The Masters, Volume 1" which hopefully means that Greg Kurstin and Inara George will be interpreting many more great artists and classic songs.


CD REVIEW: Pete Francis "The Movie We Are In"

In his most ambitious recording yet, Pete Francis never ceases to amaze with his wide range of musical abilities. This, his most commercially accessible album since "Untold," is a masterpiece going in an unfamiliar direction for typical Pete Francis fans, and certainly for fans of Dispatch. Pete got into the studio with some excellent musicians, many of whom have been doing it for a while with some very established musicians. For an independent artist like Francis to combine his talents with those of established music industry vets, only great things can happen. The album is filled with catchy tunes that are both easy to sing along to and still contain Pete's incredibly unconventional lyrics. Pete is a poet and a storyteller and songs like "Glue," Light Years," and "Good Man" show off some of his best lyrics since his first two albums. One of the catchier tunes on the album is the lead single "Love Shakes You Down." Coupled with an animated video by the same guy who did the album artwork, the song is bound to gain a whole new audience once it enters into heavy rotation on AAA radio. "Light Up My Day" is a feel good, summery song that features a horn section and is incredibly reminiscent of some of his work with Dispatch. Pete Francis insane guitar skills are showcased throughout the entire album, and die hard fans are sure to welcome the tangent taken with this album. With this album, Pete Francis has shows he is truly a musician that cannot be pinned down or pigeonholed, and fans of all styles of music from jam bands to alternative rock will find something to love on "The Movie We Are In."

New Release Tuesday

New releases out today worth checking out:
  • Band Of Horses - Infinite Arms
  • The Black Keys - Brothers
  • Pete Francis - The Movie We Are In
  • LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening


CD REVIEW: Xavier Rudd "Koonyum Sun"

For quite a while, Xavier Rudd has been amazing crowds and music fans throughout the world with his unique blend of world, aboriginal, and folk styles of music. His music is always filled with interesting instrumentation and poignant lyrics and his latest does not stray from a formula that has worked for six studio albums. The first single from the album is an incredibly positive song called "Time To Smile" and it is already getting fans into his new album all over the world. This album features a new collaborative effort with his African-influenced backing band Izintaba, adding a whole new layer to Rudd's already complex sound. This element further elaborates on Xavier's internationally flavored brand of folk, making each song on this album intriguing from start to finish. Familiarity is not gone, however, as fans of Rudd's music will surely love the songs "Love Comes And Goes" and "Set Me Free" which sound like they could have come from any of the albums in his catalogue. Xavier Rudd is always trying to reinvent his music, and on his latest album he manages to surprise and amaze while still sticking to his roots with clever songs and inventive music.


CD REVIEW: Five Times August "Life As A Song"

In the independent pop rock scene Five Times August is one of the leaders. He's been doing this for quite some time, releasing a pretty extensive catalogue of music by himself. This latest album has him revisiting some of his very best songs and adding a few great new ones to the mix, showcasing that it's finally time for him to rub shoulders with the big guns. Songs like "Do It Again," "Better With You," and "Up To Me" could all easily hold their own on several formats of radio from top 40 to modern rock to AAA. FTA has a way with music that makes it fun, catchy, and easy to sing along with, which is a formula that has proved successful since the beginnings of popular music and radio. "Beautiful Girls" and "January Song" are excellent examples of his songwriting skills, and are songs that will be fan favorites for years to come. Five Times August is an incredibly talented musician and his newest album is a testament to the work he's put into his career and the promising future he is sure to have.


CD REVIEW: Greg Holden "A Word In Edgeways"

Guys with guitars can sometimes be a dime a dozen, and it seems like lately they're everywhere. That doesn't mean that talent shouldn't be noticed or rewarded. Greg Holden's album "A Word In Edgeways" is a subtle masterpiece of acoustic pop that has turned heads but remained in the shadows. "The Chase" is a great lead off track, setting the tone for the entire disc showcasing all of Holden's abilities in one concise tune. He is an excellent lyricist and combines that with his incredible guitar playing skills to create very interesting and accessible pop tunes. Although Greg Holden may still be virtually unknown, he has laid the groundwork with this album for an incredible career, and great things can be expected from his musical endeavours in the future.


CD REVIEW: Ruarri Joseph "Shoulder To The Wheel"

Ruarri Joseph has embraced the style of light folksy Brit pop to the fullest extent. This, his third album, is full of mellow folk rock tunes that are reminiscent of musicians such as Neil Halstead and David Gray. The music is kind of a hybrid of mellow 60's style acoustic folk and modern lyrical pop. "Nervous Grin" and "Rich Folks Hoax" are reminiscent of his debut album, while "An Orchard For An Apple" sees Joseph embracing his songwriting skills and highlighting his lyrics. Ruarri Joseph is riding a wave of mellow soulful Brits that are making excellent music, Along with Paolo Nutini and Newton Faulkner, Ruarri and the boys from across the pond are poised to give all the American folksters a run for them money. The bottom line is that Joseph's new album is an musical and artistic masterpiece.


CD REVIEW: The Hold Steady "Heaven Is Whenever"

After their fourth album took the world by storm, containing some of The Hold Steady's best songs, they are back with a new album that is almost as good as their last. It's a great album, containing tracks that, for the avid Hold Steady fan, are a welcome addition to the catalogue. The album doesn't contain that hit single, the song that will define the album. However, the album is defined by the ups and downs, the lyrical content, and the delivery of the songs. It is, by far, The Hold Steady's most creative album yet. "Rock Problems" is a classic. Songs such as "The Weekenders" and "Hurricane J" remind us that the essence of their music is truly in the lyrical storytelling. They continue to sound like the indie rock version of Bruce Springsteen, and have an incredible connection to the lives and times that have turned into their music. The beautiful album comes to a subtle close with the sounds of crickets chirping, recorded accidentally as some of the music was recorded outside. You can always expect greatness from The Hold Steady. Lately they do not disappoint, and their fifth album is a testament to their hard work, excellent lyricism, and incredible musical talents.


CD REVIEW: Harper Blynn "Lonliest Generation"

At first glance, it's a brand new band that has come along showcasing some excellent songwriting and pop music. But, this band has actually been around for a little while. Harper Blynn used to be known as Pete & J. Well, they still are known as that, since the principle members and singers of the band are Pete Harper and Jason Blynn. As Pete & J., the guys released several albums and EPs showing off their Simon & Garfunkel style folk pop music. Their newest incarnation, and new album, takes their folk pop style to a whole new level, emphasizing the full band sound without taking away from their core influences and sound. "This Is It," the first single off of the album is pure pop gold, and along with "25 Years," shows off that their sound is incredible Beatlesque. They have also included a few songs that are reminiscent of their duo days, reminding us that their lyrics and guitars are sometimes all you need to hear. Harper Blynn is bringing back a style of music whose popularity may have been left in the 1960's. They have released an album that both plays off their strengths as musicians and takes their music in a new and exciting direction.


CD REVIEW: Chad Perrone "Release"

Chad Perrone is one of those special musicians that has been around the block a few times, but hasn't yet fully cashed in on his worth. Starting his musical career with indie rock band Averi, Perrone showcased his ability to be a killer frontman and he sung his heart out. Upon going solo, Perrone took the frontman role to the next level and now was the only man. He proved himself over the course of two solo albums, and is back for the third time, this time really letting go. The entire album is excellent, with countless songs that could hold their own on any rock radio station in any part of the country. "Motionless" has the potential to be a successful single on rock radio, and in the right hands or the right ears, could be Perrone's breakout song. His ability to write incredible lyrics is apparent on songs like "Quit You" and "Anything Or Anyone." Great things are on the horizon for Chad Perrone, and his newest album is his vessel out of the unknown.

New Release Tuesday

New releases out today worth checking out:
  • Harper Blynn - Lonliest Generation
  • Keane - Night Train


CD REVIEW: Aqualung "Magnetic North"

"Magnetic North" is another great album from young singer/songwriter Matt Hales, otherwise known as Aqualung. He always seems to hit it out of the park with each of his new albums, and this, his fourth, is another solid performance. There are a handful of really great songs on this album that are both catchy and artistic. The lead single, Fingertip," is already taking the world by storm and reintroducing music lovers to Aqualung's signature style that he amazed with on his debut album. Sara Bareilles lends her vocals talents (as she has been doing for a lot of musicians lately) to the track "Remember Us" which is a lyrically beautiful song. Other standout tracks include the title track and "New Friend." It's good to hear Aqualung back to true form, writing and performing excellent music, and reminding us that he is still the same musician we remember when he broke onto the scene five years ago.


CD REVIEW: Samuel Ventura "Beautiful Tragedy"

Samuel Ventura is a bright up-and-coming singer/songwriter from upstate New York, and his debut album is an excellent display of lyrically rich pop rock. The entire album is filled with catchy hook, radio friendly songs, and a simplicity that is not always appreciated in music. There is always something to be said for a musician who can do straightforward really well, without gimmicks or overproduction. Songs on this album that are sure to hook the listeners are "Strawberry Soda," "Sunshine," and "Coconut Tree." For a first time out, Samuel Ventura has created a debut album that is a huge stepping stone towards a fruitful career. His style of music will be timeless (for the next few years are least) and he is sure to benefit from his talents.


CD REVIEW: Zach Deputy "Sunshine"

After having your tour van, equipment, and most of your worldly possessions stolen from you, the last thing that you can be thinking about is recording a new album. For Zach Deputy, the free spirited fun loving musician, that's exactly what the doctor ordered. The result, an incredible new album that combines both his love for reggae music, his jam band sensibility, his one-man-band approach at music, and his fun personality. The song "Paramus" is about his unfortunate incident involving the theft of his van. "The Way You Make Me Feel" is not a cover of the Michael Jackson song, but rather a feel good reggae tune that shows off Deputy's work with a full band. About half the album includes the full band and the other half has Zach pulling out all the stops and performing all of the instruments. "Stay" shows off Deputy's true musicianship and has a very old school bluesy vibe. The entire album is awesome and Zach Deputy does a wonderful job bringing the fun right to the listeners. It's a rarity to actually hear how much fun a musician has while performing, but Zach Deputy displays that quality to the max.


CD REVIEW: Greg Laswell "Take A Bow"

On this album, Greg Laswell solidifies himself as a pop folk superstar. He has managed to put together another great album full of great songs that showcase his incredible lyricism and distinct voice. This album is a little darker sounding than the previous two and on "Come Clean" there is a bit of spookiness as well. The debut single, "Take Everything," could possibly become Laswell's most memorable song, and move him into the mainstream spotlight. Ingrid Michaelson also lends her vocals to the song, as well as several others on the album. Cary Brothers joins the mix as well, lending his background vocals to a few of the tracks. "Off I Go," a song that first appeared on the television show "Grey's Anatomy," makes its first appearance on a Laswell album, and is one of Laswell's most lyrically perfect songs. "In Front Of Me," "Marquee," and "Around The Bend" are all standout tracks, proving this album is full of incredible songs. Greg Laswell has managed to take folk rock music to a new level and has brought us a new album, which he also self produced, that is one of the best of the year.


NEW TUNES: Pete Francis

Check out the first single from Pete Francis' new album "The Movie We Are In" which will be released on his own Scrapper Records on May 18th. The song is called "Glue" and you can download it for free by clicking here. Enjoy!

CD REVIEW: Alpha Rev "New Morning"

Alpha Rev is a great young band out of Texas who are taking the airwaves by storm with their new single, the title track of the album "New Morning." The album is your typical modern rock album, rivalling albums recently put out by bands such as The Fray, OneRepublic, and Green River Ordinance. Although there's nothing inventive or out of the ordinary about Alpha Rev's music, it's their attention to detail that makes their music great. Not only do they rely on excellent lyrics, but as a band who is seven members strong, their instrumentation is much more than just the simple guitar/bass/keys/drums that many other bands focus on. It makes a simple, familiar style of music sound new and fresh. The best song on the album is "Face Down" which is a bit more funkier than the other songs, and features a killer guitar solo. Alpha Rev are surely the real deal, and with the success of this style of music in the past, there's no doubt that this album will turn these guys into hitmakers.


CD REVIEW: Ozomatli "Fire Away"

At their creative best, Ozomatli have returned with their most cohesive album to date. The entire album both flows well and epitomizes the true nature of the band, who dabbles in countless musically styles. All of their albums have always incorporated all of their influences and their musical talents quite well, but this is the first time that the entire album feels like a full album and not just a collection of individual songs. The album's first single, "It's Only Paper," is incredible catchy and will help Ozomatli gain more of a mainstream following as it is currently blowing up on the radio, possibly from the guest appearance of chorus vocalist Jack Johnson. The song is all about how money is just paper and that you should never let it chance or control you. Their activism is always in full force in their music, but this time they embrace more sensitive issues like gay marriage on "Gay Vatos In Love." Their true fun-loving, partying nature shines on tracks like "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" and "Elysian Persuasion." Whether its Latin, rock, funk, or even hip hop, Ozomatli is always there to make it happen and mix it up well, and on "Fire Away" they do it at the top of their game.


CD REVIEW: Luce "The Year We'll Have"

It's been a long time since Luce started making music, and yet, this indie band has managed to stay a small, independent group. These days they're getting back to their roots, and their latest album combines some of their best old songs with some great new ones in a very organic and acoustic state. "The Year We'll Have" (both the song and the album) is a testament to where the band will be going with their new old sound. The title track of this eight song album showcases the true musicianship of the guys in the band, and has the lead singer and namesake sounding his best. "Good Day," by far the band's best and most well known song, gets a new treatment which focuses on the excellent lyrical content of the song, and the feel good, sun soaked sound of the original is left behind for a folksy, bluesy sound that doesn't take away from the greatness of the original recording. Luce are truly and underappreciated band, and for the fans that have grown to know and love them, this new album is both exciting and nostalgic.

New Release Tuesday

New releases out today worth checking out:
  • The Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever
  • Greg Laswell - Take A Bow
  • Josh Ritter - So Runs The World Away
  • Tonic - Tonic


CD REVIEW: Dirty Heads "Any Port In A Storm (Special Edition)"

Dirty Heads have been kicking around most of these tunes for a few years now. In fact, 2008 saw the original release of "Any Port In A Storm" and was excellent then. It's still excellent, and now made even better with the inclusion of a handful of new songs and b-sides that almost double the original tracklist. Poised to take over as the prominent reggae rock band on the scene today, Dirty Heads have drawn comparisons to everyone from 311 to Sublime to Slightly Stoopid. Their music features a bit of each of those bands' styles while still establishing themselves as their own entity. The don't overdo it on the hip hop, they are a little less punk than Sublime, and they pull out all the stops when it comes to making feel good music. Rome, the new lead singer for the newly revamped Sublime, lends his vocals to the new single "Lay Me Down" which is Dirty Heads' best song of the newly released tunes. An older song seeing release for the first time is "Sails To The Wind," which is another great Dirty Heads composition. The portion of the album originally released two years ago features the hit songs "Stand Tall," "Believe," and "Driftin'." "Stand Tall," which first saw the light of day in the movie "Surf's Up," also gets the acoustic treatment in this new version of the album, which showcases the organic nature of Dirty Heads' music and the excellence of their lyrics. With great tunes, both new and old, Dirty Heads are leading the way for the next generation of west coast reggae rock music, and are doing it their way.


CD REVIEW: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros "Up From Below"

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros are one of the most interesting bands currently making waves. They are more of a musical collective than a band, and are incredibly reminiscent of something you might have seen in 60's ad 70's San Francisco. Their music is indie meets hippie and appeal to fans of everyone from Phish to Bright Eyes. Their song "Home" is a folk throwback with duet vocals, that at times seems a little like it took some cues from Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant." It's no wonder the song is currently climbing the charts at modern rock and adult alternative radio as it's chorus is incredibly catchy. "40 Day Dream," "Desert Song," and the title track are also excellent, modern folk songs. This group may not fit the mold of a traditional rock band and they may not use the typical guitar, bass, drums format, but they sure know how to make awesome and interesting music that is both current and retro all at the same time. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros are definitely not a gimmick, and are bound to continue to make excellent music.


BURN THIS / May 2010

  1. John Butler Trio "Close To You"
  2. Angus & Julia Stone "Black Crow"
  3. Xavier Rudd "Time To Smile"
  4. Mishka "Bittersweet"
  5. Dave Barnes "Little Lies"
  6. Tyrone Wells "Metal & Wood"
  7. Matt Morris "The Un-American"
  8. Justin Nozuka "Woman Put Your Weapon Down"
  9. Pete Francis "Glue"
  10. Cary Brothers "Ghost Town"
  11. Landon Pigg "Take A Chance"
  12. Ry Cuming "Some Kind Of Live"
  13. Jason Castro "That's What I'm Here For"
  14. Greg Laswell (featuring Ingrid Michaelson) "Take Everything"
  15. Josh Ritter "Change Of Time"
  16. Griffin House "She Likes Girls"
  17. Harper Blynn "25 Years"
  18. Zach Jones "3,000 Miles"
  19. Rogue Wave "Solitary Gun"
  20. Jack Johnson "You And Your Heart"

CD REVIEW: Eric Krasno "Reminisce"

Solo albums are a tricky thing to undertake as a side project. When you are one third of an acid jazz band, separating your solo music from the music you create with your band can be difficult, particularly if the music is purely instrumental . Eric Krasno makes excellent use of his solo platform to showcase his guitar playing skills and moves slightly to the left of acid jazz adding a bit of rock and blues into the mix. His instrumental version of the Beatles' "Get Back" is one of the best Beatles covers that has ever been recorded, with or without vocals, and it features some excellent saxophone parts from Ryan Zoidis (Rustic Overtones, Lettuce). Krasno also shows off his rock chops on "Manic Depression," a Jimi Hendrix cover that features guest vocals performed by Nigel Hall. Krasno's entire solo album reads much like his work with Soulive, but it's rooted by Kranso's guitar and all other parts take a welcome back seat. Eric Krasno may just have proven that he's got what it takes to rub shoulders with all the other guitar greats.