July 2013

The Philadelphia-based indie rock group, Dr. Dog, has released a new single from their upcoming album.  The track, "The Truth" which will be featured on their eighth studio album, B-Room, which is scheduled to be released October 1. Dr. Dog has taken a different approach to their latest record.   For starters, the band has chosen to no longer record in Meth Beach studio, where they recorded their last record, Be the Void.  The indie rock sextet have also chose a new approach to recording.  Instead of the normal format of demoing, Dr. Dog has chose to record live together. “I used to think that all I needed was a track recorder and a bunch of instruments in a room,” singer-guitarist Scott McMicken said in a statement. “Now I realize that I’m useless by myself.” The new recording process for the album B-Room has created another first for Dr. Dog- the entire band worked closely together on the songwriting process.  That being said, B-Room will have less of a psychedelic vibe than previous Dr. Dog albums.  From what we can hear from the released single, "The Truth," the new Dr. Dog album will have more of a soulful feel to it.  You can listen to the new Dr. Dog song "The Truth" below.
Van Morrison announced he was releasing a reissue of his 1969 breakthrough record, Moondance. The reissue of Moondance will be a five-disc set which includes a newly remastered version of the original album as well as 50 unreleased tracks, studio outtakes, unheard mixes, and much more.  Four of the five discs will be audio CDs.The fifth disc features the album in Blu-ray audio with stereo and surround sound mixes created by original engineer Elliot Scheiner, who also presided over the mastering. The Moondance reissue will be released on Warner Bros. records on Septemeber 30th and will have three different physical versions of the album.  The deluxe edition will retail for $69.98. An expanded edition of two CDs with the remastered album and 11 previously unreleased tracks will be available for $24.98 and a one-CD standard edition which will just be the remastered original album will also be for sale. Check out the full tracklist for the deluxe and extended edition below. Moondance: Deluxe Edition Tracklist Disc One – Original Album Remastered 1. And It Stoned Me 2. Moondance 3. Crazy Love 4. Caravan 5. Into The Mystic 6. Come Running 7. These Dreams Of You 8. Brand New Day 9. Everyone 10. Glad Tidings Disc Two – All Previously Unreleased 1. What do we call this Van? 2. Caravan (Take 1) 3. Caravan (Takes 2-3) 4. Caravan (Take 4) 5. Caravan (Takes 5-6) 6. Caravan (Take 7) 7. Caravan (Take 8) 8. I’ve Been Working (Early Version Take 1) 9. I’ve Been Working (Early Version Take 2) 10. I’ve Been Working (Early Version Take 5) 11. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out (Outtake) 12. I Shall Sing (Take 1) 13. I Shall Sing (Takes 2-3) 14. I Shall Sing (Takes 4-6) 15. I Shall Sing (Take 7) 16. I Shall Sing (Takes 8-12) 17. I Shall Sing (Take 13) Disc Three – All Previously Unreleased 1. Into The Mystic (Take 10) 2. Into The Mystic (Take 11) 3. Into The Mystic (Takes 12-13) 4. Into The Mystic (Takes 14-16) 5. Into The Mystic (Take 17) 6. Brand New Day (Take 1) 7. Brand New Day (Take 2) 8. Brand New Day (Take 3) 9. Brand New Day (Take 4) 10. Brand New Day (Takes 5-6) 11. Brand New Day (Take 7) 12. Glad Tidings (Take 1) 13. Glad Tidings (Takes 2-4) 14. Glad Tidings (Takes 7-8) 15. Glad Tidings (Take 9) 16. Caravan Redo (Takes 1-2) 17. Caravan Redo (Take 3) Disc Four – All Previously Unreleased 1. Come Running (Take 1) 2. Come Running (Take 2) 3. Come Running (Takes 3-4) 4. Come Running (Take 5) 5. Come Running (“Rolling On 4”) 6. Moondance (Take 21) 7. Moondance (Take 22) 8. Glad Tidings (Alt. Version) 9. These Dreams Of You (Alt. Version) 10. Crazy Love (Remix) 11. Glad Tidings (Remix 1) 12. Glad Tidings (Remix 2) 13. Glad Tidings (Remix 3) 14. Caravan (Remix) 15. These Dreams Of You (Remix) 16. I Shall Sing (Mix) Disc Five – Blu-Ray Audio disc with high-resolution 48K 24 bit PCM stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound audio of original album (no video) Moondance: Expanded Edition Tracklist Disc One – Original Album Remastered Disc Two – All Previously Unreleased 1. Caravan (Take 4) 2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out (Outtake) 3. Into The Mystic (Take 11) 4. Brand New Day (Take 3) 5. Glad Tidings (Alt. Version) 6. Come Running(Take 2) 7. Crazy Love (Mono Mix) 8. These Dreams Of You (Alt. Version) 9. Moondance (Take 22) 10. I Shall Sing (Take 7) 11. I’ve Been Working (Early Version, Take 5)

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Scott Mervis of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Scott: Neighbours, "Tell the Truth" - You gotta love a new song that sounds like it could have been on the "Nuggets" boxed set of classic garage-rock and soul. That's part of what producer Derek White (The New Shouts) brings to the table for this Pittsburgh band that features singer-keyboardist Michael Cunningham, singer-guitarist Ross Reilly, bassist Joe Tarowsky and drummer Andy Mulkerin (heard here on the 9:13 Buzz). This is the opening track of an album that shows influences ranging from the Zombies to the Jam. Blue of Colors, "This is A Story" - Blue of Colors is the spinoff project of Punchline singer Steve Soboslai, who stretches out from the pop-punk formula on this finely crafted set of songs about love on the rocks.
Tegan and Sara are on the short list of ten artists in the running for the the prestigious Candanain Polaris Music Prize for their album Heartthrob.  Tegan and Sara are no stranger to this list, their 2009 release, Sainthood was up for the Polaris Music Prize in 2010. The finalists were announced early this morning by singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards and rapper Shad in Toronto who will both host the awards on September 23.   The Polaris Music Prize is annually given to the best full-length Canadian album.  Unlike most awards, which are based on album sales, the Polaris Music Prize is chosen based on artist merit. Tegan and Sara’s latest release Heartthrob is nominated for the Polaris Music Prize.  Other artists in consideration for this year are Purity Ring, Whitehorse, Metric, and A Tribe Called Red.  Executive director of Polaris commented the award selection process, "It's an interesting breakdown every year. It goes all over the map, but more importantly people really listen to each other in the internal discussions, even the ones who don't weigh in and aren't vocal. People still hear the arguments; they still hear someone's passion for a record that they may not themselves understand. It's an unseen benefit of Polaris is the openness we're instilling in the music media in Canada. People are really seriously considering their ballot every time they vote.” The winner will be selected by an 11-member jury while the nominees peform and receive individual acknowledgement awards.  The winner is announced at the conclusion of the evening and receives $30,000. Runners up receive $,2000 each.
17 songs— one for each year Belle & Sebastian have neglected to play Pittsburgh during their prolific career, until now. On a warm Saturday night, Stuart Murdoch brought his troupe of Scottish musicians (I counted 13 in total: four string players, three multi-instrumentalists, two keyboardists, drums, bass, guitar, and Murdoch himself) to Stage AE outdoors, with the audience packed to hear just how the band would translate its immaculately arranged twee-pop to the stage. Amazing well, as it turned out. Over two hours, Murdoch played the ultimate bandleader, introducing each member individually and telling jokes and stories between each song (excitedly listing off all the Pittsburgh facts he memorized pre-show). Because it was the first time they gave a concert in the Steel City, Murdoch declared that, rather than just playing the hits or the new material, the band would perform a survey of their material. In fact, more songs stemmed from their 1996 debut Tigermilk than from their most recent album, 2010’s Write About Love. And despite the fact that the three songs I most looked forward to hearing live were ignored in the set (Dear Catastrophe Waittress’s title track, opener “Step Into My Office, Baby,” and closer “Stay Loose”), it was impossible to pout when B&S brought out their personal favorites to share with the crowd. “I Want the World To Stop,” an odd but energetic tune from WAL, turned into an extended jam, contrasting brilliantly with “Lord Antony,” a slow, melancholy number performed just two songs after. “Lord Antony” should receive special mention as one of the highlights of the night, beautifully done with the full force of the strings and horns at Murdoch’s disposal. Benefiting from the best audio balance I’ve heard at Stage AE, B&S perfectly translated their fleshed out instrumentation, their more laid back songs receiving just as much attention to detail as their crowd-pleasing, upbeat ones. And even before Murdoch invited a large handful of audience members to dance onstage for two numbers (“The Boy With the Arab Strap” and “Legal Man”), the concert reached its true pinnacle for a wild and extended performance of “Your Cover’s Blown,” an obscure Talking Heads-goes-disco track from 2004’s Books EP. When the song hit its “Barracuda”-esque tempo jump, Murdoch jumped into the pit and wandered among the crowd, fireworks exploding in the background. And no, that last part wasn’t exaggerated— the Pirates game just next door ended in a victory and a large pyrotechnics display, possibly as a result of B&S’s full rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” earlier. A successful night all around. Unfortunately, I failed to catch the opener Yo La Tengo, the famous Hoboken trio whose album Fade is one of my favorites so far this year, due to extenuating circumstances that also resulted in the lack of photographs of the night.  But between Murdoch’s infectious good nature, dance moves that even David Byrne might envy, and the clever and bright music of his band, Belle & Sebastian more than made up for that, and their long absence from the town, and every other gripe you could possibly have. I can’t wait to see them the next time they're able to make it to Pittsburgh— when I’m 35.
The fast-growing music steaming service, Spotify, has recently been disputing with Thom Yorke over royalties.  Thom Yorke, of Radiohead and Atoms For Peace has chosen to pull his music off of Spotify.  Yorke has taken his solo work and Atoms For Peace off of Spotify. Yorke used Twitter to voice his disgruntlement. Yorke accused Spotify of acting in the interest of its shareholders and not the musicians.  Yorke commented on the issue, "Make no mistake, new artists you discover on Spotify will not get paid. Meanwhile shareholders will shortly be rolling in it. Simples.” The singer said he was “standing up for our fellow musicians.”  Yorke has also been backed by his long-time producer Nigel Godrich on the matter.  In a series of tweets, Godrich states “We’re off of Spotify…Can’t do that no more man…Someone gotta say something. It’s bad for new music…The reason is that new artists get paid f*** all with this model…It’s just an equation that doesn’t work." Yorke has received a lot of flack publicly, most notably from Stephen Street, award-winning producer of Blur and The Smiths.  Radiohead famously put their album, In Rainbows on the internet for free, allowing fans to pay whatever they felt necessary.  Also going to Twitter, Street commented on the matter, “Bit rich coming from Thom Yorke that Spotify doesn't work for new artists. It’s exactly what I said when Radiohead made their album available for free/ pay what you want a few years back."  For the time being, Radiohead's albums will remain on Spotify, but the ongoing legal disputes continue and that could change.
Nirvana have announced that they plan on reissue a 20th anniversary of their album In Utero.  In Utero was released on September 13, 1993 and was the trio's third and finale release.  Two years ago, a 20th anniversary edition of Nevermind was rereleased.  In Utero will be be given a similar treatment. The full details of the deluxe reissue have not been released yet.  However, we can assume it'll be released in September to honor its original release.  A vintage promo clip was released for In Utero that features comedian "Bobcat" Goldthwait dressed in drag, talking Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl through "childbirth" on the floor of a schoolroom. You can watch the promo video for In Utero below.
Welp, now we know where Yo La Tengo comes from. Not, as we previously thought, from the stork or from Hoboken, but from an even more weird and disturbing world than New Jersey. The alternative rock band, as seen in this new video for the single "Ohm," comes  ether from a long complicated mathematical equation OR a magical world where free-roaming Ira Kaplans, Georgia Hubleys, and James McNews are captured, boxed up, and shipped out in bulk. The music video for the best and most meditative song off their recent (and my personal favorite) album Fade, "Ohm" literally dives into a universe created by Simpsons/Letterman/Lil Bush writer Donick Cary and animated by Sugarshack Animation. It's Yo La Tengo's equivalent of Yellow Submarine, a surreal place where everything has a face on it, and a baby smoking a cigar knows his way around. You just have to watch to understand. At the same time as our intrepid protagonist explores this wacky world, a student in a classroom attempts to solve the equation of "What Is Yo La Tengo?", something we've all had to ask ourselves at some point. Apparently, it's a long calculus problem that maybe I would have been able to solve had I taken a math class since high school, which I haven't. But you can still appreciate equation parts like [Ben E. King² - B.B. King] and [California Girls/(Beach Boys - Katy Perry - David Lee Roth)], which make sense to me, sorta.  If this isn't weird enough for you, the band is releasing this single as a shower curtain, so there you go. Yo La Tengo is opening for Belle and Sebastian at Stage AE this Saturday, July 13. My greatest hope is that they will bring along their octopus-Volkswagen, and maybe give away free boxes of themselves at the show. You never know. A boy can dream.
Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs (talking to us from Israel via Skype!), contributing writer to Billboard & Relix Magazine.
In case you missed it, here is what he played with commentary by Justin: Black Joe Lewis, "Dar es Salaam" - If this song doesn't wake you up on your morning commute, you need to check your pulse. Black Joe Lewis has been playing funk rock for a few albums now, but his most recent, "Electric Slave," is down and dirty garage rock and punk, with a horn section for good measure. Loud, fun and trashy. Just how I like it. Okkervil River, "On a Balcony" - On the other side of the spectrum is Okkervil River, a fairly refined, intelligent, melodic indie rock act. This track, off their upcoming "The Silver Gymnasium," is the band's best release since 2006's near-classic "The Stage Names." We had to wait through two so-so albums, but this return to dramatic form is great.
Regina Spektor is back with a new single, "You've Got Time."  Spektor created the track to be used on the upcoming made-for-Netflix show Orange Is The New Black. The show is set to debut via Netflix on July 11. This stand-alone single is the first we've heard from the New York-based Anti-Folk star since last year's album What We Saw From the Cheap Seats. You can listen to "You've Got Time" below and the song is available on iTunes.