Jack White is preparing to release his new LP, "Lazaretto," on June 10. What's so special about this LP (aside from Jack White's awesome music)? The brilliant design.
It's the first of its kind.
Check out Jack explaining it here:
So, just to recap, here's what's so special about this beautiful vinyl:
- 2 vinyl-only hidden tracks hidden beneath the center labels
- 1 hidden track plays at 78 RPM, one plays at 45 RPM, making this a 3-speed record
- Side A plays from the inside out
- Dual-groove technology: plays an electric or acoustic intro for “Just One Drink” depending on where needle is dropped. The grooves meet for the body of the song.
- Matte finish on Side B, giving the appearance of an un-played 78 RPM
- Both sides end with locked grooves
- Vinyl pressed in seldom-used flat-edged format
- Dead wax area on Side A contains a hand-etched hologram by Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science, the first of its kind on a vinyl record
To pre-order this beauty, go here. (And then, like me, count the days and wait anxiously for the mailman to deliver to your doorstep.)
Today Conor Oberst released a music video for the single "Zigzagging Toward the Light." I watched it as soon as I woke up this morning and I must say that it's quite brilliant. But wait--isn't everything that Conor releases brilliant? The answer is yes.
Watch the video here and see what I mean by that compl "b-word":
My friend Andy moved to Colorado and joined a band called Vetta Star. Like the good friend that he is, he lets me know when they release new songs and videos. Here's the latest; enjoy!
P.S. Andy's on bass :)
I love this song by Passenger:
The lyrics that caught my attention while I was writing in my favorite coffee shop were these:
"Well we wish we were happier, thinner, and fitter / We wish we weren't losers and liars and quitters / We want something more, not just nasty and bitter / We want something real, just not hash tags and Twitter."
I was automatically reminded of last summer, when I spent an entire month "unplugged." It was wonderful. In fact, I would recommend it.
Likewise, this song by Phosphorescent is spectacular. Please, if you do anything today, click on the play button. If you regret it, send me an email. I look forward to not hearing from you ;)
So there's a story I need to share with you about a super talented musician . . . oh, and I must admit that I have the great privilege of calling him a friend!
I met Jeff Taylor when he came to my hometown at the end of 2012/beginning of 2013. A friend of two friends, Jeff signed up to play a gig at my alma mater (shout out to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown!) and he blew me away. That's a stupid cliché, I know, but that's exactly what he did. As soon as he started singing, I was mesmerized. Beautiful voice, I thought. And man, he plays that guitar so passionately. And . . . wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.
I got to spend some time with Jeff following that performance. At the time, he had just released an album (Frustration in Time Travel) under the name Dumpster Hunter. By the time he had left town to return to Brooklyn, I had already played this song dozens of times in my house and in my car (DISCLAIMER: it's an earworm!):
Needless to say, I was elated to hear that Jeff was returning to J-Town to play another local gig. After we exchanged big hugs (in addition to being super talented, Jeff is also super friendly!), he announced that the music that he wrote during his stay in Johnstown was recently released on an album titled "Organelle." Fast-forward to last evening, when my husband and I sat down with Jeff and our mutual friends for some good wine and good conversation. He placed a copy of "Organelle" in my hands and was even kind enough to sign the inner sleeve of this beautiful 10'' vinyl (I mean, check out the cover art, people!):
As soon as I got home last night, I spun the record and was reminded of how much I adore Jeff's voice. What is it that makes my ears swoon? Well, whatever it is, I want to share it with the world. I hope that you'll take the time to listen to Jeff's new record and consider purchasing it; you can get the entire EP in digital format for $4, and a copy of that beautiful 10'' vinyl for $20. Not bad, considering that you're supporting a professional musician with a big voice and a big heart to match.
Here's a track from the album (this one's called "River") for your sampling pleasure. I hope you'll enjoy this song as much as I do :)
Another song from Michael Jackson's upcoming album "Xscape" has been released, and it is spectacular. Produced by Timbaland, "Chicago" begins with Michael singing, "I met her on the way to Chicago." The chorus is especially powerful; it's almost as if Michael was gritting his teeth while he was singing (love, love, love that!).
Preview the song here and see what I mean: http://rapdose.com/2014/05/05/michael-jackson-chicago
One week until "Xscape" is released! Woop woop!
Jake Bugg, a talented musician from England, has been on my radar since the release of his self-titled debut album in 2012. Like a proud mother, I am here to say that his latest LP, "Shangri La," is just as impressive. Check out this awesome video of Jake performing the undeniable single "Me and You":
If you've visited my website recently, you've probably seen a few posts that allude to my love for Vampire Weekend. I feel that a brief explanation regarding this slight obsession is somewhat necessary.
Let me start by saying that I've always liked Vampire Weekend. I listened to this song a lot. I remember that it came out while I was still in high school:
While I liked Vampire Weekend, I didn't LOVE and APPRECIATE Vampire Weekend until my husband purchased this gem of an album for me for Christmas:
Then it began. I spun the record, spun it some more, and fell in love with every single song. The more I got to know it, the more I loved it. It's really that simple.
I've been obsessing over this album for months. I just can't get enough of it . . . EVERY.SINGLE.SONG. is a masterpiece. Despite how much I've listened to it, I have yet to tire of it and best of all, every listen feels like the first. I guess you can say that I haven't fallen head-over-heels with an album like this in quite awhile. It's nice.
What Ezra Koenig and his bandmates have created is a solid album through and through. This is the kind of album that reminds me that as I'm getting ready to publish a collection of my writings, the entire collection better be solid, bold, endlessly surprising. Just like "Modern Vampires of the City."
I'm not alone in admiring this album--Rolling Stone rated it 2013's "Album of the Year," and the boys received a Grammy for it. If you haven't given it a listen yet, I'm not going to say, "Shame on you." Instead, I'm going to direct you to the "Links" section of my website, where you will find a link to purchase the album on Amazon. It's worth every penny.
And for your listening/viewing pleasure, the official videos from the album are posted below. Enjoy (hopefully as much as I do)!
Very rarely do I enjoy Michael Jackson covers. I have a hard time keeping an open mind when I listen to them because, well, I don't think that Michael is an artist whose songs should be covered. They are already at their best. Another artist can't make them any better. And, frankly, no artist can do him justice.
Maybe that's a little harsh, but hey. You're talking to hardcore Michael Jackson fan here (did I mention that I seriously contemplated buying a rare $250 vinyl record of his on eBay recently?). Yeah. I love MJ with all the power vested in me.
I was reading my latest issue of Rolling Stone over the weekend and a reviewer was giving a huge thumbs up to Tame Impala's cover of "Stranger in Moscow." Surprisingly, upon YouTubing the video, I was pleasantly surprised that I . . . get ready . . . oh man, here comes my confession . . . enjoyed it. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I think they keep the song's pleasantries intact, and I can appreciate that.
So, Tame Impala, I'll give you this one. I will. Nice work.
I grew up listening to The Beach Boys. My mom used to spin their records in our upstairs living room while I pretended that our carpet was an ocean upon which to surf. In second grade, my homeroom teacher played The Beach Boys' music on his computer (call it classroom background music, if you will). I must also mention that my eyes were glued to the television set during those "Full House" episodes in which The Beach Boys made guest appearances. Loved 'em.
I took my mom to see The Beach Boys when they performed in Pittsburgh during their 50th Reunion Tour. It was an unforgettable show; I remember thinking how great they sounded after all those years, and how grateful I was to hear them play one of my favorite Beach Boys songs: Sloop John B (listen below!).
When I got word that The Beach Boys were playing in my hometown, I wrote a
preview article for my local newspaper (for those of you who don't know, I work as a freelance writer/correspondent). This was followed by an opportunity to INTERVIEW Mike Love for that same newspaper; our phone conversation at the beginning of March is something I'll never forget.
Same goes for last night. My mom and I not only got to attend the show, but also go backstage and meet the band beforehand. It was an incredible experience; everyone was so kind to us, and I think I did a decent job when it came to keeping my composure (I mean, it's not everyday that you meet famous musicians who have traveled the world, sold millions of albums, and basically made music history).
So, without further ado, here is my photo with the one and only Mike Love:
I told him that he had such fancy, fancy shoes. (You can see how much ours contrast, haha.)
Anyway, their performance last night at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena was a great one; the place was SOLD OUT and, of course, you can't imagine how happy I was when they played Sloop John B! :)
Fiction, poetry, and all that good stuff . . .