Gnarls Barkley So who is Gnarls Barkley? The rumors fly in every direction and remain unverifiable, but with links to underground hip hop artists Danger Mouse
Well, anytime you combine two XPN favorites like MARK KNOPFLER and EMMYLOU HARRIS, there's bound to be more than a little bit of interest. Almost seven years in the making, these two distinctive singers and songwriters have produced a very solid album.
Ever since the Nebraska album in 1982 (and probably earlier for astute Bruce-heads), we've known that Springsteen has has more than a healthy dose of respect for the folk idiom. We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions is not only a salute to the stylings of PETE SEEEGER, but also an acknowledgement of the American tradition of storytelling through song. It's a lovingly detailed album from an artist who understands his roots more than most musical superstars.
On his third solo album - and his first in twenty years since About Face - PINK FLOYD's DAVID GILMOUR doesn't dissappoint those enamored with the Floyd-ian "wall of guitar" sound or his lovely, plaintive vocal stylings. On An Island is a pretty satisfying venture that - while not really breaking any new ground - certainly will fill whatever cravings you have for the classic rock juggernaut that was the Floyd.
The Animal Years is JOSH RITTER's coming of age album. The 29 year old Idaho native has been troubadour-ing it for several years now, and all of his experience and songwriting know-how have been brought together on this new release.
WAYNE COYNE and company - the endlessly endearing FLAMING LIPS - continue their strange and beautiful musical/psychological journey on At War With The Mystics, an album that undeniably rocks, makes you laugh, and provides a musical soundtrack for the proverbial "wonder of it all".
Anyone who's seen or heard James Hunter perform is already hip to his remarkable talents as a singer, guitarist and songwriter. This includes Van Morrison
For his third solo album, DONALD FAGEN continues the patented STEELY DAN sound while exploring some new territory. Morph The Cat is a concept album of sorts that concerns itself with endings of all kinds and retains the cerebral, but biting, lyrical attack that Fagen is so expert in executing.
Nobody thought that combining orthadox Judaism and reggae would result in such an exciting sound. With the release of Youth, MATISYAHU and his band have produced the first big story in music for 2006.
KT Tunstall is a sparkling new songwriter with Chinese blood, a Scottish heart, great legwarmers and a cool name who celebrates classic singer-songwriting with an articulate, accessible, immediate brew of rootsy sass, wistful quandary and after-hours atmosphere. more...
Long time WXPN favorite RHETT MILLER is back with his second solo album, The Believer and - like his first solo album The Instigator - it's a tasty piece of pop music. Miller is actually the thinking-man's (and woman's) pop songwriter. This new album takes on some very challenging subjects (suicide, for one) without being heavy-handed, and it's always presented in a smart and catchy manner.
Bridging all kinds of musical syles effortlessly with her highly emotive, smoky voice, NEKO CASE has created a masterpiece with Fox Confessor Brings The Flood. This Virginian-born, Tacoma-raised alt-diva got her career started in a big way when she moved to Vancouver and joined THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS (with whom she still records and tours). Case brings an inherent understanding of country music an all of its' possible range of feelings to the table on this new disc, but it's in no way a country album (or even an alt-country album, for that matter...). Case is country like DUSTY SPRINGFIELD or TOWNES VAN ZANT was... she's actually more of a country-noir artist than anything else. It's an emotive starting point, but the music in no way stops or ends there.
From the archives of the nationally-acclaimed WORLD CAFE® radio show, comes this series of limited edition CDs. This collection of rare, live performances from the most significant musical artists has created over the past 15 years and today is an absolute must-have for music fans nationwide.
On her latest release The Comfort of Strangers, Beth Orton has managed to present listeners with the most intimate, soulful album of her career. Always able to sonically channel enigmatic '70's songwriters like NICK DRAKE and SANDY DENNY, this new album harkens the ghosts of those artists like never before. Deftly produced by JIM O'ROURKE (who's lately been a part of SONIC YOUTH), Orton composed all thirteen of these new tracks, including a songwriting collaboration with O'Rourke and M. WARD on the title cut.
The former GUIDED BY VOICES frontman didn't wait long after disbanding his long-standing group to unleash his first post-GBV solo album. Pollard is an extremely complex and extremely prolific songwriter who has always managed to delight his fans with a heady combination of intelligent wordplay and pop hooks.
It's easy to get caught up in the splendid idea that surrounds the packaging of this new album... there are two discs in the set: one (the actual finished album) is labeled "Mine", and the other "Yours". The "Yours" disc is a DVD-ROM that allows you to re-mix the entire album using software available online. Pretty cool, and user friendly, too.
In the space of two years (2003-2005), ROSANNE CASH lost her mother, stepmother (JUNE CARTER CASH), and - of course - her father JOHNNY CASH. The result for her musically is the most intense and personal of all of her many releases over a 25-year-plus career.
One of the most promising groups in the Philly Local scene, SLO-MO is led by steel guitarist MIKE BRENNER, a veteran of many bands (including MARAH). Out front is MIC WRECKA, a bona fide hip-hop poet. The groove-oriented tunes are punctuated with sublime female vocals and an absolutely solid rhythm section.
Wrapping up a dizzying year of activity, Adams new album "29" was released the last week of 2005. It was his third (!) official release of the year, hot on the heels of Jacksonville City Nights and the double CD Cold Roses.
Our New Orleans is a benefit album by the New Orleans greats.The net procedes for this album will go to Habitat for Humanity to aid those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Names like Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and many others newly recorded each of these songs for this album. On the album website, you can stream a video of the recording sessions as well as interviews by many of the musicians. Many of these amazing musicians had homes, studios, family and friends in New Orleans. The intense emotion is clearly visible in their performances.
Chamber pop quintet Matt Pond PA is led by singer/songwriter Matt Pond, who formed the group upon relocating from New England to Philadelphia in the late Nineties. In 2003, Pond left Philadelphia for Brooklyn, and eventually met the rest of the band that would ultimately become the strongest lineup of Matt Pond PA since its inception.
This is a rare band that really sounds like a band - a complete complimentary unit. They have that special combination of natural, grooove-oriented music combined with the fact that, lyrically, they really have something to say.
Since their 1998 debut "Let's Cut The Crap And Hook Up Later On Tonight", the Philly-based band Marah have won fans across the world with their eclectic, rootsy rock & roll. Fronted by the Bielanko Brothers - singer/songwriter/guitarist/banjoist Dave and guitarist/vocalist/harmonica player Serge, they also count as their fans author Nick Hornby, Bruce Springsteen (who played guitar and sang on their 2002 release Float Away With the Friday Night Gods) and Steve Earle (who signed the band to his label and released the band's 2000 release Kids In Philly).
British pianist/vocalist and songwriting Jamie Cullum mixes jazz with melodic pop and rock into a crossover style that brings to mind artists such as Harry Connick, Jr and Norah Jones. Cullum will just as often cover a swinging jazz standard as a modern rock song, and his original compositions move from earnest ballads to songs of sardonic wit. As a showman he's equal parts Ben Folds and Billy Joel and on his 2004 release Twentysomething. he won XPN listeners over with songs like his covers of Radiohead's "High And Dry," The Neptunes' "Frontin'," "The Wind Cries Mary" by Jimi Hendrix along with standards like "Singing In The Rain," and "I Could Have Danced All Night."
Recorded in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois on May 4 through the 7th of this year at the Vic Theatre, Wilco's new double album is their first official live album and culls together the best performances of those four night. If you are already a fan of Jeff Tweedy's band and songwriting, this is a must have for your collection. What is truly amazing about this album is how the warm, intimate feel of the original studio recordings