Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Song From Big Country

As I mentioned at the close of 2010, Mike Peters, frontman for the Alarm, took a turn as Big Country's lead vocalist for a special New Year's Eve show. By all accounts, that appearance went very well. So well, in fact, they have played several more shows in 2011. One Edinburgh show from April even became a double-CD, double-DVD package called 'Dreams Stay With You.' Now it has been announced Peters is a permanent member of the band. Big Country will be releasing it's first single in this new incarnation on Monday, and Steve Lillywhite, producer of the band's brightest moment, 'The Crossing,' is once again at the controls. It's all very exciting, especially for me, as this is the band I have posted the most about here at Linear Tracking Lives!

As for the new song, called "Another Country," there is a version floating around that the band did for a Scottish radio show. You can hear it below. I know I have a bias, but I think it's old-school Big Country and well worth a few bucks. Lucky for me that Mrs. LTL! is in Europe next week and can pick up this one for me. Yes, it feels a little funny, and I miss the late Stuart Adamson very much, but I'm really rooting for the other fellas and hope a 12" single will be released... just like days of yore. We have already heard from Bruce Watson that "Another Country" is but a little taste, and there will, indeed, be a full-length album next year. Here is the preorder info and tracklisting for the single. Stay alive!

"Another Country" Digital Download
1. Another Country
2. Just a Shadow (Billy Sloan session)
3. Never Take Your Place (Live from Edinburgh April 11)

"Another Country" CD Single
1. Another Country
2. Just a Shadow (Billy Sloan session)
3. Steeltown (Billy Sloan session)
4. Never Take Your Place (Live from Edinburgh April 11)

Several Seconds of Pleasure From Rockpile

Perhaps I should just go ahead and make this blog an ode to Nick Lowe, eh? In case you missed it, there was a very cool live set from Rockpile released this week. In 1980, a short time before splitting up, Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner and Terry Williams graced the stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. A quick inspection of the tracklist will give fans of these four fellas goosebumps. When you think of it, however, it should have been better.

Lowe had released 'Labour of Lust' and Edmunds had put out 'Repeat When Necessary' a year earlier. Then, of course, there was the lone Rockpile album, 'Seconds of Pleasure,' they were on tour to promote. So, I'm a little disappointed Lowe has only one song from his latest "solo" (every member of Rockpile played on it) work on the 16-track disc, and he rarely takes lead-vocal duties here. Oh well, I'll take it. Outside of a handful of bootlegs, there hasn't been much Rockpile out there. I'm adding this one to my queue right now. Enjoy a little live Rockpile below, and preorder 'Live at Montreux 1980' here.

Rockpile - So Fine (mp3)
(Recorded for the BBC, April 7, 1977, Paris Theatre, London)

'Live at Montreux 1980' Tracklist
1. Sweet Little Lisa
2. So It Goes
3. I Knew The Bride
4. Queen Of Hearts
5. Switchboard Susan
6. Trouble Boys
7. Teacher Teacher
8. Girls Talk
9. 3 Time Loser
10. You Ain't Nothin' But Fine
11. Crawling From The Wreckage
12. Let It Rock
13. I Hear You Knocking
14. They Called It Rock
15. Ju Ju Man
16. Let's Talk About Us

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hear New Song From Nick Lowe

I hope you're not sick of my constant harping about this, but here's some more news on the Nick Lowe front. His upcoming album, 'The Old Magic,' comes out Sept. 13, but if you preorder from Yep Roc, you will be sent two songs from the set, "Checkout Time" and "Somebody Cares for Me," right now. While you're thinking over that sweet offer, you can stream one of those songs below. Have you checked out the tracklist? I just did, and I'm happy to report that "Poisoned Rose" is, indeed, a cover of the Elvis Costello song from 'King of America,' my second-favorite album from his vast catalog.

Also, for you fang fans out there, you may have thought you heard Lowe's voice during the closing credits of 'True Blood' a couple of weeks ago. Yep, that was him singing the haunting "Cold Grey Light Of Dawn." It will appear on 'True Blood - Music From the HBO Series - Volume 3,' out Sept. 6. There are a few other great tunes on there, including Neko Case and Nick Cave covering the Zombies' "She's Not There." Check out the full tracklist and preorder info right here.

Finally, here are Lowe's complete North American tour dates. Woo-hoo! He's coming to Seattle.

'The Old Magic' Tracklist
1. Stoplight Roses
2. Checkout Time
3. House For Sale
4. Sensitive Man
5. I Read A Lot
6. Shame on the Rain
7. Restless Feeling
8. Poisoned Rose
9. Somebody Cares for Me
10. You Don't Know Me at All
11. Til' The Real Thing Comes Along

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brian Wilson Sings Tunes From Toons

Even if you're a fan of Brian Wilson, if you don't have kids, this may not be very interesting news. I'm a father of two young boys, and one of them is a Disney fanatic. So, I'm ecstatic. On Oct. 25, the legendary Beach Boy is releasing an album of Disney tunes. 'In the Key of Disney' is Wilson's second release on the Disney Pearl imprint and the first to feature songs from Disney movies. You may recall the first album he did for ol' mouse ears was his take on Gershwin tunes. Wilson is again backed by Paul Von Mertens, Jeffrey Foskett, Wondermints and the rest of the usual suspects. That's always good news.

As a parent and lover of music, it's always great when bands you like release albums geared for the kid in all of us. This one will be fun to pop on in the minivan. Try Wilson's version of 'Heigh-Ho/Whistle While You Work' here. Von Mertens' arrangement, as well as the production, sound out of sight. More on this one as we approach fall, I'm sure. In the meantime, here are a few more nuggets on the project from USA Today. This news reminded me of a fun cover the Replacements did back in the day. Check that one out below.

'In the Key of Disney' Tracklist
1. You've Got a Friend in Me ('Toy Story')
2. Bare Necessities ('The Jungle Book')
3. Baby Mine ('Dumbo')
4. Kiss the Girl ('The Little Mermaid')
5. Colors of the Wind ('Pocahontas')
6. Can You Feel the Love Tonight? ('The Lion King')
7. We Belong Together ('Toy Story 3')
8. I Just Can't Wait to Be King ('The Lion King')
9. Stay Awake ('Mary Poppins')
10. Heigh-Ho/Whistle While You Work ('Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs')
11. When You Wish Upon a Star ('Pinocchio')

The Replacements - Cruella De Ville (mp3)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stream Stephen Malkmus' New Album

Good ol' NPR. I don't care what the right-wing Republicans say about ya. If you're streaming the entire new album from Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, then you're OK in my book. Listen to 'Mirror Traffic' right here. You can preorder the LP now. The official release date is Aug. 23. Won't be long now...

Also See: Another Song From Malkmus and More

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Impending EP and Tour From Jens Lekman

In my humble opinion, Jens Lekman recorded the top song of the past decade. So, it's kind of a big deal that my favorite Swede has announced a new five-song EP due out on Sept. 20. That's the art you see above. Lekman has taken his sweet time producing new material. His last album, 'Night Falls Over Kortedala' was way back in 2007, and we will have to continue waiting for that elusive full-length LP. I don't care. I'll take what I can get. Besides, his track record of stellar EPs is without peer. Here's a look at the upcoming 'An Argument With Myself' tracklist, as well as tour dates. Yep, there will be a brief American tour, and he's coming to my town. Yippee! Oh, and check out the best song of the last decade, too. You can order that EP here.

Aug. 4 Update: Thanks to Pitchfork for posting the title track to the new EP. You can download that below, too.

'An Argument With Myself' Tracklist:
1. An Argument With Myself
2. Waiting for Kirsten
3. A Promise
4. New Directions
5. So This Guy at My Office

Jens's Lekman's Tour Dates:
Sept. 28 Los Angeles (Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery)
Sept. 29 San Francisco (California Academy of Sciences)
Oct. 1 Seattle (Columbia City Theater)
Oct. 3 Chicago (Lincoln Hall)
Oct. 5 Washington, D.C. (6th & I Historic Synagogue)
Oct. 6 Philadelphia (Philadelphia Ethical Society)
Oct. 7 Brooklyn (Music Hall of Williamsburg)
Oct. 8 Boston (Somerville Armory)
Oct. 9 Brooklyn (Music Hall of Williamsburg)

Jens Lekman - Rocky Dennis Farewell Song To The Blind Girl (mp3)
Jens Lekman - An Argument With Myself (mp3)