B-Side Music Presents: T&A

B-Side Music presents T&A (Triumphs & Atrocities), an examination of the accomplishments and the things that should never have been in today's musical landscape. And what better time to usher in the start of something new than the holiday season? So, without further ado, T&A: Holiday Edition.

Triumph: Over the Rhine - Goodbye Charles
Anyone can record a holiday song, or even a holiday-themed album, though doing it well is no easy task. But Over the Rhine never backs down from a musical challenge. So, on their last year's holiday themed, jazz riff laden, Snow Angels, Karen and Linford cut “Goodbye Charles", an homage/tribute to Peanuts creator (and therefore a staple of the holiday season via A Charlie Brown Christmas), Charles Schulz. “Goodbye Charles” is inspired by Schroeder’s similarly jazzy piano riffs. A beautiful farewell for the holidays. Enjoy.

Atrocity: My Chemical Romance - All I Want for Christmas is You
While anyone can record a holiday track, not everyone should as evidenced by the screech-fest that is this mauling of a Christmas classic. Not even Mariah Carey's version inspires this much holiday angst. Clanky pianos and vocals in the key of "K Flat" make this nigh unbearable. Follow the link above to watch the carnage. For a great punk holiday song, try "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)" by the Ramones.

Thus ends the first installment of B-Side T&A. Please let us know what you think of our new format and all our new features on the comment section.


B-Side Music Presents: Best Albums of 2007

The start of something new requires the recognition of that which was. So, as B-Side Music officially launches, we start with our Best Album of 2007 Retrospective. There will be a whole slew of new features, polls, and new fangled things in the year to come, but what better place to start than with a look back at an impressive year of music. Feel free to comment or add your own “Album of the Year." Also, be sure to check out our new partnership with Suite101.com. See the banner above.

1. Neon Bible – Arcade Fire
This is what a pop record should sound like. Montreal's Arcade Fire exceeds all expectations with their second album. With orchestral arrangements, weird sounds, and plaintive vocals, "Neon Bible" is full of both grungy garage band mistakes and meticulously orchestrated woodwinds. Processed strings and mandolin. Quiet rumbles and loud rumbles. But mostly just eleven songs that are just really good.

2. The Reminder – Feist
Despite many referring to the single “1234” as that “one iPod song”, this sophomore effort from Canadian songstress Lelie Feist with its blend of electronica, folk, and delicate inviting vibrato. The Reminder is as appealing in its simplicity as it is charming

3. This is Ryan Shaw – Ryan Shaw
This is the latest album on the list. Apart from John Legend, Ryan Shaw may be the only person who can save R&B/Soul music. Shades of Otis, Marvin, and Stevie with piercing horns, passionate imploring phrasing make this the finest soul album in years.

4. The Distant Future* – Flight of the Conchords
This is the only album that is actually an EP on the list, but the third best folk parody band in New Zealand proves that it is possible to make great music and couple it with a sense of humor. As dour as some of their peers can be, Jemaine and Brett make music fun to listen to again.

5. The Challengers – The New Pornographers
Produced by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla this album is infinitely listenable. Neko Case’s few tracks showcase her sublime voice, at once delicate and strong. There are layers upon sonic layer to enjoy with interesting and surprising instrumentation throughout.

6. Dan in Real Life (Soundtrack) – Sondre Lerche
With the inclusion of a soundtrack on the “Best of…” list, one might come to the conclusion that this was a weak year for music but the inclusion of this album over records such as Wilco’s newest is a testament to how remarkable this album is. Sondre Lerche has once again used his folksy acoustical blend of jazz guitar and quirky lyric to capture moments of longing, yearning, and love for a lifetime.

7. Armchair Apocrypha – Andrew Bird
Brilliant Prose + Ingenious instrumentation + whistling = Andrew Bird’s tenth album Armchair Apocrypha. Tales of plane crashes, characters like the kings of Macedonia set this album apart by themselves but when Bird adds unobtrusive acoustics, Wurlitzer and Moog, and his championship whistling his songs become his most distinct, unrestrained, and inventive yet.

8. Tegan and Sara – The Con
While darker and quirkier than So Jealous, The Con is still power pop packed with instant hooks and the lyrics that stray from the typical pop. Sonic treats belie measured emotion as in "Nobody likes to but I really like to cry" or "I felt you in my legs before I ever met you." Honest lyrics that add an emotional depth rarely heard on the radio.

9. Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger
There has never been a better, stronger or more coherent Ryan Adams than Easy Tiger. Tiger has just the right blue-eyed, steely soul with a faint shade of country courtesy of the ubiquitous slide guitar. The stunning melodies, tightly focused lyrics and tracks all too brief leave the feeling of melancholy calm which is a departure from previous efforts. A slow, intentional listen rewards the audience.

10. Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
On their sixth and most straightforward album, Bright Eyes once again incorporates a revolving cast, this time including Rachael Yamagata, M. Ward, and Gillian Welch. Frontman Conor Oberst, whose voice quakes and wanders through each track, has followed 2005's I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning with a proficient and accessible ensemble of unreserved pop orchestration and lavish folk that chronicle he navigates the American political and cultural landscape.


New Name. Same Game.

Hey everyone, I know it's been a while but I have not been idle. I've been hard at work developing all kinds of new content, interesting insights, unique opinions, and ways to bring you up to the minute music news. So, the design is different. The name is different. The quality's the same. Music news you want. When you want it. The site relaunches soon so stay tuned...


Joan Baez, The Shins to cover Weeds TV theme

Weeds "third season will kick off on Monday, Aug. 13 with Grammy and Oscar winner Randy Newman singing the semi-classic Malvina Reynolds track.

Following Newman, in no particular order, will be Joan Baez, Donovan, Billy Bob Thornton, The Shins, Michael Franti, The Individuals, Angelique Kidjo, Kinky and Man Man, Persephone's Bees. At least four more singers are bound to be brought into the fold, since "Weeds" is producing 15 episodes for this fall." via Zap 2 It

Rockstar Michael Moore?

It's not music per se, but Michael Moore is a rockstar here when he sticks it to Wolf Blitzer @ CNN.
Michael Moore on CNN


Wilco to rock Prairie Home Companion

Nothing says "down-home" like avant garde noize rock. On May 12, Jeff Tweedy and the trend setting Chicago rockers invade Garrison Keillor's beloved old time radio show A Prairie Home Companion, blasting eardrums and upsetting apple carts from here to Northern Minnesota.

The show airs from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Central check your local listings for which station carries it, and will be broadcast from the State Theater in Minneapolis.

Wilco's new album, Sky Blue Sky, which dropped earlier this year out on the Nonesuch label on May 15, but you can hear it right now, streaming from the band's website. Wilco appears on Late Night with David Letterman on May 15, and will spend most of the summer on tour.


Social Consciousness for the Indie Crowd: Wear Your Music

The Indie set may have never got on board with Lance Armstrong's "Live Strong" campaign, but thanks to the music magazine Relix, hipsters don't have to flash those ubiquitous yellow bands to show that they care.

With its "Wear Your Music" campaign, Relix has procures guitar strings from rock icons including Brian May, Pete Townshend, and Les Paul to relative newcomers including The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, Tenacious D, and My Morning Jacket to be recycled for a charitable cause.

Designer Hannah Garrison of AZU Studio turns these old guitar strings bracelets (see inset), and all proceeds will go to one of more than 20 charities chosen by the artist or by the WYM campaign. Prices for these unique items range from $75 to $300.


Postumous Buckley album to feature ultra rare Smiths cover

On 5/22, a week prior to the tenth anniversary of his untimely passing, the Legacy label will release Songs From Jeff Buckley, which liner note author David Fricke calls, "the closest Jeff Buckley -- singer, songwriter, guitarist, seeker -- ever comes to having his own greatest hits record."

For Buckley devotees, though, perhaps the biggest draw is Jeff Buckley’s cover of the Smiths’ “I Know It’s Over,” to be released on the forthcoming album. The crushingly beautiful cover was originally recorded for a radio April '95 radio program but (sinfully?) edited out before broadcast.

Of the track, Fricke says it captures Buckley, "spacewalking with elegance through the harrowing resignation of 'I Know It's Over'".

mp3: Jeff Buckley - "I Know it's Over" (Smiths cover)


Bob Dylan goes back to school

In best grandpa ever news, kids from an upscale L.A. Kindergarten class have been coming home talking about the "weird man" who has been coming to class to play guitar and sing them "scary" songs. Turns out this scary, weird guy is Bob Dylan. His grandson (Onetime Wallflower Jakob Dylan's boy) attends the school in the ritzy L.A. suburb Calabasas.

Dylan says he's been singing to the kids just for fun, but they have no idea who he is. Too bad they have no idea they're in the presence of a musical legend. To them, he's just the weird guitar guy.


Billy Joel Photo Gallery from Scottrade Center in Saint Louis

Here's a photo gallery from the Billy Joel show at the Scottrade Center on April 24, 2007 in Saint Louis, MO.
A review will be forthcoming...

Photo Gallery: Billy Joel @ Scottrade Center


Review: Interpol's "Our Love to Admire"

Interpol does what they do best on their newest effort, Our Love To Admire, due to drop July 10 via Capitol records. The band's first two Matador albums sold more than 1 million copies combined. The album's first single, "The Heinrich Maneuver" is an up tempo slam for an ex-love now living on the opposite coast and hits radio on May 7.

With tracks like the tense and driving "No I in Threesome" and the unrelenting "Mammoth," both are brimming with Daniel Kessler's straight ahead, driving guitar and Carlos D's formidable bass underpinning provides the album with a verifiable sonic avalanche.

There are also some delightful new experiments on the album which begin with the sprawling and funereal, "Pioneer to the Falls" nearly six minutes long, which features Morrison-esque voicing from Banks, and wraps with another uncharacteristically ambient, "The Lighthouse." Finally, the band offers up hints of soul that seep into the "Rest My Chemistry" ("I've slept for two days / I've bathed in nothing but sweat," Banks sings) and "Pace Is the Trick."

With an adherence to a winning formula and the bravery to take creative risks, Our Love to Admire is Interpol's finest offering to date.

mp3: Interpol - "The Heinrich Maneuver"


Spinal Tap reunites for Live Earth concert at Wembley

Spinal Tap is back. The fictional heavy metal group, immortalized in 1984's groundbreaking "mockumentary", This Is Spinal Tap, reunites July 7 for a performance at London's Wembley Stadium as part of the Live Earth concerts. Guitarist Nigel Tufnel (played by Christopher Guest), singer David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) and bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) are all scheduled to appear in an effort to raise awareness about global warming.

Additionally, a new 15-minute film directed by original Spinal Tap will play at the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The festival will open with a screening of several global warming-themed short films produced by the SOS (Save Our Selves) campaign. SOS is also responsible for organizing the Live Earth concerts, which will be held across seven continents.

Spinal Tap has reunited several times since the film, most recently in 1992 for Break like the Wind. St Hubbins and company believe that the Live Earth concerts warranted a new single: "Warmer Than Hell." Reiner provides a sneak peek at the lyrics. "'The devil went to Devon, it felt like the fourth degree / He said, 'Is it hot in here, or is it only me?'"

Reiner said the new short film explains what the band has been doing with their lives since the last tour. Nigel has been raising miniature horses to race, but has so far been unable to find jockeys small enough to ride them. David is a hip-hop producer who also runs a colonic clinic. Derek is in rehab for addiction to the Internet.

WATCH NOW - Spinal Tap "Stonehenge"


Decemberists play The Pageant Theatre

Oregon’s Indie darlings The Decemberists played the Pageant Theatre in Saint Louis, MO with guests My Brightest Diamond on Saturday April 14, 2007 as they continued their Dangerous Forest tour.

My Brightest Diamond kicked off the night with a full on rock set complete with an onstage wipeout by lead (and trained opera singer) Shara Worden. Decked out in matching white leisure suits, MBD channeled their inner Jeff Buckleys and destroyed a short but raucous set which left many in the house noticeably impressed. Worden matches the vocal theatrics of Kate Bush the soulful seductiveness of Nina Simone, and the gothic pop of Portishead, for an altogether unique sound. While her vocal lines may mimic Puccini, her guitar style parallels PJ Harvey.

The Decemberists delved into their back catalogue and worked their way forward throughout the evening playing tunes from both Picaresque as well as The Crane Wife. From Colin Meloy's quavery voice and hyper-literate lyrics to the band's musical and stylistic eclectisim, which includes among others baroque, celtic, pop, prog rock, and dozens of other instrumental variations and styles, there was something for everyone in the house.

The Oregonian octet presented an impressively eclectic effort that was seamless and cohesive. Meloy and company engaged in some traditional and albeit somewhat expected theatrics including a sing along during an expansive rendition of “Sixteen Military Wives” (which included some pointed political punditry), a blistering version of “O Valencia!”, and a delicate, haunting rendition of “Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)” with Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond. The show’s highlight however was the sprawling encore “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” with solos aplenty, audience participation (wails and moans on cue), and a low-to-no budget “stage whale” which ate the band. The evening’s only disappointment of was the lack of period dress which the stage whale more than made up for. Be sure to check out photos from the concert in our photo gallery.

Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer teams with Ben Folds for solo album

Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer is in Nashville recording her debut solo album with ubiquitous performer, producer, pianist, and rocker Ben Folds.

In a recent Billboard interview Palmer said, "The songs range from intimate ballads to faster and harder Amanda-assaults-the-piano thrillers." No release date for the untitled solo effort. "We've been adding everything from organs and Leslie cabinets to strings, horns, and tympani. The final result should be Biblical," says Palmer.

The Dolls have a busy upcoming schedule. They will hit the road in June 2007 for their True Colors tour, which will feature Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, and former Blondie star Debbie Harry. Dresden Dolls are also working on a video to be shot next month for "Shores of California," the third single from the Dolls' 2006 album Yes, Virginia.

mp3: Dresden Dolls - "Coin Operated Boy"


Saul Williams speaks out with Oprah letter

Hip hop spokesman and poet Saul Williams responded to this from Oprah Winfrey by posting an open letter to both Oprah and her viewers among others here.

The letter provides, among other things, a definition of the real emcee, an explanation for the current state of hip hop, and an examination of the sacred and feminine iconography in modern culture.

No response from Oprah as of this time.


Baby Metallica allowed to keep name

Metallica Tomaro, a seven-month-old girl from western Sweden, can keep her unusual name after Swedish authorities withdrew their objections.

The dispute began when the Swedish Tax Board ruled that "Metallica" was not an appropriate name for a person. Officials objected on the grounds that Metallica is the name of a heavy metal band and that it is also too closely related to the word "metal".

The girl's mother, Karolina Tomaro, took her case to the County Court where she received a favorable ruling over the tax authority. Officials then vowed to appeal the decision, but reversed its position on Thursday saying it would drop its appeal allowing young Metallica to keep her name. Metallica's mother told local news sources on Thursday, "It feels good,"


Bono, Edge to pen Spider-Man musical

U2 frontman and activist Bono is looking to add playwright to the list. According to Superhero Hype, a new musical based on Marvel superhero Spider-Man may soon be slinging its way to The Great White Way.

According to a casting notice, Tony winner and acclaimed director Julie Taymor is slated to direct with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge. Rehearsals are scheduled to begin on July 2nd in New York City.

Taymor may be best known for her Tony winning direction of Disney's The Lion King is also known for imaginative film work including Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Frida with Salma Hayek. Most recently Taymor has been the creative force behind The Magic Flute, The Tempest and Oedipus Rex.

The show's producers are looking for the title role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, his lady love Mary Jane Watson, arch nemesis Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin, and Daily Bugle editor in chief J. Jonah Jameson, and a "Geek Chorus", consisting of three boys and a girl who spin tales of Spider-Man's greatest exploits. See Spider-Man 3 on film May 4, 2007 in theatres.

mp3: "Peter Stays and Spider-Man Goes" (from Rock Reflections of a Superhero)


KCRW to broadcast first Yusuf Performance in 30 years

It has been over thirty years since legendary singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) performed in the United States. All that will change next Saturday when Santa Monica's KCRW airs an episode of Morning Becomes Eclectic featuring the legendary folk icon.

Originally, the live session was recorded on December 19, 2006 at an invitation-only event in New York City. The performance then aired two days later on KCRW. Additionally, the version set to broadcast on April 21 was remixed by Yusuf himself.

To tune in next weekend, head on over to KCRW.com and click "Live" for full streaming capabilities.

mp3: The Temeloes - Here Comes My Baby (Cat Stevens cover)

New Feist video for 1234

Canadian darlings Feist have released the video for 1234. Feist's latest, The Reminder dropped earlier this year.

Watch It


Ryan Adams' Stonehenge show canceled

It didn't work for Spinal Tap either. Ryan Adams' monumental appearance at Stonehenge has been officially canceled.

Adams was set to play the site as part of the Salisbury International Arts Festival on June 5, but organizers have now scrubbed the show.

Organizers for the festival feared that non-ticket holders might attempt to watch the show from a nearby road, forcing English Heritage to change the venue for public safety reasons.

Unfortunately, neither parties could agree on a suitable alternative site, so Adams has decided not to take part in the festival. "We are very sorry that Ryan Adams will not be able to perform at Stonehenge, but the demand for tickets was both unprecedented and unforeseen, and we have to put public safety first," explained Stonehenge director Peter Carson in a recent NME interview adding, "We have worked with Salisbury International Arts Festival to try and identify a suitable alternative, and have offered to make available another English Heritage site, but we appreciate that it would be hard to find an appropriate substitute for such a unique venue."

Adams is due to release his new album, Easy Tiger on June 25.

Photos: Decemberists rock Pageant Theatre, Saint Louis

The Decemberists and My Brightest Diamond rocked The Pageant Theatre in Saint Louis, MO on April 14, 2007. Review of the show is forthcoming.


Radiohead snippets available on web

Fans anxious to hear any and everything from the Brit rocker's work in the studio can rest easy. Yorke and company have posted a short "behind-the-scenes-at-the-studio" spot on their website via VapourBrothers. “This is what happens when you spend too long listening to the same thing over and over again until you just cant tell anymore and you have to do something else instead,” says Yorke. The short film contains a collection of sounds, some of which might be snippets from a new Radiohead album.

MP3 - Radiohead: "No Suprises" (live @ KROQ)

Video - Radiohead short


Review: Bright Eyes' Cassadaga

On their sixth, and arguably best album, Bright Eyes once again integrates an astounding cast of players, including the incomparable singer-songwriter M. Ward and alt-country empress Gillian Welch for the most straightforward and accessible album of the band's blossoming career.

The band remains under the watchful eye of child prodigy Conor Oberst, who lends his unmistakable warble to each track with uncanny ease and simplicity. Simply put, Cassadaga is a proficient and accessible ensemble of unrestrained rock arrangements and lavish and elaborate folk that chronicle the band’s trek across the American landscape.

Oberst's voice wanders through the countryside always the perfect vehicle for his spare but sprawling lyrics. He cautions in “Cleanse Song” to "Take the fruit from the tree/Break the skin with your teeth/Is it bitter or sweet/All depends on your timing," The band finally shows its willingness to take musical and sonic risks as evidences in the Scottish-tinged "Soul Singer in a Session Band" and its readiness to mature as in the take-no-prisoners single "Four Winds" which may still be Cassadaga's finest track. This record is certain to provide the band with a completely new audience thanks to its more simple and uncomplicated style while still pleasing longtime fans with its dedication to inventive instrumentation and thoughtful lyric. Cassadaga may serve as a seminal album for a band whose recognition has only grown as the band matures.

MP3: Bright Eyes - "Soul Singer in the Session Band" (live @ Bonnaroo '06)


Michael Jackson robot to be 50 feet tall, equipped with lasers

According to Yahoo music, "King of Pop" Michael Jackson is currently in discussions regarding the creation of a, "50-foot robotic replica of himself to wander the Las Vegas desert."

The robot is the center of an elaborate Jackson-inspired Vegas show, according to Andre Van Pier, the robot's designer. The show would feature the giant metal pop star striding around the desert. If built, the robotic Jacko would be visible to guests as they land in the casino capital. Luckman Van Pier, Andre's business partner said, "It [the robot] would be in the desert sands. Laser beams would shoot out of it so it would be the first thing people flying in would see."

Luckman Van Pier claims blueprints have been drawn up for the show and seen by the star. "Michael's looked at the sketches and likes them," he told the New York Daily News.


New Kings of Leon available via MySpace

Kings of Leon's new album Because of the Times
is available at the band's MySpace page. Made available on March 30 five of the band's 12 new tracks are streaming via the site's mp3 player. A review of the album will be forthcoming.

British rockers to cover Sgt. Peppers for tribute album

Some may call it sacrilege while others may call it a fitting tribute but Britpop is covering the Beatles. According to a recent NME article Oasis, The Killers, Travis, and the Kaiser Chiefs are among the British rock groups to cover songs from The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the album's 40th anniversary. The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's on June 1, 1967 and to mark the event, many of Britian's most popular acts will cover tracks from the record for a BBC2 special on June 2.

The BBC reports that Geoff Emerick, the engineer in charge of the original sessions will use the same equipment from the original to record the new versions. When asked about the cover session, Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas said, "This will be not only a unique radio event, but a very special musical moment. The range and quality of artists involved ensure that this will be a fitting tribute to one of the great albums of all time."

Listen Now: The Beatles - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Take our poll: Travesty or Tribute (in the sidebar)


Update: Year Zero available online

In a follow up to our previous story regarding Nine Inch Nails' dust up with the RIAA, it appears as though Trent Reznor and company have stayed one step ahead, releasing the entirety of Year Zero online.

Listen Now: Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero

Better late than never: Police hint at new album

Good news for Police fans old and new alike. According to a recent NME interview, Police guitarist Andy Summers hinted that the band may get to work on a new album after their upcoming global tour.

Summers said in an April 4 interview that the legendary trio would consider pressing a new album after their tour. "If we do well with these concerts we may well make a sixth album. I can't see why not."

Summers also said that the trio will debut some new tunes during the tour, which start in Vancouver on May 28 before heading to Europe in August. "We've been jamming acoustically lately and we've been really enjoying it; we'll be playing a couple of new songs at the shows in the summer." said Summers.


RIAA targets Nine Inch Nails fans for downloading intentionally leaked material

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), notorious for its zealous campaign against "copyright infringement" which includes suing high school and college students, retirees, and file sharing websites for downloading and sharing music on the Internet, has targeted even more web sites such as Idolator that have posted leaked songs from the upcoming NINE INCH NAILS album, Year Zero. According to Launch Radio Networks, these tracks were leaked intentionally.

The band left several new songs from the "YZ" album on computer hard drives at venues on their current European tour. Fans found the "leaked" tracks and began posting them on the web for others to download and swap.

According to Billboard.com, the RIAA sent cease-and-desist emails to any web sites that posted the tracks, leading one industry source to say, "These f---ing idiots are going after a [publicity] campaign that the label signed off on." Though many songs have been leaked intentionally, the entirety of Year Zero has not. The album drops on April 17.

Tired of the RIAA? Try these links...


Alanis Morissette covers Black Eyed Peas...sort of

Rocker/Actress/Activist Alanis Morissette released her first foray into parody this month via YouTube. Morissette, known for soulful covers during her live performances including The Police's "King of Pain" set chatrooms and blogs ablaze with her direct parody of the Black Eyed Peas' club smash "My Humps".
Watch it Now


New Releases for April: Bright Eyes, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon

The following is a list of new releases for this month. These dates are for U.S. releases unless otherwise noted. Release dates are subject to change, and sometimes do. This is by no means an exhaustive list of releases, but is chronological.

April Releases
[4.3] Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
[4.10] Bright Eyes - Cassadaga*
[4.24] Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
*Sound Advice Selection


Morrissey set to tour US

Former Smiths frontman and musical legend Morrissey returns to the U.S. for a full tour for the first time in three years. Aside from the two shows in Chicago and Pasadena, his 2006 world tour skipped the states entirely.

This world wide trek includes music from and is in support of Morrissey's latest album, Ringleader of the Tormentors. The tour makes some landmark stops including the Hollywood Bowl and Madison Square Garden.

London piano and drums duo KRISTEENYOUNG is slated to back Morrissey for the entire tour. The group recently completed its fourth album, The Orphans.

Official Morrissey 2007 U.S. Tour Dates:

27 - Stockton, Calif. @ Bob Hope Theater
28 – Sparks, Nev. @ John Ascuaga's Celebrity Showroom
29 - Sparks, Nev. @ John Ascuaga Celebrity Showroom

1 – Oakland, Calif. @ Paramount Theater
2 – Santa Rosa, Calif. @ Wells Fargo Center
5 – Spokane, Wa. @ INB Performing Arts Center
6 – Seattle, Wa. @ Paramount
8 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ Center Ford Theater
9 – Denver, Co. @ Fillmore
11 – Omaha, Neb. @ Orpheum
12 – Milwaukee, Wis. @ Riverside
14 – Ann Arbor, Mich. @ Michigan Theater
15 – Chicago, Ill. @ Auditorium
17 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Playhouse Square Center
18 – Columbus, Ohio @ Palace Theater
20 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ Murat Center
22 – St. Louis, Mo. @ The Pageant
23 – Kansas City, Mo. @ Uptown Theater
25 – Dallas, Texas @ Palladium
26 – Austin, Texas @ Backyard
28 – Houston, Texas @ Verizon
30 – El Paso, Texas @ County Coliseum
31 – Tucson, Ariz. @ Music Hall

2 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Maricopa County Events Center
3 – San Diego, Calif. @ Bayside Concerts
5 – Ventura, Calif. @ Majestic Ventura Theater
6 – Riverside, Calif. @ Riverside Municipal Auditorium
8 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Hollywood Bowl
9 – Las Vegas, Nev. @ Pearl
10 – Bakersfield, Calif. @ Rabobank Arena
26 – Boston, Mass. @ Bank of America Pavilion
27 – Northampton, Maine @ Pines Theater
29 - Philadelphia, Penn. @ Mann Center
30 – New York, N.Y. @ MSG

2 – Vienna, Va. @ Wolf Trap
3 – Baltimore, Md. @ Rams Head
5 – Atlantic City, N.J. @ Borgata
6 - Holmdel, N.J. @ PNC Bank Arts Center
9 – Norfolk, Va. @ The Norva
10 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Tennessee Theatre
12 – Clearwater, Fla. 2 Ruth Eckerd Hall
14 – Boca Raton, Fla. 2 Mizner Park Amphitheater
15 – Orlando, Fla. @ Hard Rock Live
17 Jacksonville, Fla. @ Morocco Shrine Auditorium
19 - Birmingham, Ala. @ Alabama Theatre
20 - Atlanta, Ga. @ Chastain Park
21 - Myrtle Beach, S.C. @ House of Blues


High Fidelity: Regina Spector to tour

Russian born, Bronx raised, Indie siren Regina Spektor embarks on her U.S. tour, beginning in Portland on April 24.

This upcoming tour is Spektor's second of the US in support of last year's Begin To Hope. Her September 2006 tour sold out venues across the country. The tour is scheduled to stops by both the Coachella and Bonnaroo festivals.

Spektor's confirmed tour dates:
Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom (4.24)
Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre (4.25)
Sacramento, CA - The Empire (4.26)
Indio, CA - Coachella (4.28)
San Diego, CA - House of Blues (4.29)
San Francisco, CA - The Warfield (4.30)
Denver, CO - Odgen Theatre (5.4)
Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre (5.13)
Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (6.17)

MP3: Regina Spektor - Fidelity


Flaming Lips, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Snow Patrol swing into action on Spider-Man 3 soundtrack

Snow Patrol, the Flaming Lips, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs all contribute to the upcoming soundtrack to this summer's Spider-Man 3, set to drop May 1 via Record Collection 3 days before the film hits theatres. Eager fans can listen to the compilation's first single, Snow Patrol's "Signal Fire" via the soundtrack's web site.

The Flaming Lips penned "The Supreme Being Teaches Spider-Man How To Be in Love" for the compilation while the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Karen O check in with their track "Sealings."
The album also features new songs from Wolfmother, the Walkmen, and the Killers.

Speaking to Billboard.com in a recent interview, Lips frontman Wayne Coyne said, "Peter Parker never seems to get over his introverted lack of confidence, at least in the classic comic books I remember," adding, "I was looking for some excuse to write a fight song, and then this came up. It has the chiming of the bell when they go into the ring. It's silly, but with the right storyline, it can be a lot of fun."

Listen Now: Snow Patrol - Signal Fire

Amy Winehouse releases Back to Black video

British vocal phenom/train wreck Amy Winehouse just released Back to Black, the third video off of the album for the title track, and though it’s not yet available in the U.S. Winehouse plans a North American tour starting April 26 in San Francisco.

Tour dates include:


26 - San Francisco, Calif. @ Popscene
27 - Indio, Calif. @ Empire Polo Grounds
30 - Boulder, Colo. @ Fox Theatre

2 - Minneapolis, Minn. @ Varsity Theater
3 - Chicago, Ill. @ Schubas
6 - Philadelphia, Penn. @ Theatre Of The Living Arts
7 - Boston, Mass. @ Paradise Rock Club
8 - New York, N.Y. @ The Highline Ballroom
9 - New York, N.Y. @ The Highline Ballroom
12 - Toronto, Ontario @ Mod Club
13 - Toronto, Ontario @ Mod Club


Matchstick Women: Tegan and Sara complete "The Con"

Canadian sibling and rock duo Tegan & Sara recently completed recording their third album, The Con, set to drop July 24 via Vapor/Sanctuary Records. The Con is the follow-up to 2004's So Jealous.

Twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin worked with Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla to produce the new 14 track album. "They wanted something that was a little bit grittier," Walla told Billboard.com in January. Also sitting in on The Con is AFI bassist Hunter Burgan and the Rentals' Matt Sharp.

Tegan and Sara plan on a series of small club performances in July and August, plus an extensive, headlining, North American tour set for October.

The tracklisting for The Con :

  1. "I Was Married"
  2. "Relief Next to Me"
  3. "The Con"
  4. "Knife Going In"
  5. "Are You Ten Years Ago"
  6. "Back in Your Head"
  7. "Hop a Plane"
  8. "Soil, Soil"
  9. "Burn Your Life Down"
  10. "Nineteen"
  11. "Floorplan"
  12. "Like O, Like H"
  13. "Dark Come Soon"
  14. "Call It Off"


Live: Arcade Fire rocks New York church

Arcade Fire's 2004 debut Funeral, was one of the decade's most remarkable and innovative rock albums. The Canadian octet's sophomore album Neon Bible proved to fans and critics alike that their creativity, enthusiasm, and ingenuity were the genuine articles.

The band performed at New York's Judson Memorial Church, Feb 17, 2007. Arcade Fire originally broadcast the concert as a live webcast courtesy of All Songs Considered.

Listen Now - Arcade Fire Live @ Judson Memorial Church 2.17.07


Brit Rocker Nick Lowe returns

British rock legend Nick Lowe plans to release his first album since 2001's Convincer, on the Yep Roc label. At My Age a new full length album, features guest spots by the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde and Bill Kirchen. Nine of the 12 tracks are Lowe originals, while various covers finish it off.

Lowe is best known as the main songwriter and principal member of Rockpile with Dave Edmunds. He has also produced classic albums with artists including Elvis Costello. Lowe's biggest (and only US top 40) hit was the 70s classic "Cruel to be Kind". The album drops June 26.


New Pornographers record "epic" album

Canadian sextet The New Pornographers are currently recording their follow up to 2005's indie smash Twin Cinema. They plan to drop the album in late August on the Matador label.

Twin Cinema showcased the band's willingness to take risks lyrically and musically as well as explore different musical genres. In a recent Billboard.com interview, group member Carl Newman stated that, "all bets were off for this new album" adding that the new album is, "maybe slightly more epic. It has our first song that passes the six-minute-long mark. In fact, it might have our first songs that pass the five-minute mark!" in the same interview.

Alt-Country phenom Neko Case joins the band again featured on three songs, one of which, the track "Go Places," Newman describes as, "one of the biggest departures for us."

Also on the new album is Newman's work "Salinger," that he describes as, "more of a ballad than we've ever had before. You don't want to depart too much from what you are, but at the same time, you don't want to totally repeat."

The New Pornographers plan to play some of the album's new songs at several upcoming shows and will appear in April at Coachella. Their headlining tour will run from September to October.

Watch Now: The New Pornographers - Sing Me Spanish Techno


Old School: Traveling Wilburys, Young, Buckley all release albums

After 10 years out of print, rock's ultimate supergroup featuring Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynn return. Sort of. The Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 and Traveling Wilburys Volume 3 are back on store shelves June 12.

Available in a variety of formats including single package with bonus tracks, a DVD of rare footage, as a deluxe linen-bound edition, or a vinyl and digital bundle, the album is expected to be a smash. The limited edition DVD features a 24-minute documentary and five music videos from the all-star group.

Also releasing archival works are Neil Young and the late Jeff Buckley. Young's Archive Vol. 1 features his vintage concert "Live at Massey Hall" taped Jan. 19, 1971, at the Toronto venue featuring Young's rare solo performances from the same. Young debuted material here including legendary "The Needle and the Damage Done," "Old Man" and "Heart of Gold," his only No. 1.

Finally, while there have been tons of posthumous Jeff Buckley releases, Columbia/Legacy releases So Real: Songs of Jeff Buckley, 14 tracks collected from Buckleys extensive catalogue, on May 22, just before the 10th anniversary of his death.

So Real... includes an acoustic edition of the title track recorded in Japan, an alternate take of Dream Brother, a live version of Mojo Pin and a Smiths cover. Jeff's mother oversaw everything on So Real from tracks to album art.

Watch Now: Jeff Buckley: Forget Her [from the Grace Legacy Edition LP]

Guitar Heroes: Clapton joined by list of legends at Crossroads

Guitar legend Eric Clapton heads the impressive guest list for this year's Crossroads Guitar Festival for 2007. The festival, starting July 28 at the Toyota Park in Chicago, IL. Performers joining Slowhand on the main stage include B.B. King, John Mayer, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Steve Winwood, Alison Krauss & Union Station, the Robert Cray Band, Doyle Bramhall and Jimmie Vaughan.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Clapton's rehab facility, the Crossroads Centre. Tickets for the second annual festival go on sale March 31. Tickets are priced $15 for Friday, $45 for Saturday and $60 for Sunday.


Live: The Good, The Bad, and the Queen play the 9:30 Club

The Good, The Bad, & The Queen recently played the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. and NPR was there to catch it. Featuring Blur frontman/Gorillaz member Damon Albarn, legendary Clash bassist Paul Simonon, Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen and onetime Verve guitarist Simon Tong, The Good, The Bad, & The Queen is currently crafting arguably the best rock in years.

Hear the group recorded live from Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club.

OK Go headed to studio

After a year and a half of a riotously popular video campaign, (including a Grammy award for best short for "Here it Goes Again") Ok Go is ready to head back to the studio.

The band has been riding the wave of notoriety since 2005 and the YouTube, backyard, dance, video smash, "A Million Ways" and is currently on tour supporting Snow Patrol. After the Snow Patrol dates, the band will open for The Fray starting June 11 and running through July 1.

After the tour, Kulash and Co. will take the summer off to finish writing their new album and will most likely head into a Swedish studio in the fall.

Though there will be considerable pressure for the follow up album, frontman Damien Kulash is certain that fans both old and new alike will remain loyal. Kulash is excited about what the future has in store for the band saying in a recent interview with Billboard, "We've certainly raised the bar, but we also are not going to judge the things we make in the future by the same terms that we judge what's going on (now)."


How sweet it is: Starbucks launches independent music label "Hear Music"

The Starbucks coffee chain has officially formed their own music label Hear Music, in conjunction with Concord recordings. Albums released on the Hear Music label will feature up and coming artists and well established acts for sale both in Starbucks shops and at other retailers.

Hear Music expects to release its first album by the end of 2007. The Hear Music label began in 1999, mainly responsible for sale of compilation albums, scoring a smash hit with Ray Charles' 2002 release Genius Loves Company, an album of duets.

There are unconfirmed reports that Sir Paul McCartney has signed with Hear Music for his new album.