Wednesday
Oct192011

VIDEO: David Lynch 'Crazy Clown Time' Trailer 

MUSIC-VIDEO REVIEW: David Lynch has a solo musical album out on Election Day, and the trailer for it gets our vote.

By Kenny Herzog

Why so serious? (Credit: David Lynch.... Naturally)

If Jeff Bridges, Jeff Daniels and Hugh Laurie can put out bluesy pop records, why can't David Lynch release his own demented spin on the form? Not that aural weirdness is mutually exclusive from the director/artist's film oeuvre. But in the past, he's collaborated with everyone from composer Angelo Badalamenti to late songwriter Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse to provide the ear candy that suits his hallucinatory visuals. On Nov. 8, however, Lynch will be releasing Crazy Clown Time (Sunday Best/[PIAS]), his first-ever solo musical album.

And now, a la Metallica and Lou Reed, he's unveiled a minute-plus abstract video trailer for the LP, which you can view below. It shares some creative DNA with the aforementioned Lulu teaser, in that there's shards of guitar noise and clipped bits of vocal overdubs, although the Crazy Clown Time preview is significantly more evocative in its short running time. And the in-studio glimpses also demonstrate that Lynch was, not surprisingly, completely hands-on with the entire writing, recording and engineering process, along with co-conspirator and Inland Empire sound man Dean Hurley. In a nutshell, it sounds cool, the video looks cool, and Crazy Clown Time, despite its misleadingly frivolous title, may just be a seriously good piece of work. 

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Send in the Clown.

ANTICIPATING CRAZY CLOWN TIME RATING: 7/10

CRAZY CLOWN TIME TRAILER RATING: 8/10

WISHING IT WASN'T CALLED CRAZY CLOWN TIME RATING: 10/10

 

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Tuesday
Oct182011

Smashing Pumpkins 'Siamese Dream'/'Gish' Reissues Get Release Date

 

MUSIC-NEWS REVIEW: With a release date set for two huge reissues, the Smashing Pumpkins finally get their moment in the '90s-nostalgia spotlight.

 

By Kenny Herzog

Ya gotta admit: These Pumpkins reissues look pretty Smashing.

 

There's been quite a bit of noise around Nirvana and Pearl Jam over the last 12 months, and how they were the architects of early '90s alt-rock's crossover explosion. This is, to some degree, a convenient truth. Between 1991 and '93, Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins released two albums, Gish and Siamese Dream, that distilled the sound of an era with fury, melody and massive influence.

In fact, both Gish and Dream shared something essential with Nirvana's iconic Nevermind: producer Butch Vig. What they didn't have in common with the outputs of Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell et al was Seattle roots. The Pumpkins were Chicago outsiders who fought their way in, and EMI has set a firm release date of Nov. 29 for a proper homage to their contributions during that heady time.

That day, deluxe reissue editions of both their early landmark LPs will hit the market. As per the post-aughts norm for these kinds of releases, they'll be made available in double-CD/DVD, LP and digital formats, and be stuffed with the requisite liner notes from Corgan, a slew of old demos and classic live concert footage. 

The Pumpkins are, of course, still active, and will release their newest album, Oceania, in 2012. But in terms of revisiting their peak recordings, and to invoke one of Corgan's most famous lyrical phrases, today is the greatest day diehard fans have known.

 

GISH (DELUXE EDITION) TRACKLISTING:

Disc 1:  

 1.     I am one 

2.    Siva

3.    Rhinoceros

4.    Bury me

5.    Crush

6.    Suffer

7.    Snail

8.    Tristessa

9.    Window paine

10.  Daydream

Disc 2: 

  1. Starla (2011 mix)
  2. Siva (Peel session)*
  3. Honeyspider (Reel Time demos / 2011 mix)
  4. Hippy Trippy (Crush Music Box demo)
  5. Snail (live radio performance)
  6. Plume (2011 mix)
  7. Bury Me (Reel Time demos / 2011 mix)
  8. Daydream (Old House demo)
  9. Tristessa (Sub Pop single / 2011 mix)
  10. Girl Named Sandoz (Peel session)*
  11. Jesus Is The Sun (Apartment demo)
  12. Blue (Gish sessions demo)
  13. Smiley (Gish sessions demo)
  14. I Am One (Reel Time demos / 2011 mix)
  15. Seam (Suffer / Apartment demo)
  16. La Dolly Vita (2011 mix)
  17. Pulseczar (Gish sessions demo)*
  18. Drown (alternate guitar solo)

 

All songs previously unreleased except where indicated.*

 

DVD

Live at The Metro, Chicago, IL 8/25/90

Introduction

  1. I am one
  2. Snail
  3. Rhinoceros
  4. Bury Me
  5. Tristessa
  6. Window Paine
  7. Razor
  8. Sookie Sookie
  9. Godzilla
  10. Crush - Acoustic

 

SIAMESE DREAM (DELUXE EDITION)TRACKLISTING:

Disc 1:

  1. Cherub rock
  2. Quiet
  3. Today
  4. Hummer
  5. Rocket
  6. Disarm
  7. Soma
  8. Geek U.S.A
  9. Mayonaise
  10. Spaceboy
  11. Silverfuck
  12. Sweet sweet
  13. Luna

 

Disc 2:

  1. Pissant (siamese sessions rough mix)
  2. Siamese dream (broadway rehearsals demo)
  3. STP (rehearsal demo)
  4. Frail and bedazzled (soundworks demo)
  5. Luna (apartment demo)
  6. Quiet (bbc session/bc mix)
  7. Moleasskiss (soundworks demo)
  8. Hello kitty kat (soundworks demo)
  9. Today (broadway rehearsal demo)
  10. Never let me down again (bbc session)*
  11. Apathy's last kiss (siamese sessions rough mix)
  12. Ache (silverfuck rehearsal demo)

13.  U.S.A. (soundworks demo)

  1. U.S.S.R. (soundworks demo)
  2. Spaceboy (acoustic mix)
  3. Rocket (rehearsal demo)
  4. Disarm (acoustic mix)
  5. Soma (instrumental mix)

 

All songs previously unreleased except where indicated.*

 

DVD

Live At The Metro, Chicago, 8/14/93

Introduction

  1. Rocket
  2. Quiet
  3. Today
  4. Rhinoceros
  5. Geek U.S.A.
  6. Soma
  7. I am one
  8. Disarm
  9. Spaceboy
  10. Starla
  11. Cherub rock
  12. Bury me
  13. Hummer
  14. Siva
  15. Mayonaise
  16. Drown
  17. Silverfuck

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Corgan's a bit nutso, and his latest records aren't exactly must-own, but both Gish and Siamese Dream really hold up, and we're psyched for those live DVDs.

GISH/SIAMESE DREAM REISSUES COMING SOON RATING: 8/10

THE PUMPKINS GETTING OVERLOOKED AMID SEATTLE-NARRATIVE NOSTALGIA RATING: 2/10

 

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Friday
Oct142011

Adam Lambert Release Date Announced, Glamberts Not Pleased

MUSIC-NEWS REVIEW: A controversial release of early Adam Lambert demos with his pre-Idol band gets its due date. 

 

By Kenny Herzog

We know Adam is the master of modern glam, but what's with the Dee Snider doppleganger to his right?


Virtually evey major recording artist over the last 50 years has had early career demos or pre-fame for-hire experiments unearthed in glorified bootleg form. It's almost a rite of passage, the aural equivalent of an unauthorized celebrity biography, or finding your name atop billboards for a reissued B-movie you appeared in for seven minutes.

But Adam Lambert & Steve Cooke: Paramount Sessions, which now has an official release date of December 6, alleges to be legit and totally scandal-free. Just don't tell that to Glambert nation, who've already disavowed its credibility and taken the aforementioned Steve Cooke to task on the Interwebs. 

Who is Cooke, you ask? He is the blonde-locked gentleman pictured above with a young Lambert. He's also a session vocalist who completed a studio project called left unfinished by Lambert when the superstar fled to Hollywood after successfully auditioning for American Idol. And now it seems that Cooke has agreed to seize the opportunity of being packaged alongside Lambert on a CD of those collective recordings, as if it were more of a genuine collaboration, or even something Lambert was at peace with.

What's even stranger about the Paramount Sessions is they were helmed in part by Monte Pittman, an oddball journeyman musician whose worked concurrently as guitarist for both Madonna and, of all bands, New York industrial-thrash icons Prong (whose frontman, Tommy Victor, can be seen performing with Vein and Lambert below as part of a project called Citizen Vein). WTF?! Lambert, and then Cooke, were brought in to supply the voice for new tracks Pittman and other members of Madonna's backing band had been toying with.

This explanation not satisfactory? Maybe Cooke's blindingly illiterate statement about Paramount and its resulting controversy will help clarify, unless you focus too hard on the moments when he refers to its release as "bitter sweat" and recalls hearing Lambert before "Simon Cowles" ever did. Then it will just be gibberish. 

If you thought Lambert would never perform with members of NYC thrash legends Prong, this video will "Prove You Wrong."

 

IN OTHER WORDS: It doesn't really seem worth getting in a tizzy over. After all, it is just more tracks out there with Adam singing. 

PARAMOUNT SESSIONS COMING SOON RATING: 6/10

ADAM HAVING NO CONTROL OVER HOW HIS VOICE AND LIKENESS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE RELEASE RATING: 2/10

YES! NEW-ISH ADAM SONGS! RATING: Yay/10

 

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Thursday
Oct132011

VIDEO: Metallica and Lou Reed 'Lulu' Trailer.... What Weirdos

MUSIC-VIDEO REVIEW: The metal giants and master of cool unveil an official trailer for their collaborative Lulu LP. And it's still impossible to determine how much of a disaster this might be.

By Kenny Herzog

"Is it just me, or is something not right?" (Credit: LouReed.com)

As you may already be aware, co-Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Metallica and Lou Reed hit it off when they performed at the RRHOF's anniversary concerts in 2009, and decided to enter the studio together. The inspiration that suited their distinct styles and history? Why, scandalous 19th/early 20th century German playwright Frank Wedekind's perverse Lulu works, of course. Namely, the plays Earth Spirit and Pandora's Box, which toil in themes that both cornerstone artists in Loutallica (yes, they are actually calling it that.... apparently, MetalReed was taken) have often touched on lyrically in their careers: sex, death and violence. 

With Lulu set for release the day after Halloween (naturally), Warner Bros. records has released an official, nearly two-minute trailer for the record. What's actually interesting about the project, and evidenced in the below-embedded video (see what we did there?) is how it leans lopsidedly on Metallica's cachet. It's their label, Warner, pushing the album, and most of its promo materials are designed around the metal quartet's font and recent minimal, street-tough aesthetic.

Pegging it as an ostensible Metallica release is smart. The band has been abuzz ever since their Big 4 concerts with Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, and if Lulu were released and marketed as "a noisy, conceptual spoken-word epic loosely based on foreign plays performed just after the impact of Marxism," chances are not even their headbanging diehards would bite, let alone whatever remains of Reed's audience for his increasingly esoteric experiments. 

But hey, check it out, see if curiosity piques, and if nothing else, maybe it'll turn you on to Wedekind, who in turn will turn you on. Whatever works.

 

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Hey, it's gotta be better than this.

LULU TRAILER RATING: 5/10

LOUTALLICA RATING: Jury's Still Out/10

EXCUSE TO LINK TO MY FAVORITE VELVET UNDERGROUND SONG RATING: I'm Set Free/10

 

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Friday
Oct072011

Yelawolf Release Slightly Delayed for Awesomeness

 

 

MUSIC-NEWS REVIEW: Alabama MC and Eminem signee Yelawolf's official Interscope debut has been pushed back a month, presumably (and hopefully) for the right creative reasons.

By Kenny Herzog

We'll give Yela benefit of the doubt that he's cooking up more than hype.

 

Mobile, Alabama's mohawked MC Yelawolf gets his share of doubters. After all, he's a good-looking, skinny white guy covered in tatoos who's been signed (in part) to Eminem's Shady label off the strength of mixtapes and shelved tracks from a 2007 flirtation with SONY Records. But the man is nothing like whatever's trendy. Did we mention he's from Alabama? Or that he's just getting started on a mainstream stage while already in his early 30s? And that he's got a musical vocabulary, southern authenticity and dexterous, unpredcitable delivery that makes fellow Caucasian Kid Rock look like a hacky FM radio poser? 

Technically, his major-label bow arrived last year when his Trunk Muzik mixtape was released with additional tracks as Trunk Muzik 0-60. His first full-length of new material under the Interscope umbrella, Radioactive, had been set for October 25, but as announced today, will now see daylight November 21. You might be wondering: Another case of a hip-hop LP getting stalled for fear of leaks, or perhaps even a strategic move to avoid competition from other heavily buzzed albums hitting streets that week? (Coldplay, Justice and Kelly Clarkson are just a few of the big names touching down on the 25th.)

Not so, says Yela via press release, assuring fans that, “I needed to add some important finishing touches to the album, which resulted in the new release date. I have some surprises in store for the fans that have to be seen before the album comes out. It’s definitely worth the wait.” 

Having interviewed the charismatic burgeoning superstar last fall, I can attest that word seems to be his bond, so let's just take him at it for now. That, and the quality of lead single, "Hard White (Up in the Club)" with Lil Jon.

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Don't say we didn't tell ya so.

OPTIMISM FOR RADIOACTIVE RATING: 8/10

OPTIMISM THAT IT'S DELAYED FOR ACTUAL ARTISTIC REASONS: 7.5/10

COME BACK IN A MONTH FOR OUR REVIEW RATING: Why Not?/10

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