Blues Funeral is the seventh album released by Mark Lanegan this year. It has been a long awaited album since his success with his 2004 album, Bubblegum. After his long touring with the Soulsavers, The Gutter Twins and former Belle and Sebastian member, Isobel Campbell, Lanegan has created a wonderful set of tunes worth the wait. Lanegan had previously released six solo albums, which mostly compromised of blues and acoustic based music. Of course, his deep, scratchy vocals are still evident on his newest effort. Working with well-known producer and musician, Alain Johannes, in addition to working with a guitar, Lanegan experimented with keyboards and a drum machine, which is something he has not done before. Blues Funeral opens a new realm for Lanegan, as he still keeps his signature style of writing intact. Lanegan talked about how for his latest album, he used a “lot of the elements” from music that influences him. He stated that he wanted to make a record that he himself would listen to personally and listed The Gun Club’s Miami, Joy Division’s Closer, and Roxy Music’s Country Life as his primary influences.
Blues Funeral kicks off with its first released single, “The Gravedigger’s Song”. What is most evident in this song is Lanegan’s use of the drum machine, although Jack Irons plays percussion on the entire album. It’s upbeat and serves as the perfect start for the album. Read More →
On March 15 at 7:00pm, WOBC will broadcast a concert directed by the new Director of Orchestras for the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Raphael Jiménez. Tune in at 91.5FM in Lorain County or listen online.
The program features excerpts from Maestro Jiménez’s debut with the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra: Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and three movements from the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1, featuring violinist Nathan Lesser, currently a senior at Oberlin. It was originally aired on WQXR New York as part of the McGraw-Hill Companies Young Artist Showcase.
It’s hard to believe that Charles Bradley’s debut album No Time for Dreaming was released in 2011. As soon as the first track “The World (Is Going Up In Flames)” hits your ears, the sound of 1960′s soul is immediate. Bradley’s voice is reminiscent of the gritty, pining voices of Otis Redding and Percy Sledge. Yet unlike these artists, Bradley got his big break in 2002 at the age of 54, while the others hit big in the 1960′s while in their late twenties. In some ways, this late break gives Bradley the opportunity to incorporate his entire life story into his work, whether he sings of true love in “Lovin’ You, Baby” or his life long struggles in “Why Is It So Hard?”. A must listen for any lover of soul and blues.
In 2002, Tom Waits released Blood Money along with Alice. Both albums are based off of plays that were adapted by theater director, Robert Wilson. Blood Money is based off the socio, political play called “Woyzeck”, which was originally written by the German poet, Georg Buchner in 1837. The premise of the play revolves around a true story of a German soldier who is driven to insanity by strange army medical experiments and problems with infidelity, which ultimately drove him to murder his lover. The songs that Waits wrote with his wife, Kathleen Brennan, were for an avant-garde production of “Woyzeck”, which was directed by Robert Wilson. The play was premiered in November 200 at the Betty Nansen Theater in Copenhagen, which won the Danish rendition of the Tony award for “Best Musical”.
Can’t get enough end-of-the-year lists? Thought so. Here’s the “Best of 2011″ by former DJ Sexxx Luther and former Music Director Matthew Lionel Orenstein of their blog Bathroom On The Right:
Now seems to be as good a time as any to look back on the year in music that was. Best-of lists can be divisive things — I never agree with anyone else’s, most likely no one will agree with mine. The hope here is that you’ll check out some of these records that you haven’t yet. So, here’s my two cents.
1 AVEY TARE Down There
2 TOM WAITS Bad As Me
3 THEE OH SEES Carrion Crawler/The Dream [EP]
4 SLOW CLUB Paradise
5 BEACH BOYS The Smile Sessions
6 REAL ESTATE Days
7 M83 Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
8 ATLAS SOUND Parallax
9 KATE BUSH 50 Words For Snow
10 NEIL YOUNG Harvest
11 DIRTY PROJECTORS AND BJORK Mount Wittenberg Orca
12 BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN born in the u.s.a
13 MAGNETITIC FIELDS 69 love songs
14 JOHN MAUS We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves
15 HANK WILLIAMS lovesick blues
16 ARCADE FIRE The Suburbs
17 TYCHO Dive Ghostly
18 STILL CORNERS Creatures Of An Hour
19 WISE BLOOD These Wings [EP]
20 GIRLS Father, Son, Holy Ghost
21 JOAKIM Nothing Gold
22 ST. VINCENT Strange Mercy
23 R.E.M. Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011
24 TWIN SISTER In Heaven
25 BJORK Biophilia
26 FRIENDS College Sampler
27 TY SEGALL Singles 2007-2010
28 JUSTICE Audio, Video, Disco
29 OLOF ARNALDS Olof Sings
30 SUMMER CAMP Welcome To Condale