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Artists Sing Good News PDF Print E-mail
Music - Music News
Written by John M. James   
Wednesday, 28 May 2008 02:14

Esopus The eclectic, twice-yearly publication Esopus magazine has made an accompanying CD a nifty part of its presentation, with previous issues - and tunes - inspired by the dreams of their readers, Ouija-board experiences, the content of spam e-mail, and Craigslist personals. The new issue, number 10, aims its lens at something we all could use a little more of: good news. This time out, 12 recording artists answered the editor's call and crafted exclusive songs inspired by an uplifting article from the daily newspaper or TV. Highlights include Chris Rehm's anticipation of his federal stimulus check, Man Man's relief at the news of an on-the-mend Liza Minnelli, and Langhorne Slim's acoustic ditty about the recovery of stolen Edvard Munch paintings. Marnie Stern and Artificial Man were both moved by the same event: a window-washer falling more than 40 stories and surviving this past December. Other participants embracing the feel-good lure include Ryan Adams, Busdriver, The Real Tuesday Weld, and The New Pornographers' Neko Case and Carl Newman.

Last broadcast in 1981, all 17 episodes of Tony Palmer's marvelous documentary All You Need Is Love were released earlier this month in a five-disc DVD set. Originally produced in the mid-1970s for Britain's ITV channel, the critically acclaimed director (of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels and films on Leonard Cohen, Cream's farewell concert, and breakdancing at the famed Wigan Casino) took the suggestion of John Lennon to create a comprehensive history of popular music. Starting with the African influences in jazz and Appalachian blues and traveling through the glam rock of Alice Cooper and Gary Glitter, the tapestry Palmer weaves in artist interviews and rare footage is simply a mind-blowing treasure. With in-depth episodes on Tin Pan Alley, the swing era, classic country, Broadway and film musicals, and the politics of rock-and-roll protest songs, this is a priceless education - and euphoric brilliance - worth every penny of its hundred-dollar price tag.


Television Alert:


The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Prince tonight; The Late Show with David Letterman hosts the return of Donna Summer on Monday; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson presents Morrissey this evening and Matt Costa on Monday overnight; and Last Call with Carson Daly hosts Chuck Prophet this evening overnight.


New Releases Coming Tuesday, June 3:


David Banner - The Greatest Story Ever Told (Motown) with guests Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Kandi, and Akon

Baskervilles - Twilight (Secret Crush) produced by Mitch Easter

The Charlatans - You Cross My Path (Cooking Vinyl) import-only, featuring a second disc of videos and bonus tracks

Black Cobra - Feather & Stone (At a Loss Recordings) LP edition available in both black and marble-colored wax

Jack Bruce - Can You Follow (Esoteric) CD box set of solo recordings from the Cream co-founder

Bryan Cox - Crux Da House (Crux/Moist Music) glitchy, down-the-rabbit-hole remixes of Chamillionaire, Trash Fashion, and Amanda LePore & Larry Tee

Dr. John & the Lower 911 - City That Care Forgot (429 Records/Savoy) focusing on post-Katrina New Orleans, with guests Eric Clapton, Ani DiFranco, and Willie Nelson

The Famine - The Raven & the Reaping (Solid State) debut featuring former Demon Hunter vocalist Chris McCaddon

The Futureheads - This Is Not the World (Nul Records) all new on the band's artist-owned label, also available in a deluxe package featuring a 60-page booklet and bonus DVD of their Brixton Academy show this past March

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)

Genesis - When in Rome 2007 (EMI) import-only live two-DVD set featuring a 28-page booklet

Goo Goo Dolls - The Goo Goo Dolls Greatest Hits, Vol. 2: Rarities & B-Sides (Warner Bros.) also available in a deluxe package featuring a bonus DVD of their performance last year at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Gonzales - Soft Power (Arts & Crafts) with guests Princess Superstar, Peaches, Feist, and Jarvis Cocker

Ed Harcourt - The Beautiful Lie (Dovecoat) domestic release from the Mercury Prize-nominated artist

Iron and Wine - "Lovesong of the Buzzard" (Transgressive) import-only CD single with bonus B sides

Jaguar Love - Take Me to the Sea (Matador) debut featuring former members of Pretty Girls Make Graves and the Blood Brothers

Journey - Revelation (Frontiers) available only at Wal-Mart and boasting new vocalist Amel Pineda, the multi-disc set includes a CD of classics newly recorded, a disc of new material, and a live CD and DVD

Kung Fu Panda - original motion picture soundtrack (Interscope) with a score by Hans Zimmer and John Powell, and a cover of "Kung Fu Fighting," by Jack Black and Cee-Lo

Ladytron - Velocifero (Nettwerk) featuring two tracks sung in Bulgarian; on tour now with Datarock

Madonna - "4 Minutes" (Maverick/Reprise) double-12-inch single featuring mixes by Junkie XL, Tracy Young, Bob Sinclar, and Peter Rauhofer

Jesse Malin - Mercury Retrograde (Adeline) recorded live last year at New York City's Mercury Lounge, and limited to a pressing of 1,000 CDs

Man Raze - Surreal (VH1 Classic Records) all new from Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols and Phil Collen of Def Leppard

Aimee Mann - @#%&! Smilers (SuperEgo Records) haunting, under-the-skin melodies and mental images; her seventh solo album features one song co-written with Grant Lee Phillips

Minus The Bear - "They Make Beer Commercials Like This" (Suicide Squeeze) remastered reissue of this CD EP from 2005, making its vinyl debut on gray- and magenta-colored vinyl

Mixel Pixel - Let's Be Friends (Mental Monkey) delightful, sunny, stoned daydreams from an actor, a scientist, and an artist, getting their self-empowerment groove trip on with the Electric Company-ready "You Could Be"

Mogwai - Young Team (Chemikal Underground) two-CD set produced by Steve Savage of The Delgados, featuring a few live tracks and a radio session

Pin Me Down - "Cryptic" (Kitsuné Records) new from Bloc Party guitarist Russell Lissack

Robert Pollard - Robert Pollard Is Off to Business (Guided By Voices, Inc.) new solo album on his artist-owned label

Radiohead - Radiohead: The Best of (Capitol) available as a single or double CD, four-LP box set, and DVD

Kelly Richey - Carry the Light (Sweet Lucy) spine-chilling, tasty blues magic from the Cincinnati-based singer/songwriter, channeling the voodoo of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan into her own deep, funky, mystic right

Gavin Rossdale - Wanderlust (Interscope) solo debut from the Bush frontman, with guests Gwen Stefani and Josh Freese

Spiritualized - Songs in A&E (Spaceman/Fontana) also available in a deluxe import-only package featuring a bonus DVD and hardback book

Supergrass - Diamond Hoo Ha (Astralwerks) on tour with Foo Fighters in July

Wayman Tisdale - Rebound (Rendezvous) featuring Toby Keith on a cover of Barry White's "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up"

The Virgins - The Virgins (Atlantic) currently on the Nylon Magazine Music Tour with Be Your Own Pet, She Wants Revenge, and the Switches

Weeds: Season Three - original television soundtrack (Lionsgate) featuring Ween, The Dresden Dolls, Page France, Randy Newman's cover of the show's theme, and co-star Kevin Nealon's strolling banjo report from the last episode, "Just Like the Superdome"

Weezer - Weezer (Geffen) affectionately known as the "Red Album," this return is available in two different deluxe editions - import and domestic - featuring bonus covers of Talk Talk's "Life Is What You Make It" and The Band's "The Weight"

Paul Weller - "Have You Made Up Your Mind" (Island) import-only CD and two-part seven-inch single, with guests Noel Gallagher and Gem Archer of Oasis

Your Highness Electric - The Grand Hooded Phantom (Longhair Illuminati) powerful, wavering, arty trio from Louisville, dipping and grinding in that heavenly space owned by Jane's Addiction and Mary My Hope and Spinal Tap

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