Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Schultz' Earful: Lady Gaga

By: David Schultz

Only 25 years old, Lady Gaga has usurped the mantle of the world’s biggest pop star, displaying a learned peroxide blonde ambition in following Madonna’s playbook for global domination with studious expertise. Malleable public persona: check; intimate understanding of public relations: check; knowing the value of a grand spectacle: check; live show that doubles as theater: check; incorporating religious iconography and ideology to deliver a more personal message: check; piss off David Letterman: check; assuming status as gay icon: check. Madonna’s evolutionary descendent has even added elements of Grand Guignol splatter, dubbed her fans Little Monsters and, most recently on Saturday Night Live, revealed a self-awareness for the humorous potential of her extreme imagery. If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, when not on the phone with her copyright infringement attorneys, Madonna must be basking in the glow of hearing Gaga reimagine “Express Yourself” as “Born This Way.” No matter the inconsistencies between the woman and her message, Lady Gaga’s sense of perfection, respectable work ethic and love for the music as well as the spectacle of its performance set her far above pre-packaged Material Girl wannabes like Britney Spears.

With “Born This Way,” the title track from her latest album, Lady Gaga inserts herself directly into the fray surrounding same-sex marriage and the morality of homosexuality, merging the politics of sexual identity into an ideological anthem about being true to your inner self. You know, just like Stefani Germanotta indulges her true Gaga-ness by letting her freak flag fly. The benign hypocrisy behind “Born This Way” stems from the fact that Lady Gaga wasn’t born Stefani Germanotta as much as she was created by her. As documented in New York Magazine, Lady Gaga is the well-crafted invention of a charismatic New York City club denizen driven by a burning desire to be famous and go beyond her Warholian fifteen minutes of fame. If this persona didn’t catch on, Germanotta would have found one that did. Whether the implicit analogy she wishes to draw between herself and the gay culture for which to speaks holds together, it’s a phenomenally catchy song, Madonna cribbing notwithstanding, with a message that should transcend the party atmosphere of the dance floor.

Whether rightly deserved or not, the masterful manipulation of the Billboard charts with the server-melting 99 cent sale of Born This Way on Amazon.com will only enhance Gaga’s reputation as a music industry visionary. There may be a higher price that will still encourage sales to the disinclined but for the time being, 99 cents works wonders at breaking down preconceptions. I would wager that more than 90% of the 400,000-plus that bought the album over Amazon’s two-day sale (including your humble narrator) wouldn’t have opted for Gaga’s latest save for the minimal price. For those who can recall the days of $17.99 CDs being the norm, like Gaga or not, it will be curious to see how far the ripples from Born This Way’s near-giveaway will reach.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

KOCE OC Channel Sun Studio Sessions Sunday May 29 9pm

KOCE, SoCal PBS, airs Sun Studio Sessions Sunday night May 29 at 9pm on their "OC" Channel, right after Soundstage. This episode features singer-songwriter Joshua James and his band.

In addition to playing the Earvolution SXSW party at EMO's in 2007, Joshua James has been featured on NPR's "Live from the World Cafe" and was listed on iTunes' Best of 2009 in the Singer/Songwriter category. Paste Magazine included James in their "Next 25 Artists You Need To Know” feature. Variety magazine calls James "a young Midwestern singer-songwriter who writes hard-bitten songs of family tragedies and sings them in a voice that's as sun-bleached and wind-battered as a Nebraska cornfield." On this episode, Joshua talks about his songwriting and his performs several songs including "Black July."

Joshua James also had his music featured in the Season 3 opener of Sons of Anarchy, where he contributed a cover of Herman's Hermits' "No Milk Today" and recently released a new EP on iTunes, details here on his website.

Truth and Salvage Co. NYC Life Channel Sunday May 29 11pm

The Truth & Salvage Co. are a harmony-laden roots rock band that Rolling Stone says: "draw[s] on irresistible history (Buffalo Springfield, the Band)…[with] what it takes for a long haul." Since putting out their first record on the Black Crowes' Silver Arrow Records, the band has been performing live across the U.S. an appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Tonight, the NYC Life Channel (Ch. 25 on Time Warner/Comcast/Fios/RCN; Ch 22 on Cablevision) airs their intimate performance for "Sun Studio Sessions" taped live in the legendary birthplace of rock and roll in Memphis, Tennessee.

On this episode, Truth & Salvage perform several songs from their debut record including "Pure Mountain Angel" and "Old Piano."

Truth & Salvage is on tour now (dates here), including the Wakarusa Music Festival in Ozark, Arkansas on June 2nd. Definitely a band to support and go see live!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011)

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Schultz' Earful: Ticket Masters

Long time Earvolution readers know that we've always appreciated the business side as much as the music side of the music business. Dean Budnick, the executive editor of Relix magazine, and Josh Barron, the editor-in-chief of Relix magazine and occasional guest on WFUV, have co-authored a book that has Earvolution's attention piqued: Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped, which will be released June 1 on ECW Press. The Relix editors examine the evolution of the live entertainment industry by delving into the origins, development and ongoing strategies of companies such as Ticketmaster, Live Nation and StubHub and the efforts of numerous independent competitors. The book will also tell the stories of scalping syndicates, old school music promoters and would-be Internet tycoons and discuss how bands like the Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam and The Rolling Stones played a role in changing the game.

On March 26, at 92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street, New York, NY Budnick and Barron will host a panel on the issues covered in their upcoming book that features John Scher, Eric Baker (StubHub, Viagogo), Andrew Dreskin (Ticketfly, TicketWeb) and Mike Luba (S2BN Entertainment, Madison House, SCI Ticketing).

Monday, May 23, 2011

Schultz' Earful: Robbie Robertson

By: David Schultz

In the modern day retelling of the history of The Band, Robbie Robertson has pretty much been relegated to the role of whipping boy. Over the years, he’s been accused of walking away from The Band at its apex, shifting the focus of The Last Waltz to stress his importance and appropriating the collective publishing rights to The Band’s catalog as his own. While Robertson has never consented to wear the horns that have been tailored for his scalp, he's also done little to respond to the allegations leveled against him in the wake of the storied group’s mid-Seventies disintegration. On How To Become Clairvoyant, Robertson's first album in nearly two decades, he obliquely addresses his days with The Band on “When The Night Was Young’ and “This Is Where I Get Off.” In terms of self-defense or enlightenment, Robertson’s side of the story probably comes well past the point where anyone cares. Over the past decade, Levon Helm, Robertson’s most vocal antagonist, has become one of the most beloved figures in classic rock. In the realm of public opinion, the lovably cantankerous drummer has irretrievably won over the majority of those who followed this particular battle of The Band.

Many of the songs on Clairvoyant trace their origins to Robertson’s fertile period of the late Eighties, the last time he spent serious time within the studio concentrating on a proper album. Robertson’s raspy voice enhances the aura of the carnival-mystic, native voodoo spirit in the same manner that made “Somewhere Down That Crazy River” and the Peter Gabriel-ish “Broken Arrow” such compelling listens. Robertson doesn’t carry the entire weight on his latest: Eric Clapton makes his presence felt, most notably on “Fear Of Falling” in which Slow Hand reaches back towards the laid-back blues of two decades past, Steve Winwood’s organ and Robert Randolph’s pedal steel make unmistakable cameos and Tom Morello contributes a couple riffs to “Axeman.” Guest stars aside, How To Become Clairvoyant essentially serves as the proper follow-up to Robertson’s self-titled 1990 release. It delves once more into the New Age mysticism Robertson found alluring at that time while foregoing any real type of return to the Americana-tinged folk rock from which he apparently now feels released.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Garrison Starr KLCS PBS Los Angeles

KLCS television in Los Angeles airs Sun Studio Sessions tonight at 8:30pm (PST), featuring Garrison Starr, right before Austin City Limits with Sarah McLachlan. You can view the full schedule here.

Haling from the Memphis suburb of Hernando,Mississippi, singer-songwriter Garrison Starr has performed on CBS' Saturday Early Show and her “Beautiful in Los Angeles” was the featured song on the season one finale of MTV's The Hills. Garrison is accompanied on this episode by Jay Nash, and her performance includes “Hey Girl” and “Gasoline.”

Virgin Islands PBS WTJX Sun Studio Sessions

WTJX Television in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands is the latest station to add Sun Studio Sessions to its lineup, airing Tuesday mornings and Saturday evenings. This week's episode features Justin Townes Earle and Sarah Borges.

Son of famed songwriter Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle is making his own mark on the music scene. Justin the 2009 Americana Music Award for Best New and Emerging Artist. He has appeared on HBO's Treme, NPR’s Morning Edition, World Café, David Letterman and The Grand Ole Opry.

Featured on NPR's nationally broadcast "Mountain Stage" and Fresh Air” programs, Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles were an Americana Music Association "2009 New and Emerging Artist" nominee. Rolling Stone describes them as a : “friendly pop–rock attack” with “bits of twang, rockabilly and Fifties pop.” On this episode, Sarah performs live set stalwarts, including “Daniel Lee” and “Diablito.”

More information on Sun Studio Sessions can be found here, and you can view the full lineup for WTJX here, including Austin City Limits tonight at 9 with Sarah McLachlan.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sun Studio Sessions TV Schedule May 20th, 2001

Sun Studio Sessions will air statewide tonight in Mississippi, on Mississippi PBS at 9pm - you can view their full schedule here at this link.

San Francisco area viewers can watch Sun Studio Sessions tonight on KCSM TV at 8:59pm, with Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers. Preview:

Boston (Comcast Ch. 296) & statewide New Hampshire, Sun Studio Sessions tonight at 10:30pm with Eli Reed & the True Loves on NHPTV PBS "Explore" Channel. Preview:

South Carolina PBS viewers statewide can see Sun Studio Sessions tonight at 11pm on the South Carolina Channel.

Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Monroe and much of Louisiana can watch Sun Studio Sessions TWICE tonight. First at 10pm The Walkmen:

Then Louisiana PBS airs Sun Studio Sessions with Teeny Tucker at 10:30pm:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pink Floyd Reunion: David Gilmour and Nick Mason Join Roger Waters at O2 Arena

On May 12, 2011, David Gilmour joined his former Pink Floyd creative nemesis Roger Waters for 'Comfortably Numb' at the O2 Arena, performing the chorus vocals and guitar solos from atop of the digital Wall on stage.  Drummer Nick Mason also hit the stage with Gilmour and Waters for 'Outside the Wall.'  This marks the first time that the surviving Pink Floyd members have shared the stage since Live 8 in London in 2005.  (Former Pink Floyd keyboardist/vocalist Richard Wright subsequently succumbed to cancer.)

Gilmour stated through his blog that sitting-in with his former bandmates was a one-off thing and there are no plans for a Pink Floyd reunion or tour.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Schultz' Earful: The Beastie Boys

By: David Schultz

In the mid Eighties, when Madonna’s Virgin Tour was one of the hottest tickets in the country, a goofy trio of white rappers opened her shows with a whole host of rhymes, boasting of their juvenile antics with the self-confidence of the terminally clueless. Even when Licensed To Ill became a bone fide sensation, the first hip hop album to reach number one on the Billboard album charts, it remained unclear whether The Beastie Boys were cruelly mocking the hip hop scene they were helping define or shattering the color barrier as the Jackie Robinsons of rap. No one thought back then that a quarter century later, Adam “MCA”, Adam “Ad Rock” Horowitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond would still be around, much less produce something as fresh as Hot Sauce Committee Part 2.

Where once The Beastie Boys would fight for your right to party, they now party for your motherfuckin' right to fight. Tipping their hat to their breakout MTV smash on the opening "Make Some Noise" is endemic of the Beasties ethos: nothing will be forgotten to the ravages of time. As pleasingly old-school as they were when the institution received its charter, the Beasties pepper Hot Sauce Committee with minimalist beats, uncomplicated guitar riffs and choice samples. Pop culture references, mostly passé, smart-ass quips and a self-confident sense of humor are weaved seamlessly into the Beasties narrative. Perhaps the only nod they make to the current cultural landscape are guest appearances from Nas and Santigold. They even know when the let the music speak for themselves as they do on the infectiously funky “Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament.”

The Beastie Boys earned their license to ill by busting rhymes over Zeppelin riffs about crafty girls, brass monkey and lots and lots of partying. On their latest, they are still full of stupendous sound and fabricated fury and with the exception of a proclamation that there's too many rappers and not enough MCs, still remain a rappers’ delight by miraculously signifying nothing. Older, wiser and hipper, the Beasties remain the ultimate testosterone-fueled party band.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Henry Rollins Breaks Twitter Silence

Henry Rollins broke his Twitter silence today. For his first Tweet, Rollins reluctantly joined the fray and sent the following to his 4400+ followers:

"This is Henry and I am tweeting you. I never thought it would come to this. Something of relevance coming soon."

We'll see if the verbose Rollins can live in the 140 characters or less Twitterverse, or whether he'll just use Twitter to promote himself on other media platforms that can give us more of the Henry Rollins we all know and love, such as his "Dispatch" blog which contains some lengthy posts.

Also, Rollins is set to do a bunch of tour dates this summer so that may be what is drawing Henry to Twitter.

Microsoft Skype Deal?

The web is abuzz tonight about a possible Microsoft purchase of Skype. The reports place the offer in the $7-8 billion dollar range. Clearly, this is a bold move by Microsoft to maintain a slot in the top tier of tech company brands along side Google, Facebook and Apple, who have been hogging the spotlight of late.

Putting aside the valuation, Skype is a smart play for Microsoft. First, the move would keep Skype out of Google's hands who likely would have liked to pair it with Google voice. Facebook reportedly eyed Skype as well, which makes sense on a connectivity level.

Beyond keeping it from competitors, Skype will put some swagger back in Microsoft's step. It's true that "Bing" is beginning to make a dent into Google's search dominance, but that has happened quietly and Google and Apple remain the sexier tech brands. Acquiring Skype is a big bang shot of adrenaline with lots of potential upside.

Skype brings with it as many as 650+ million registered users, but there is still tremendous growth and application opportunity in the U.S. and beyond. I can see Skype becoming even more integrated into the social media grid and if the deal goes through Skype mobile apps could serve up tens of millions of Bing ads for Microsoft.

Schultz' Earful: Tama Impala; Yuck; The Joy Formidable

By: David Schultz

Late Sixties/early Seventies era psychedelic rock must dominate radio airplay in Australia. At least to a different extent that it does in America. It didn't seem like that long ago we were all salivating over Wolfmother's Zeppelin-derived imagery, gently used Black Sabbath riffs and Andrew Stockdale's afro. Nowadays, Perth's Tame Impala serves as the continent's Day-Gloiest export. A veritable group of youngsters with a penchant for lysergically-soused meanderings, Tame Impala recently returned to New York City for a sold-out show at Webster Hall.

On Innerspeaker, their full length debut, Tame Impala offered up a glimpse of what Oasis might have sounded like if the Gallagher brothers fully embraced their love of The Beatles instead of resisting all such comparisons while resisting the urge to beat the tar out of each other. Learning the lessons to be imparted from obsessive study of Revolver, farmer sings through a haze of reverb and ambles through languidly trippy guitar codas as if born a generation late. However, where the music takes flight within the headphones, on stage it never quite soars. Unable to match the high fidelity to be found in the studio, they just didn't seem to have the experience to carry the music before a live audience. In failing to fully capture the imagination, songs like "Alter Ego" and "Lucidity" never found traction and a cover of Massive Attack’s “Angel” seemed misplaced. The comparison may be apocryphal but Tame Impala’s attempt to recreate Innerspeaker’s feel illustrated why The Beatles never attempted to play most of their psychedelic classics on stage. Unlike a band that simply can't deliver, this seems like a fixable problem and once solved, they might be Australia's most enjoyable export since AC/DC.

TAME IMPALA'S SELL-OUT WAS AIDED in no small part by their pairing with Yuck, the inauspiciously named group of English adolescents whose self-titled debut was recently released by Fat Possum. Other than youth and drummer Jonny Rogoff's throwback afro - seriously, it looks like it's been directly off of any ABA player - there is little to connect Yuck with Tame Impala save blogger buzz. Where Tame Impala looks to the drug inspired rock of the post-Woodstock generation for inspiration, Yuck brings back the malaise and apathy of the mid-Nineties.

For the entirety of their set, guitarist Daniel Blumberg exhibited the awkward stage presence and bashful affectations mastered by the faux-shy, attention averse frontmen that somehow ended up in the forefront of every photo shoot. Slightly hunched over a microphone that he could have probably raised quite easily, Blumberg added lush context to the series of tightly-wrought songs from their debut with high-pitched vocals reminiscent of Stephen Malkmus. Moving from the acoustically pleasing “Suicide Policeman” to the plaintive bleat and intoxicating guitars of “The Wall” to the Gavin Rossdale-ish “Suck,” the Brits concluded their set with a deliberate version of “Rubber,” leaving the audience in the wake of their screeching feedback.

THE GHOSTS OF THE NINETIES STIRRED ONCE MORE when The Joy Formidable concluded a 7 week American tour at Webster Hall. Lead guitarist Ritzy Bryan was one of the breakout stars of this year's SXSW, thrashing about the stage in the epileptic grip of whatever guitar solo she had immersed herself in. Instead of sparse Austin stage that would be shared with a dozen other bands a day, the Welsh-based band decorated the stage in the style of a well-mannered baroque living room . . . that just happened to have a large gong in the corner and a gigantic inflatable cats head as its centerpiece.

Their Webster Hall set drew heavily from The Big Roar, the full length debut that enhanced and embellished many of the tracks from A Balloon Called Moaning, the 2010 EP that introduced them to the U.S., and an encore that included “Greyhounds In The Slips, their contribution to an NME compilation. Melding everything together into tidal waves of scree that build to thunderous crescendos, the trio of Bryan, bassist Rhydian Dafydd and drummer Matt Thomas aim for the lofty heights of majestic rock. Waifish in appearance until she starts bounding and trashing about the stage in the throes of a punk rock fit, Bryan turns the lengthy instrumental outros of "Whirring" and "The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade,” into hyperkinetic art pieces. She even makes a mockery of the prog rock pomposity of having a gong on stage for a solitary, token crash, wailing away as if it owed her money.

The feisty little trio featuring the adorably manic Bryan will be returning to the States for the summer for the festival circuit.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Lady Gaga Dissed By American Idol Judges

Lady Gaga is hands down the biggest act in pop music (sorry Katy Perry). But, tonight the judges on the biggest television show in pop music were not impressed with a previously unreleased Gaga song performed by American Idol contestant Haley Reinhart, called "You and I."

Both Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson dumped on the Gaga song, saying it wasn't that great. They clearly distinguished between Haley's performance and the song, with their criticism mostly focused on the song. Even the ever effusive Steven Tyler only provided muted praise for Haley, with no comment on Gaga's tune.

It may have cost Haley a slot in the next round due to top level performances by James Durbin and Scotty McCreary, who are both "in it to win it." But, if you look at the big picture, Haley deserves the next round more than Jacob Lusk, who is talented but belongs on Broadway not on the American Idol stage this far into the competition. Lauren Alaina is a darkhorse that could hang around.

Gaga's monsters erupted with criticism of J-Lo and Randy Jackson on Twitter. Has American Idol now lost its chance to have Gaga perform on the finale? Or, will Gaga demand to do so to redeem her song?

Monday, May 02, 2011

Netflix model for music industry? Not Likely

"Envy is a powerful drug and right now the music industry is suffering from Netflix envy. That's let to an interesting debate between those who believe Netflix' success is a model for the music industry, and those who see radical differences between consumer engagement with visual vs. audio content." via www.hypebot.com

While Billboard's Glenn Peoples correctly highlights the rapid and significant growth of Netflix, the one factor ignored is that consumer behavior for renting movies existed for years before Netflix came along and digitized it for the web and streamlined home delivery. That long buildup of behavior from Blockbuster and its predecessors is a key factor in the Netflix explosion. Nothing similar exists for music, there has been no prior large scale "rental" model.

Is it possible Rhapsody, eMusic or another subscription service could see large growth overtime ala Netflix? Maybe. But, consumers will have to overcome decades of wanting to "own" music and the record companies will need some vision at the top, neither of which seem likely.

Licorice To Reunite At The Blue Note On May 7

May 7, 2011 - Blue Note Jazz Club
At The Midnight Hour

Advance tickets available by clicking here.

Schultz' Earful: Neil Young

By: David Schultz

Growing up, Lincoln Center always felt like the place where old people went to enjoy their old music. What else is a teenager to make of a group of well-dressed grown-ups congregating to listen to indecipherable opera or stodgy chamber music? Many years on, I can only wonder what the teenagers around Columbus Circle thought of the motley group that gathered at Avery Fisher Hall for Neil Young's sold-out two night run. I would like to imagine that they thought it was cool that a classic rock icon - the grunge rock Godfather - was getting stage time at Lincoln Center. They couldn't possibly think of Young in the same way that I once thought of the classical arts, could they?

Taking a seat with an acoustic guitar amidst a memorabilia littered stage, Young opened with a poignant reading of "Hey Hey My My" and quickly ambled into "Tell Me Why" and a version of “Helpless” that inspired a multitude of nostalgic sighs. In the quiet environs of Avery Fisher Hall, Young was able to convey every ounce of the wizened and world-weary weight of his lyrics and deliver each measure of the empathy and pathos that inch unobtrusively into his signature, high-pitched vocals. Whether on acoustic guitar or the organ, on which he delivered a moderately updated version of “After The Gold Rush,” Young’s music resonated dramatically. Once Young picked up an electric guitar, Lincoln Center resonated even further, the reverb and bass literally shaking fixtures that have had little exposure to Young’s raw brand of rock and roll.

The lion's share of the performance took its cues from Le Noise, his latest album recorded under the watchful eye of Daniel Lanois. Setting the reverb dial well past its limits, Young used his guitar to set the ambiance rather than supply melodic accompaniment or complementary riffs. During "Down By The River," the signature one-note guitar solo dissolved into the haze of fuzzy tones and on warhorses like "Cinnamon Girl" and "Cortez The Killer," the mélange of noise offered a pleasant change of pace, matching the original Crazy Horse ethos. For an artist that has dipped his toes in the waters of numerous different genres, often to the befuddlement of his ardent fans and well as his own A&R reps, the persona of a purveyor of the cultural arts seemed to suit Young just fine.

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Grace Potter Rocking The Gear circa 2006!