My Morning Jacket's seventh studio album 'The Waterfall', their first in four years, finds Jim James' five-piece band in a psychedelic and pastoral mood. It demonstrates many of the experimental tendencies of James' 2013 solo effort 'Regions Of Light And Sound Of God', but I must admit that I've warmed less to these songs than other critics. Culled from a productive set of sessions in Northern California, this is the first of two My Morning Jacket albums planned for the next twelve months. The tracks are infused with the hazy sunshine that you'd expect from that location, but many of them became background noise to me far too quickly. The material feels comfortable, familiar even, but it felt a bit like wallpaper. Intricate, very detailed and occasionally beautiful wallpaper, but wallpaper all the same.
That description does sound more detrimental than it should, but it is appropriate. Imagine landscapes that sprawl as far as you can see, littered with tiny details that you're more interested in than the overall picture. The term wallpaper may suggest repetition, there's little of that here, however the picture that's painted by James only temporarily catches your attention, that's where the analogy is strongest. To be fair, the moments where the ideas and sounds become less complex and more focussed are among My Morning Jacket's strongest work to date. There aren't enough of those moments for my money to make this one of their best albums though.
The emotional pinnacle of 'The Waterfall' is also perhaps its most striking moment; 'Get The Point' is a simple guitar lament to the breakdown of a relationship. It echoes the understated beauty of Paul McCartney's 'White Album' performance of 'Blackbird', comparisons have also been drawn elsewhere to Nilsson's 'Everybody's Talkin''. The song really is the jewel in the crown of 'The Waterfall', not least because it strips away some of the psychedelic haze to reveal James sharing an honesty that many of us find hard to put into words ("I hope you get the point, I think our love is done"). This is the most affecting break-up song I've heard in a long time, that much of the rest of the album doesn't reach this high water mark remains a problem for me. That's because I know that My Morning Jacket have the tools to prompt such a strong reaction as with this particular track.
Continue reading: My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall Album Review
The full daily schedule has now been announced for Forecastle 2015.
Forecastle Festival has finally completed its 2015 line-up and announced the full day-by-day schedule for the coming event, which is set to hit Louisville, Kentucky yet again in July. Plus, you'll very soon be able to purchase single day tickets for each day.
Joining the stellar line-up headlined by the already announced Sam Smith, locals My Morning Jacket and Widespread Panic are The War On Drugs, ZZ Ward, Robert DeLong and Mariachi el Bronx among a handful of others. With such talent expected every day between July 17th and 19th, 2015 is shaping up to be an important year for Forecastle.
D'angelo & The Vanguard, Kacey Musgraves and Songhoy Blues join headliners Billy Joel and Mumford & Sons.
More additions have been announced for Bonnaroo 2015 as the June event draws ever closer. D'angelo & The Vanguard, Kacey Musgraves and Songhoy Blues join an already stellar line-up for this 10-stage bonanza, while the full late night sets are also announced.
Adding to a line-up headlined by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Billy Joel and London Grammy winners Mumford And Sons are soul collective D'angelo & The Vanguard, young country star Kacey Musgraves and Mali four-piece Songhoy Blues. As usual, the epic festival - which is set to play host to a massive 85,000 music lovers - presents one of the world's most diverse line-ups as it prepares to hit Manchester, Tennessee this summer from June 11th to 14th.
Continue reading: Bonnaroo 2015: More Thrills Added To The Summer Line-up
Widespread Panic and Modest Mouse will also perform at the Kentucky rock fest.
Locals My Morning Jacket lead the line-up for Forecastle Festival 2015, as the first selection of acts entice more and more towards a sun-soaked weekend in Louisville, Kentucky this July. The band will also be joined by Brit singer Sam Smith.
Hot on the heels of their latest album announcement 'The Waterfall', My Morning Jacket return to their hometown for a jam down by Waterfront Park this summer, alongside British superstar Sam Smith who is looking at his most successful year yet with four Grammy wins, a sell-out tour and a number one already with his re-released debut single 'Lay Me Down' featuring John Legend.
The London band have taken inspiration from Mumford's other projects.
Mumford & Sons have a new album well on the way, and they now unveil a taster in the form of first single 'Believe' - an instant download with all album pre-orders and a significant deviation from the modern 'folk rock' style that made them famous.
Mumford & Sons return with new single 'Believe'
'Believe' is taken from third album 'Wilder Mind' and already gives us some idea that we shouldn't expect material like what we saw in debut album 'Sigh No More' and 2012's number one 'Babel'. This album has been recorded at Air Studios in London and has been produced by James Ford, whose previous work includes that of Arctic Monkeys, HAIM and Florence & The Machine.
The Flaming Lips and friends take a walk on the psych side
Rock oddballs The Flaming Lips have released more details about their upcoming charity album. It's a track-by-track tribute album to The Beatles' 1967 classic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, regarded by many to be the most influential pop record ever released.
The Flaming Lips Credit George Salisbury
Entitled With A Little Help From My Fwends, the Lips bring their unique style to proceedings with assistance from a host of collaborators including members of MGMT, Moby, My Morning Jacket, Foxygen, Tegan & Sara, Phantogram, J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr.) and Miley Cyrus.
Continue reading: The Flaming Lips And Fwends Rework Sgt. Pepper's
On their 1985 minor hit 'Left of the Dial', The Replacements sang their ode to college radio, America's best solution to showcasing all the most interesting up and coming bands to all the coolest people. 'College Radio Day the Album Volume 2' demonstrates that this is an American tradition which is still in rude health.
The curators of 'College Radio Day' stress that this is an album put together with care by the college radio community for the college radio community, and profits from the sale of this collection get pumped back into college radio. As a result, they have got some fairly big names in to contribute music. You get the southern rock of My Morning Jacket, you get a live version of Passenger's inescapable and insipid 'Let Her Go' and Jeff Ament from Pearl Jam's punk idealist side project RNDM even take a turn, as do the brilliantly named The Front Bottoms.
One of the strengths of 'College Radio Day' is its diversity. This is a compilation with little regard for genre boundaries, embracing everything from the Alice In Chains grunge revival of Killed the Fixtion to the hip hop stylings of Feli Fame. As a result, it would be difficult for anyone to enjoy absolutely everything on offer here but there is indeed something for everyone.
Continue reading: Various Artists - College Radio Day The Album Volume 2 Album Review
Times Square to hold a special free concert for this year's CBGB festival in addition to an already incredible line-up over the week.
The second CBGB Music & Film Festival is set to take over New York next week as hundreds of artists both old and new flood the streets in nearly 175 venues across the city.
The line-up has now been announced for year two of the CBGB Festival which will almost certainly exceed 2012's set-up. On October 8th - 13th, more than 700 artists will spread out in a celebration of some of the greatest music to have ever come out of New York - we are, of course, talking about the legendary 70s club of the same name that was founded by Hilly Kristal and saw the beginnings of icons such as Ramones, Misfits, the Patti Smith Group, Blondie, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Talking Heads.
Must-see artists this year include Kentucky rockers My Morning Jacket, Californian quartet The Wallflowers and New York's own Grizzly Bear. We will also get to see a special DJ set by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and all female tribute act Lez Zeppelin will be making an appearance, though with only three songs so make sure you don't miss it! It's not all about Americans either as CBGB happily opens its arms to the likes of Aussie trio Atlas Genius who released their debut album earlier this year and eclectic Irish band Bell X1 who also released an album which reached number one in the Irish charts.