Vanessa Carlton And John McCauley Married By Stevie Nicks

Well, this is odd. Vanessa Carlton and Deer Tick‘s John McCauley were married on Friday, and the ceremony was officiated by none other than Fleetwood Mac‘s Stevie Nicks. Sure, why not?

McCauley also posted a pic on Instagram of Nicks filling out the requisite paperwork.

The newlyweds initially met over Twitter, facilitated by Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket – surely cementing this as the mellowest, grooviest union in recent memory.


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The Prodigal Daughter

New Releases 2/5/13: The Bronx, Jim James, Coheed And Cambria, Matt Pond, Frightened Rabbit

February is surely the shortest month of the year for a reason. Lucky for you, there’s a whole new slew of great albums to help you through the winter doldrums. Check out this week’s new releases.

The BronxThe Bronx (IV)

It’s business as usual for these LA punks on their fourth album. Though The Bronx have spent time in their mariachi alter-ego Mariachi El Bronx, the band is back to full rock form on this release with brash, abrasive vocals that ride on jagged waves of distorted guitar. Read a full review here. (more…)

Review: Jim James' 'Regions of Light and Sound of God'

In 1964, during a single session in New Jersey, John Coltrane and his quartet recorded the entirety of A Love Supreme. The almost supernatural, single-minded focus required to produce such a complex piece of art in such a compact amount of time was a true manifestation of the spirit of the album. A statement of unity, concord, and appreciation for the mysterious workings of the higher power to which Coltrane credited his music, A Love Supreme was the sound of an artist cracking the door on the connection to his muse, and letting his listeners peer in at the light, if only for a second.

Regions of Light and Sound of God, the first solo album from My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, bears that same mark of divine connection. This is not to bluntly compare James to Coltrane, or even to suggest that it’s possible to compare them as artists. It is, nonetheless, recognizing the possibility that, as an unabashedly spiritual album, Regions of Light can be understood in much the same way as Coltrane’s masterpiece.


The Editorialist: 8 Holiday Covers You Need To Hear

The holidays are a time for friends, family, baked goods, and of course, the release of cover songs from some of your favorite artists past and present. From fun.‘s recent cover of Sleigh Ride all the way back to the days of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, our playlist has a little something for everyone.

Listen to our playlist below and let us know your choices for best holiday cover in the comments.

Holiday Covers We Love from OurStage on 8tracks Radio.

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Record Store Day Announces Black Friday Releases

While Black Friday fanatics will be lining up at the doors of Kohl’s, Sears and various malls at unseemly hours on Friday, Nov. 23, to score the latest in electronics and appliances, music fanatics will be lining up in hopes to snag limited edition vinyl, box sets, CDs, and DVDs.

So get your travel mugs ready, and clear your early morning schedule, because this year is boasting some fantastic releases. Among them are a 7 of The Rolling Stones’ first EP, Nirvana‘s 20th anniversary edition of Incesticide 45RPM edition and releases by Coheed and Cambria, The Gaslight Anthem, and My Morning Jacket.

You can find the full list of releases here.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Your Country's Right Here: Lucero Showcases 'Women & Work'

Ben Nichols, frontman of the punk alt-country band Lucero, talks like a man who has been musically reborn.

Or maybe it’s more apt to liken his attitude to that of someone who worked and worked and then finally solved the New York Times‘ Saturday crossword puzzle ” in ink, first time through. Sure Lucero has always had a cool punk, alt-country sound that won them fans well beyond the band’s Memphis, Tenn., home base. But now think of Lucero’s punk, alt-country sound as super charged, thanks to the addition of new players and instrumentation. You can hear it all on the band’s new release Women & Work, on ATO records, home of the Drive-By Truckers, My Morning Jacket, and other like-minded musicians.

“When we [recorded] Women & Work all eight pieces had been on the road for a couple years,” said Nichols of the group’s cohesive musical direction. “We had time to gel, as a complete unit and it was the first time everyone had been involved [in recording a Lucero record] since day one. We had discovered what was possible and went into this record knowing exactly where we stood and exactly what sound we were going for.”

Not that Nichols and the other original members of the 14-year-old band didn’t have the determination or talent or enthusiasm to find that musical sweet spot before. It’s just that, like solving a puzzle, they needed to find the key to the tricky questions. In this band’s case, it was how to whip Otis Redding soul into Lucero’s punk country sound and have a pleasing result.


Opposites Attract

The Dandelion War

Like Led Zeppelin and Iron Butterfly, The Dandelion War should immediately give you a hint about its music by name alone. The tension between contrasts”low and high, heavy and light, gentle and violent”has long provided creative fodder for artists. The Dandelion War deftly weaves those contrasts together for diaphanous songscapes that range from story to placid. Jail Bird adds layers of glacial guitars, synths and drums to create the soundtrack to a dream. But the subconscious can be a fitful place, too, and on Spectacle the five-piece band creates a gyre of piano, drums, guitar and bass that falls somewhere between Sigur Rós and My Morning Jacket. The Petals of Lipaceli is equally mesmerizing”a long instrumental intro contains pianos echoed by chimes, reverb-drenched guitars, chants and rhythms that become more insistent as they build to crescendo. Sweet dreams are made of these.

The EditoriaList: Eight Great EPs

EP stands for Extended Play. The word left off at the end is Single, as these were originally all about singles with some bonus material. This list, however, is about the EP as an artistic statement unto itself. Like a great short story, the EP can thrill you in a way that a full-length LP (Long Player) can’t; its succinctness and concentrated power leaving you excited and needing more. On this list, the EPs may or may not be based on an album single, as long as it hangs together as its own listening experience.

8. Jim James (as Yim Yames) “ Tribute To¦

Shortly after George Harrison’s death in 2001, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James went into the studio and cut a handful of George’s songs, selecting several of the best solo and Beatle compositions (drawing heavily from The White Album and All Things Must Pass). The resulting EP was not released until 2009. James is solo here, with acoustic guitar, multitracked voice, and a shitload of reverb; the sum of which lends a lonely, timeless air to Harrison’s already mystical songs. The recordings are pretty true to the original arrangements, but James has such a unique style (particularly in this spare environment) that the songs are reinvented. AMG’s Andrew Leahey puts it well: “˜My Sweet Lord,’ once a communal hymn, is stripped of its choral arrangement and turned into a solitary prayer, while The Beatles’ ˜Love You To’ leaves its Indian homeland in favor of the swampy American backwoods.”

7. Mission of Burma “ Signals, Calls, and Marches

This EP was originally released (in 1981) with six songs, including the seething That’s When I Reach For My Revolver, then was amended and re-released in 1997 with the anthemic Academy Fight Song and Max Ernst. Signals, Calls, and Marches is probably the most accessible MoB recording (Roger Miller called it mild mannered in comparison with their aggressive live show) and, as such, helped propel into the 80s the gospel of post-punk / underground / college rock / whatever you want to call it (long before “alternative”). Like most of the EPs on this list, it should not be treated by any fans or curious listeners as an afterthought or any less important than their LPs, but instead as an integral part of the Burma catalog.


Tasty Tracks And Tasty Treats

Here at OurStage there are few things that we enjoy as much as music, but one of our obsessions that comes pretty damn close is our love of food. So imagine our delight when several musicians announced new, culinary side projects. Train released a Petite Sirah wine that will finally let fans know what “Drops of Jupiter” taste like, AC/DC announced a line of fine wines named after their hits”including “Highway to Hell” and “You Shook Me All Night Long””and former Blur bassist Alex James is now selling his cheeses in the UK.

We did a little digging and as it turns out, the relationship between musicians and foodies is very strong. Yes, plenty of artists offer ways to get your drink on like a rock star (Sammy Hagar has his own brand of tequila), but many are restaurant owners, chefs and even critics! From giants like KISS Coffeehouses and Jimmy Buffet‘s Margaritaville Cafes to smaller, quainter cafes like Moby‘s adorable Teany in New York City, artist-owned eateries have been popping up all over the place. Even J. Lo got into the restaurant game a few years ago; unfortunately, the Mexican eatery “Madre’s” closed its doors in 2008 after six years. (Still better than Britney‘s joint “Nyla,” which lasted less than a year.)