Prince, the man for whom the word “enigmatic” was coined, has reunited with his old label Warner Bros., with which he had some of his greatest successes from 1978-1996. His split from Warners was publicly acrimonious, with Prince characterizing himself as a slave to the corporation.
Eighteen years has seemingly healed those wounds, and Prince is now working on a new album for the label, while also planning a re-release of his classic Purple Rain in time for the album’s 30th anniversary. Okay, maybe it’s not just the time that’s passed – as Billboard reports, Prince almost certainly negotiated a favorable new deal for himself in regards to his Warner’s catalog, which he reportedly has regained ownership under provisions of the Copyright Revision Act of 1976.
In any case, great news for fans.
On November 19th, Bloodshot Records released Bottle Rockets/The Brooklyn Side as a two-disc package, including a detailed 40-page booklet. Released in 1993 and 1995 respectively, these two records are crucial early planks in the bridge from The Replacements through Ryan Adams‘ Whiskeytown and to the now-established alt-country scene.
Not only do the records hold up to their countless progeny, they sound even more vital than many of today’s roots rock releases. The albums’ straight-ahead, raw and roomy production (enhanced by a fine remastering job) has nothing in common with the budget indie sound that dates so many of their contemporaries and, along with the top-notch songwriting and fearless performances, makes for an exciting listen.
We had a quick Q&A with Bottle Rockets drummer Mark Ortmann to see what he thought accounted for the great sound on these records, as well as his thoughts on touring, playing with Marshall Crenshaw, and bands on other planets.
SJ: I had never heard these two early records, and being a fan of lots of independent releases from the early ’90s, I can’t believe how vibrant these sound in contrast, with a really high production value. That can’t just be the remaster, right? To what or whom do you attribute the sound of the recordings?
Mark: John Keane produced, recorded and engineered the debut album Bottle Rockets, whereas The Brooklyn Side was produced by Eric Ambel and recorded by Albert Caiati. Although the remastering did put a new polish on those albums, it’s John, Eric and Albert who are responsible for the vibrant quality of the original recordings. The common approach they took was to record a faithful representation of the band while avoiding the audio fads/trends of the times (gated drums, digital effects, etc.) There is more production on The Brooklyn Side because there was more studio time to work with by the second album, but neither album sounds dated due to the recording methods used.
Officially announced this week, Nirvana’s final studio album, In Utero, is being reissued on September 24. The ‘Super Deluxe Edition’ will feature a remastered cut of the album, along with 70 remastered, remixed, rare, unreleased, and live recordings spread over a four-disc package. No word yet on a tracklist, but we expect one to surface in the weeks ahead.
Those interested in celebrating In Utero without all of the added flair will be able to pick up a two CD and a three LP version version of the reissue as well. No additional information regarding either of those pressings has been released at this time.
Lana Del Rey has been a busy woman since she rose to prominence last year on the strength of a handful of viral videos. She hasn’t let up her onslaught since, regularly pumping out releases that are less songs, videos, and records and more pieces of cannily composed viral content.
It’s a strategy that hasn’t failed Del Rey so far. So you missed her debut LP Born To Die earlier this year and somehow avoided the various music videos and collaborations that followed in its wake? Good luck trying to do that the second time around.
Born To Die, I’m sorry, Born To Die – The Paradise Edition, is a 24 song monster of a re-release, pairing the deluxe version of Del Rey’s debut album with the nine track Paradise EP. That’s a whole lotta Lana.
Not that any of this is going to convert any of the haters. The cuts that we’ve heard from the Paradise EP sound like vintage Del Rey. In fact, the dead-eyed goddess was generous enough to gift the internet viewing public with an atmospheric treatment for one of the songs featured on the Paradise EP, “Bel Air,” which you can see after the jump.
What’s underneath those beards, anyway? Anyone who has ever lent an ear to the legacy of long-lived boogie rock legends ZZ Top can tell you that there’s a fair share of Texas blues in the band’s background. But as an elegantly appointed new boxed set makes clear, the backstory of Billy Gibbons”the Top’s singer and guitarist since their ’69 inception”also boasts a heaping helping of psychedelia.
Moving Sidewalks “ The Complete Collection, just released by reissue specialists Rockbeat Records, chronicles the journey of a young Billy Gibbons through the Houston music scene of the mid-to-late ˜60s on his way to forming the band that would become a rock & roll phenomenon. If you’ve ever yearned to peek beneath the fulsome facial hair of the famous frontman, either literally or figuratively, all you have to do is open up this enticing package. Not only does the photo-laden 54-page booklet offer up images of a clean-shaven, baby-faced Billy in his teens as a member of The Coachmen and then the Moving Sidewalks, the two CDs encompass the entirety of both bands’ output. (more…)
Alt-rock pop-punk band Tigers Jaw are streaming their 2008 Summer EP on YouTube. Their label, Run For Cover Records is taking pre-orders for reissues of this record as well as two others, including Tigers Jaw’s self titled 12″ LP and Belongs To The Dead. Click here to find out more, and check out the first streaming track below called “Neighbors,” a sad bare bones acoustic rendition.
If you like Tigers Jaw, then you might also like OurStage’s own Shark Tape.
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