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Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014
We've selected the top ten covers Tori Amos should consider performing on the US Leg of her Unrepentant Geraldines tour.

There are few musicians who possess the kind of flexibility and dexterity to change their setlists from night to night as much as Tori Amos does. Amos’ 2014 Unrepentant Geraldines tour is reviving an extremely clever gimmick she first debuted in 2005 during her Original Sinsuality tour: “The Lizard Lounge”. This cheeky moniker references Amos’ time spent playing covers requested in bars, often for tips, in Washington DC and Los Angeles before she broke through to a mainstream audience, great acclaim and much success for playing her own original music.


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Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014
The rock icon gives the public its first listen of his new "trance meets Zep" album.

Yesterday saw the premiere of “Rainbow”, the first offering from Robert Plant‘s new album lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar, due out this September on Nonesuch. First debuted on NPR, it’s now also available on the singer’s YouTube page, and as a digital freebie with preorders of the LP. Backed by an hefty roster of musicians in the guise of the Sensational Space Shifters, Plant has stated to the press that the new album’s sound can be summed up handily as “trance meets Zep”. Such a description certainly applies to “Rainbow”, where a sparse and vaguely exotic drum pattern serves as the bedrock for wispy, droning textures redolent of the gentler side of mid-period Led Zeppelin.


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Monday, Jun 23, 2014
They cornered the genre known as "party-pop", dressed in '60s thrift store kitsch, and poured jokes and humor into all their lyrics. Oh, and their debut album is actually one of the greatest rock albums ever made. No, really.

There are a lot of iconic B-52’s one-liners. Most of them are funny. Some of them are downright surreal. Yet virtually all of them leave you feeling like you’re going down to where the love honey grows, and picking just one to sum up the entire aesthetic of these fearless Athens, Georgia New Wavers is actually harder than you’d think. Do you pick a zinger from “Love Shack”? The bizarre “Song for a Future Generation”? The wonderful guitar strut of “Private Idaho”?


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Friday, Jun 20, 2014
You should know compared to people on a global scale our kind has had it relatively easy. Jason Isbell gets that -- and a lot more as well. His 2013 release is this week’s Counterbalance.

Klinger: As much as we music nerds like to praise our rock stars for their untamed excesses, weaving their tales of substance-fueled debauchery into the grand narrative of pop mythology, we don’t often spend much time thinking about the realities of the lifestyle. For all the talk about Led Zeppelin’s mud sharks or Sid Vicious’ bad night at the Chelsea Hotel or Fleetwood Mac’s coked-out romantic recriminations, it’s easy to forget that these are the actions of actual people, who had to wake up the next morning and look at themselves in the mirror. Jason Isbell, former partner in the songwriting triumvirate Drive-By Truckers, has crafted an incredible new album, Southeastern, that chronicles the aftermath of people’s excesses, especially his own. It also reveals him to be a songwriter of uncommon depth and humanity.


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Thursday, Jun 19, 2014
The press is buzzing about YouTube's threat that it will remove content by labels that do not agree to the terms of its forthcoming subscription-based service. Is this good for YouTube?

There’s a lot of chatter and speculation going on right now regarding YouTube’s impending launch of its subscription-based service. Namely, that independent record labels are up on arms about the terms the video hosting website is supposedly offering, which according to the trade body Worldwide Independent Network disproportionately favor major labels Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. at the expense of the indies. Even more alarming, an article by the Financial Times this week has stated that YouTube will start blocking material by those who have not agreed to the company’s new terms “in a matter of days”. Given YouTube’s popularity and ubiquity, these moves have been seen as essentially throwing independent artists under a bus if they don’t play along.


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