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Memories Are NowJesca Hoop's new album Memories Are Now on Sub Pop Records wastes no time in making clear its confidence, confrontation, and craftsmanship. The stark and reverberant title track opens the album with "a fighting spirit," says Hoop, serving as an anthem to push through any obstacle and put forth your very best work. And she has unequivocally done that here, with an album of stunningly original songs--minimalist yet brimming with energy, emerging from a wealth of life experience, great emotional depth, and years of honing the craft of singing.
As riveting as it is reflective, the album, produced by Blake Mills (Fiona Apple, Alabama Shakes), is a fresh debut of sorts for Hoop, as the first of her solo records made outside of Tony Berg's Zeitgeist Studios where she and Mills were mentored. Says Hoop, "Blake is so utterly musical and emotionally intelligent in his expression. I wanted to see what we could do, just he and I out from under Tony's wing." Mills pushed her to strip away layers, keeping it as close to the live experience as possible, using whole live takes and working very quickly. "It's still covered in embryonic fluid, for lack of a better way to put it," says Hoop.
However fast the work, Memories Are Now covers a great deal of ground, showcasing every edge and curve of Hoop's captivating voice, with sounds and themes ranging from the mythic to the deeply intimate. She sings of the religion that weighs heavily on her past and the world, of the imagination of myth, of the cruel nature of life and love.
The defiance that permeates Memories Are Now is both a product and necessity of a career that has been independently driven and self-funded from the beginning. "All of my successes have been won on the grassroots level, with handshakes and hugs from great people who believe in me," says Hoop, more than a decade into her career and with new paths to forge. As she sings in the title track, "I've lived enough life, I've earned my stripes. That's my knife in the ground, this is mine." -Evie Nagy1. Memories Are Now
2. The Lost Sky
3. Animal Kingdom Chaotic
4. Simon Says
5. Cut Connection
6. Songs of Old
9. The Coming$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Deluxe Package Featuring A Rubber Outer Sleeve And Die-Cut Inner Sleeves
Double 180 Gram Colored Vinyl
Screen Printed Lyric Sheet
Released August 2013 in the UK. This is its first North American release. Jonny Vic, who is the brains behind Satellites, is the musical director and bass player for James Blunt. He has been playing with him for 5 years, while developing his Satellites project on the side. The album was very well received in the U.K., and was named #37 on Rough Trade's albums of the year list.1. Something Bigger
2. Neon Sun
3. This Is All That There Is
4. God Bless America
5. Ghost of a Memory
6. World at Your Feet
7. Encore Encore
8. Madison Park Bell
9. Bone Trophies
10. Beg Steal & Borrow
11. Spent Venom
12. A Million Drums
14. Hourglass$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + CD - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Nasty, Brutish, and ShortContinually shot out of a cannon, PUJOL contorted through his latest flaming hoop with the recording and release of the EP Nasty, Brutish, and Short. Moving at the speed of the '60's, the EP becomes PUJOL's 10th release in less than two years after acclaimed singles, full lengths and EPs on Third Man, Infinity Cat, Evil Weevil, Jeffrey Drag, Turbo Time and Velocity of Sound. This year, PUJOL left SXSW with the opportunity to make records on a wider scale of release, and scrambled together a skeleton crew of Nashville musicians and friends, in between tours, to make the deadline for a fall release. PUJOL utilized his attitude of whatever works with whatever resources as the creative anchor for the recording of the EP, even to the point of mixing it via text message while on tour in Canada during a marathon back-and-forth between himself and Battletape's Jeremy Ferguson. Striving to turn these obstacles into creative opportunities, PUJOL sought to combine aspects of both home and studio recording into the sound of something that really happened. In his own words: The recording process reflects the material, it was basically done while hardcoremultitasking in between tours, school, previously booked sessions at Battletapes, and general life-madness. The process reflects the narrative and was recorded at the speed of my life, so it's the immediate sound of something that really happened, it wasn't made in a bubble, I can't yet afford such luxurious suds. Ride the Tiger, Holy Diver. Nasty, Brutish, and Short focuses on fragmentation, compartmentalization, and the idea of cultural maxims dominating the individual's ability to vocalize and interact with the external world, essentially being forced into speaking, what PUJOL calls, the loudest person's language, which only resembles truth because a lot of people heard it simultaneously. I wanted to stab at making a narrative that would cyclically feed back into itself, oscillating between the individual's and the cultural lexicon. I finally got to assemble those songs together on a single release. All throughout this unapologetically from-the-hip release, PUJOL marries a lyric of intent to the tune of the uncontrollable variables of a life in what he describes as, E-merican Realism that is sure to ensnare fans of rock and roll, as well as Rockwell.1. Mayday
4. Emotion Chip (No Feeling)
5. Tiny Gods (Singularity)
7. Point Of View$13.99Vinyl LP -Sealed Buy Now
BirthdaysIn this frantic Twitterworld, where all the genres of music are either mating with other genres, feeding on the past or searching for the next trending wave, Keaton Henson personifies the moment when time stops still. It's the almost shocking sound of one man and his gently stoked electric guitar, which flicks like the embers of a fire, as the singer's voice glows in the reflected light, safe in his panic room.
Crippled by anxiety since childhood, to the point that he rarely goes out or plays live, the wondrously bearded Keaton is the archetypal tortured recluse who channels his emotions not into shopping or clubbing but his art: he's a skilled illustrator too, of bare-boned drawings that are as starkly delineated as his guitar-playing.
Birthdays follows 2012's cult debut album Dear..., and for its first half, Henson avoids slipping into post-dubstep, chillwave or hiring Skrillex in order to fit in.
But there is change underfoot. Dear featured one drum track, so the subtle beat behind The Best Today is no biggie. But half way through the following Don't Swim, it's like an ember has landed in your lap. The song's sudden electrical charge, which persists through the following, thunderous Kronos, is the sound of Henson wrenched from his comfort zone. Birthdays' second track suggests he's even reached Paris.
In fact, the whole album was recorded in California by American producer Joe Chiccarelli (The Shins, The Strokes). And various guests, including Jesca Hoop on ghostly backing vocals, have chipped in. Birthdays' second half takes Heaton closer to Jeff Buckley's turf: the unforced vibrato, the goosepimply effect and romantic hunger. But it's a subtle shift, and the instrumentation only partially reconfigures the secluded spell.
Beekeeper's occasional bouts of rock doesn't drown out the soft peals of banjo, while the swell of French horns, martial drum and Henson's fluttering voice in Sweetheart, What Have You Done to Us sounds like he's still in his bedroom. Up there, warmed by the fire, he's cloistered away from Twitter and all the other evils of this parish. There's no better way to shut out the din than by putting this record on.
This LP also includes a CD of the album.1. Teach Me
2. 10am Gare du Nord
4. Lying to You
5. The Best Today
6. Don't Swim
9. Sweetheart, What Have You Done to Us
10. In the Morning$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Where I've Been"I think this is the best work we've ever done," explains JD & The Straight Shot founder and frontman Jim Dolan of the band's latest release, Where I've Been. "I'm so proud of the music that my band and I have put together. I believe in this album."
Produced by Joe Walsh, Where I've Been features several breakthrough singles including "Governor's Song," which challenges some of today's most well-known political figures; "Under That Hood," a transformative single that tells the tragic story of Trayvon Martin; and "Hard to Find," which will be featured in the highly-anticipated film, St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy.
Dolan's day gig is Cablevision Systems CEO and Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden, where he also oversees New York sports teams such as the Knicks and the Rangers. Music is his passion.
"I needed something in my life where I felt like I was actually creating," says Dolan. "Most of what I do as an executive is orchestrate. I don't actually set up cable and I don't really shoot hoops," he says, laughing. "Music is something I've played since I was a kid. It's me purely expressing myself."
JD & The Straight Shot's creative nucleus is Dolan and guitarist Marc Copely (B.B. King), who pen all the band's music and lyrics. Instrumentally indispensable is guitarist Aidan Dolan; keyboardist Brian Mitchell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm); and drummer Joe Magistro (The Black Crowes). Also part of the band are some of pop music's finest session players, bassist Zev Katz (Aretha Franklin, Elton John), and violinist Erin Slaver (Rod Stewart, Trace Adkins, Martina McBride).
Dolan started JD & The Straight Shot in 2000. The band has recorded four previous albums: Midnight Run (2012), Can't Make Tears (2011), Right On Time (2008), and Nothing To Hide (2005) - as well as an EP, Daily News Blues (2010).
The band's style is steeped in the quiet fire of Americana, with distinctive elements of the blues and mystical, rustic, New Orleans-flavored roots music - topped off with a dash of the classic rock of Dolan's youth.
"I grew up on bands like the Allman Brothers," says Dolan. "We played those records until the grooves wore right off of them."
JD & The Straight Shot has been covered by The New York Times, Billboard, and New York Magazine, among other publications, and performed on "Good Day New York." Their song "Can't Make Tears" is the theme song for AMC's TV show Hell on Wheels, and their music has been featured in many films, including the critically acclaimed August: Osage County.
The group has opened for the Eagles on several tours, including the current "History of the Eagles" tour, the "Summer 2010" tour, and the band's stadium tour with the Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban. JD & The Straight Shot has also opened up for both Joe Walsh and Don Henley's solo tours, the James Gang reunion tour, and performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Austin City Limits.1. Palm Reader
2. Where I've Been
3. Hard To Find
4. Under That Hood
5. The Drift- PT 1
6. Violet's Song
7. Going Nowhere Good
8. White Bird
9. Girls Night Out
10. Governor's Song
12. Fall From Grace
13. The Drift- PT 2$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now