Spark Joy Music and Musical Family Tree unite for benefit for Tennessee fire victims

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“As many of you know, wildfires are still spreading through eastern Tennessee, a place that is dear to me… and home to so many families, small businesses, and wildlife. Yesterday I reached out to Benjamin Cannon and Spark Joy Music for help, and in true Cannon fashion, a venue and bands were booked within a few short hours. We’re still gathering information on the disaster and where the most help is needed, but 100% of the proceeds will being going to those impacted by these fires. Please join us at Musical Family Tree in Fountain Square on December 17th for a wonderful cause to raise funds for wildfire relief. There will be live music, drinks, a raffle, and stay tuned for more.” – Chris Burch, via Facebook

Indianapolis musicians have come together before to raise money for a good cause in times of crisis, but this benefit has developed with more speed and organization than I’ve seen, bringing together some big names in local alternative folk and rock for an all-ages show where all money raised will benefit the Tennessee fire victims.

The benefit will feature, among others still to be announced, Chris Burch, It’s Just Craig, Jeff Kelly and the Graveyard Shift, Bobbie Morrone Trio and the always incredible Coup D’etat, and will be hosted by MP Cavalier, Music Editor and Co-Host of the DoItIndy Radio Hour. For more information about the show, or for how you can donate items for a raffle which will take place at the event, feel free to check out their Facebook event page.

ARTISTS TO WATCH: JEFF The Brotherhood

Nashville rockers JEFF The Brotherhood are ready at last to release their follow-up to 2012’s Hypnotic Nights! Whether the three-year wait was worth it remains to be heard, since as of yet the only new track I’ve heard is “What’s A Creep” (posted below). But the new album Wasted On The Dream was co-produced by Jake and Jamin Orrall with Joe Chiccarelli, who has produced many of my favorite records including the Raconteurs’ Consolers of the Lonely and the White Stripes’ Icky Thump, as well as several classic albums from seminal Mexican garage band Cafe Tacuba. So I have high confidence that this album is going to have more than enough raw rock to get people excited about the state of 2015’s new music. As the band states in a recent press release:

Wasted on the Dream is the first JEFF The Brotherhood album to showcase the band’s recent evolution into a full-blown ROCK outfit: Jake plays six-string guitar (as opposed to his custom-made signature 3-string model), Jamin plays a full kit and Jack Lawrence (of Dead Weather and Raconteurs fame) plays bass on the entire album. The album also features guest contributions from Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, Diarrhea Planet guitarists Evan Bird and Emmett Miller, and a flute solo by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. To accommodate their bigger sound live, JEFF has expanded to a highly voluminous, balls-out twin guitar monster of a quartet.

The album drops March 10th, and will include the following tracks:

  1. Voyage Into Dream
  2. Black Cherry Pie
  3. Cosmic Visions
  4. Mystified Minds
  5. Melting Place
  6. In My Dreams
  7. In My Mouth
  8. Karaoke, TN
  9. Coat Check Girl
  10. What’s A Creep
  11. Prairie Song

SOUNDTRACK YOUR BINGE: Orange Is The New Black releases Soundtrack album just in time for Season 2

If you, like my wife and I, became immediately hooked by Netflix’s bingeable hit Orange is the New Black, and you’re eagerly awaiting the second season so you can marathon the hell out of it, now’s your chance to pick up a copy of the soundtrack album! Among included artists are title-track songstress Regina Spektor, as well as contributions from Kelis, Betty Davis, The Staples Singers, The Velvet Underground & Nico, and much more to sink your aural shiv into. Worried you’ll miss a minute of the show? Don’t worry — “You’ve Got Time” So give it a listen! And if you get the chance, grab a copy on limited edition Orange Vinyl! Season two of the series releases in its entirety on Netflix June 6th.

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Track Listing
1. Regina Spektor – You’ve Got Time
2. Betty Davis – Walkin Up The Road
3. Latimore – Move And Groove Together
4. Tune-Yards – Gangsta
5. The Staple Singers – I’ll Take You There
6. Kelis – Milkshake
7. Leagues – Walking Backwards
8. Little Foot Long Foot – Kickface
9. Velvet Underground – Sunday Morning
10. The Dutchess and The Duke – Living This Life Makes It Hard
11. Nancy Cassidy – Chicken
12. Whispering Jack Smith – Baby Face

Black Crowes’ Guitarist Rich Robinson will release solo album The Ceaseless Sight on June 3rd

Rich Robinson, of the Black Crowes, has announced he will officially release his third solo record The Ceaseless Sight in June, and has premiered the lead single “One Road Hill” via Paste. You can check out the song below, featuring its strong folk melody, hand-claps and Robinson’s patented jangling acoustic guitar style, all of which echoes through the entirety. I’m really excited to hear more from this one.

In related news, beginning March 8th, Robinson will proudly join the likes of stalwart names such as Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde, Robby Krieger, Jonny Lang, Bootsy Collins, Eric Johnson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys, Jimi Hendrix Experience) and many more on the Experience Hendrix Tour presented by BandFuse: Rock Legends. Robinson will be performing on the following select dates:

March 8 – Shawnee, OK – Grand Event Center
March 9 – Midland, TX – Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center
April 4 – Milwaukee, WI – The Riverside Theater
April 5 – Merrillville, IN – Star Plaza Theater
April 6 – Peoria, IL – Peoria Civic Center
April 8 – Minneapolis, MN – State Theater

TUESDAY NEW RELEASES: Welcome to the “New Industry Normal.”

Excerpted from PJ Lifestyle — to read the entire article, click here— I highlight the best of new album and DVD / Blu-Ray releases, as well as interesting tech finds. It’s my weekly column, “Tuesday New Releases,” every week at PJ Lifestyle.

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As if one needed further proof of a downward-trending music industry, Adele’s 21 became the first album of the Soundscan era to lead all album sales two years running. In other words, nothing released during all of 2012 could unseat an album released in the first month of 2011. All that with Adele sidelined by vocal-chord issues and her pending pregnancy.

Taylor Swift tried and failed to block that path, with Red falling 1.3 million from 21 despite having four top ten hits, none of which ranked inside the year’s top ten overall. The year’s big winners — Gotye, Carly Rae Jepsen and Fun — dominated single sales with their first Hot 100 releases. No one knew their names when the year began, and it remains questionable whether either can follow it up.

With the fresh start a new year brings, we need to face facts: LPs no longer draw long-term interest from fans, who prefer the instant gratification of a viral hit single. And no matter how many singles get parceled out to radio stations month after month, an artist lives or dies by the success of the last one.

Singles don’t drive album sales — they simply drive demand for more singles.

Having sacrificed the long-term stability inherent in developing artists over the long term, labels must now watch as newcomers either instantly dominate or free-fall. Veteran acts, meanwhile, either find ways to continually churn out successful singles to dying radio while courting fickle audiences online or they cling to the hope that their next album will prove different. Just ask Aerosmith how that worked for them.

Welcome to the new industry normal. Observing which bands find ways to use these trends to their advantage will provide the real fun of chart-watching in 2013.

Let’s be blunt: “James, you’re quitting music? No one cares.”

James Blunt

Today James Blunt comes out of nowhere to let the world know he’s retiring from music, needing to “have time to himself” despite his actions generally speaking for themselves: no album since 2010, no touring since 2011. I can’t help but think of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” where she sings:

I remember when we broke up the first time
Saying: “This is it, I’ve had enough.”
We hadn’t seen each other in a month
When you said you needed space.

What?

Message to James Blunt — no one’s waiting for your new album. As Bob Lefsetz outlines in his email column today, in the modern music industry you either release new material or you die. This ties into rules 3 and 4 as he relays it: “Make new music” and “keep improving your music.” If you need space, we’re perfectly happy to remember the beautiful relationship while it lasted. But let’s be blunt: We’ve moved on.

TUESDAY NEW RELEASES: A Fine Frenzy in the Shadow of Mumford

A Fine Frenzy

Can A Fine Frenzy unseat Mumford at the top of the charts?

Today marks the launch of my new “Tuesday New Releases” column at PJ Lifestyle. As it has only been up a few hours, I’m just linking to the column there. I hope you’ll check it out:

With so much new music, movies and technology available on a weekly basis, even the most plugged-in people find it difficult to find the truly interesting products. Here at PJ Lifestyle we’re all about keeping it simple. Check in each Tuesday for information about current album and DVD/BluRay releases, along with hot new technology and gadgets you’re sure to want to make your own.

This week on the music side, I’ve highlighted albums from A Fine Frenzy (Pines), Jamey Johnson (Livin’ For a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran) and Rah Rah (The Poet’s Dead) which are now out in the US, as well as past weeks’ albums from Ben Folds Five, The Mountain Goats and Diane Krall. The list ends with some cool tech finds, which may interest you as we near the Holiday shopping rush.

As usual, if you have any suggestions which might improve the column — albums, artists or products you think deserve to have a wider audience, please feel tree to email me at kroessman@gmail.com.