Feature: Maya Angelou, Caged Bird Songs

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Caged Bird Songs, a spoken word album featuring the words of late writer and poet Maya Angelou, has been put against funk, surf rock, and hip hop music and was released on November 4th. The vocals are taken from recordings that Maya had previously recorded. Angelou, who passed away in May at the age of eight-six, released four spoken word albums and five recordings over the course of her career. While this album has been put together by her estate, Caged Bird Songs provides an interesting backdrop to her words. While some fans have criticized the new release as diminishing Maya and her talent, as the choice of music was thought to be cheesy, it actually fits her words quiet well, as we get to hear her speak through different genres of music, as her voice flows with each one beautifully. On tracks such as “On Aging” we get to hear Angelou speak through heavy auto tune, which adds a modern twist to Maya’s writing, as her poems and writings can appeal to a new generation, while still being enjoyed by the fans that have been there since the beginning.

If you would like to hear Caged Bird Songs in its entirety, you can head over to Soundcloud. If you would like to purchase the album, you can buy it on Amazon.

Janis Joplin biopic is back on

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A biopic about Janis Joplin is apparently back on with Amy Adams playing Joplin, according to Billboard. The team behind the movie is the same group that worked on the Dallas Buyers Club. Several directors have come and gone over the past several years with Lee Daniels being the last one in 2012. Currently no one is set to direct the film.

Brook Pridemore: Gory Details

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Gory Details, the latest release from New York based musician Brook Pridemore feels very authentic and real, as we get the feeling that we are right there with Brook as he is recording the album, something that cannot be said for a lot of records. Brook got his start playing house parties and working odd jobs as he struggled to make a living from music. He has since put out six albums, including his debut record Metal and Wood (2002), The Reflecting Skin (2006), and A Brighter Light in 2009. While we get an up close and personal feel on Gory Details, we also relate to Brook as he writes about his life experiences as well those of his friends, which makes for a highly enjoyable record. Gory Details opens with “Oh, E!” an acoustic track that sounds like it was recorded in a garage, giving it a rougher edge, and while Pridemore’s vocals sound very average, he and his band play well, writing catchy melodies and telling stories that we can identify with as their stories could be our own.

“I Am No Captain” begins with a drum beat that is reminiscent of the Weezer tune “Keep Fishin’”; however that is where the similarities end. While the record has used an acoustic guitar as its main instrument, on this tune Brook plays an electric guitar, and while this points them in a different direction than previous tracks, the riff’s loop-like sound makes the song a chore to listen to. One of Gory Details last tracks is “Comfort Brother” an interesting song that uses a harmonica in the intro, something that has been absent from the record up until now. Having more of a country vibe to it, we see another layer to Brook Pridemore and his music, and right before we label him as a one-dimensional musician, this tune saves him from being labeled as such.

Overall, Gory Details is a strong album that will be enjoyed by indie music fans and anyone looking for something different to add to their music collection. Gory Details comes out today. If you want to purchase the album, head over to Brook Pridemore’s Bandcamp page.

 

Dillinger Escape Plan not happy with The Ghost Inside

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The Dillinger Escape Plan is not to happy with The Ghost Inside as they feel the cover of The Ghost Inside’s new album looks similar to theirs. The cover of the Dillinger Escape Plan album One Of Us Is The Killer is above and The Ghost Inside’s album cover for Dear Youth is below.

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There was a Facebook comment on the Dillinger Escape page which said ” offensively  soulless rip off” which was supposedly posted by the band, however guitarist Ben Weinman, posted the following comment: “If I saw the two next to each other, I would have personally asked to make a few changes and not make the vinyl the same… I mean I wouldn’t have let that slide personally but I don’t give a shit what other bands do… I do feel bad that those guys have to deal with all this drama right now during the release of their album. I’m sure they worked really hard on it.”

The band is not sure who posted the “complete soulless rip off” comment.

Note about sending in individual song submissions or music videos

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post a quick note about sending in individual song submissions through Twitter and Tumblr. I’ve been getting a lot of requests to listen to individual songs as well as watching music videos on both of these sites. In the past few months, Listen Here Reviews has grown to the point where it is becoming more recognized. Due to this, I no longer have the time to listen to every individual song that is sent to me. If you are serious about getting feedback about your song or video (and not a formal review) I now ask that you send all of these submissions to my profile on Fluence. Fluence is a great way to organize the process of listening to songs or watching a video so that no one gets left out (which has started to happen.)

As of today, I will no longer be accepting song or video submissions through Twitter and Tumblr. Thank you for your understanding, and if you have any questions, please e-mail me at laurenhgribble@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Lauren

Pink Floyd and Foo Fighters expected to sell well on charts, while Nickelback expected to bomb

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Consequence of Sound have laid out the sales for three huge albums that have come out in recent weeks. Sonic Highways by the Foo Fighters and The Endless River by Pink Floyd all received lukewarm reviews from critics, though both albums have done well on the charts. No Fixed Address, the latest release by Nickelback, which comes out today, is expected to bomb in America. The band has become the butt of jokes by music critics and fans alike, even though the band has always done well commercially. No Fixed Address is only expected to sell 60,000 copies in its first week of release. This is far under the total number of copies sold for their two previous albums, Dark Horse in 2008 (326,000 copies) and Here and Now in 2011 (227,000 copies.)

Coldplay currently holds the title for best selling rock album with their 2014 album Ghost Stories selling 383,000 copies in its first week of release.

Thrice album cover reimagined

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DLSL Design Co. has designed a few re-imagined album covers such as Blink 182, Taking Back Sunday, and Brand New, and they have come out with a re-design of The Artist In The Ambulance by Thrice. They have also designed prints for Thrice’s albums The Alchemy Index and Vheissu. All prints are available in their webstore.

Brand New are up to something

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Brand New are up to something. Their website was updated today to say that the band are back in the studio. It also says “Procrastinate!, PoGolith Earth Sound Alliance 2015.” Procrastinate Music Traitors was a record label formed by the band years ago, and Earth Sound Alliance is an LLC from Long Island where the band is from. ProGolith? No clue, though it was used in a hashtag for a studio in Brooklyn. Lastly, there is a button that says “hype”, and if you click on it, it takes you to a music video from a band called PPL MVR, a band who dresses in costumes and no one really knows anything about. You can check out the video here about PPL MVR.

Another new concert app makes an appearance

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Another new concert app is coming to our phones. Macca has teamed up with developers at Jaunt to create a concert app that will let fans experience an artist like never before. The first musician tested on the app is Paul McCartney when he played Candlestick Park in San Francisco back in August. According to the app, it puts you right in the crowd, onstage, backstage, or right alongside Paul as he is performing. You can read more about the app here.

Early version of Sweet Jane by The Velvet Underground surfaces

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An early version of The Velvet Underground song “Sweet Jane” has surfaced which you can listen to here. The bands self-titled album is being reissued as a 5 disc box set on November 24th. It will include mono and stereo versions of the album, a live show recording at The Matrix in San Francisco in 1969, and a previously unreleased album titled The 1969 Sessions.

Sleater-Kinney interviewed by NPR

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Recently Sleater-Kinney sat down with NPR to discuss the recording process behind their upcoming record No Cities To Love, what its like to return after a long hiatus, and how the band has evolved. Throughout the interview there are snippets of three new songs. You can listen to the full interview over at NPR.

Fall Out Boy to release new single on Monday

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Fall Out Boy will release a new single on Monday via BBC Radio 1 with Zane Lowe. The band posted the following message on their Facebook.

oh dang Zane Lowe is dropping our new UK single on Monday at 7:30pm GMT (2:30pm EST/11:30am PST). yes it will be on the new album (more on that very soon), oh you’ll have to wait until Monday to find out the title if you’re in the UK tune in to BBC Radio 1. everyone else can listen live http://bbc.in/1f6wfHr