Court Yard Hounds Return With ‘Amelita’

Screen Shot 2013-07-20 at 4.04.15 AMThe future of the Dixie Chicks isn’t looking so bright, but Court Yard Hounds is certainly filling the void. The duo, comprised of Chicks co-founders Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, released its sophomore album, Amelita, this week. The collection not only shows a happier side of the Texas sisters, but also solidifies them as a band, and not just a side project.

While the Hounds’ 2010 self-titled debut was largely inspired by Robison’s divorce from country crooner Charlie Robison, Amelita is the product of more diverse songwriting inspiration. “I’ve been freed of all of those time-heals-everything kind of things,” says Robison. “Now, I’ve opened up to other ideas and ways of looking at life and the world. [Amelita is] not only a more hopeful album, but it’s more fun.”

The Texas-bred siblings wrote or co-wrote most songs on the new album and describe it as country meets adult alternative, meets adult contemporary. While their more organic sound is certainly a departure from the Dixie Chicks, an old memory from the superstar trio’s heyday is what inspired the title track, which is about underage prostitution.

“We were shooting the video [for the Chicks’ “Long Time Gone”] across from basically what was a brothel,” Maguire explains to CultureMap Austin. “Women were standing out in the doorways, and we were so naïve and we were going, ‘Why do all these women have their doors open?’”

Maguire, who takes over lead vocals from her little sister on two of the album’s 11 tracks, insists the Hounds’ sophomore disc reflects a stronger backbone. Starting over again after a multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-sweeping run as the Dixie Chicks was somewhat daunting, as they had to prove themselves again. But in the three years between Hounds albums, their musical confidence has skyrocketed.

“We’ve approached it differently because we felt like okay, we are a band,” says the fiddle player. “We aren’t just two ex-Dixie Chicks anymore, we’re a band and we like our sound and we’re going to continue to do this and hopefully get better at it, and share something new this time around.”

As for the Chicks, neither Maguire nor Robison will come right out and say they’re done, but they do warn to not hold your breath for new Dixie Chicks music anytime soon. Lead singer Natalie Maines released her own solo project, Mother, earlier this year and is busy touring in support of the project. And the Court Yard Hounds are quite content concentrating on their own venture – a musical refreshment after being with the Chicks since 1989.

Listen for Court Yard Hounds on our Americana station here. 

Eliane Elias Celebrates Chet Baker on Slacker Jazz

Eliane Elias I Thought About YouWhile the Great American Songbook and Bossa Nova might at first seem to be disparate juxtapositions, it’s wise to remember that Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto were huge fans of Chet Baker’s relaxed, lyrical delivery of standards. Baker remains an iconic pioneer of West Coast Cool, as both an immediately identifiable vocalist and versatile trumpeter.

On her new Concord Jazz release, “I Thought About You,” vocalist /pianist Eliane Elias pays tribute to vocalist/trumpeter Baker, without losing sight of her Brazilian roots.  Eliane’s former husband, trumpeter Randy Brecker, puts his personal  stamp  on  “There Will Never Be Another You, “ “That Old Feeling,” and “Just Friends.” His phrasing shows that he is aware of Baker’s clear tone and subdued style yet inventive enough to develop a sense of originality on these standards.

Just as Baker grew up listening to music of the ‘30’s and ‘40’s, Elias and Brecker obviously grew up with an appreciation for Baker’s charismatic delivery and subdued style.  Elias, who has previously paid tribute to Jobim and Bill Evans on record, once again proves she is an artist beyond category!

Enjoy the essence of Eliane Elias’ “I Thought About You” on Slacker Jazz and Slacker Modern Jazz!

This Week in Music News

Some sleeping giants wake from hibernation and the industry says goodbye to a legend in Motown highlight this weeks round up of music news.

Daft Punk Teases New Music and Album Cover
Daft Punk New HelmetsRumors of Daft Punk’s new record deal with Columbia, and subsequent new album, have been rampant for a while now. But as we all have come to realize over the past few years – a Daft Punk rumor is more common than pictures of food on Instagram. Gone were the days where rumblings of a tour ignited a public spaz attack full of high hopes and giddy expectation, which slowly progressed to the passing shrugs and a heard-it-before yawns in present day. So when the official Daft Punk Web site changed to a splash landing page showcasing their new album cover – the excitement was cautious, still afraid to believe it could be true. It was not until the french duo teased a mysterious trailer during Saturday Night Live that the social Web and collective electronic music fans across the globe went into a frenzy.

Daft Punk is back.  All is right with the world.

 

Miracles Founding Member Bobby Rogers Dead at 73Bobby Rogers
Bobby Rogers, a founding member of the soul group the Miracles, died on Sunday morning at the age of 73. Rogers and Smokey Robinson formed the Miracles with his cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore and Ronnie White and were a staple in the Motown Empire after having met Berry Gordy Jr. in 1957.

The Miracles first hit “Shop Around” became the first Motown record to sell a million copies and their long catalog of classics included “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me”, in which Rogers is best known for singing the two-part Harmony with Robinson. The group was induced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

 

David Bowie’s Streams New Album ‘The Next Day’ Before Release
David Bowie The Next Day David Bowie’s new album The Next Day is now streaming on iTunes. The stream will be up until the album’s release on March 12th. Earlier this year, Bowie surprised fans on January 8th,  his 66th birthday, with a video release of “Where Are We Now?”  – which was a surprise announcement for The Next Day, Bowie’s  first album since 2003’s Reality. Click here to listen to the album that many are already calling Bowie’s triumphant comeback.

 

 

 

 

The Week in Music News

Artists are branching out, Jack Sparrow’s has new friends and even more lineups are revealed for the approaching festival season in this week’s roundup of music news.

 Music Festival’s Reveal More Acts 

“The lineup is out!” has become the musical equivalent to, “Pitchers and catchers report for duty.”  This time every year, both statements ignite a flurry of excitement and tornado of chatter in anticipation for the sunny festival season ahead. This week had some big announcements in what has become a yearly tradition for music junkies everywhere.

SXSW Confirms More Artists and Music Schedule  

sxsw_2013SXSW posted the full music schedule and also confirmed more artists such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Flaming Lips, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, which added to the 2,000+ already confirmed including Vampire Weekend, Paramore, Tegan and Sara, Sound City Players, Major Lazer and tons more. You can see the full schedule here.

South by Southwest, which includes music, film and interactive, will be held from March 8-17. SXSW Music takes place March 12-17.

Ultra Music Festival Releases Phase 3 Lineup 

2013_phase3_11 (1)The King of all dance music festivals lived up to its reputation when the Phase I lineup was revealed showing a mix of arena favorites, such as Armin Van Buuren and Swedish House Mafia, with live acts such as Thievery Corporation. The second phase of the lineup, revealing nice surprises like Eric Prydz and Pretty Lights, prompted the festival to sell out of GA tickets in record time, even though it had already jumped on the two-weekend bandwagon to accommodate the growing fan base. This week UMF released the third and final phase of the lineup, which basically includes every single artist who has ever touched a synthesizer on the planet. Click the picture to see the full lineup.

Ultra Music Festival will take place March 13 – March 17 and March 22 – March 24 in Bayfront Park, Downtown Miami. Some VIP ticket options are still available.

In other news…

R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe Plays With Pirates 

Collaborations, side projects and so-called supergroups are a growing trend but it isn’t too often you see something like Courtney Love and Michael Stipe joining forces with Johnny Depp on his forthcoming ‘pirate’ album. Read that combination over again. Courtney, Stipe and our favorite pirate – three things seemingly unrelated that, when brought together, mesh in some kind of illogical brilliance.

It’s like someone invented the s’more all over again.

The collaborative track, ‘Rio Grande’, appears on the pirate-themed album titled, ‘Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys’, which will be released on February 18th and include 36 tracks. The album is being put together by Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski and producer Hal Willner and also features a massive array of rock elite such as Iggy Pop, Keith Richards, Patti Smith and Broken Social Scene

Check out the video here

www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Na4NdDB3GX0#!

 

More Than Just Music – Artists are Branching Out 

a-trak-infinite-legroom-mandate

“After years of learning the hard way, I can finally share my Tao of travel.”

A-Trak, the electronic music prodigy (DJ/Producer/record label owner), launched Infinite Legroom, a Web site guide to tasteful travel. A-trak has long been known for posting hilarious videos on Youtube reviewing the various hotels he stays at while on the road, so this was a logical next step for him.

Given the amount he travels, it would only make sense he would indirectly become an expert as he describes in his first post, “when you spend more time in hotels and airplanes than at home, your suitcase becomes your home and you start paying excessive attention to things like zippers and 4-way wheels. Inadvertently, your knowledge expands like an inflatable neck pillow.”

SigurRosScentedCandle

Product launches from artists and celebrities is nothing new. But this one definitely gets points for originality. Sigur Rós, the Icelandic group already known for the slightly off beat, has launched an original candle that is made to smell like campfires on a distant black beach and, “the smell of Sigur Rós’s studio while they go about the quasi-mystical business of making the magic happen.”

The Vardelur candle, named after the Valtari track, is available to purchase in their online store so fans can bring the delicious smell of  mystical magic, smokey musty music studios and campfires right into the home.

I already ordered mine.

 

 

The Week in Music News

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From new collaborations to the start of festival season, the world of music was buzzing with news this week. Here is a recap of some of the highlights:

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David Grohl Confirms Elton John’s Involvement in Queens of Stone Age LP

The Foo Fighters frontman and Nirvana alum confirmed the news in an interview with Sir Elton while guest hosting for talkshow host Chelsea Lately. Grohl appears as a drummer on the new QOSA album and other guests include Trent Reznor and Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters.

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Sasquatch! Music Festival Reveals Lineup

sasquatch 2013The Sasquatsh! Festival, which takes over the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington on May 24-27, announced its lineup for the already sold out festival.

Indie bigwigs such as Vampire Weekend, the Postal Service, the xx and Mumford & Sons get top billing while prominent spots go to Empire Of The Sun, Imagine Dragons, and the Lumineers.There are some nice surprises, such as dance music favorite Laidback Luke, veterans Built to Spill, and Primus 3D. Check out the full lineup here.

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Guns N’ Roses Added to Governors Ball

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The band will join Kanye West, Kings of Leon and Nas as headliners. This will be the first performance since the group performed at Neil Young’s annual Bridge School Benefit last October.

Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, Cut Copy and The Thevery Corporation are also on the bill.  The Governors Ball will take place in Randall’s Island Park on June 7th, 8th and 9th. Tickets and the full lineup are available on the festival’s website.

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Justin Timberlake Reveals New Album Details

THE 20/20 EXPERIENCE ALBUM COVER AND TRACK LIST REVEALED!The singer revealed details about his highly anticipated new album in an open letter on his Web site, along with the album cover and track list.

“The 20/20 Experience” is Timberlake’s first new release in years and the new Jay-Z featured lead single “Suit & Tie” is already topping charts. The album is a trim 10 songs and will be released March 19th.

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