OUTSIDE THE HEARD - DECEMBER 2012

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Metallica
QUEBEC MAGNETIC
WE'RE METALLICA

 
It’s statistics time! Since they formed in 1981, Metallica have gone from an underground heavy metal band to one of the most successful acts in the world. Sales of Metallica’s nine albums are over 100 million copies worldwide, with over 65 million from North America. In addition, the band has sold over 5 million videos and DVDs throughout their career. They have earned gold and/or platinum certifications in over forty countries. In April of 2009, Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Metallica is THE most played artist on rock radio. One out of every twenty songs on rock radio in America today is a Metallica song. Metallica is the fourth largest selling artist in the United States since 1991. All that being said Metallica are STILL a Rock and Roll animal – and this live set from Quebec on the Death Magnetic tour is proof positive that Metallica can still thrash with the best of ‘em (including Lou Reed). Available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
 
Paloma Faith
Fall To Grace
Epic

 
On Fall To Grace, Paloma Faith has chosen to strip herself emotionally bare. “At the beginning I wanted to do something that was more of a performance, and I still have that element because it is part of me,” she explains, "But I feel like where I've been most successful is when I've just relaxed and been myself.” Musically, Fall To Grace moves away from the reference points that characterised Paloma's first record such as Etta James and Billie Holiday, guiding her compositions into a new, contemporary realm. Collaborating with songwriters such as Ed Harcourt, Matt Hales (Lianne La Havas), Dan Wilson (Adele), Wayne Hector (Britney, Westlife), and even film score composer David Arnold (countless James Bond films, Independence Day, Narnia), Fall To Grace is sonically varied, but completely cohesive. From the disco throb of "Blood, Sweat and Tears" and the giddy dance-pulse that runs through "Agony", to "Freedom" (produced and co written by Al Shuckburgh), with its shuffled beats and soaring peaks, Faith's vocals offer bluesy power and reveal husky emotion.
Alabama Shakes
Boys & Girls
ATO Records
 
It’s rare in this day and age to hear of an overnight success like that of the Alabama Shakes. After over a year-long period of ferociously building buzz after a noteworthy CMJ showcase, the band, who takes their name from their home state, make their world debut with Boys & Girls. With so much attention in such a short time, one might expect self-possessed, swaggering arrogance from the band. Alabama Shakes display nothing of the sort. Self produced and recorded at The Bomb Shelter in Nashville, the premier album is a monument to all the music that has influenced the band over the years. The spectre lingering over the album is that of the heyday of Muscle Shoals. Singer Brittany Howard’s soulful voice is as much Tina Turner as it is Bessie Smith, as much Keith Richards as it is Otis Redding, scraping across strains of country and blues driven guitars. In a time when most of the bands taking the world by storm wield laptops and synths, it’s refreshing to see a sincere Southern soul band take their turn in the spotlight. Check out the gospel-tinged rocker “I Found You” as well as the rootsy “Hang Loose” and “Goin’ to the Party.”
 
Deftones
Koi No Yokan
Warner Brothers

 
Sure, Deftones came about during the Nu-Metal era we’d all do better to wipe away from our collective consciousness, but it was always pretty apparent that these guys had more artistic ambition then all of their peers combined. Capable of high drama, sinister minimalism, and enveloping sonic alchemy (also: the band knows there way around a cover song), the biggest reason Deftones are still riding high is simply because they’ve never stopped offering agro atmospherics always worth getting lost in. Koi No Yokan is the band’s seventh and latest album – and it’s easily the most dynamic album the band has released in some time. Like their breakthrough album, White Pony, each of Koi No Yokan is a collection of songs that are somewhat unpredictable. These similarities are not lost on front man Chino Moreno. “The songs are very different from each other,” says Moreno. “Not heavier or slower, but more dynamic, going towards several directions, it’s heavy, but beautiful.” Indeed: One need only listen to “Leathers” or “Tempest” to get a sense of Koi No Yokan’s wide range. It rocks, sure, but be sure to expect the unexpected.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
The Twilight Saga:
Breaking Dawn Part 2
Atlantic
 
Back in the days when being goth was considered edgy, we never imagined vampires would inspire music quite like this. The lovable vampires of the movie, other than drinking blood and being immortal and all, are just your average youngsters with average adolescent problems, not far away from say, from the kids on TV’s Dawson’s Creek. At points, the soundtracks for these movies are just as down home, and for many hard-working musicians, making it onto the soundtrack is their big break into the world of mainstream exposure and cross-market introductions. But now, with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, everything is drawing to a final dramatic conclusion -- and the songs here reflect just that. This time around listeners old and young are invited to laugh, love, and cry to the sounds of Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding, Green Day, Feist, St. Vincent and many more. The music here is exclusive to the film, making the work by these artists all the more special. The story may end but these songs will inspire passion whenever you choose to conjure them.
 
Led Zeppelin
Celebration Day
Rhino
 
On December 10, 2007, Led Zeppelin took the stage at London s O2 Arena to headline a tribute concert for dear friend and Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. What followed was a two-hour-plus tour de force of the band’s signature blues-infused rock n roll. Founding members John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were joined by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham, to perform 16 songs from their celebrated catalog including landmark tracks “Whole Lotta Love,” “Rock And Roll,” “Kashmir,” and “Stairway To Heaven.” Although 20 million people applied for tickets, the band s first headline show in 27 years was seen only by the 18,000 ticket holders who were fortunate enough to have secured seats through the worldwide lottery. Now you may experience this incredible concert for yourself. And don’t worry: It’s way easier to watch than The Song Remains The Same. Special DVD and Blu Ray packages are also available.
Anytime a show or live album listing features some kind of "with symphonic accompaniment" note, people might be forgiven for still reflexively rolling their eyes. If nothing else, though, DeVotchKa have always aimed for the theatrical and orchestral flourish in their music almost by default, so a performance with their hometown symphony seems perfectly apt rather than a matter of overreach. Nick Urata's swooping voice settles among the mix of rhythmic rumble and descending chords with ease from the get-go on the opening "The Alley," and from there everything hits one high after another. Hearing the transformation of a quick, sprightly number like "The Clockwise Witness" into an equally rollicking but by default lusher performance is one of many joys, while "All the Sand in the Sea" takes the swift piano-led melodrama to even fuller heights and "Contrabanda" practically explodes into its dramatic conclusion. The all-instrumental "Firetrucks on the Boardwalk" perhaps benefits the most in terms of sheer transformation, with the addition of a children's choir at the end adding a cappella vocals turning everything into one heck of a end credits sequence (even if it's only halfway through the release). Available exclusively through Indie record stores like this one!

DeVotchKa -
Live with the Colorado Symphony

Cicero Recordings, LTD
Driving Towards The Daylight is a balanced, back-to-basics album that highlights Joe Bonamassa’s signature style of roots blues with rock-and-roll guts, while honoring the traditions of the original blues musicians. Here they’ve taken some really traditional old blues songs – i.e. Howlin Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talkin?” and Robert Johnson’s “Stones In My Passway” and re-imagined them in a rock context. The result is a very exciting return to the blues in a very visceral way – It’s vibrant, it’s gutsy, and it s really, really rugged. To challenge Joe and move him out of his comfort zone, a unique group of musicians was gathered including Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford (guitar), Blondie Chaplan (guitar), and Anton Fig (drums and percussion). The album features five Bonamassa-penned originals including the bruising opener “Dislocated Boy,” the road warrior title track (and first single) “Driving Towards The Daylight,” as well as some choice covers like Tom Waits’ “New Coat Of Paint” and “Lonely Town Lonely Street” by Bill Withers. Let’s be honest: It takes a lot for a white blues guy to make his mark, but Bonamassa guts and talent shall prove him to be an axe-man for the ages.

Joe Bonamassa -
Driving Towards The Daylight

J&R Adverntures
moremusic

The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America. CIMS was founded in 1995; its current membership is made up of 29 accounts that handle 47 stores in 21 states. Many of the accounts have been recognized by the music industry and their local communities for their outstanding dedication to customer service and developing artist support.

Each member is bound by its shared love of music, a reputation for great selection and customer service in its community, yet each CIMS account is as unique as the market it represents. Most importantly, CIMS member stores continually seek to challenge the jaded, color-by-numbers advertising and marketing of other retailers.

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