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Music (319)

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:46

New Bruce - Boring in the U.S.A.

Written by Mike Dow
The marriage of music and politics is tricky. For each instance where it works, (Neil Young's 'Rocking in the Free World' - as good as it gets), you could cite 10 where it doesn't (including Neil Young's 'Living With War' - ugh). On Tuesday, March 6, Bruce Springsteen will issue his 17th studio album, 'Wrecking Ball' - a collection of mostly angry songs with Springsteen assuming the role of various characters who feel betrayed by the promise of the American Dream. After I listened to 'Wrecking Ball,' I felt betrayed by the promise of a good Springsteen album. It hurts to admit that - I'm a fan and I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one who feels let down by most everything Bruce has issued over the past 20 years.

Over the last 40 years, Bruce Springsteen has delivered some of the most vital, joyous, engaging and thoughtful songs in rock. Now that I think of it, most of those songs appeared during his first 20 years of recording.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:12

Young Musicians invited to 'Sound Off'

Written by Jodi Hersey
BANGOR - Maine's credit unions are looking for some home grown musical talent. Musicians 18-25 years of age are invited to enter into Young & Free, Maine's first-ever Sound-Off music competition.

'This competition provides a new way for Maine's Credit Unions to connect with the state's young adults, while giving young musicians a unique platform to share their talent,' said John Murphy, president and CEO of the Maine Credit Union League.

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 11:41

Remastered, reissued, reimagined

Written by Mike Dow

The music industry is cranking out archival releases in shelf-busting numbers during the fourth quarter of 2011. There seems to be a sense of 'now or never' for some of this material, as labels continue to tighten their belts while spiffing up old tapes and raiding the vaults for previously unreleased recordings.

These releases are largely designed for the music consumer who prefers a 'tangible' product: boxes, booklets, shiny discs, vinyl, posters, notes and trinkets that some might call excessive ephemera. The idea is to take a previously released title that sold well, improve it with (hopefully) superior mastering, add some relevant previously unheard material with new notes and put it out as the 'ultimate' version.

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 11:33

Vibing out with Coffin

Written by

Grammy award winning saxophone player and Maine native Jeff Coffin will be bringing his amazing talents and vast musical knowledge to Main Street Music Studios in Bangor this weekend. Main Street Music Studios will play host to one of Coffin's world-renowned music clinics, which will take place Sunday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. for free.

Coffin has performed with - and joined the ranks of - some of the most incredible musicians in the world. He's most known for his work with Bela Fleck and the Mu'tet, and is currently working with Dave Matthews Band. Coffin, originally from Dexter, Maine, started playing music at a young age and eventually wound up attending the University of New Hampshire. From there he went on to study at the University of North Texas, and graduated with a B.A. in music education. In 1997 he became a member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and from here his musical career would take off. He has since won a Grammy played with some amazing musicians, has his own band known as the Mu'tet and is a full-time touring member of the Dave Matthews Band.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 14:08

Dude, you saw Zeppelin!

Written by Mike Dow

A few days ago, I was asked the following question: 'What's the best concert you've ever seen?'

My gut response was, 'Paul McCartney, Boston 2002 and again in 2005.' Those were absolutely incredible concerts. When he first appears on stage, it hits you: There he is. He's real. It's the actual guy. He's not a video or a hologram - it's Paul. For two hours and 45 minutes, you get the show of your life with each song played and sung as if his life depended on it.

Add to that the man who wrote or co-wrote those amazing songs is standing there in front of you and it's kind of hard to beat.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 05:38

3 Doors Down gets introspective

Written by Caitlin R. King (AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Multi-platinum rock band 3 Doors Down is moving forward by looking back.

"The title of this album really kind of hits it on the head, 'Time of My Life.' It talks about a lot of things that went on in the past," lead singer Brad Arnold said in a recent interview. "But it talks about a lot of more lighthearted things as well, and (there's) a lot of fun songs on this record, too."

The band had a long history to pull from for this effort. Most of them have known each other for more than 20 years, having grown up together in Mississippi and officially forming in 1995. Their debut album, 2000's "The Better Life", featured the song "Kryptonite" and sold six million copies.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011 05:38

The real George Thorogood

Written by Mike Dow
Beyond 'Bad'

One of the things I have always appreciated about George Thorogood is that he has never been a bandwagon jumper. As trends in popular music evolve, George and his band, The Destroyers, have essentially remained unchanged.

When the Top 40 charts of the 80s and 90s were populated with synthesizer-driven fly-by-night pop groups, spandex-wearing "hair bands," dance-oriented Hip Hop or "soft verse/loud chorus" Nirvana-rip offs, George Thorogood kept pumping out roots-based bluesy rock that seldom varied from what his fans expected.

George and The Destroyers will bring their show to the Bangor Waterfront on Friday, Sept. 23 in support of a new album, "2120 South Michigan Avenue." That's the address of the legendary Chess Records recording studio. Thorogood's new album, a tribute to some of his heroes who recorded at Chess, wasn't originally his idea. "It was Capitol Records' idea," Thorogood told me last week. "They asked my manager, 'Would George be interested in doing a tribute album to Chess?' I said, 'On Capitol Records? Are you crazy? Of course I'd be interested in that.'"

Wednesday, 10 August 2011 05:38

Buried in the mix

Written by Mike Dow
Do you hear what I hear?

Legendary musician and producer Al Kooper reveals a hidden joke he planted in Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama." Kooper, long known as the "go to guy" among musicians, signed Skynyrd to their first major label contract and produced their first three albums.

"Right after the line, 'Well I heard Mr. Young sing about her,' if you listen real close in the left speaker, you can hear me sing in my best Neil Young imitation, 'Southern Man, better use your head...' It's nearly subliminal," writes Kooper.

Young's "Southern Man" was one of the songs that inspired "Sweet Home Alabama." Neil subtly responded to the attention in subsequent years by wearing Skynyrd T-shirts during his own concerts.

Friday, 07 October 2011 14:27

Wilco shares the love on new LP

Written by Mike Dow

'We'd go crazy trying to please all of the fans'
Glenn Kotche of Wilco

BANGOR - There is a sense of urgency within the grooves of Wilco's new album, 'The Whole Love.' This time out, the band offers 12 new Jeff Tweedy songs (16 on the deluxe version) that leave the listener with a feeling of contentment accompanied by the realization that time is short so make it count.

'The Whole Love' is Wilco's eighth studio album and was recorded in an atmosphere of total freedom and collaboration. Drummer and percussionist Glenn Kotche says every idea was explored in the studio when approaching these new songs. 'There was a sense of we know we can do all of these other things, let's just see what happens,'' Kotche said last week from his hotel room in Nashville, where Wilco had just arrived to play two shows at the Ryman Auditorium. 'When anyone had an idea, it was entertained. Nothing was really shut down.'


Thursday, 04 August 2011 12:31

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