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Eddie Vedder Imaginary Scoop Pearl Jam

Eddie Vedder's (brief) solo outing

Just received word through the Pearl Jam fanclub (don't judge!) that frontman Eddie Vedder will make a short solo-tour jaunt down the West coast. The "April Fools" tour starts April 2 in Vancouver, BC, then Ed hops on down to sunny California for a handful more dates. My speculation is the show will contain a lot of material off the highly acclaimed "Into the Wild" soundtrack, peppered with a few EdVed-penned PJ songs, and probably a cover or two.

It looks like Mr. V is skipping his Seattle hometown, a notion that has me pondering if that's the big "April Fool's" joke on us…Perhaps a Tour Eve kickoff show, the night before? Here's hoping!

Pre-sale for current PJ fan club members starts on Monday, followed by the general sale next Friday.

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Bob Dylan Calexico Cat Power Eddie Vedder Jeff Tweedy John Doe Mason Jennings Record Review Sonic Youth Sony Music Sufjan Stevens Yo La Tengo

I'm Not There Soundtrack

It's been quite a couple of weeks for I'm Not There. First, Cate Blanchett earned a nomination for best supporting actress for her rendition of a young Dylan. And then later that day we learned of the untimely death of one the film’s amazingly talented stars, Heath Ledger.
 

I’d love to write about the whole record, which is almost exclusively a cover album — but the thing is, it's absolutely massive at more than 2.5 hours long. That’s a lotta Dylan covers, even for a serious fan. Only at the end, on the concluding track of disc two, do we ever hear the film's muse in a rendition of the album and film’s namesake, “I’m Not There.”

The album covers the gamut of veteran rockers: Sonic Youth, John Doe, Los Lobos, Willie Nelson, and many more populate the 30+ tracks. There are some voices just suited for Dylan: Stephen Malkmus (perfect on bluesy ballads like “Ballad of a Thin Man”), Mark Lanegan (has there ever been a more haunted voice in rock? On “Man in the Long Black Coat”), Chan Marshal (so embodying a female Dylan, it’s almost eerie on “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”).

Others, however, sound off somehow. Karen O can hang with a bluesy riff, but she sounds too impassioned for Dylan’s monotonous delivery. And while Sufjan Stevens’ take on “Ring Them Bells” is beautiful, it’s almost too pretty for Dylan’s grittier, unpolished style. For lead track “All Along the Watchtower,” I was conflicted: The Hendrix version has always been one of my favorite covers, so it’s tough to hear yet another rendition — even when it has one of my favorite artists (Eddie Vedder) on vox.

All in all, the soundtrack feels a bit excessive, but I’ve got to see this movie to see how the film and soundtrack weave together. I suspect that’ll be in the next few weeks, to see what all the Oscar hype is about, and to catch one of the late Ledger's last performances on this earth.

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Aqueduct Blue Scholars Brandi Carlile Charmparticles Eddie Vedder Fleet Foxes Imaginary Scoop Interpol Justin Timberlake LCD Soundsystem Menomena Minus the Bear Modest Mouse Ms. Led Paramore Schoolyard Heroes Siberian Spoon The Klaxons The Shins

Best of 2007: imaginary stella's picks

It’s always odd to revisit what you’ve reviewed over the course of a year. Sometimes, much can change – as after subsequent listenings, you realize that record you thought was pretty decent just blows (see The Killers’ Sam’s Town) or you come to love an album that you’d previously dismissed as mediocre (see “Into the Wild” soundtrack). The true test of a “best release of the year” is its stability, so I’ve tried to pick “long-haul” contenders—albums I’ll go to for months (or even years) to come, with no requirement for a set amount of finalists. Here’s what made the cut…

TOP ALBUMS:

  • LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (this one sits significantly higher than the rest)
  • Interpol: Our Love to Admire
  • The Shins: Wincing the Night Away
  • Eddie Vedder: “Into the Wild” soundtrack
  • Minus the Bear: Planet of Ice
  • Aqueduct: Or Give Me Death

And, topping the list of what sadly wasn’t as good as I expected:
Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

I’ll leave it at that. I can hardly fathom how disappointed I was by that output (mixing the quirky fire of Modest Mouse with legendary jangler Johnny Marr? How did it fall so flat?).

TOP NORTHWEST ALBUMS:

Not that NW artists don’t count in overall, national polls! I just felt like making a separate list. To wit:

  • The Shins: Wincing the Night Away
  • Eddie Vedder: “Into the Wild” soundtrack
  • Minus the Bear: Planet of Ice
  • Aqueduct: Or Give Me Death
  • Blue Scholars: Bayani
  • Ms. Led: Shake Yourself Awake
  • Siberian: With Me
  • Schoolyard Heroes: Abominations
  • Menomena: Friend and Foe
  • Charmparticles: Alive in the Hotspell

 

TOP SONGS:

Just call me John Cusack in “High Fidelity” — I can’t stop making lists! Here are my top songs of 2007. This is basically a list of the most-played new tracks on my iPod this year…

  • “Underdog” by Spoon
  • “Dashboard” by Modest Mouse
  • “Split Needles” by The Shins
  • “Someone Great” by LCD Soundsystem
  • “Golden Skans” by Klaxons
  • “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes
  • “Misery Business” by Paramore
  • “The Story” by Brandi Carlile
  • “What Goes Around…Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake

 

Categories
Barry Manilow Chamillionaire Donnas Dropkick Murphys Eddie Vedder Gloria Estefan H.I.M. Imaginary Scoop James Blunt Kanye West KT Tunstall Mark Knopfler Motion City Soundtrack Paul Potts Reba McIntire The Black Dahlia Murders Twista

A story in which Reba McEntire kicks Kanye West's Arse

This week on the Billboard album charts it was all about debuts. I had no idea so many albums came out last week, I think mostly because I just didn't care about any of them. The big debut was Reba McIntire's Reba Duets, which knocked Kanye West's Graduation out of the top spot after merely a week. Just goes to show you who really runs this country, eh?

The parade of debuts was a embarassment of, well, mostly bad pop music (I use the term broadly to mean "popular") including: Barry Manilow (#4), James Blunt (#7), Chamillionaire (#8), KT Tunstall (#9), Twista (#10), Gloria Estefan (#25), Mark Knopfler (#26).

Eddie Vedder did well on his first mostly solo disc, the soundtrack to Into the Wild, which debuted at #11. Possibly the biggest band out of Finland (woo!) right now, H.I.M. also did well, coming in at #12 with Venus Doom. We saw a lot of punk and punk-related bands to do well, with the Motion City Soundtracks entering at #16 while Boston's own Dropkick Murphys entered at #20 (One of my favorite Murphys songs involve's former Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most calling championship winner for the Celtics in the mid 1980's with Most's signature "I've smoked 10,000 cigarettes" voice. He was the Dicky Barrett of sportscasters).

If you've missed Paul Potts (it's on the last page after the link) so far, here is something I shouldn't get weepy to, but I do:

He entered at #30 with One Chance.

And to balance off the vocal work, we even saw the Black Dahlia Murders debut in the top 100 at #72.