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Controversy Over “New” Elliott Smith Releases

elliott-smith[Updated below] Yesterday, Mike Doughty, of Soul Coughing and a.k.a UUL,  posted three tracks to his Soundcloud page that feature the late, great Elliott Smith‘s vocals over some electronic beats.

Smith fans are less than enthusiastic about the tracks are positively irate over Doughty posting them at all. It’s easy to argue that Smith, now 10 years gone, would not have wanted these released. They are at best a curiosity, with okay but nothing special beats, and some obviously tossed-off Smith vocals – one of the songs would evolve into “Bottle Up and Explode!” from Smith’s acclaimed XO, and another has a rather obnoxiously repetitive sample of Smith saying “Aah fuck” from an outtake. Doughty says that they had an idea to do something together while Smith was working on the “Good Will Hunting” soundtrack, and that Smith came in and sang acapella into a stereo mic setup. Listen:
Continue reading ‘Controversy Over “New” Elliott Smith Releases’

Sound And Vision: Post-Mortem Pop, Starring Drake’s Aaliyah Resurrection and the Second Coming of Whitney Houston

Drake must be the luckiest guy in music. He’s got an enviable portfolio of assets: looks, talent, street cred, excellent connections, gold and multi-platinum. Now the Canadian rapper has a beautiful woman, too—at least a controlling interest in her legacy. But is ownership of the next posthumous phase of Aaliyah’s career one benefit too many?

That’s what some are wondering as we approach the 11th anniversary (on August 25) of the death of Aaliyah, who was killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas in 2001, at age 22, cutting short one of the most promising careers in music. Since then, there’s been scant new material issued under her name. I Care 4 U, a posthumous album released in December of 2002, was followed by nearly a decade of silence.

Until now. Earlier this month, Drake unveiled a new Aaliyah track, “Enough Said,” credited to Aaliyah featuring Drake and produced by the rapper’s Take Care collaborator Noah “40” Shebib. There’s more: Drake has promised a new Aaliyah album, executive produced by himself and 40, with 13 or 14 tracks, to be released later this year.

“Enough Said” Aaliyah featuring Drake

But is it a true Aaliyah album if key players in her life and legacy—namely her immediate family—are left out of it? Her brother, Rashad Haughton, went so far as to deny the family’s involvement on Aaliyah’s Facebook fan page. “There is no official album being released and supported by the Haughton family,” he posted on August 7, several days after Drake released the new single. Continue reading ‘Sound And Vision: Post-Mortem Pop, Starring Drake’s Aaliyah Resurrection and the Second Coming of Whitney Houston’

Sound and Vision: Songs of the Season — 10 Great “Summer” Singles

Summer and songs. They fit together like Santa and snow, like sex and the city, like Coldplay and Rihanna in the “Princess of China” single and video, which both acts no doubt are hoping will be the song of the summer of 2012. (And if it’s not, Rihanna’s got another shot anyway, with “Where Have You Been,” the fifth single from her Talk That Talk album.)

But the songs of summer aren’t just about the latest, greatest hits when warm weather starts to roll around. If they were, we all would have been stuck with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” and LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” on an endless beach loop last summer (and certainly some of us were). The hottest season has been figuring prominently into pop since the beginning of time, regardless of the temperature outside.

This year, it will be no different. So while the rest of the world is sweating it out to Rihanna and Coldplay, or Rihanna on her own, or brand new music from Justin Bieber, Usher, Chris Brown, or Fiona Apple (my personal beach pick), feel free to pad your summer mix with these ten entries, some of the best “summer’ songs ever.

Continue reading ‘Sound and Vision: Songs of the Season — 10 Great “Summer” Singles’

Your Country’s Right Here: Joey and Rory Invite Fans to a ‘Farmhouse Christmas’

Joey & Rory make no secret that they’re as country as their music.

Although the married couple, Rory Lee Feek and his wife Joey Martin Feek, came to prominence on a reality television show—CMT’s Can You Duet—they are the real deal as far as country life and values are concerned. Not that the two don’t have bona fide music chops, such as Rory’s songwriting credits for a host of hitmakers including Blake Shelton.

“We kind of look at our careers a little differently [than some other artists],” said Joey. “What we do is unique and we’re not afraid to step out of the box. Our faith is ultra important to us.”

One way the duo is setting its own course is to record and tour behind their new Christmas recording A Farmhouse Christmas, the third album of their career. Although some artists wouldn’t consider releasing such a niche album so early in their career, Joey & Rory didn’t hesitate .

“Christmas is Rory’s favorite holiday. What gets him in the spirit are classics like [a holiday movie featuring the television family] The Waltons and [songs by] Nat King Cole,” said Joey.”People record the same songs over and over and there’s nothing unique. How often can you sing ‘Jingle Bells?’ Rory being the songwriter that he is and bieng so talented and loving holiday and music, he has always wanted to record a Christmas record. When I asked him what would make it different he said ‘Well, we will write solely for this project.’”

The couple are proud that they have recorded an album that is full of what Joey calls “new standards for the holiday.” Besides the new songs such as “Let it Snow (Somewhere Else), which Rory co-wrote in Key West, FL, the duo recorded songs that aren’t traditionally associated with the holiday including Merle Haggard‘s “If We Make It Through December.” A few traditional Christmas songs like “Away in a Manger” are also included.

Joey and Rory, whose honors include the 2010 Academy of Country Music award for Top New Vocal Duo, have planned a special tour behind the album when it kicks off November 25th in Joey’s home state of Indiana.

The stage will be set up like the living room of the couple’s 1870s farm house in Tennessee and the duo will mix their personal stories in with the music they play.

“I feel like we’re trying to bring elements of fun and orneriness and seriousness and heartfelt love into it,” said Joey of the tour and music. “Even though our [personal] faith is ultra important to us, we all have to be reminded of what Christmas is [beyond the] hustle and bustle and stress. It’s about much more than that.”

For album information and tour dates, check the duo’s Web site.

 


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