My mom told me once that we were all born into this world with a special talent that’s unique to us. Well I’m sure glad excellence in handfarting isn’t my skill, but I can still appreciate the HandFartMaster.
This gentleman has shared his “Handmonica” talents with the world through covers posted on his YouTube channel. Let’s start with HFM’s take on Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd…
Now how about Mumford and Sons’ oh so solemn The Cave…
Legendary singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen is still going strong at the age of 77. Cohen has just announced a North American tour that will visit theaters and arenas this fall in support of his new LP, Old Ideas. The tour begins in Austin on Halloween and runs through a pair of shows at NYC arenas (MSG & Barclay’s Center) in mid-December. Head to Consequence of Sound for more details.
List Time: L Magazine’s 8 NYC Bands You Need To Hear
Finally, one of Levon Helm’s last studio recordings was released yesterday as the track Toast To Freedom, featuring Helm and a slew of iconic performers, debuted on YouTube. The song was put together by veteran guitarist/producers Carl Carlton (Robert Palmer, Eric Burdon, Keb Mo) and Larry Campbell (Levon Helm Band, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello) as a tribute to Amnesty International’s 50th Anniversary. The basic tracks were laid down at Levon Helm Studios and were sweetened up by legendary producer Bob Clearmountain. Roseanne Cash, Blind Boys of Alabama, Carly Simon, Donald Fagen, Keb Mo, Warren Haynes, Taj Mahal and Kris Kristofferson were just a few of the performers who added to the tune. Take a look at the official video…
Last year was filled with high quality album releases and 2012 is shaping up to be just as good, if not better. Many artists have albums planned for release this year and more than a few have us excited with anticipation. For the list below we stuck to albums with confirmed titles and release dates, so no Dr. Dre Detox and no Black Sabbath or any other “TBA” LPs.
Here are eight albums that have DaveO and me stoked for 2012.
Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
(January 30, 2012)
With a spot on Saturday Night Live this weekend a full two weeks before the release of her much awaited major label debut and a newly inked modeling contract, Lana Del Rey’s album just might live up to proverbial hype. Judging by her hard to find self-titled first album (as Lana Del Ray) and more recent singles, there’s enough to her voice and songwriting to build intrigue beyond any well-crafted persona. This album could make her the star she thinks she is or fizzle like a lead balloon.
Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, off his 1984 album Various Positions, is one of those songs that seems ubiquitous but the original version rarely heard. The song plays out as an epic saga and has a seemingly endless supply of lyrics that never drag on if delivered properly. It’s been covered nearly as many times as there are verses. Countless times it’s appeared on soundtracks to films and television shows as a poignant backdrop to directors’ attempts at tugging on heartstrings. While what follows are each great renditions, I implore you to start with the original done by a maestro and true craftsman of song.
Jeff Buckley: Buckley’s hauntingly dramatic version from his 1994 debut Grace is the best known cover of Hallelujah. It’s one of the best known covers of any song ever. Many people who love the Buckley version have no idea Cohen was the originator – I know I’ve met more than a few.
READ ON for the scoop on the rest of this week’s contestants…
With Jack White’s newest band, The Dead Weather, hitting up NYC’s Terminal 5 for shows over the next two nights, the ever busy guitarist turned drummer has decided to open a pop-up branch of his Nashville-based Third Man Records store on Manhattan’s Lower East Side for a very limited time. The store, which will be located at 131 Chrystie Street (between Broome and Delancey), will be open from 10AM-6PM on July 16 and 17 only.
In addition to all the special Third Man merch that will be available, The Dead Weather will perform a special in-store performance today at noon, so head on over. It’s first come first serve.
List Time: Folk Alley’s 100 Most Essential Folk Songs
Finally, at age 74, Leonard Cohen is currently enjoying some of the biggest success of his long, storied career. Despite his current resurgence, in a recent interview with the UK-based newspaper The Guardian the singer-songwriter asked that there be no more new covers of arguably his most identifiable song Hallelujah. Cohen told the paper “I was reading a review of a movie called Watchmen that uses it, and the reviewer said, ‘Can we please have a moratorium on ‘Hallelujah’ in movies and television shows?’ and I kind of feel the same way, I think it’s a good song, but too many people sing it.”
In these uncertain economic times, even musicians are looking to account for every penny that is owed to them. The members of Pink Floyd have filed a suit against their label, EMI, and its private equity firm owners, Terra Firma, claiming that the label has miscalculated their royalty payments.
Finally, for those of you that have seen HT faves The Felice Brothers over the last few months, you may have noticed the absence of Simon Felice from his usual spot behind the drum kit. Despite his surprise appearance at the band’s show last Friday night at Webster Hall, the drummer/vocalist/novelist has decided to take a break from the band to concentrate on his solo project The Duke & King. Simon, through a heartfelt open letter, revealed the rather sad circumstances behind his decision to leave The Felice Brothers and background on the material for his new band. The Duke & The King will make their New York City debut at Brooklyn’s Union Hall on May 20.
There haven’t been many bands over the last few years that have consistently hit the road as hard and as often as the Dave Matthews Band. The perennial road warriors will be at it again this summer with another massive North American tour. This 63-date beast of a tour kicks off on April 14 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden and runs until October 2 where the band will wrap things up at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK.
Joining DMB will be a diverse and impressive group of opening acts that includes The Roots, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Avett Brothers, Femi Kuti & the Positive Force, The Hold Steady, Hill Country Review, Donovan Frankenreiter and Robert Randolph and the Family Band.
If you’re not into the acoustic-jam-pop of DMB, than maybe you’ll be into seeing one of these recently announced tours…
Finally, coming on the heels of his first US performance in over fifteen years legendary singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has announced a full fledged North American spring tour. The 74 year-old Cohen will kick off his two-month, 28 date tour on April 2 in Austin, TX with a notable appearance at the Coachella Festival, as well as a stop at New York’s Radio CIty Music Hall and a tour ending show at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.
The lineup announcement for this year’s 10KLF comes out on January 21 and the festival’s promoters promise “the biggest announcement ever.” Our friends at Breakfast On Tour report that the lineup for the four day festival – which takes place in Detroit Lakes, MN on July 22 – 25 – includes Wilco, DMB, Wookiefoot and two nights of Widespread Panic.
Here’s a fresh batch of links straight from the HT oven…
Finally, Canadian folkie Leonard Cohen will play his first U.S. concert in 15 years on February 19 at the newly renovated Beacon Theatre in New York City according to Billboard. The magazine goes on to speculate that the Beacon show will anchor a full tour. Tickets go onsale Friday via Ticketmaster.
I think it would be safe to say that interest in mopey singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen may be at an all time high right now. Last week as the result of some dreadlocked clown on American Idol covering Jeff Buckley’s take on Hallelujah the song soared to number one iTunes.
Monday night Cohen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame by Lou Reed, who gushed over his fellow tribesmen’s lyrics. Yesterday came news that Cohen, who will embark on his first world tour in over 15 years, revealed the European dates. Oh, and the 73 year-old will also put out a new studio album before the year is out too. Not too shabby of a week and a half?
If you didn’t catch the induction ceremonies the other night (which was probably for the best, except for Billy Joel’s hilarious induction of The Coug) Damien Rice did a beautiful rendition of Cohen’s best known song. Enjoy:
I think I may have set a HT record for hyper-links in one post.