Arctic Monkeys – “At The Apollo” CD and DVD review

Arctic Monkeys - At The Apollo
Arctic Monkeys - At The Apollo
Artist: Arctic Monkeys
Title: At The Apollo
Label: Warner Bros.
Rating: 6/10

Corporate line:
Exclusive two disc (DVD/CD) U.S. edition includes a bonus 10 track live album recorded in Austin, Texas (exclusive to this release). “At The Apollo” is the first ever official live DVD release by the Arctic Monkeys. The 76 minute film documents the last gig of their 2007 world tour at the Manchester Apollo. It was directed by Richard Ayoade who has directed music videos for Super Furry Animals, Vampire Weekend and The Last Shadow Puppets but is better known as an actor in The Mighty Boosh and The I.T. Crowd. Disc extras include two bonus tracks, a split screen option for the first half of the film and a multi-angle option with Matt Helders drum track.

The review:
First off, this DVD is raw. Raw like your cousin in his first year of film school shot it. But that is also the sort of thing you’d expect from the Arctic Monkeys. As a fan it’s impossible to complain about the music. The songs are all great. After all, we gave the two CDs they’ve released raving reviews. But the sound quality on this CD leaves a lot to be desired. There are some interesting tracks for the completely uninitiated Arctic Monkeys fan: “Da Frame 2R” and “Plastic Tramp.” But those aren’t going to make up for the lack of quality on the DVD.

The CD fares better than the DVD. The sound quality is a bit sloppy in the beginning but gets better–as if the guy woke up at the soundboard a few songs in.

Finally:
“At The Apollo” is no substitute for missing an Arctic Monkeys show. It might be a cool piece of memorabilia if you got to see them and wanted to remind yourself how cool they were in person, but you’ll never convince friends that the show was great by watching the DVD.

Coheed and Cambria release CD/DVD Neverender box set

Coheed and Cambria Neverender
Coheed and Cambria Neverender
“Neverender” was the landmark event where for the first time ever, Coheed and Cambria performed all four of their concept albums in entirety over four nights. TODAY you can re-witness this incredible journey through an amazing box set containing not only a DVD and audio CD of each night’s performance, but also a must-have photobook and documentary DVD that captures the journey leading to this spectacular event. In addition, the limited edition deluxe NEVERENDER: CHILDREN OF THE FENCE EDITION box set also contains a collectible dragonfly.

There are only 15,000 limited box sets available worldwide.

Neverender was originally intended to take place in New York and Los Angeles exclusively. The 15,000 tickets for these shows sold out entirely within an astounding three hours of going on sale. When the band saw how fast all 8 shows sold, they decided to extend the tour to include Chicago and London.

“‘Neverender’ came about because we wanted to celebrate the end of the Coheed and Cambria saga in a special way,” says Coheed frontman Claudio Sanchez. “We wanted to come up with an idea that paid proper respect to this phase of our career, while at the same time gave our fans something truly unique and different. Many of these songs have never been played in front of an audience before so I think we’re going to be freaking out at the same time our fans are. It’s going to be a major challenge. We’re psyched our fans have been so loyal and amazing. We figured they deserved this.”

“Brilliant. Words absolutely fail to describe how epic this thing is. If you don’t have it, get it. It’s worth every penny. They’re so bloody tight, and the musicianship is just astounding! This is an incredible celebration of Coheed and their career so far. The documentary is really cool and enlightening as well. A great package. This is why I love Coheed. They’re truly like no other band out there right now.”

“Wow, just wow, I’m not sure that I can find the words to describe the incredible quality of these DVDs (haven’t gotten to the CDs yet). The editing is beyond brilliant, every shot flows so well with the music. The camera work is phenomenal, scoping individual members at the perfect times, cutting back to the full band, consistently peppered with the very best of the crowd’s intensity.”

Pick up your copy now before it’s too late!

The Grateful Dead – Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978 – review

The album marks the 30th anniversary of The Dead’s historic concerts at Giza-More than 3 hours of rare and previously unreleased music remastered in HDCD plus over 100 minutes of extremely rare, previously unseen concert and behind the scenes footage.

Grateful Dead
Artist: Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978
Title: Grateful Dead
Label: Rhino
Rating: 8/10

Corporate line:
The album marks the 30th anniversary of The Dead’s historic concerts at Giza-More than 3 hours of rare and previously unreleased music remastered in HDCD plus over 100 minutes of extremely rare, previously unseen concert and behind the scenes footage.

The review:
Fans have been experiencing the Grateful Dead Egypt concert on bootlegs with variable qualities. By all indications this is a concert that should have been released on CD/DVD or some other audio/visual release long ago. Just listening the CD you can feel the immensity of the concert and when you watch it on DVD you can see it–but the visual is never as good as the audible version.

The DVD version is far too herky-jerky. It’s amateurish but even that won’t deter fans of the Dead. With two days of footage spread out over an hour you get some tasty bits to enjoy. It’s just a shame the quality wasn’t above average. It seems clear no one realized at the time the enormity of the concert so it wasn’t given the due at the time. If the Dead had enlisted a professional camera crew this might have been one of the great concert videos of all time.

The best aspects of the CD are the vast number of great songs. The recordings aren’t perfect by any means. There are reports of equipment failures and other reasons why everything didn’t go as planned, but you can’t argue with a set list that looks like “Sugar Magnolia,” “Terrapin Station,” “Looks Like Rain” and “Ramble on Rose.” There is a lot to love aurally–as long as you aren’t expecting perfection.

Here is the full album setlist:

Disc 1

1. “Jack Straw”

2. “Row Jimmy”

3. “New, New Minglewood Blues”

4. “Candyman”

5. “Looks Like Rain”

6. “Stagger Lee”

7. “I Need A Miracle”

8. “It’s All Over Now”

9. “Deal”

Disc 2

1. “Ollin Arageed”

2. “Fire On The Mountain”

3. “Iko Iko”

4. “Shakedown Street”

5. “Drums”

6. “Space”

7. “Truckin’”

8. “Stella Blue”

9. “Around And Around”

DVD

Track Listing

1.“Bertha”

2. “Good Lovin’”

3. “Row Jimmy”

4. “New, Minglewood Blues”

5. “Candyman”

6. “Looks Like Rain”

7. “Deal”

8. “Ollin Arageed”

9. “Fire On The Mountain”

10. “Iko Iko”

11. “I Need A Miracle”

12. “It’s All Over Now”

13. “Truckin’”

Featurette: “The Vacation Tapes”

Tori Amos announces live cd “Live at Montreux”

tori amos

Tori Amos descended on the scene in the early ‘90s brimming with newfound creativity, intelligence, sensitivity and an exacting literary bearing. Celebrated by critics and the public alike, that first spotlight was a heady time in the young singer/songwriter’s career. On September 30, 2008, Eagle Rock Entertainment, through its wholly-owned Eagle Eye Media subsidiary, will release Tori Amos Live At Montreux 1991/1992 on both CD (16 songs) and DVD (90 minutes, 19 songs) simultaneously sold separately. It is a rare glimpse into that initial breathy rush of a great artist’s ascendancy.

The ’91 gig came only months before her Little Earthquakes debut had catapulted her into an instant icon, the ’92 appearance shortly thereafter. The progression in both performance and audience receptivity is appreciable. Material includes most of her stellar debut but also tracks from her indie EPs and some notable covers (Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and “Thank You” as well as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”).

Tori Amos’ stark confessional style immediately garnered millions of young fans searching for some semblance of self in an all too imperfect world. Tori’s melodic sense, coupled with her unerring eye for the human foibles of a generation twice removed from the ‘60s sensibilities of her influences, made for a uniquely special art. There was no, and is no, precedent for such a talent. Tori’s obliquely personal oeuvre digs down deep into such dramatic lyrical topics as sexuality, religion and personal tragedy. She touches that universal chord. It’s small wonder she became a major voice right from the outset of her career.

1991 DVD TRACK LISTING 1) Silent All These Years 2) Precious Things 3) China 4) Crucify 5) Leather 6) Song For Eric 7) Upside Down 8) Happy Phantom 9) Winter 10) Thank You

1992 DVD TRACK LISTING 11) Little Earthquakes 12) Crucify 13) Silent All These Years 14) Precious Things 15) Happy Phantom 16) Whole Lotta Love/Thank You 17) Me And A Gun 18) Winter 19) Smells Like Teen Spirit

CD TRACK LISTING 1991 show: 1) Silent All These Years 2) Precious Things 3) China 4) Crucify 5) Leather 6) Song For Eric 7) Upside Down 8) Happy Phantom 9) Winter 10) Thank You

1992 show: 11) Little Earthquakes 12) Precious Things 13) Whole Lotta Love/Thank You 14) Me And A Gun 15) Winter 16) Smells Like Teen Spirit

Daughtry expands debut with bonus music and videos

daughtry

To celebrate the global success of the record-breaking debut from 19/RCA recording artist DAUGHTRY, the Grammy-nominated group announces it will release a deluxe version of the band’s debut September 9.

Powered by a trio of #1 songs, “It’s Not Over,” “Home,” and “Feels Like Tonight.” DAUGHTRY has become the biggest selling artist release of the past two years and the fastest selling rock debut in Soundscan history. The expanded CD/DVD version of the group’s self-titled debut features the album’s original 12 songs along with four bonus tracks on CD—including acoustic performances of “Home,” recorded in the studio, and “What About Now,” recorded earlier this year on Idol Gives Back. Making its debut on this collection is DAUGHTRY’s cover of the Foreigner classic, “Feels Like The First Time.” which is being featured in CNN’s League of First Time Voters campaign.

The bonus DVD contains videos for all five of the singles from DAUGHTRY, live performances and exclusive interviews with the band as they tell stories about the DAUGHTRY’S meteoric rise. Just like the album, the accompanying booklet has been expanded as well with photos from the road.

While DAUGHTRY gives back to its fans with the deluxe version of its debut, the band gives back to charity with a new video for its latest single “What About Now.” An active supporter of charity organizations from the start, the band will donate proceeds from the video to the following groups: Action Sports Environmental Coalition; Amnesty International; Charity: Water; Doctors Without Borders; Homeboy Industries; Insight Prison Project; Keep a Child Alive; Love, Light and Melody; Room to Read; Seacology; Surfaid International; and Urban Compass.

R.E.M. release new digital EP

r.e.m.

R.E.M. have released a brand-new live digital EP, entitled Live in London, which is now available exclusively on iTunes. The EP features nine songs recorded during the band’s performance at the Apple Store on London’s Regent Street on March 26th, 2008.

An intimate performance for contest winners and several hundred members of R.E.M’s fan club, the Apple Store show was called “a triumph” by Britain’s music bible Q, which also wrote: “There’s an undeniable feeling that R.E.M. have come here to kick back and have fun with a bunch of close friends.”

Live in London features five tracks from Accelerate — R.E.M.’s 14th studio album — including the singles “Supernatural Superserious,” “Hollow Man,” and the latest “Man-Sized Wreath,” as well as old favorites “West Of The Fields” (from 1983’s Murmur), “Fall on Me” (from 1986’s Life’s Rich Pageant), and “Man on the Moon” (from 1992’s Automatic For the People).

Hailed as “a classic blast of rock and roll from a band at a new peak of its powers” by Rolling Stone, Accelerate was released in North America on April 1st, 2008, and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard album charts. R.E.M. recently completed its U.S. tour and has now embarked on its European tour, which continues through October 2008.

The track-listing for Live in London is as follows:

“Living Well Is The Best Revenge”

“Auctioneer (Another Engine)”

“Hollow Man”

“Supernatural Superserious”

“Fall On Me”

“West Of The Fields”

“Horse to Water”

“Man-Sized Wreath”

“Man on the Moon”

Watch the trailer: