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Archive for February 7th, 2013

Rock Your Socks: Tenacious D’s Debut Celebrated with New Vinyl Reissue

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Tenacious D

The Fenix has rizen!

This Sunday evening, Tenacious D – the comedy/rock duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass – is up for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.  The Tenacious team’s Rize of the Fenix  is facing stand-up competition from such acts as Jim Gaffigan, Kathy Griffin, Lewis Black, Margaret Cho and Jimmy Fallon, the latter of whom also mixed comedy and rock to great effect on his nominated album.  But Tenacious D is looking back as well as forward.  On March 5, Epic Records and Legacy Recordings will unveil a limited-edition, numbered, 180-gram vinyl gatefold 2-LP set of Tenacious D’s self-titled 2001 album.  Tenacious D: 12th Anniversary Edition will unveil a brand-new song recorded especially for this release, “Pat Reilly,” plus an MP3 album download.

Black and Gass are celebrating the 12th anniversary of the platinum-certified album with a new tour kicking off on February 28 at Atlantic City’s House of Blues.  Though Tenacious D’s first album didn’t arrive until 2001, the duo had been performing since the early 1990s and had already appeared in television specials on HBO by the time of the album’s release.  The rise, er, rize of Tenacious D also coincided with the takeoff of Black’s film career; the actor has considered his role in 2000’s music-centric High Fidelity to be his breakthrough.

Tenacious D, the album, was helmed by The Dust Brothers (Beastie Boys, Hanson, Beck) recorded.  Sessions began, of all places, in Neil Diamond’s own studios.  Black had befriended the music legend while playing a member of a Diamond cover band in the 2001 comedy Saving Silverman.  At Diamond’s ArchAngel Studios and The Boat studios, Black and Gass recorded such fare as “Kielbasa” (an ode to anal sex) and “F**k Her Gently” (an ode to, ah, well, you get the idea).  There were also shout-outs to metal hero Ronnie James Dio (“Dio”) and even Bach (“Rock Your Socks”), as well as a rock opera dedicated to cannabis (“City Hall”) and a climactic question of the listeners that would likely make John Waters and Divine smile.  Dave Grohl joined the D on drums, as did Page McConnell (Phish) on keyboards, Warren Fitzgerald (The Vandals) on guitar, and Steven Shane McDonald (Redd Kross) on bass.

After the jump: more on Tenacious D, including the track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 7, 2013 at 13:33

The Fantastic Expedition of Gene Clark: Omnivore Unveils Previously Unheard Demos from Late Byrd

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Gene Clark - Here TonightThough Gene Clark first made his mark as an original member of The Byrds, where he penned such classic folk-rock songs as “Feel a Whole Lot Better,” he left behind as rich a legacy as a solo artist as he did with The Byrds.  Clark’s tenure as a Byrd wasn’t a long one; though the group rose to prominence with its 1965 Columbia debut Mr. Tambourine Man, Clark left the band in early 1966 amid interpersonal strife and a dislike of touring.   He re-emerged quickly on a 1967 Columbia set with The Gosdin Brothers, and followed that LP up as one-half of Dillard and Clark for two albums with Doug Dillard in 1968 and 1969.  It wasn’t until 1971, though, that Gene Clark made his proper solo debut with White Light on the A&M label.  Now, Omnivore Recordings is readying a release that will fill in the gap between the final Dillard and Clark record and White LightHere Tonight: The White Light Demos, due on March 26, traces the development of the compositions that were released on White Light in August 1971.

By early 1970, Gene Clark had left the bustle of Los Angeles for the wide open spaces of Little River, Calif., near Mendocino, with his girlfriend and soon to be wife, Carlie McCummings, in tow.  Clark, a true pioneer of the folk-rock genre, had been gravitating in a more roots-based direction (as had his old band The Byrds) and swore off the electric guitar as he began to compose his latest set of songs.  “There was no deadline,” says McCummings. “He wasn’t under any pressure. And as a result, the songs just flowed out of him. The lyrics were so pure. They don’t come out of any manufactured experience.”

Of the twelve demo tracks on the new release, six (“White Light,” “For A Spanish Guitar,” “Where My Love Lies Asleep,” “The Virgin” “Because Of You,” and “With Tomorrow”) appeared in final form on White Light. Two (“Opening Day” and “Winter”) appeared in final form as bonus tracks on A&M’s 2002 reissue of the album. One track (”Here Tonight”) is an alternate version of a song that appeared on the Flying Burrito Brothers compilation Close Up The Honky Tonks.  The remaining trio of songs (“For No One,” “Please Mr. Freud” and “Jimmy Christ”) have never been issued previously in any form. Liner notes are by John Einarson, author of the 2005 Clark biography Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of Gene Clark.

There’s more on Gene Clark, including the track listing for The White Light Demos and a pre-order link, after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 7, 2013 at 10:15