<p>Joe Henry</p>

Joe Henry

Interview: Joe Henry discusses his open-door policy, 'Reverie'

Songwriter and producer reveals how he's landed with Hugh Laurie, Solomon Burke and more


Joe Henry’s latest solo set had an open-door policy. Literally. The songwriter and producer kept windows and doors open during the recording process, letting what he called “the racket” lead his backing musicians like T Bone Burnett drummer Jay Bellerose and labelmate Tom Waits’ main axe man Marc Ribot.
“It was a deliberate decision to allow those sounds to be heard as music. Songs don’t happen in a vacuum,” Henry told me in an interview this week. “When you’re writing a song, there’s life coming all around you. [Musicians] try to disappear into some hermetically sealed chamber. I resist that. I believe all kinds of racket to be musical. We called it the weather in the room.”
Of course, allowing “the field” into the room may not be a new, novel idea, but it certainly gives a raw sheen and texture to “Reverie,” released via Anti- last week. These groaning blues and abstractly folk capsules are the composite of Henry’s 12th solo release. His writing has meandered admirably around varying genres over the last two decades, almost as much as his production credits have.
Recently, he left his mark on Hugh Laurie’s New Orleans blues album and Irish songwriter (and Immaculate Noise favorite) Lisa Hannigan’s sophomore set “Passenger.” He’s produced for artists like the late, great, Solomon Burke, Americana mark-makers like The Jayhawks and Son Volt, Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann and “my hero since I was 19,” Loudon Wainwright III; he’s worked, too, with his sister-in-law Madonna and composed for major television shows.
His daughter thinks he’s pretty cool too.
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<p>Tom Petty's &quot;Kiss My Amps (Live)&quot;</p>

Tom Petty's "Kiss My Amps (Live)"

Record Store Day hosts Black Friday sale with Tom Petty, Beatles, Kings of Leon

Bob Dylan, Nirvana, The Doors, Phish and more go vinyl for the holidays

Record Store Day no longer comes around just once a year. Independent retailers will be hocking special edition and first-time vinyl and CD releases on Black Friday this year, on Nov. 25.

So far, more than three dozen special edition drops are planned. Some highlights include contributions from the Beatles, Tom Petty, The Doors and Nirvana.

However, organizers are trying to counter that this is not a second Record Store Day. It's more to emphasize the importance of indie shops.

"This is a terrific street date of great releases that can only be found at real live record stores. Yes, these pieces are limited, and indeed, some may sell out, and of course, the stores won’t all stock every piece," reads the website. "Mostly, our goal is to remind folks that locally owned, independent record stores, like those that are listed on the site, are a GREAT place to celebrate the holidays, do a little gift-shopping (for yourself or others), support your community, and maybe pick up something really special. And  really, that applies all year-round."

Check it out: the Beastie Boys' "Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2" will be out in a vinyl deluxe edition with a 60-page book, 5.1 version of the set and videos. John Lennon's "Imagine" gets a 40th anniversary vinyl boxed set makeover. Nirvana's "Nevermind" singles will be packaged as 10"s in a numbered slip case. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' live vinyl LP "Kiss My Amps (Live)" features 7 tracks, from "Mojo" and a B-Side "Sweet William."

See the whole -- and still-improving list -- here.

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Lou Reed and Metallica's 'Lulu' streaming online in whole

Lou Reed and Metallica's 'Lulu' streaming online in whole

I'm so sorry

I don't want you to be alarmed or interrupt anything important you're doing, like shining silverware or alphabetizing the things on your desk, but Metallic and Lou Reed's "Lulu" is streaming in full.

First this week it was just 30-second snippets of all the concept-driven songs. Now you have 95 minutes of hurt.

Here, here you go.

"Lulu" is out on Nov. 1.


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Is B.o.B. back? Check out 'Epic' new video

Meek Mills and Playboy Tre help this tough track

The synth lines and high treble mix of B.o.B.'s "Epic" makes me think of the 1990s, but the rapper's lyrics may expose a newer, meaner side of Bobby Ray.

The rapper tapped Meek Mills and Playboy Tre for this puffy-chested, bravado-bearing fight track, with the official video featured in an actual fighting ring.

B.o.B. made more of a mark in the pop space last year, what with hits like "Airplane" feat. Hayley Williams and his guest spot on Bruno Mars' "Nothin' On You." But he's arrived the fall with a tougher outlook: "Strange Clouds" is the title track from his forthcoming sophomore set, with him trying to go toe-to-toe with Lil Wayne (who is having a softie side of his own). Now with "Epic," it looks like he's ready to shed his lightweight status, which took up about half his debut album "The Adventures of Bobby Ray."

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<p>Jack White</p>

Jack White

Credit: AP Photo

Listen to Jack White cover U2; The Smiths get covers tribute album

Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, The Killers also on U2's 'AHK-toong Covered'

In the same week that its announced Bob Dylan is getting a tribute covers album (with help from Ke$ha, no less...), The Smiths are getting theirs, while U2 covers from Jack White and Damian Rice are unearthed.

As previously reported, U2 is making a big fat deal out of their "Achtung Baby" 20th anniversary reissue, and a covers set is intended to enhance that celebration. Q Magazine will be bowing "AHK-toong BAY-bi Covered" -- really, that's its title -- on Nov. 1, and a full tracklist is now available. Nine Inch Nails (!!!), Depeche Mode, The Killers, Garbage and The Fray join previously announced talent like Jack White, Damian Rice and Patti Smith on the 12-song set. A new mix of "Even Better Than the Real Thing" by Jacques Lu Cont is in the mix, coinciding with the band's effort to launch that song as a "new" single from "Achtung."

"AHK-toong BAY-bi Covered" tracklist is below.

With that, fans can already hear White's creepy and fantastic take on "Love Is Blindness," plus Rice's solemn "One," which will have you sightlessly clamoring for your heart in whatever dark place Rice's tired albatross carted it off to and dropped it.

Meanwhile, The Smiths, too, have a cool combo of characters tackling their tunes in "Please, Please, Please: A Tribute to the Smiths." The 20-track collection will be out on Dec. 13 and features Stars, Sixpence None the Richer, Immaculate Noise favorite William Fitzsimmons, Girl in a Coma, Built to Spill's Doug Martsch and Telekinesis. I do not know who Kitten is, but the name delights me.

Pre-orders for the Moz-lovers is up now at American Laundromat.

Jack White, "Love Is Blindness"

Damien Rice - One by @U2Argentina

Stars, "Asleep"

Here is the tracklist for "AHK-toong BAY-bi Covered":

01. Nine Inch Nails – Zoo Station
02. U2 (Jacques Lu Cont Mix) – Even Better Than The Real Thing
03. Damien Rice – One
04. Patti Smith – Until The End Of The World
05. Garbage – Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
06. Depeche Mode – So Cruel
07. Snow Patrol – Mysterious Ways
08. The Fray – Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World
08. Gavin Friday – The Fly
10. The Killers – Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
11. Glasvegas – Acrobat
12. Jack White – Love Is Blindness

Here is the tracklist for "Please, Please, Please: A Tribute to The Smiths":

01. Kitten – “Panic”
02. The Rest – “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”
03. Joy Zipper – “What Difference Does It Make?”
04. Tanya Donelly w/ Dylan in the Movies – “Shoplifters Of The World Unite”
05. William Fitzsimmons – “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want”
06. Sixpence None the Richer – “I Won’t Share You”
07. Sara Lov – “Well I Wonder”
08. Greg Laswell – “Half A Person”
09. Dala – “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me”
10. Chikita Violenta – “Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others”
11. Telekinesis – “Sheila Take A Bow”
12. Solvents – “Is It Really So Strange?”
13. The Wedding Present – “Hand In Glove”
14. Mike Viola and The Section Quartet – “How Soon Is Now?”
15. Trespassers William – “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”
16. Girl in a Coma – “Rubber Ring”
17. Elk City – “I Know It’s Over”
18. Katy Goodman (La Sera, Vivian Girls) – “What She Said”
19. Cinerama – “London”
20. Doug Martsch (Built To Spill) – “Reel Around the Fountain”

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<p>Rihanna and her possessor/possessed in &quot;We Found Love&quot;</p>

Rihanna and her possessor/possessed in "We Found Love"

Watch: Rihanna recalls 'Requiem for a Dream' in 'We Found Love' video

Power, possession, Ireland and... Chris Brown?

It's been years past, and yet I -- along with others -- still watch each Rihanna video, and consider: "Is THIS one about Chris Brown?... Is THIS one?"

I will say this: boxer/extremely hot model Dudley O'Shaughnessy stars in the "We Found Love" music video. And he looks suspiciously like Rihanna's ex-Brown. And the two have a nasty fight in a car, alluding to the assault on Grammy night in 2009. Like Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie," this clip, too, illustrates the cyclical and hurtful nature of love and possession.

It nods to Brown. But then, as the lyrics say, I've just "got to let it go."

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<p>The Ting Tings in &quot;Hang It Up&quot;</p>

The Ting Tings in "Hang It Up"

Watch: The Ting Tings tell you to 'Hang It Up' in a skate park

British duo back with sophomore set yet?

"Everybody loves somebody to hate."

It's just too easy.

So I'll say that "Hang It Up" is very much the Ting Tings. Particularly with the squirrelly guitars and rap-singing, this track in particular sounds like Weezer with a cheerleader at the front.

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<p>The Stone Roses</p>

The Stone Roses

Credit: Pennie Smith

Watch: Stone Roses confirm reunion, schedule two shows

Ian Brown and the boys are back together and making new music

The Stone Roses only had two albums, but the quartet are intact and all back together for the first time since 1995, ready to perform those songs plus some new material.

At a press conference in London today, frontman Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni confirmed they have gotten back together, and are creating new songs. They have slated just two homecoming shows, for Heaton Park on June 29 and 30 in 2012. Tickets for those go up for sale on Friday (Oct. 21) at 9:30 a.m. GMT.

The British troupe has posted video of the press conference at their newly launched website, thestoneroses.org, which includes the news that the band is plotting a world tour.

Now, the Stone Roses released their mostly perfect self-titled debut album in 1989. "The Second Coming" from 1994 paled in comparison. Fans of Brown's dreamy vocals have endured years of solo albums since then, with just a couple highlights like 2001's "Music of the Spheres" and "Stellify" from 2009's "My Way."

So in conclusion, I'm excited, but not that excited.

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<p>The Roots</p>

The Roots

Listen: The Roots announce 'undun' album details as new single drops

Jimmy Fallon's house band tackling a concept album: look out, 'Lulu'

Are The Roots getting dark for the most wonderful time of the year?

The veteran hip-hop troupe and "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" house band has lifted the curtain on their latest originals set, "undun," due on Dec. 6 in time for the holiday season. What makes it sound heavy is this: the 10-track set is The Roots' first concept record, based on the apparently fictional character Redford Stephens, "This kid who becomes criminal, but he wasn’t born criminal."

"He’s not the nouveau exotic primitive bug-eyed gunrunner like Tupac’s character Bishop in 'Juice,'" reads a release, with comments from ?uestlove. "He’s actually thoughtful and is neither victim nor hero. Just some kid who begins to order his world in a way that makes the most sense to him at a given moment... Utilizing a reverse narrative arc, the album begins as the listener finds Redford disoriented–postmortem–and attempting to make sense of his former life. As he moves through its pivotal moments he begins to deconstruct all that has led to his (and our own) coming undun.”

Gather 'round, kids. It's a wonderful life.

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Exclusive Song Of The Day: NewVillager remix Metronomy, talk tour

'Some Written' gets a redux from the arty (but dancey!) Brooklyn-based band

NewVillager have not only managed to put out one of the more thrilling and melody-loving new releases this fall, they also put on one hell of a show. The Brooklyn-based troupe typically plays as a trio, with a "human sculpture" bursting from Ben Bromley and Ross Simonini's performance. There's costumes and fort-building, visual art being constantly made in the middle of their audio art. They've held down gallery appearances as much as basement shows, their own "mythology" changing with each gig and conceptually at the center of their setlist. 

That doesn't mean their 2011 self-titled album is all artwork and no play. From its opening, "NewVillager" is a head-nodding dance party: textural,  playful, dancey, self-assured. Look for the same at their performances, as the band has just kicked off the autumn leg of their tour, with U.K.'s Metronomy.

Below, we debut NewVillager's remix of their Mercury Prize-nominated tourmates' breezy song "Some Written" and hold down an email chat with Simonini.

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