Coming Soon/Specials

March 03, 2011

Exclusive Pearl Jam: Preview Four New Tracks March 8

Pearl Jam At this point in Pearl Jam's career, their extensive catalog almost seems like its own encyclopedia of grunge rock, including seminal studio albums, live cuts, interviews, greaest hits comps, and rarities. Well, two years ago we were thrilled to learn about the band's campaign to release definitive reissues of their iconic albums, starting with their legendary debut, Ten. Now the time has come for us to be treated to the second installment, due for release March 29. It's a combined reissue of the band's subsequent two albums, Vs. and Vitalogy. The new package will include remastered tracks, plus a ton of bonus material. And here's the best part: Next Tuesday we'll have four exclusive bonus tracks available for you to stream as a preview of the upcoming full release. They'll be waiting for you on Napster on March 8, so be sure to check them out and celebrate Pearl Jam's 20th anniversary in truly rocking fashion.

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March 01, 2011

Dario Marianelli, Jane Eyre Soundtrack Coming March 8

Jane Eyre It's safe to say Italian composer Dario Marianelli has crafted some fine movie scores in his time: Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, and The Soloist, to name a few, those first two having won him Academy Awards. So it's only natural we're excited about his new score, Jane Eyre, due next week (3/8). The period piece, based on Charlotte Brontë's classic novel and due in theaters March 11, is a perfect canvas for Marianelli. After all, romantic, sweeping music has been his forte throughout his career. The ambitious score features rising violinist Jack Liebeck, who was honored with a Classical Brit Award last year. With his moving and adventurous work on Jane Eyre, you could say that Marianelli "scores" again.

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New Lonely Island Album Pushed Back to May

The Lonely Island Fans of comedic powerhouse trio The Lonely Island will have to wait just a little longer for the new album, which was announced back in Oct. 2010. Originally scheduled for release in April, the date has been pushed to May in order to allow more time for all the DVD features to be completed. In the meantime, we can help tide you over with the new album's first single, the smash hit "I Just Had Sex" featuring Akon, and the recently released follow-up, "The Creep," with hip-hop princess Nicki Minaj guesting. Stay strong, Lonely Islanders.

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February 25, 2011

Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers, Rare Bird Alert

Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers, Rare Bird Alert Steve Martin has made another banjo album. Well, bluegrass album, really, but prominently featuring banjo (as much bluegrass music does). Anyway, it's a real doozie, and it's scheduled for release on March 15. Those who have heard The Crow, Martin's 2009 banjo-album debut, know that a) Martin is no slouch on the instrument (a matter we have discussed before), and b) he surrounds himself with excellent players, including some of the all-time banjo and bluegrass greats. So, for Rare Bird Alert, his second foray into the "serious" album-making world (the title has to do with his upcoming bird-watching movie, The Big Year), he recruited one Tony Trischka, long a supporter of Martin's banjo-playing alter-ego, to produce. And for his band, he made the wise decision of working with The Steep Canyon Rangers, the very classy North Carolina string band he took on the road with him to support The Crow, and to whom he pays the highest of compliments in Rare Bird's wonderful liner notes: With the Rangers, he writes, "I enjoyed once again something I had once grown to loathe: the road." So, band and Martin set about recording a new set of Martin originals (he wrote or co-wrote everything on the album), and the results are just beautiful. The album sounds so graceful, one almost forgets this man's wild and crazy roots. It's interesting, because Martin's writing on this album, both musically and lyrically, seems to let in a bit more of his abundant humor than on The Crow, where his clear respect for the music somewhat muted the funny. In the career arc of Steve Martin, it's fascinating to see and hear him at this juncture, no longer the outrageous laugh-getter, but more of a Mark Twain-style humorist (even though this album includes a bluegrass version of his '80s yukfest "King Tut). And like Twain, there's only one of him, and that's all there will ever be. Oh, did we forget to mention that both Sir Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks (all three of 'em) provide guest vocals on a tune apiece? Well, they do, and they sound great, too.

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February 24, 2011

Cristian Castro to Team Up with Aventura?

Cristian_castro2 Aventura2

Mexican singer and national treasure Cristian Castro announced plans for  an upcoming album that would represent a departure from his recent pop-inspired offerings. The set will delve into tropical sounds, including possible forays into salsa, merengue, and the very popular Dominican form known as bachata. And whom better to pair up with for a round of bachata than the acknowledged kings of the style, Aventura? That's right: No one. Castro confirmed that he met up with Henry from Aventura recently in New York to talk about the potential collaboration. We'll keep you posted on what could be one of the biggest releases of this year—or next.

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February 17, 2011

The Strokes, "Under Cover of Darkness"

The Strokes, Under Cover of  Darkness We've been in such a post-award-shows haze, looking back on the vast number of great releases over the past year, that we temporarily lost focus on all the good stuff still to come out this year. Looking forward, alt rock fans are greeted with the sight of some familiar faces: NYC indie rockers The Strokes are back after a five-year absence with a new single, "Under Cover of Darkness." It reassuringly sounds like the old Strokes everyone raved about, while still maintaining a freshness that gets us excited for their upcoming new album, Angels. While it will be difficult to live up to the heaps of critical claim that their three previous records have earned (just their debut, Is This It, has received so many accolades that it would take a separate paragraph to list them all), "Under Cover of Darkness" is a good sign that we won't have anything to worry about when it comes to the future success of The Strokes.

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February 15, 2011

Aaron Lewis, “Country Boy”

Aaron Lewis, Country Boy Country fans may or may not know Aaron Lewis from his regular gig as frontman of Staind, but the singer-songwriter is making a serious bid to win a Nashville audience with "Country Boy," the first single from his upcoming country EP, Town Line. Lewis worked with veteran producer, label exec, and Stroudavarious Records founder James Stroud (Tim McGraw, Clint Black, Clay Walker) on the record, and "Country Boy" includes guest work by country legends Charlie Daniels and George Jones, as well as a little harmonizing by up-and-comer Chris Young. Guess he's not fooling around here. Indeed, Lewis has country roots—he grew up in rural Vermont—and if he's of a mind to share them, we say more power to him. "I love this country, and I feel like I've gotten to live the American dream," he says in his current label bio. "I'm genuinely blessed to have this opportunity, and I'm glad to celebrate that classic country spirit with this new music." Of course, Lewis isn't the first rocker or pop star to go country—Darius Rucker, Jewel, and Bon Jovi come to mind as recent examples—but we have to ask: Is he the first nu-metal guy to check into Music City? At any rate, he's established his bona fides with "Country Boy," and we'll get to hear the rest of Town Line when it comes out on March 1.

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February 01, 2011

Artists to Watch 2011: Yanni Tours, Releases New Album Next Week

Yanni New Age icon Yanni (or contemprary instrumentalist, as he prefers it) is planning a major comback this year, and it will all start with the release of his new album, Truth of Touch, which comes out next Tuesday. The album is being hyped as a return to his true form, or, as his website puts it, "the return of Yanni as you know him," perhaps meaning a return from 2009's Voices and Spanish counterpart Voces, which were quite a departure in that they featured vocals and received mixed reviews. Yanni and his orchestra are already in the midst of a massive tour across Mexico and will continue with 40 dates in the U.S. and Canada beginning March 21 in Peoria, Illinois. Talks are also underway about a possible tour of China in September. So it looks like 2011 is a promising year for the distinguished musician; he's even started to grow his famous "mo" back for the charitable orginization Movember. As the Yanni Nation mobilizes once more, if you want to explore the music that makes it all happen, or just need to brush up before the new album arrives, The Essential Yanni is a good place to start.

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January 28, 2011

Dr. Dre, “I Need a Doctor” featuring Eminem and Skylar Grey Coming Tuesday

Dr. Dre, I Need a Doctor Time to get ready again: On Tuesday, Dr. Dre will release "I Need a Doctor," the latest number from his long, long-awaited Detox album (following first single "Kush," released in November). The same team that concocted the Grammy-nominated Eminem hit "Love the Way You Lie" is behind this emotional single, which spotlights Em giving thanks and praise (as well as a pep-talk) to the man who made his career. He delivers with raw conviction, and the good doctor responds, explaining his long absence while almost poking fun at himself with the line "You can kiss my indecisive ass-crack." The new single also features up-and-coming singer and writer Skylar Grey, whose credits include recent songs for Diddy-Dirty Money, T.I, Lupe Fiasco, and a co-write on, yep, "Love the Way You Lie." The final element is producer Alex da Kid, whose big drum sound and emotive chords successfully complete the winning formula. Detox is currently scheduled for release this year.

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January 24, 2011

Artist to Watch 2011: PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey, White Chalk While the modern rock scene always has a young, hot new band to spin as "the next big thing," this year we are truly excited by the return of a veteran alt goddess: PJ Harvey. Let England Shake, her eighth studio album and first under her own name since 2007's White Chalk (pictured), is already building buzz, with snippets of songs appearing on various websites and being hailed by fans, including the iconic Patti Smith. The new album was recorded in a 19th-century English church, so we'll be expecting the usual flair and drama we've come to expect from a voice as unique as Harvey's, but we'll have to wait until next month for the full album release. But at least we'll have the chance to see and hear the new songs preformed live soon, as PJ Harvey is one of the many acts recently announced for this year's Coachella Festival.

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