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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Neil Young’s Latest Masterpiece Making Noise


Neil Young’s new album, Le Noise, dropped earlier this week to the tune of rave reviews.

“What’s striking about Le Noise is the way it both summarizes and distills Young’s singular approach to music, predominantly just Neil and a guitar: his big, white hollow-body Gretsch electric slashing and burning for most of the tracks, a couple built around picked and strummed acoustic instruments. Both are recorded and amplified – literally and metaphorically – by Lanois’ signature soundscapes that loop vocals, and enhance the guitars’ bass notes through distortion boxes, synthesizers and other electronics.” – Los Angeles Times

The eight-song album is a collaboration between the acclaimed rock icon and musician, songwriter, and producer Daniel Lanois, known for his work with U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, the Neville Brothers and many others.

Young has since followed up the album release with Le Noise: The Film, a 38-minute movie featuring live-in-studio performances of each of the album’s tracks.

Watch now!

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Rancid Plays Two-Night Stint at LA’s Music Box


Tim Armstrong with his signature Gretsch and a shot of his guitar rack.
Photos by Chris Pontius.

Rancid played a pair of shows over the weekend at the Music Box in Los Angeles. The legendary punk rockers donated a portion of the proceeds to the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a local nonprofit that specializes in music lessons for underprivileged children.

LA Weekly‘s Molly Bergen had this to say about their Friday night stint:

“The key to Rancid’s success is their ability to evolve and diversify with each album. They can play as fast as anyone, but they’re also not afraid to venture from their meat-and-potatoes punk (“I Want A Riot” or “Salvation”) into upbeat, poppier numbers, (“Fall Back Down” or “Last One To Die”) or ska (“Timebomb” or “Ruby Soho”), or even politics (“New Orleans”). They really cover the whole gamut.”

Rancid even ventured into classic folk territory as Red Hot Chili Peppers co-founder Flea joined the punk rockers for a cover of Bob Dylan’s “On a Night Like This.” Watch it below.

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Katy Perry on Saturday Night Live


Katy Perry hosted Saturday Night Live over the weekend, performing two of her hit songs on SNL, “California Gurl” and “Teenage Dream.” What’s prettier? Perry or that Gretsch guitar?

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Watch Neil Young’s “Angry World” Video


Take a look at Neil Young’s new video for Le Noise track “Angry World,” shot by Adam CK Vollick. The shaky black and white footage features close-ups of Young (and his Gretsch White Falcon), as well as shots of trees, the sun rising and setting and a half-clad female dancing in an empty room.

Daniel Lanois, tagged by Young to produce and help film the recordings for the forthcoming Le Noise album, found a Los Angeles home for the recording sessions that he described to Rolling Stone as a “beautiful Mediterranean villa.”

“We picked it largely because of the cinematic opportunities,” Lanois told RS. “I have transportable recording equipment and we put something together just for Neil. I put out my best amps, my best pianos and best guitars. He was very impressed by all of it. We cut the whole thing over just nine days during three separate full-moon cycles earlier this year.”

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The Specials Perform on Letterman


Although the Specials were forced to cancel a free outdoor show in New York’s Central Park this summer because of visa issues, the British ska band eventually made it to the Big Apple for an Aug. 26 appearance on David Letterman. For their performance of “Nite Klub,” the Specials guitarist relied on his Gretsch guitar.

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